Oct 26, 2017
I Have Bipolar and Want to Get Married

From the COLlive Inbox: A young woman in Shidduchim tells the truth about dating with bipolar disorder.

I'm the accountant you rely on for over a decade. I'm quick and get the work done. I'm always happy to hear about your kids and your life and then we take care of business. What lies behind my cheerful personality is the meds I take twice a day...

It's knowing that when I finish work at 6 pm, I will travel to a therapist to work through my emotions and daily struggles. How about the trips to my doctor, who explains to me which medications are for what and when I can tweak them on my own and let my Dr. know in the morning that I've adjusted them?

You see, I'm the accountant who has bipolar.

Mental illness is everywhere. Everyone knows someone who unfortunately suffers from mental illness. It may be you, your family member or a friend etc.

I would like give you a glimpse of what its like living with bipolar.

Bipolar isn't a crime. It's a chemical imbalance in the body and it expresses itself differently in different people.

I have not done an aveira. I have not hurt anyone.

Therefore the number one treatment is medication.

Depression and mania are the key symptoms of bipolar.

It's an exhaustion that is beyond exhausted. It's that feeling of "I'm too tired to eat." It's the feelings of hopelessness and overwhelming sadness for no specific reason. However, with bipolar you can get the opposite extreme.

Mania is that surge of boundless energy that can keep me up for weeks at end. It gives me together a desire to change things and create new programs, design, accomplish, and more. At this stage I'm also extremely agitated, anxious, and very sensitive to loud noise and light.

In conjunction with medication, the most important thing is having a good therapist who taught me how to identify what was going on for me. She taught me how to be more aware of my emotions. Now I'm able to recognize when I'm feeling closer to the low side or the high side and I can avoid it by tweaking my medication before it happens. In addition, many times I'm affected by the weather.

I go through my struggles, but throughout it all I'm at the office- sometimes early because my mind is racing and I just can't sleep. And sometimes late because my mind and body are so tired I literally have to open my eyes with my hands. The good news is that after years of therapy and hard work I can now identify what I need to keep myself balanced. I have to eat right, sleep enough hours at night and keep up with my daily workout and meditation. Taking my medication consistently is essential and non-negotiable.

The shidduch process is a journey for all; yet having mental illness complicates it a lot more. When I started dating I was given the advice of a Rav to tell only after I felt there was a connection. So I've dated guys 3-6 times before telling. There were a couple different reactions, once I told someone; he got so angry that he nearly got into an accident on the way home. I don't blame him for being upset and feeling misled.

Trust is the basis of a healthy marriage and therefore I have revaluated when I tell and it has made a tremendous difference.

With the guidance of a Rav and mashpia who are aware of my condition and aware of what mental health entails I have decided to tell the shadchan and a prospective match before hand. I explained it in simple terms, I did not have to mention all my past history. More important was that I am under good care and honestly taking care of myself. I had my doctor speak to the shadchan, enabling her to answer any questions she may have had. All the people who are my references are aware of my mental health issue and are all on the same page regarding how much to share and how much not to.

My doctor helped the shadchan come up with a simple way to explain bipolar.

Once I do meet guys who have heard from the shadchan about my condition, I don't mention anything about my mental health issue, rather I try to discuss all the other things I do in my life. Ie: my job, my hobbies, living in my own apt, my family and more Unless he brings it up, I wait until I am ready and comfortable to discuss it.

It is a truly humbling and painful experience

From being in the dating scene for years too many, I only wish I would've been more honest earlier. I want people to realize that having a mental illness doesn't cripple you, It enables you to be sensitive and kind. I have made sure to get proper care from the beginning spending lots of money in making a lifetime investment for my future.

I hope that within a few years the stigma surrounding mental health struggles will fall on the wayside. I hope that today people can look beyond the mental health struggle. If it is being taken care of properly, then there is no need to say no before meeting the person. Since I've been a lot more up front with my health condition it gives people the opportunity to meet me as a person and saves us both the pain of having to be told later on. I hope that if anything was gained from this article, let it be one more girl or boy share his or her mental health struggles before meeting someone to avoid the unimaginable pain of rejection.

I recently dated someone and was told he didn't want to continue for no reason. He knew about my health condition so that couldn't be it or was it? My Mashpia put it so eloquently, she said when someone gives you no for an answer or doesn't give an answer at all, it's a "Neshama Thing." The same Aibeshter that gave me food to eat, and eyes to see, sometimes a little deeper. Also has someone special waiting for me. We will only meet the moment Hashem wants and not a minute before. I've seen Hashem's hand throughout my struggles with bipolar, and yes I know He will come through.

