Stephen Fry always looks a bit haunted in his photographs.
It is good Steven is bringing to the fore his medical condition. Testicular cancer is another subject men shy away from and some die because they did not report it soon enough.
It’s about time somebody educated others about mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder (Manic depression). It seems if you suffer from a chronic physical disease, everyone rallies round and offers help and support, but should you be unfortunate enough to suffer a mental illness, you are often labelled a nutcase and left to fend for yourself. Having had a close friend go through hell with this condition, and tried and failed to find any help from others, it is vital that people stop treating the mentally ill as social lepers. Even loonies need loving.
I am glad that more people are talking about mental illnesses. As RobN said, if people can see you have a condition, you get sympathy, but if they can’t see it, there’s a suggestion that you’re making it up, or just doing it to be annoying, or too weak and stupid to stop being crazy. Meanwhile, I think more people have legitimate mental illnesses than we know.
I guess I’m not the only gay man on earth to have flirted with a man who was bipolar. It has to be known.
He was much older than I and the relationship lasted 2 months (october-december, the depressive part).
Sometimes he was turning mute without reasons (not answering my phones calls). Later, when I met him, he was telling he received no phone calls. I shouldn’t insist, otherwise he would turn angry. Even worse (I never faced physical violence from him). He could return on me his own behaviour, being very convincing: “You never called me, soon or later, you should learn to use your phone properly”.
He had huge needs of loneliness he never explained (and I mustn’t talk about otherwise he would have turned angry, reproaching the worse).
He was always joking about the main political event of the moment. But it was very poor, always the same joke from the same point of view. It was turning boring.
He was laughing out loud but his way of laughing was chillingw, it wasn’t sincere but unexplainable at the same time. You most felt despair and tireness from his laugh than usual happiness from people laughing.
Anything turning wrong was my sole fault. Listening to his version of the facts, I was a monster, nothing to forgive me. But anyway, he was staying with me…
Huge sexual demands (I guess it goes linked with the bipolar attitude). So I asked for an HIV test and taking care for the next three months. He fired me violently: “You are old fashioned, the three months period no longer exists, it has turned to 2 months”. I had just read back it was 3 months. So I shouted him: “It’s criminal to say so because I just read it. Maybe we don’t have the same sources of information. Show me an official website saying your point of view and I’ll say ok”. He never showed me anything. I showed him several websites still saying three months. And he got angry.
I succeeded in having my tests for him and for me. Once the blood given, we walked back to his underground station. We passed by a touristic grocery. As he was speaking to me, I watched him but I didn’t watch the grocery. So he asked me: “Did you see the grocery ?”. I said no. Another opportunistic good reason to fire me: “You never get interested by anything. Etc, etc.”
If you are flirting with a bipolar man, a man with a weird behaviour according to your principles, behaviours and you don’t understand the logic, then suggest him to go and see a psy (as I did). Suggest him you can go with him, in a love gesture. If he strongly/violently refuse, it means he may have something to hide. If you are not a psy, flee away. Some bipolar persons attempt suicide. Don’t wait such an extremity, you don’t have to feel guilty of life long for his refusal to attend the sole practisioner who can seriously do anything for him/her.
An illuminating story from Karolus. There are many forms of Ill health that bipolar disorder is not very plesent. I was looking on a site for iliostomy and other related conditions. It is a Gay site called ‘GAY OSTOMATES.’ People from all over the world contact the site. It’s been said that 10,000 people a year suffer colostomy.