Do People with Bipolar Disorder Have Good Sex Lives?

January 30, 2022 Natasha Tracy

Do people with bipolar disorder have good sex lives? Do people with bipolar disorder have sex lives at all? And what effect does mood have on one's sex life? These are just some of the questions that people ask about the sex lives of people with bipolar disorder. Let's explore some of the answers.

Do People with Bipolar Disorder Have Sex Lives?

For some reason, there are people who believe that those with a serious mental illness no longer have sex. I'm not sure if this is because they think we're undesirable or if they think we cease desiring others, but rest assured, neither of these things is true. People with bipolar disorder have the choice to have a sex life just like anyone else. 

This does not mean there aren't challenges specific to having bipolar disorder, however.

What Effect Does a Bipolar Mood Have on a Sex Life?

Bipolar mood episodes might be the biggest cause of transmogrification of the lives of those with bipolar disorder. So, of course, this means they affect a sex life along with the rest of your life as well.

For example, if you are depressed, you may find:

  • You don't want sex.
  • You don't feel attractive.
  • You don't want to be touched. 
  • You're too tired for sex.

Simply put, if you're in a serious depression, sex may simply be the last thing on your mind.

If you are manic or hypomanic, though, the obvious may be true. You may find:

  • All you want is sex.
  • You feel exceptionally attractive.
  • You long to be touched.
  • You have endless energy for sex.

You may find in a hypomanic or manic episode, sex is the only thing on your mind. (In other words, you may find yourself being hypersexual.)

Of course, people with bipolar disorder are often stable; in which case, they may experience sex like anyone else.

What Other Effects Does Bipolar Have on a Sex Life?

In addition to the above effects on a sex life, simply having the diagnosis of bipolar disorder may affect your sex life.

Specifically, many people may feel "broken" or "defective" thanks to the diagnosis of a serious mental illness. This is a product of self-stigma (internalized mental illness stigma, in this case). This may make them feel like they're unlovable altogether.

Please watch this video for more about being loved with bipolar disorder.

Do People with Bipolar Disorder Have Good Sex Lives?

Now, if you only look at people with bipolar disorder who are depressed, it would seem like we have very poor sex lives, indeed. If you only look at people with bipolar disorder who are manic or hypomanic, our sex lives might seem almost unbelievable. 

Luckily, we are more than either of those moods.

I do actually have a theory that people with bipolar disorder have great sex lives in general because we tend to be so passionate and experimental when hypomanic or manic, and some of that carries over into the rest of our lives. Of course, that's just a theory.

What might be more accurate is to say that people with bipolar disorder have the choice to have whatever kind of sex life they want. Some sex, no sex, lots of sex -- it's all up to us.

So, do people with bipolar disorder have good sex lives? We get to have the sex lives we seek out and desire just like anyone else. That constitutes "good" for me. 

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2022, January 30). Do People with Bipolar Disorder Have Good Sex Lives?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 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.

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

Leave a reply