And in closing,

I've dated, it's hard. I've made myself vulnerable I've shared my story I have been broken by something I didn't do to myself I've supported the ice cream store. I've had a good time. I've met knew people I have reevaluated what's important to me. And I still continue to try because I know Hashem will make it happen



Most Read Most Comments


Opinions and Comments
1
I understand
While I don't have bipolar, I do have a psychological issue. I too go to therapy and am on daily medication to help keep me calm and stable. And, I too, have only told people about it after the 3rd or 4th dates. It's a shame that we as a group can't be more open and public about these things (that are no fault of ours!), in fear of 'putting a blemish on our names'. I too hope that one day that attitude will be healed. Because of this stigma I am forced to leave this anonymously as well, and it hurts.

-R
(10/26/2017 8:20:40 PM)
2
Please contact me
Hello, Thank for sharing your struggle. I think I can help. I have a fantastic new shidduch approach which has worked for many of my clients in the past and I would be glad to assist you free of charge. Please feel free to reach out and I will give you additional details. My email address is steveg858585@gmail.com.
(10/26/2017 8:24:27 PM)
3
wow
praying that you find your bashert soon

good for you for being strong and proud of who you are!!
(10/26/2017 8:33:52 PM)
4
How brave you are!
A big shout-out to you for taking such good care of yourself, first of all, and for sharing your story with everyone. May Hashem bring you your soulmate very quickly, especially in the zechus of this article.
(10/26/2017 8:40:21 PM)
5
Brave
The strengh you posess is undescribable!
May you find your bashert soon enough!
(10/26/2017 8:56:51 PM)
6
mitzva
we should learn from this how important is for someone to take this mitzva in hand -to find shiduchum for thise with known handicaps, as above. these people wre part of society, i was told by a peoffessional that many of the best doctors, layers etc. are actually bi polar- which gives them the enerdy to acheive great accomplichments- and you dont even know that maybe your best doctor is also like this. so why shouldnt some one entertain doing a shiduch with such a person.
the same is with other handicaps. what amitzva would a shadchan who can help someone like the writer find their ziivug.come on try to work on this -and hashem wil lhelp you.too
(10/26/2017 8:58:59 PM)
7
Aaron
BS"D I second # 4 comment and Amen
(10/26/2017 9:04:01 PM)
8
Very Wise Decision
Telling up front is a wise idea. I have a good friend who agreed to meet someone with bipolar disease.. Knowing this information beforehand meant that when they met they were able to focus on each other's positive points. Boruch Hashem, they are happily married.
(10/26/2017 9:10:48 PM)
9
Really Beautiful
Thank you for writing such an honest and open letter. You write with a lot of understanding and maturity. May you find your bashert soon
(10/26/2017 9:11:06 PM)
10
In the field
Ive had many pts in past yrs and yes,bipolar illness is very difficult but mostly for those who refuse to take their meds.Many don't believe they are ill.
YOU Seem to be taking excellent care of yourself and that's so so important.
Good for you.
(10/26/2017 9:14:21 PM)
11
Beautiful quality of humility
You are medication compliant majorly
You are responsible and take your therapy seriously
These qualities are solid character skills that bring much to a marriage.
Do meds effect fetus chvsh.?
All the best to you.
(10/26/2017 9:14:23 PM)
12
Impressed
And so true....
You definitely do deserve that special someone...may it be soon.
And may all of society realize the prevalence and abilities of those of us with mental illness...
(10/26/2017 9:30:02 PM)
13
Amazing
What a hero you are!!! You deserve a great guy who will appreciate your honesty, humor and how well you manage your situation. Wishing you tons of hatzlacha and may others learn acceptance and honesty from you!
(10/26/2017 9:34:41 PM)
14
Who is the Shadchan?
It sounds like you have an amazing team behind you, including a phenomenal and attentive shadchan. How can others get in touch with her?
(10/26/2017 9:38:57 PM)
15
totally agree
My sisters have mental health issues, and sometimes they go to the hospital but otherwise they are totally sweet and amazing people
(10/26/2017 9:54:26 PM)
16
THANK YOU!
Hi, Thank you for sharing your story, its about time for things to be put in perspective and stigmas to be thrown out the window. I have bipolar too and Thank GD am happily married with children,. I believe people who have had past traumas are more sensitive to others.
The main thing people need to know is that you are a good person, you have a handle on this issue, and you take your meds responsibly. and most importantly you have a sense of humor:)
I pray you find your Bashert very soon!!

