Hypersexuality, the Taboo Topic of Bipolar Disorder
Warning, the following is for mature audiences only…
Hypersexuality is a topic that makes many people uncomfortable to talk about. Heck, mention sex and everyone starts to fidget in their seats.
I do not know where the aversion to talking about sex came from. I do know my parents and their parents come from a more conservative background. Maybe that is it?
Personally, I do not remember ever talking to my parents about sex. In fact, everything I learned about the taboo topic came from my ex-girlfriends and friends. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this. It is just the world we live in.
Now, let us look at the topic of hypersexuality and how it relates to Bipolar Disorder. Hypersexuality is defined in the dictionary as a “clinical diagnosis to describe extremely frequent or suddenly increased libido”. Basically, a person’s sex drive shoots through the roof!
When a person has Bipolar Disorder, their sex drive generally increases and decreases with the manic and depressed poles, respectfully. I am sure there are exceptions to this rule, but I am discussing the norm here.
I have found and learned that the majority of those with Bipolar Type 1 experience hypersexuality when they become manic.
Hypersexuality is about an increased libido and desire for more sexual interaction. The effects of this increased desire have many consequences and repercussions. These consequences can be extremely detrimental to relationships.
Generally, an individual starts flirting more than they normally do. A want for a sexual connection drives this increase in flirting. A once innocent hug or comment now has a deeper sexually rooted meaning.
Many individuals change what they are into sexually. I am talking a 180-degree turn here. For example, a person may be completely monogamous when they are not manic. However, this same person may be interested in bringing a third person into the bedroom when they become manic. See what I mean?
A person’s morals and values can completely change when they become manic. The term hypersexuality comes into play when dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
This can go as far as to change a person’s sexual orientation. Again, these examples do not relate to everyone. They are to give you an idea what it is like to deal with hypersexuality in regards to Bipolar Disorder.
If you are in a monogamous relationship, it is imperative to always be open and honest with your partner. This piece of advice is not solely for those with Bipolar Disorder. It is for everyone!
You should have a frank conversation with your partner about your symptomology before you become manic. It may be a good idea to have a plan in place to protect yourself and your relationship.
The Importance of Taking a Proactive Approach to Your Illness
Just remember, Bipolar Disorder is an illness, not a decision.
I am not saying it is okay to blame poor decision making on your illness. That is why it is so important to be proactive. You need to have these conversations before anyone gets hurt.
You should create a crisis prevention plan in case you get manic. The whole premise of a plan like this is to set roadblocks in place to reduce the fallout from a manic episode.
You should have a discussion with your partner about the specific topics you want to be covered along with the details.
Do you see the common theme? Communication is absolutely essential to travel the journey of a Bipolar illness.
Do not wait for an issue to pop up.
Bipolar Disorder is full of uncertainty and surprises.
The best thing you can do is to plan and prepare.