Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being Bi Polar Can Make You Have Gay Fantasies

Recently, an anonymous straight wife posted the following comment on the post The Blame Game: Married Bisexual Men and their Wives:
My husband thought he was bi - he had a male relationship prior to our meeting 20 years ago that he told me about. We are now 7 years past discovering he had been having bi fantasies on participating in an online chat room.

Now our marriage and relationship is stronger than ever. We also have discovered his "hyper sexuality" was due to bi polar disease. Treat the bi polar and guess what? The gay sex fantasies subsided.

So what's most important is getting to the root of the issue. Is a husband gay? bi? They apparently are very different. And are there any underlying, untreated areas that could be bringing out this need to explore? We worked with a therapist who had experience in these issues exclusively - which I'd recommend. Not just any ole therapist down the street.
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Has anyone else heard that being bi polar causes gay fantasies in otherwise straight men?  If so, I'd like to know more about it.

I did an Internet search on the subject and this interesting article on About.com was the first hit.  Among other things, the article says:
The myth that bipolar (also called manic-depressive) disorder is linked with homosexuality is rampant. It’s easy to understand why: gay folks do sometimes suffer from bipolar disorder and sometimes they get depressed when life-altering situations arise. But guess what?! Straight people are bipolar and depressed as well.

There is no direct connection between depression and bipolar disorder and homosexuality. Being gay does not make you bipolar. Being bipolar does not make you gay. So where does the myth come from? There are some indirect connections between behaviors. For instance, when a bipolar individual is in the ‘manic’ phase, he is more likely to let his guard down. He may sleep around more, show less interest in safe sex, and behave in ways that he might otherwise feel shameful of. Gay men may be thought to be manic, in this sense, because of our association with promiscuity. Please note: straight bipolar people act in similar, if not identical, ways when they are in manic phase.

It is worth noting that homosexuality, as any LGBT person will attest, does not suddenly happen one day. We do not wake up on a Tuesday thinking, “Today, I’m gay.” Scientists now believe that sexual orientation and sexual preferences are formed while a fetus is still in development in the mother’s womb. By the time the child is born, his or her preferences are already developed, even if these preferences might not display themselves for many years. Depression and bipolar disorder likely do not work this way. While children may be born with mental illnesses, typically these illnesses are brought on by life-shattering events, such as death, disease, or loss. So while depression and bipolar may sometimes overlap with homosexuality, there is no scientific link. 
Although the article begins by saying that the connection between being gay and being bi polar is a myth, a later paragraph supports the straight wife's claim - sort of.

It says, "When a bipolar individual is in the 'manic' phase, he is more likely to let his guard own.  He may ... behave in ways that he might otherwise feel shameful of." 

So, if a bi-polar husband is ashamed of his attraction to men, and he's in a manic phase, he might actually have far more frequent and intense gay fantasies than he usually does, simply because his guard is down.  That means if the bi-polar condition is successfully treated then the gay fantasies might, in fact, actually subside.

Another possibility is that the man is simply lying. 

If your wife very much wants to hear that your gay fantasies have gone away, wouldn't a new medication be the perfect excuse to tell her you're cured?  "Case closed, honey.  The gay is gone!"

Which is it? Less mania which causes greatly intensifies the fantasies, or, telling an upset wife what she wants to hear?  Please share your thoughts on the subject in the comment box below.

6 comments:

  1. This is otherwise known as the Ted Haggard defense. Yep, when straight guys become manic they all way sex with men. Not quite. You are right. The husband is probably bisexual or gay and when manic just lets it all out, so to speak. If he tells his wife that it is a manic episode then he feels that he can justify his same-sex attraction as an aberration. I think that you nailed it.

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  2. Otherwise known as the "Ted Haggard Defense," this point of view states that straight men go gay under mental duress. More likely, they let down their guard and act on what is really going on their conscious and unconscious minds. You nailed it.
    YNT

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  3. I suspect the man is lying to his wife about his attraction to men.

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  4. I think there must be some underlying homosexual tendencies at work here. If being bipolar makes you hypersexual, then why wouldn't a truly straight guy meet other women or go looking for whores?

    You don't think you're bipolar, do you?

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    1. No, I don't think I'm bi polar.

      If anything, I might occasionally need to be checked for a pulse.

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  5. I don't think mania-induced activity necessarily makes one "gay". In a situation where one is probably more to the center of the Kinsey scale than one would otherwise admit, mania would reduce inhibitions towards experimentation or expression of normally-muted or repressed attractions/desires. The sexuality of the person likely isn't changed, just more thoroughly expressed.

    Inhibitions aren't by necessity bad: one can be perfectly happy and content in one's life but still experience momentary desires to do things that would upset that life. A person may, on a "level" day, feel entirely content and happy in a relationship but still have the occasional "what-if" thoughts, possibly not even realized consciously for what they are; mania can remove the barriers between thinking and acting, even if it isn't what the person would otherwise want to do.

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