(10/26/2017 9:58:33 PM)
17
You are so amazing!
I am assuming your family helped you earlier to get diagnosis and help. Even that is still big today. I know too many families with children who desperately need help and parents ignore it, for fear of shiduchim issues. Oish. So proud of your amazing level of self care. A mature guy would be proud to have such a strong and couragous woman as his partner. Hope Hashem sends him to you Mamash!
(10/26/2017 10:00:00 PM)
18
Refreshing article!
Thank you so much anonymou author! We all need to hear this!
(10/26/2017 10:06:40 PM)
19
So brave
Thank you for opening up the conversation to this important issue.

I knew that my husband had bipolar before we began dating. It made the dating process smoother as there was no shock to deal with.

I agree with your way and want to send you hugs and let you know that you made a great decision. May you find your bashert real soon.

And for all those who are wary about bipolar: My husband is the most dedicated, caring, considerate spouse. He is a great Dad too. Do your research, call dr.'s, speak to therapists, make sure the history of keeping on meds is consistent and leave the rest to Hashem.

Its way more common than you think.

And its way more manageable than you think.
(10/26/2017 10:19:46 PM)
20
to # 6
It's not a handicap.

(10/26/2017 10:20:56 PM)
21
Beautifully written
I commend the author and hope she finds her bashert very soon.

I just want to point out that some men are emotionally immature and are therefore unable to deal with a wife who needs frequent emotional support. There are also men who just want to tune out and not deal with their wives colorful moods. You DONT want to end up with these men (nobody does, but especially you) and that is why you are making the RIGHT choice by being upfront about your bipolar condition.
(10/26/2017 11:35:05 PM)
22
Beautiful
Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a real struggle and you sound so brave. Keep it up
(10/27/2017 12:24:19 AM)
23
well put
and from the heart. may u have a yeshua bekarov besoch all others who need one.
(10/27/2017 12:31:59 AM)
24
To the writer of the article!!
Thank you very much for sharing, I'm bi-polar to, and ready for shidduchim.. And was wondering what to do.. Though I'm not on medication and only visit the doctor once a month..
(10/27/2017 12:51:29 AM)
25
Not that smart..
I have bipolar, and I would never tell someone I date about my condition before I get to know them.. Because then they will just pass it on to someone else and there it goes for your shidduch, most people don't want to marry you if you're bipolar..
(10/27/2017 12:56:33 AM)
26
Mental Health
we have to embrace mental health in the frum community.
thank God you know what you have and know what to do.
so many people are suffering without knowing.

(10/27/2017 1:26:17 AM)
27
Bold and beautiful and brave
Thx for sharing your story ... what a wonderful honest person u are ... with so much obvious bitachin and emunah .. we have much to learn from you and your outlook .... in the zchus of this may Hashem send you your bashert ...
(10/27/2017 1:39:59 AM)
28
Advantage
I would like to point out that anyone who marries this wonderful person has a great advantage. Mental illness is so common but usually expresses itself or is found after marriage. All too often then, the spouse resists a diagnosis and help, not taking responsibility for it and even can end up blaming the other spouse for the problems. That is very often the nature of mental illness. What do you prefer guys???. A mature wonderful lady who takes responsibility for herself or a possibility of discovering something later in marriage that can destroy the marriage
(10/27/2017 3:05:44 AM)
29
My husband is bipolar as well
And has a very productive life we have 4 children
He has jobs with very big responsibilitys and over a lot of people , people very much appreciate the way he works and most of important his interactions with people,
Very special person and his illness only affected his life in a positive way.
(10/27/2017 5:07:58 AM)
30
To 11
Regarding pregnancy- from what I understand some medications are ok and some not. The prescribing doctor will make a plan to get the mother on the right medication before pregnancy.
(10/27/2017 5:19:38 AM)
31
BP living
Im married to someone with BP and eating disorders.
For 10 years, needless to say a disastrous outcome.
Its sometimes better to realize the suffering that condition brings to others. Hatzlachah
(10/27/2017 5:30:48 AM)
32
Aaron
BS"D Could be Hashem gave you this just for the leadership, encouragement, strength, will to succeed etc etc etc that you have exhibited and shown others in the same and similar situation.
(10/27/2017 5:37:25 AM)
33
Medication is not the only solution
Neurofeedback has proven to cure! While your doctor may not agree, I have trained people who got rid of their mental sickness and their doctor at the same time!
Hatzlacha raba in all you do!
(10/27/2017 6:29:30 AM)
34
Amazing article!
You have worked through your emotions more than ppl without issues .. nd this is a huge plus in real life!! U would make an awesome partner/ mother. Much hatzlacha
(10/27/2017 6:32:17 AM)
35
to #20
yes it is
(10/27/2017 6:43:15 AM)
36
look for equal
there's something that hasn't been said.
permit me...
people with one challenge should seek to marry people with another challenge.
that way there's no begging for acceptance as the author is doing.
there's a simple understanding, i'll accept your polio and you accept my bipolar
(10/27/2017 6:44:46 AM)
37
Why shall the Shadchen know?
Your Mental Health is Your business.
When the time comes you can disclose the proper information to the one you are dating and have him speak to your DR/THERAPIST if he has concerns
(10/27/2017 7:32:44 AM)
38
From the Author
Thank you all for your validation of how challenging and yet how I cope with this so well. I hope this is an eye opener for some, life with bipolar can continue on as long as it's cared for appropriately. I appreciate all your Brachos and imyh Hashem will send the right one just when he is ready!

