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How big a red flag are mental health issues?

(46 Posts)
Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:09:18

I met a man recently who I really got on well with. We had one of those connections which I've found is really quite rare. We can talk for hours and I feel like we 'get' each other in a way that is important to me.

He was very up-front about the fact that he's just gone through something of a mental health crisis. He's now getting help and is trying to get everything back on track. If you didn't know his circumstances I really don't think you'd guess, he seems remarkably "normal" and is able to talk about his feelings, but not in that way that smacks of someone who has had lots of therapy.

But I'm concerned there are bigger issues going on that I'm not aware of. (Only because I don't see how things can have turned around so well) We've only been on three dates after first meeting at a dinner party and this is still very much best behaviour territory. I'm also not the girlfriend you'd want if you were going through a crisis. I'm very independent selfish and I'm concerned that I won't be able to give him whatever he needs.

Am I being unfair to be put off by mental health issues? I have a very uncomplicated life at the moment where I please myself and have a friend with benefits for when I need more. It makes me happy. I'm not sure I can be trusted to put the energy into making someone else happy.

Iamnotmyself Wed 24-Jul-13 21:11:11

Keep him as a friend then - for as long as it takes to want, actively, to take on the whole picture.

You don't have to date him. You can just keep your good connection and be friends, no responsibility, no problem.

I think you'd know by now if he was the sort of person you'd be comfortable helping through stuff.

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:14:07

I would like to have a period of being friends knew there was a reason I shouldn't have slept with him.

The thing is he gives every impression of not needing "helping through stuff", but I wouldn't expect him to show that at this stage.

Iamnotmyself Wed 24-Jul-13 21:16:37

Yes I know what you mean. What was the sex like...any good? That would kind of swing it maybe.

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:20:34

There were ED issues, which I think are common with some meds?? But despite that it was very good.

Iamnotmyself Wed 24-Jul-13 21:22:11

Hmm. When I have slept with a man with ED there have been huge issues. Every time. (at least two different men)

So I'm not sure I'd continue.

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:27:39

Hmm it's interesting you say that. If I am being very honest, it's that element which is one of the biggest barriers for me. What kind of issues emerged?

MagicBaguette Wed 24-Jul-13 21:31:21

I've slept with a man with ED.

No problems with him, and we are now married (ED corrected itself after about 3 months. It was an issue at first, but no reflection on him. He was worth it)

It depends on the nature of the MH issues IMO. Do you know?

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:33:00

No I don't know that much, I don't want to pry too much. I think we're talking something like depression, but serious enough to bring his life to a halt for a bit.

Iamnotmyself Wed 24-Jul-13 21:36:03

Oh well obviously I'm not necessarily right - I'll bow to others who have NOT found it an issue! smile

Just in my own experience iyswim

One was very low in self confidence, which translated into being rather determined I'd cheat on him, kept putting himself down, he had a long way to go to be ready for a healthy relationship (but then, so did I!)

Another one was just very messed up, it was a ONS and I regretted it from the start really.

I am sure there are all sorts of reasons, and he might be worth it, but then, you've already said you're put off, and tbh I think if that's the case then it's never going to work.

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 21:41:16

But am I not being really shallow, being put off someone I potentially really click with because of ED? I get the friend option, but there is definitely chemistry there.

akaWisey Wed 24-Jul-13 21:52:30

AD's can kill libido and he won't be on them forever grin.

Depression is really common and he won't necessarily need or want you to help him through stuff. Maybe he just wants a good time like you do.

Twinklestein Wed 24-Jul-13 22:55:27

The key is really how he was before. Some people can be absolutely fine, and through a concatenation of circumstance - a chain of stressful events for example - have some kind of breakdown & put themselves together again.

If had never suffered from depression or whatever previously, then he could just bounce back to normal.

But if he's had problems over a considerable period of which this crisis was the climax, then that's harder to solve.

onefewernow Wed 24-Jul-13 22:58:35

I think you need to ask more about the issue, if you have had three dates and sex.

