Crazy For You –

Oct 22, 2020 – According to Dr. Wilfred Van Gorp, a psychologist and the former president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, this conversation should happen “at the point you trust the person sufficiently that you wish to take the relationship to a deeper level.” Similarly, Dr. Leela R. Magavi, M.D., an adult, adolescent, and child psychiatrist and regional medical director at Community Psychiatry, says that prior to disclosing personal information—like any mental illness—you should make sure that the person you’re dating respects and values you. Sometimes this can take a month, other times it can take a year, she explains, noting that each relationship is unique. First of all, it doesn’t have to involve a scenario where, over a candle-lit dinner, you blurt out “Guess what? I have bipolar disorder” between the entrees and the dessert. (Though if you’re comfortable doing it that way, that’s entirely up to you.) Here are some examples of (slightly more nuanced) alternatives: 

Mentioning mental health in the context of your current challenges One way to ease into the subject in a way that doesn’t feel forced, is by bringing them up at a time when you’re discussing your challenges and what you’re doing to overcome them, according to Van Gorp. “Relate [your mental health issues] to everyday functioning,” he suggests For example, right now, the pandemic is a logical entry point to these discussions, and Van Gorp says you can open with something like: “This COVID thing really freaks me out—I have anxiety anyway—and this just makes it worse.” Then take it from there.

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