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When You Have a Desperate Need for Physical Intimacy With Bipolar and PTSD


Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

As someone who lives with bipolar disorder and who exhibits symptoms similar to that of borderline personality disorder (BPD), relationships can get really tough, really fast.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to be alone. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has given me a complicated need for physical touch, but also a mortal fear of intimacy. I feel intense shame and guilt anytime I think about sex or intimacy because I feel I am bad for wanting something I was hurt with. This shame has led to me pushing people away — I am afraid of being too close to them, but I am also desperately afraid of being alone.

Being alone has filled me — not just me, as I’ve had friends who have described the exact emotion — with a desperate, burning need for physical touch. I am aching with the desire to be held, touched, kissed and wanted. I am willing to fling myself at any boy or girl to fulfill those needs. I am willing to fling myself into any fling to get what I feel I need.

Hence why I have named this burning itch of a desire: “fling.” Essentially, that’s what is happening. It is a feeling of desperate need for romantic encounters, and it feels like it will never be satiated.

It is feeling the need to throw yourself into risky situations for the chance to have an NCMO.

It is a feeling of being afraid of intimacy, and being afraid of yourself, and putting it off by making yourself distracted and feeling better, but at the same time feeling oh-so-worse.

“Fling” is a feeling of being clingy, needy, wild, ferocious and desperate rolled into a knot of pent-up energy that drives you absolutely mad until you’re willing to do just about anything to be rid of it.

Fling can cause you shame for feeling “easy,” or feeling like a “slut” or a “whore,”, just because you want to feel something, anything, to fill that void of loneliness. It can make you feel so alone, and it can make you feel like a terrible person, just because you want a kiss from someone.

If you are experiencing “fling,” good luck. The feeling will fade, I promise you that. Get friends to keep you accountable from diving off the deep end, as when the fire fades, you don’t want to have done anything you’ll regret. Find a friend you can get a hug from. Hold on, because it will get better. The deep burning will slowly and subtly fade, leaving you feeling exhausted but stronger for having fought a good fight against your own emotions.

Good luck.

Photo by Luis Machado on Unsplash