Should my manic-depressive cousin be dating?

y cousin who has suffered from extreme depression for a while now recently had a breakdown due in large part to the fact that her boyfriend's mom told him that he couldn't see her anymore because her depression was dragging him down. They are both 17. 2 days later she asked to be admitted into inpatient at a hospital and that's where she is now. This is her 3rd time in a hospital and she has a history of cutting and has attempted suicide. However she seemingly wants to stay with the boyfriend -- I don't know what he wants -- and her parents don't seem to have a problem with her dating this guy. However I think it's a terrible idea and she needs to spend time single so she can develop coping skills and work on managing her condition. Please share your opinions.

  • Yes
    45% (15)37% (10)42% (25)Vote
  • No
    55% (18)63% (17)58% (35)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Updates:
Very surprised with the poll results. More please.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • it depends on how their relationship is. if him being in her life helps her cope and makes her feel better than forcing him out of her life would be disastrous. she could still get help, and work on her condition with a boyfriend, it just means she has to learn how to set priorities and balance activities.
    if he's not being a positive thing in her life, and bringing her down/ not allowing her to focus on her self then they should probably stop seeing each other, or see each other less until she can get herself back on her feet.

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    • Well I haven't seen her much but from what I hear and she has told me is that they argue frequently and the guy is upset to the point where his mom doesn't want him seeing her anymore so it doesn't seem good from where I stand.

    • yeah in that case it might be better for them both to split. although it will be really hard for her at fist, and she'll probably need some extra support.
      i had a friend like that who was dating a guy and they always seemed to be fighting about something. the broke up awhile ago and it really tore her up. she stopped talking to me for 2 months, and apparently tried to kill herself in that time frame. and she still wants him back.

    • Oh wow. I'm sorry to hear that. I hope she gets better. My cousin actually stopped talking to me over the last two months too so it came as quite a shock that things had become so dire. She doesn't have a lot of people she feels she can be honest with. I was one but for whatever reason, she stopped talking to me.

Most Helpful Guy

  • I say its okay that she dates but not before fixing the current crushing thing at hand so rather than cutting off the relationship a forced temporary suspension of the title "dating and relationship" cause both halves seem really invested. and the knowledge that their relationship is suddenly destroyed and a now contact policy I think it would more likely send her mind into a bottomless pit hole of self loathing. And blame her self unintentionally for the whole entire issue as its not 100% her fault for the depression onset. But any contact should be limited to short time. There is no positive for ether of them to loose full contact. Cause what parents never get is that once the depression onset happens they can be counted as the enemy if rash decisions are made. And its not just the lost of trust it can be the full onset of loss of past experences with her own parents. As a result self harm in extreme cases and even the chance of just loosing her entire personality. Her parents may want whats best but removing every thing she's holding onto isn't going to make it better. Tearing away what is the last piece holding her together even if she's toxic isn't going to help her mend scars rather can just lead to a deeper ones. Its touchy but its definitely not worth it if she looses her own identity if its really as bad as it sounds.

    Experence: I've watched a friend go down this path lets just say she isn't the girl I remember. It doesn't make it easier that im one of the 3 people she considers friendly other wise she's a very toxic to everyone else including her own family.

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    • I think that's a good compromise.

    • Talks arnt more than 12 minutes till both are better and slowly increase the time. and eventually when both are ready dating and hang outs but its better to keep the everything intact than the fall out that can consume the family. Its one thing for guys to go get help but when girls do it devastates the whole family. Cause girls arnt generally seen as the ones to fall apart. And be there for your cuz she's going to need you more than ever.

What Girls Said 7

  • Maybe she should date but not that guy whose parents forbid him to see her and disapprove. Are you sure he isn't using them as an excuse? 17 year olds are usually more rebellious as I recall. She does need to get well and mood stabilized. She needs someone who has a more positive impact so there is less incentive for self harm. Someone with mental illness needs a nurturing influence. Why should she be deprived of companionship?

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    • I thought of that and it's very possible he is using his mom as a scapegoat. Well as another answerer mentioned, I don't think she has the coping skills to deal with a relationship but her past boyfriends have been very poor choices. But if she can find someone who helps her and she can weather the ups and downs that's fine. I just don't think she's at that point.

    • It may take awhile. Mood stabilizers are still in an experimental stage of medicine but I recommend cognitive behavioural therapy.