I would like to respond a bit,

To #10 Thank you for comment. Unfortantly when someone takes their meds while having bipolar and they do feel better it is a challenge to stay on them because you feel fine. Sadly, once someone goes off the meds the whole cycle will probably repeat itself and they may be stuck in an unhealthy place again. So as I said, By me taking meds is non - negotioable.


To #11 medication during pregnancy is highly monitored so as not to harm the fetus as well as protect the mother from post baby blues or in this case mania.

To #14 I have built up a network of support and that is truly what got me where I am. In response to who is the shadchan, for each person it can be different because you need to find someone you can relate to.

To #16 Thank you! My sense of humor is my saving grace! I enjoy comedy and just being able to "laugh at life" because sometime it's just to comical for words🤣

To #21 I totally agree. In addition, I'm hoping that the "frequent emotional support" will be something I can get from my support team right now, as not to overdo with my husband. Of course I will share, but not to an extent that it will dominate our relationship.

To #25 I hear your point. And will add that I've tried not telling before and it backfired every time. If someone doesn't want to marry me because I have bipolar, I don't want to marry them either. Yes it is a risk of saying before and it can be passed around. But honestly if someone can't handle it, then it's a relief before I even start.

To #28 thank you for your comment. Life happens and people get ill after marriage to. That's life. If a spouse is refusing treatment in my humble opinion it is best to get treatment for yourself so that you can be able to be there for yourself and for your spouse.

To #31 It must be very difficult to watch a loved one in such pain, and sometimes I can get wrapped up in my illness and not even see the "suffering that the condition brings to others":(

To #36 I completely agree and I apologize for not adding it in the article. It's very important for me to look for someone more open minded, dealing with a health condition or something else there is a certain sensitivity that comes along with that and makes a large difference. Thanks for putting it out there!
(10/27/2017 7:45:12 AM)
39
To the author:
Thank you for the best post on Shidduchim I have ever read. You are honest & humble & realistic, & successful, and your bashert is out there: a good person who can see beyond your condition.

As for #36 - YOURS is one of the most insensitive & callous posts I ever read. It seems you believe this girl is damaged goods. She isn't. She has a medical condition. One of my children who has ZERO health issues was redt to a potential spouse who is an insulin dependent diabetic.We checked with our family doctor who said there shouldn't be a problem & the shidduch went through. Knowledge is power, & fear & myths need to be de-bunked.

Mental Health issues are just as real as cancer, Down Syndrome, or a broken leg. The problem is the stigma... as my friend with a daughter with severe mental health conditions says, it's not pretty...March of Dimes isn't running to raise funds for research into paranoid schizophrenia.

