One of the most natural things in the world, and yet it seems to be a subject I actively avoid.
Strange isn’t it.
I mean, sex is everywhere. Porn is more accessible than ever. It seems a little less frowned upon for women to express themselves sexually.
Still here I am, worrying about writing this.
The first time I opened up about how I felt about sex and how it affects my every day life, was the very day I embarked on my road to diagnosis.
These revelations helped to piece together the puzzle in my mind. For the first time, talking about sex actually helped in my quest to get proper treatment.
As I sat there red faced in the poky room of the GP surgery, I revealed some of my deepest darkest secrets. For the first time in my life I was completely honest. I told the doctor about how young I was when I first engaged in sexual activity, I told her of all the dangerous and risky situations I had put myself in, the urges I had and the way that I feel about sex.
Growing up I was always told women were not to talk about such things. One of five girls you would expect I would be able to speak to my sisters about these things, but no. Girls talking about masturbation or sex seemed taboo, and it still does.
For so many years I felt dirty, and wrong. I faced the often brutal consequences of my hypersexuality, I accepted the labels thrown at me and harboured a deep self hatred that haunted me into adulthood.
Now I know that hypersexaulity is a completely normal symptom of Bipolar disorder…
Whilst it doesn’t make it easier to deal with, hearing the doctor tell me it’s common for bipolar patients to experience has help ease my guilt somewhat. She also told me that it is a symptom more prevalent in women with bipolar.
My hypersexuality has provided with some amazing experiences but it is more harmful than good. It has contributed to abuse I’ve suffered. It has ruined past and present relationships and prevented me from falling in love. It has changed the way I see myself.
For me, it is probably one of the most dangerous aspects of my hypomania.
The alternative isn’t much better either, when I crash into depression my libido is non existent. It seems I can’t win. I’m either wanting sex constantly or the thought of being intimate repulses me. You can imagine how confusing that is for my partner.
So that’s why I wanted to talk about sex today. Because it’s normal. You’re normal. We’re human beings with urges, impulses. Sex is natural.
But we have to look after ourselves too. It’s important to notice patterns of risky behaviour, and important to keep ourselves and others safe.
I’m actually a lot less hypersexual recently, and I believe it’s because of my meds. I would love to know your experiences of dealing with hypersexuality as a symptom of bipolar. How has it affected your relationship with yourself and others?
And if you’re reading this and have identified with anything I’ve said, I hope I have helped ease your internal guilt, like the doctor did for me that day.
Love, Laura xo