Notafixer Wed 24-Jul-13 23:01:35

That feels very intrusive though. I feel guilty to be overtly scouting this out. I don't want him to think that whether or not we go anywhere hinges on his health issues. I feel like that's only going to make him feel worse!

lessonsintightropes Thu 25-Jul-13 01:36:35

I started a relationship like this about 7 years ago and really fell for the guy. However, I ignored a whole bunch of red flags (such as telling me he loved me very quickly, telling me very soon that I was the sort of woman he could marry). It was a painful period which ended in him having nervous breakdown when we were on holiday to see some friends of his get married at the 6 month stage. But there were loads of things that weren't right from the start - however it has made me wary of issues.

I'd say keep an eye on it and try not to get too emotionally/physically involved until you have more information to go on, sounds like things are fairly early days yet?

SolidGoldBrass Thu 25-Jul-13 02:01:31

Well, mental illness can happen to anyone, same as severe physical illness or being hit by a runaway ice cream van. You've only had three dates with him, you don't owe him a relationship. Are you already put off? if so, dump him (politely). If not, carry on unless/until he becomes too tiresome. the other thing about mental illness is that it doesn't stop a person being an arsehole.

calmingtea Thu 25-Jul-13 07:12:30

You say he is getting help for his MH issues and trying to get back on track. IMO I would not start a relationship with someone who wasn't over a big event, be it a divorce, relationship breakdown, MH breakdown. Not because they weren't a lovely deserving person, but because it takes time and space to heal and I wouldn't want to be a rebound person be it to a failed relationship or another big event. It is hard to comment more with the information you have given, as mental health is as broad as physical health.

calmingtea Thu 25-Jul-13 07:13:29

That and I agree with SGB MH doesn't stop a person being an arse, and should never be used to excuse behaviour that crosses your boundaries.

flippinada Thu 25-Jul-13 07:19:34

Mental health issues in themselves are not necessarily a red flag, it depends on how someone handles them.

If someone takes responsibility for managing their illness and is open about it, I'd say that's a good sign.

Depression is quite common.

flippinada Thu 25-Jul-13 07:22:36

Also good advice from SGB and calmingtea.

ofmiceandmen Thu 25-Jul-13 07:31:03

Get out. Not because of the MH issues, but because you're not the right person for where he is at this stage.

Relationships start with you and only when you are in the right place does your partner get involved.
Read what you wrote. you're not after a relationship never mind what he wants.
You're life's peachy. essentially YOU are not ready.

He is secondary (very much so in your case).

Do him a favour and end it. be gentle but clean cut please.

ofmiceandmen Thu 25-Jul-13 07:37:29

Must add: you 'click' because you found a chap malleable enough to suit you. he probably listens, expresses an interest in you, is less self obsessed, less alpha than you, so more pliable.

You'll soon tire of it as YOU are not really ready.

Then tomorrow all his 'niceness' will become insecurities, and ED will become poor sex. He'll be the poodle you come home to. then you'll be back on MN writing "I love him, but I'm not in love with him"
"He's a nice guy yaddy yaddy".

Sorry if I just killed a future thread for all you MN readers

Notafixer Thu 25-Jul-13 08:19:29

Ha, well I welcome the brutal honesty that is creeping in. I suspect you may be right about me being the bigger red flag!

He's not being an arse and no boundaries are being crossed. I've said is it not too soon and does it work like rehab where you're supposed to not get involved with anyone? He says no one has told him to stay single etc. I think I'm going to suggest parking it as friends for a bit while we both get ourselves on track.

ofmiceandmen Thu 25-Jul-13 08:54:03

You're not the red flag. You're just at different phases in your lives.

they say most women have some form of depression before/during/after pregnancy mild or otherwise. Does that mean men should see them a red flag? So should I post a question every time I consider a single/divorced/widowed woman?

Any man that did post the question - would just simply be not ready? Does that make it any easier to understand.

Don't be friends,

Would recommend a Clean break!

You have a happy life. when you're ready I can assure you, MH problems wont get in your way (rightly or wrongly).

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