Shabbat Shalom
(10/27/2017 7:54:54 AM)
40
A new approach
Thank you I always thought mental health was a disease and taboo. Now I have anew respect and new understanding and will never think a negative thought of someone who is going through it.
(10/27/2017 8:03:59 AM)
41
To 35
When treated it's not a handicap at all - these ppl can be way above average- had a professor When I was learning in college now this guy was as brilliant as it gets and was bipolar
And there are CEO of massive companies woe are bipolar
As well as leaders in many Fields
When not treated - it a different story
(10/27/2017 8:05:17 AM)
42
Thank you
Beautiful article! Any way to get in touch with the author to match up girls and boys in similar situations?
(10/27/2017 8:05:36 AM)
43
Meds are not the only answer
Please do yourself a favor and get a second opinion, and even start working with a naturopath or holistic doctor. Meds are often a very terrible solution that can end tragically, may Hashem save us. In addition, from the Shadchan and the bochur's perspective CAN YOU BLAME US? Those pills have a dangerous affect on pregnant women and go thru the placenta, and go into breast milk. The bochur and the Shadchan are only thinking practically. I once tried to make a Shidduch with a lady who did not tell me she was on several meds for mental health issues. I had to find out thru the bochur. I begged her to try to work with a naturopath or holistic doctor. There are hundreds of healthy alternatives to pills. Rebbe Nachman was a Doctor as well as a Rabbi. He knew the wisdom of herbal medicine. He said that if a person has enough emunah, the bread itself will heal you!!! G-d bless you to please get a second or even third opinion and start working with someone who can heal the whole body and soul, and not just label you and prescibe a dangerous, toxic pill. Just today in a reputable news source, I saw that they arrested the CEO of a big pharmaceutical company for bribing doctors so they would prescribe pills. G-d bless you to get a second opinion from a holistic doctor and stop blindly following someone who is bribed to prescibe meds.
(10/27/2017 8:08:09 AM)
44
Thanks
Thanks for addressing the issue. The more it is talked about the less stigmatized psychological problems will be. The mention of any psychological issues usually scares people but it is very common and can be managed.
To the commentaries that advise getting off the meds, yes pharmaceutical companies and some doctors have incentive to medicate and alternative forms of medicine can work but just leave it at 'look into alternatives too' don't go playing doctor. These meds, despite everything else, have allowed people to live relatively normal lives. Your comments, if worded wrongly, are dangerous.
(10/27/2017 8:43:02 AM)
45
is not a big deal
many many many people have bipolar disorder and many people have worst personality disorders and they do OK find a good loving partner and you will get in a good place
(10/27/2017 8:46:50 AM)
46
To number 31
Not all cases of mental illness is negative. Maybe the person you married didn't take care of it properly so therefore it was hard on the family? Bc not taking care of a mental illness properly can lead to very challenging times.

When one tasks care of it properly and with the right support they can flourish really nicely as people in society.
There are many people that have a mental or emotional disorder and you wouldn't even know because they are such good hearted people and have it all under control.

Many times these people are extra sensitive because of what they have been through.

kol hakavod to the writer for taking about this!
(10/27/2017 8:48:36 AM)
47
To 43
Homeopathy works wonders for many ailments. Bipolar isn't one of them. Western medicine is often very much necessary, as it is with this case. Please read up on this thoroughly (BOTH sides.) Mental health disorders cannot be cured by faith. There's a reason God created doctors. If we didn't need them they wouldn't exist.
(10/27/2017 8:52:23 AM)
48
Number 43
Well said
(10/27/2017 9:40:13 AM)
49
To #33
Is there any way to contact you?
(10/27/2017 9:57:31 AM)
50
mendel
I know someone that has bipolar and has raised a wonderful family. People should just know this.
(10/27/2017 9:59:02 AM)
51
help
Dr will not make u happy u must learn Tanya perakim26-34 it's help better then
read the book
And the rebbe in our generation only

(10/27/2017 10:07:20 AM)
52
Very Pleased!
Exceptionally pleased COL printed this, brought this out, and kudos to the author...in my mind, and I am sure many others you stand 10 feet tall.

Hatzlocho!
(10/27/2017 10:09:44 AM)
53
To #25
There is a simple reason why you should tell them in advance:

The person living with you has to be someone who accepts you for who you are. If you don't tell them upfront, even if they choose to marry you they may still feel like they were "conned" into dating you etc.

Mental illness definitely requires an UNDERSTANDING spouse. If he or she is not willing to "deal with it", then you must move on and find someone that will.

Your shadchan has to be smart and know how to present it in the right manner, that's what it boils down to.
(10/27/2017 10:37:09 AM)
54
Ur brave
Of living with someone who has bipolar I don't think its a stigma, rather fear and heartache as u watch them hurt so many people.
(10/27/2017 10:47:14 AM)
55
To 54
There are many men and woman with bipolar disorder that are harmless and good hearted. Your comment reflects more about you than someone who has bipolar.
(10/27/2017 10:55:35 AM)
56
To #43 & 35
Excuse me what u are saying makes no sense in the time of Reb Nachman M'Breslav BP didn't exist u can just say do this & this & it will go away, I asked Reb Simon Jacobson once abt the Depression it speaks abt in Chassidus which the Alter Rebbe discusses & BP Didn't, he said what Chassidus is talking abt isn't clinical & mental deppresion, it's talking abt a regular person who is having deppresion abt a certain thing BP Depression he said that person should see a Dr & Psychiatrist right away, so u wana mix Reb Nachman in this, that is truly Moronic, tell your person to go off the meds & see what happens then you'll know that Reb Nachman as well isn't talking abt clinical deppresion ty & to #35 there is no way for curing this your out of your mind the same way #43 is, there is no way that a person can get better without meds yes they need to do other things as well, but definitely going off the meds & saying that you have a way to get rid of it is totally ludicrous, moronic, insane & crazy, there is no cure period, stop trying to solve the world's issues bec u can't !!?
(10/27/2017 11:17:55 AM)
57
From the Author
To #43

