Rejection Because You Have Bipolar Hurts -- Getting Past It

November 15, 2019 Natasha Tracy

Rejection just because you have bipolar disorder sucks. Even I, who have been publically bipolar for almost a decade still find it hurtful when someone rejects me because of my bipolar disorder. I know that rejection hurts everyone, but I think many people would be amazed at how hurtful it is to be rejected because of something that isn't your fault and that you can't control. It's like being rejected because of your height or your mother tongue -- these are things that are just part of you and being rejected because of them feels incredibly, personally painful. 

Dating Rejection Because of Bipolar

I went out on a date ("My Fear of Dating with Bipolar Disorder") a couple of weeks ago. She was lovely. She had unruly, dark brown curls and was a trained sommelier. She was fascinated by me because she wants to be a writer too. We had a lovely, engaging time and parted promising to see each other again.

That did not happen.

True, she didn't send me a note that said, "You're a crazy person, please go away," but I can almost guarantee what happened. My guess is she went home, looked me up, read my work and decided I was too scary. 

This does happen to me. You see, unlike your average person who may be able to not tell a person on a date that he or she has bipolar disorder, because it's what I do for a living -- because I have a book for goodness sake -- it's incredibly dishonest not to talk about it when the subject of work comes up. So I just put it out there. Yes, I'm a writer. Yes, I'm a speaker. Yes, I write and speak about bipolar disorder. Yes, I write and speak about bipolar disorder in large part because I have bipolar disorder. There you are.

Most people don't appear to care in the moment. But I suspect it's the process of actually looking me up and seeing all my work that is the incredibly scary thing. After all, a simple diagnosis of "bipolar" they may not know much about, but read some of my work and you'll know oh-so-much more.

And you know what? Even though I had virtually nothing invested in this interaction -- just an iced latte -- it still hurt. I want to tell her that I'm a person, just like everyone else. I want to tell her that while I'm sick, I still have many positive qualities. I want to tell her that I'm a multifaceted individual and bipolar and my work is not my entirety. 

But, of course, I can't do that. 

Dealing with Rejection Because of Bipolar

Now, on the one hand, it's good being rejected upfront like that. It means I don't have to be rejected later when she finds out about my bipolar disorder. So it's easy to just say, "Well, clearly she wasn't the right one for me." Some people, in fact, my say, "Well, clearly she wasn't good enough for me and I'm better off without her."

I guess. But whether those things are true or not, that doesn't make rejection because of bipolar disorder hurt any less. There's still this pang of hurt when I think about it. I still wish it hadn't happened that way.

The important thing for me and other people to realize about an exchange like this is that it does, indeed, hurt, and that's okay. I think it's actually important not to just sweep this hurt under the rug. I think it's important to recognize it, feel it and deal with it. It's really not the best thing to just write her off as "not good enough" or use some other platitude. That's not going to help me or anyone else process it and move forward. And the danger is if you don't process this experience and others like it, they will likely color your future interactions and you might even internalize them and stop trying altogether.

And while this woman may disagree, I'm a catch. I really do have many positive qualities. I really am worth some else's time and attention.

And by processing the hurt I feel because of this rejection because of bipolar disorder allows me to remember that and try again some time. One rejection -- or even many rejections -- does not mean the next one will reject me too. The processing of this hurt, the getting past it, allows me to remember that.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2019, November 15). Rejection Because You Have Bipolar Hurts -- Getting Past It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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