Dating for the mentally ill

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On top of that, when we're in the grips of a panic attack, manic episode, or serious depression, it's hard for our partners to know what's really going on or what they can do to make it easier for us.

Often, it turns out, less is more: All we need is someone to listen in a nonjudgemental way and remind us that everything will, actually, be okay.

Every week, I sit on my therapist’s couch to discuss life, and I’m open about this with many people. Up to 3% of Americans deal with dysthymia every year. Many are dating or looking for a romantic relationship.

But when looking for a serious romantic partner, those of us with a mental illness walk a tricky tightrope.

All I could do was be surprised at my own self and apologize over and over.

Today, I'm navigating things way better and I'm done apologizing for my reality.

"I've been single most of my life for that reason," she said.

Elizabeth Barrett, who created the site with a partner in Denver, Colo., said she observed from her work with people with mental illness that those in strong relationships are more likely to thrive. "They tend to stay out of the hospital." Couples in which both partners struggle with mental illness can share their experiences and help keep each other out of trouble.

You don’t need to stalk a potential date, but you can use the information at hand to decide if someone will accept you as you are. Don’t Jump The Gun One reaction I’ve seen a lot is the tendency to !

The site — True — was launched last year by an Albuquerque social worker to help people like Lynne find healthy relationships. "The Web site, because it caters to people with mental illness, you go in knowing that up front," Lynne said. You don't feel threatened by what the other person might think." Lynne was married once, briefly.

• Click here for FOXNews.com's Personal Technology Center. But relationships were more likely to aggravate her mental problems than improve them.

So we asked 21 people what they wanted their partners to know about dating them, the challenges that their mental illnesses can bring up in their relationships, and how they hope their partners respond to the inevitable rough patches.

I'm 36, single, live in Brooklyn, and work in publishing.

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