I completely hear you about medication. I have spoken to homeopaths, I've even traveled to Europe to seek treatment there. The honest truth is that being that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain there is no better way to treat it then with medication! I can't stress that enough. Yes there is side effects, yes during pregnancy I need to be closely monitored. And no I will not nurse my baby. It's ok. They will be just fine with bottles And lots of love and warmth can be given in other ways. On the flip side, homeapthy is not an answer to helping someone with bipolar.

To #51 It is sad for me to say that some people still think of Torah and Chassidus are a "Complete" healing for I'llness. I am mekusher to the Rebbe and I also follow the Torahs directives of "Vinishmartem Moed Linafshosaychem" I recommend educating yourself about chemical imbalances in the brain, thus understanding the importance of taking medication. And you can of course learning Chassidus.
(10/27/2017 11:34:54 AM)
58
other side of the coin
some types of bipolar disorder are very difficult to manage. during manic episodes psychosis can occur and believe me its scary stuff. as the poster wrote taking meds is non negotiable. i think you have to be upfront and honest from
the get go.
(10/27/2017 11:39:55 AM)
59
thanks
Thank you for writing this article.
G-d bless you to find your better half very soon.
(10/27/2017 12:12:02 PM)
60
I have some advise for you...
As a guy that has dated and is now married.
I understand your issue.
I would suggest you remain honest but negate the negative.
So for example, you tell the guy, I take medication but it is under control. It is mild, stuff like that.

When a guy sees that it is not a big deal for you, and you have the issue under control, it will make him confident to remain dating.

Remember, guys are human too. They are scared to date a girl that turns south. Be human about it.
(10/27/2017 12:19:45 PM)
61
Life Is Chaotic!
Thank you author for a beautifully written and spot on article.

We all have mental issues. It would seem to me, the difference between this author and ourselves is the author has dealt with her issues and most of us have not. But life will catch up with the rest of us, and we too will need to struggle through chaos.

Think youre even keeled and have it all together? Think again!

Yossi wakes up in the morning. Slept well. He is happy. He goes to shul and someone flippantly says a nasty comment to him. Comes home upset. The nerve of that guy! Eats a good breakfast, hes calm again. He goes to work happy. At work there is a back load that should have been handled by the guy sitting at the other desk. And it wasnt. And now its thrown on Yossi. Yossi is nervous and anxious. Comes home after a day of work and the house is on wheels. Yossis voice is raised a few decibels as he tries to quiet others.

Chani didnt sleep well. Was awakened three times. Three-year-old had a bad dream. Baby needed nursing and a diaper. Husband is snoring. She is frazzled. Kids have to get up, dressed and off to school. Then its quiet and calm. She listens to an online two minute whatsapp shiur as she drinks her herbal tea. Shes calm even a bit serene. Her mother-in-law calls Shes frazzled. Her friend wants to go shopping with her. Shes happy! She goes food shopping. Someone cuts ahead of her at checkout, shes angry. She returns home lots of work. Moody. Color me purple, blue or bright orange.

Mood swings! All of us.
Bipolar? Thats easy. How about tri-polar? Multi-polar?

We get married and then for the next few years try to make sense of our spouse and ourselves. This lucky author has already gone through the figuring out process. She is miles ahead of most of us. To marry her would be to marry someone whos got her act together. To marry us is to throw ourselves into the chaos.

Oversimplification? To some degree, yes.

But really, we are all mood disordered, confused, unsure of ourselves, and a work in progress. We start later, when the blowback of life hits us in the face. The author started earlier. Good for her!

I am Chani my husband is Yossi. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty.) We all need to do better to get over the stigmas attached to mood and mental health issues that are often the result of our own inadequacies. We are phobic, fearful, insecure, and develop all sorts of coping mechanisms that often change according to the moment. What I would give for a good mashpia, therapist, counselor, good friend, to help me work through things.

