5 Things Lesbians With Mental Illness Need You To Know
We love relationships, but it can be hell when your partner doesn't understand your mental illness.
Are you dating a lesbian with a mental illness? Here are five things that lesbians with mental disorders/illnesses want you to know before dating them:
1. It's never going away.
Say what now? Don’t believe me, ask WebMD. When the pretty girl you're interested in tells you she has a mental illness, understand that it's like her shadow. Not always visible, but always there. Sure, she seems completely fine right now and ‘doesn't look crazy at all.’ Please understand this: Like heart attacks, a manic episode rarely ever gives you two weeks' notice before showing up. The same goes for a bout of depression or a series of anxiety attacks.
2. She can't help it...at least not all the time.
Most people who've been diagnosed with a mental illness are on some type of medication. Taking those meds as prescribed is pretty much all she can do. Sometimes they just don't work as effectively and she'll have an episode. YOU DIDN’T CAUSE IT. P.S. As powerful as your love for her might be, it won't cure/fix her...and that's fine because she doesn't need fixing.
3. She's not automatically dangerous.
There's so much stigma surrounding mental illness that some lesbians won't disclose their issues for fear of being labeled ‘crazy.’ Our favorite gay gal Ruby Rose, who's bipolar, once said in an interview, “I've gone from managing it, to not managing it, and it not being able to be managed.” We are not dangerous, crazy creatures you gotta be afraid of just 'cause some crappy, straight-to-DVD movie said so.
4. Sex with her is like your first roller coaster ride.
Sex with a mentally unstable lesbian will probably be very intense, especially if she's having a hypomanic episode. On the flipside, during her depressive state she probably won't want sex at all. Her meds sometimes mess with her sex drive. She's been honest with you, bared her soul -- flawed as it may be -- and while she's not begging you to stick around, she expects you to if that's what you promised.
5. She's not ashamed of her illness, neither should you be.
While some gay gals still feel embarrassed to admit that they're clinically depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic, etc., the rest of us will casually talk about it when necessary. Can you handle that? She could be meeting your friends for the first time for dinner. A bottle of wine is ordered but she chooses to have water. Because she's not ashamed nor does she fear or care about judgment, she might say, “I'll pass on the wine, it doesn't mix well with my anxiety meds.” Will you proudly hold her hand and pass on the wine too, or will you stay frozen in awkward silence because YOU are embarrassed that she isn't?
To learn more about understanding and treating mental illnesses visit the National Institute of Mental Health.