I’ve written before about the stigma that attaches to mental health problems. Even within your family or closest friends, it can be difficult to be honest about your struggles – let alone when it comes to dating. There’s a fine line between being honest about what you can and can’t take on and writing people off without getting to know them.
So I was interested to hear about the growth of dating websites, set up specifically for people with these conditions. They work in the same way as other dating sites, except that there’s an extra box in which to give details about your mental health – whether that’s schizophrenia, bipolar or whatever.
What do you think?
On the plus side, it’s a good way of handling “the elephant in the room.” It’s clear from the beginning where you stand and good relationships are often built on shared experiences and struggles.
But there are also people who prey on those with such vulnerabilities. “Narcisistic Personality Disorder seeks Chronic Low Self-Esteem.” “Sadist seeks Masochist.” “Noble Rescuer seeks Troubled Waif” that kind of thing.
Are you defining yourself by your illness in joining? Or are you spitting in the face of stereotypes and refusing to be a victim?
And does this drive an unhelpful wedge between ‘crazy’ and ‘normal’? To be honest, if the criteria is anything like “using antidepressants”, the crazies might be the norm.