I so appreciate the honesty and integrity of the author for writing this. You have so much to teach us.
(10/27/2017 12:28:47 PM)
62
sorry to be so blunt, but...
the reality is that the stigma is stronger than all trust, love, and support put together. i am so sorry for your condition, yet in reality chances are you will have a difficult time. may g-d have mercy on us all!
(10/27/2017 12:34:46 PM)
63
Question for woman who raised family with bipolar
Personally, I would be concerned about a shidduch with a young lady with a mental health issue, not because of stigma, but more because of the possible practical effect. Can a woman who successfully raised a family with bipolar answer this: how do you manage when you can't get enough sleep due to a newborn keeping you up at night, or how do you manage when you can't eat right due to the fact that kids can demand care and attention at random times (pushing off or shortening meal prep and meal times)? Basically how does bipolar interact with the traditional female role?
I hope I'm not insulting anyone.
(10/27/2017 12:39:31 PM)
64
I wish I had a son for you
Hatzlacha and I bless you to find the right one easily and soon. Hope others realize how common mental illness is and those with it are just as normal as those without
(10/27/2017 1:20:45 PM)
65
to #61
great comment.
1 in 5 people will experience a mental disorder throughout life it .can range from Panick Disorder, Schizophrenia, OCD, Depression, Agraphobia, Bipolar, ADHD, GED and so on...

so it has to be that 1 in 5 from the frum community also have a disorder .

There are people who need to seek help but don't because if there shiduch finds out it can be a mekach taus after marriage....
But wait, if someone has depression and didn't seek help than went on to get married and didn't take care of it why is that not a greater mekach taus?

I once heard Dr. Barry Holzer saying how there was a parent who didn't want to place there child on medication for ADHD cause of shiduchim.

so have the kid not take antipsychotic fail the yeshiva system and I'm sure he will find a shiduch that way...

if you have a skin rash you go to a dermatologist, cavity you go to a dentist, Depression you go to a therapist, chemical imbalance you go to a physiciatrist.



(10/27/2017 1:47:28 PM)
66
My 2 cents
Reading this interest as dealing with a child with mental health issues. Have a lot to say... But this is not the place... A few comments..
1. Commend the author tremendously for dealing with the condition so positively, you must have amazing supportive parents. Hatzlacha with finding a shiduch! Keep up your bitachon, we can all learn from it!
2.The stigma must be removed! The illness would be do much less painful for those suffering from it if they didnt feel the shame and as if they are damaged goods cv. People have rachmonis on others when there is pysical illness in the family, but with this we feel we have to hide it from our own close relatives, siblings and in laws, suffering in silence eith very little support. The person feels thry are looked on as crazy and its more torture thsn the illness itself! Please please lets realize this IS a physical illness and treat those who have it with respect and compassion.
3.Regarding meds... Everone needs to do what works for them.. If they work for you, thats great! But its not a one size fits all answer. So far we have not had success and sre trying other methods, we need to be open minded to different options.

In conclusion, all should be benched with health in every way... And shidduchim... And mainly Moshiach NOW!
(10/28/2017 11:14:36 AM)
67
To Author
I respect you, and I love you.

Best of luck in your journey.
(10/28/2017 6:27:45 PM)
68
What about the fact that it is hereditary?
I know a fantastic girl, who would make an amazing wife, mother, shlucha. But her father had bp. It is so hard to find someone even to date her. They are afraid that their children might have it too
(10/28/2017 6:41:50 PM)
69
with the old breed
You are great. You are not alone. We all love you. One never knows from where your Mate will come. Stay open minded and pray it works.
(10/28/2017 8:24:25 PM)
70
Yasher Koach, author!
I appreciate your honesty and practicality; but most of all, I appreciate your answer in comment #57. I developed clinical depression following post-natal depression. I have been on medication for over 20 years and expect I will be for the rest of my life, or until Moshiach comes. I have had many moments of self-doubt over this, so I thank you wholeheartedly for reinforcing the necessity of it. And I am grateful to the Aibeshter for providing the means to treat my chemical imbalance so I can function fully in all the roles He has given me.