  • If she's that unstable, she needs to be working on herself. A relationship will only make her more unstable. She needs to learn stability, she needs meds and therapy and consistency. Not a relationship, with its ups and downs... not until she become stable on her own.

    That's her personally though; plenty of people with bipolar disorder are perfectly fine to date. And plenty of people without the disorder shouldn't be dating.

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    • That's exactly what I and several others think about the situation. Thank you for reading all the details.

  • I wouldn't!

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  • Maybe she should date later in the future when her boyfriends do effect her too much... though maybe dating now could help her be less sensitive in the future when a boy breaks up with her

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  • It isn't your decision, it's hers, her boyfriends, and their parents (because they're under 18). since you don't fall into any of those categories: leave it alone.

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  • Well I am bipolar myself and I am taking lots of time to get mentally stable. A relationship with ups and downs will worsen my condition. I think she needs to do the same. She needs to get medicated and get therapy for her issues.

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  • It depends on the relationship really, but lots of people in her situation do and it doesn't cause them any harm

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    • But my problem is she doesn't have coping skills for when things go bad and he triggered her episode because she couldn't handle the stress. So I think she shouldn't see him until she figures out how to handle these situations because otherwise he could trigger her all over again.

    • Show All
    • I was with the guy from age 16-19. It was hard, but the good times and him as a person made me want to stay. It was rocky, and he did have episodes, and I was young so I didn't always understand.
      We broke up a few times and each time he ended up in hospital again. For our final break up, he was in hospital, got some help and came out fine maybe a little jaded. We aren't exactly friends now but we're in contact about once a year and I see him around sometimes.
      I think teenage years, mental illness or not, are the worst times of life mentally, there's just so much turmoil, mental illness amplifies that of course... but i mean just because somebody is one way as a teen, doesn't mean they'll always be that way. My ex and a few friends I have with similar conditions, during our teens was a lot worse for them and it mellows out a little in early 20s as they get used to life with their illness. It's still there, but they're more settled.

    • See, that's what I see for her too. That she needs to get through this and learn about herself and how to live with herself and then when she makes those realizations she'll be able to have as close to normal relationships as possible. High school and teens years are the worst but that's when I feel you should be analyzing yourself as much as possible to learn how to be comfortable with yourself later on. But if she doesn't change the pattern she's fallen into, I worry she won't make it past her early twenties.

What Guys Said 8

  • I think that banning her from dating without getting the medical care she needs would be really bad for her. She would feel targeted, and that could cause even more problems. You say she doesn't cope well, but how would she cope knowing that she isn't allowed to love or be loved? I think this is the wrong way to go about things. I feel she should be encouraged to work on herself before she dates, but not to be banned from it.

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  • i don't really see why her mental health should determine whether or not she should date

    now perhaps if she is a specific sort of spell where the symptoms are especially bad a relationship may not feasible but relationships can help ease some of the issues associated with mental health

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  • It sounds like she does need coping skills and a lot of counciling but humans are social by nature and that also means one of our coping mechanisms is people. We need them to support us just as much as we support ourselves. In fact their is a chemical called oxytocin that is secreted in the brain when people hug/kiss/cuddle/have sex that is not only responsible for establishing emotional bonds but acts as a mood elevator and actually promotes healing two things she obviously needs. If the guy is willing then I think it would be a good thing. Now obviously she needs counciling along with it as well as antidepressents and such. His parents are against it because obviously this is a stressful relationship to be in and it could end very badly so they don't want to see their son hurt. Understandable but it is his choice, just as she needs to develop coping mechanisms he does as well, that is to say life is not always going to be easy for him so avoiding a problem when it arises isn't going to prepare him to handle those issues, its just going to teach him to run away.

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  • Coming from somebody who is also Bipolar as well as well as a cutter I go by the saying that if you can't take care of yourself then you are no good to anybody else. If the boy really cares then he will stand by her as a friend but she needs to get her system under control first.

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  • I don't think she should, at least for the moment. Whit the help of a psychologist and a psychiatrist she might take what It needs to date and bee in a healthy relationship.

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  • That is basically tying a noose on your neck on a sturdy tree

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  • Being mentall ill doesn't mean you can't be in love

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  • No, because all men should not be dating. Fuck relationships, marriage and all that shit.

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