May we hear Besuros Tovos from you very soon!
(10/28/2017 10:46:48 PM)
71
It's an attitude problem
BH
The community at large has a huge attitude problem and has it's head buried in the sand . 1 in 5 people are struggling with some kind of mental health issue Shidduchim shouldn't be hindered because people are narrow minded this girl should have people running after her as she's taking care of herself quite well better most likely than so called "normal" people living in their parents basement. Wake up people this isn't the way we were taught let's practice what we preach.
(10/28/2017 11:25:45 PM)
72
A fellow bipolar
Hi, I'm a an Israeli Baal Teshuva who is also bipolar and live In Orange county California. Even so I'm almost 40 I am not looking for shiduch now days yet, as I just started to be observant. Until I saw this article I was concern about finding shiduch in the orthodox world but your article has inspired me.i would like to hear more and get your advice. You are welcome to contact me at kcbd777@hotmail.com yeshar koach!
(10/29/2017 12:16:32 AM)
73
You should be married to your true beshert very soon and set a
real example of a happy, content couple and ultimately family. BS"D!
(10/29/2017 9:29:08 AM)
74
Medication is not the only solution
Neurofeedback and biomagnetism are real healers, not band-aid for the rest of your life.
For whoever asked, devoralea@hotmail.com to contact me.
Neuroptimal.com and biomagnetismusa.com to look it up
(10/29/2017 11:43:24 AM)
75
No excuses
Just do it
No explanations
No recriminations
100s of Bochurim would jump at the chance
Go for it
(10/29/2017 11:59:46 AM)
76
Bsoros tovos
Please let us all know!!
You will be a wonderful wife and Mother! Hatzlacha!
(10/29/2017 9:01:05 PM)
77
Your a real "catch"!!!!!!
Maybe post your Shadchans info in case someone has a Shidduch for you.
Hatzlacha.
(10/30/2017 12:50:50 AM)
78
To #63
There are challenges in raising children if you have a mental illness or you dont. There are always challenges that can come up for us all. Bipolar may make a mother need extra support after a baby, but if a mother was on bed rest everyone would understand that the mother can't do their regular role too and needs more help too. Just like a person on bed rest might need more help and cant do things around the house, a person after birth might need more help. For a mother who just gave birth and has bipolar they might need some extra help from their husband or a night nurse so they can sleep. There are options of night nurses, family members helping and husbands that can help would be amazing.
As a mother who has bipolar, even when I wasn't doing so well and needed extra support I was still able to be there for my family and do when was needed for the children. Luckily my husband has helped me in the past by waking up for the baby, but I think there are challenges with everything. With the right amount of help and support you can have a functioning, happy life, even with a mental illness. In my case I had more of a postpartum issue, going through episodes after birth and even if I wasnt all the way better I was still able to do the necessary mother tasks, maybe a little slower and not in the best mood, but I was able to do what I needed to do. Meals were never an issue for me but if it is an issue for someone I think it is very workable.
(10/30/2017 4:18:41 PM)
79
to #62
did you read anywhere in the article or in the thread that follows that the stigma resulting from this or similar conditions is easy to avoid or overcome ? that's obviously one of the main points the author is making and your need to reiterate it so negatively and insensitively really doesn't pass for benign honesty. instead, it indicates a need to vocalize negativity and pessimism that's difficult to put up with. now that's a trait a lot of people would avoid when looking for a shidduch.
(10/30/2017 6:31:23 PM)
80
The Author
When I wrote this article it was not because I was in need for approval. I B"H have an incredible support system. I wrote this more of an eye opener to the general public of what a functional and healthy life one can lead while having mental illness if it's taken care of correctly.
My recommendation for all who would like to remove the stigma and misunderstandings regarding Mental Illness is educate yourself, here is a highly recommended book " The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" the more educated we are as a community the more we can understand and embrace those with mental illness. If this article helped even one person it was all worth it!
(10/30/2017 7:22:02 PM)
81
to #43
You obviously don't have a child or have experienced bi-polar closely or you would never be saying such non-sense

Medication can be very effective as well as balanced nutrition, exercise and a good therapist. I have a lot of respect for Rabbi Nachman and his teachings but a doctor? where did you read that?
please don't mix up facts with your own un-researched approach to dealing with bi-polar. This girl is right on track
(10/31/2017 8:02:46 PM)
82
I have bipolar and am interested
I've read your story and am interested in a potential shidduch.
Author please contact me at bipolarisfine@gmail.com
(11/2/2017 6:30:27 PM)
83
A reminder not to confuse writer with other accountants
Just a reminder to please be careful not to jump to conclusions about your local single acccountants. Probably the writer works in a different field and chose this one to protect her identity. Thank you.
A very important and inspiring article. All best wishes to the writer.
(11/15/2017 12:39:10 PM)
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