In this society, it's too easy to ignore people with mental illness.
And it's way too easy to assume that their needs for affiliation and intimacy are absent or foreign.
Users can post as much, or as little, information as they like. Lynne said she and her new companion exchanged about 100 emails before the two met for the first time.
Someone, who knows better, came up with a great idea for helping people with mental illness find each other - for a few dates or for life.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"The Web site, because it caters to people with mental illness, you go in knowing that up front," Lynne said. You don't feel threatened by what the other person might think.""They tend to do better," Barrett said.
"They tend to stay out of the hospital." Couples in which both partners struggle with mental illness can share their experiences and help keep each other out of trouble.
When health problems equal heartache After some "horrible" results on other dating websites, Lana joined Prescription 4 Love and the STD-specific site
Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.
Now three years old, the site currently has 8,000 members who represent nearly 40 health conditions ranging from genital herpes (2,425 members) to Tourette's syndrome (32 members). "He was having a hard time with that, so I thought if he could find someone who had the same disease, or someone with a colostomy bag, he wouldn't really have to discuss that." Since launching the site, Durham, 48, who previously dabbled in the stock market and worked as a bartender, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohn's disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesn't find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members."Most of us with this don't wish to spread it." Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the economic downturn, the billion-dollar online dating industry has been booming. While sites like and e Harmony don't discriminate, they also don't cater to people like Lana who are coping with sexually transmitted diseases, disabilities, or mental health conditions.All of these can make dating -- often an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect health -- even trickier.Together these sites now boast tens of thousands of members.In addition to providing their users with a more hospitable environment, these websites defuse the tension over how and when to disclose an illness, which is often an issue for people with diseases and disabilities who venture onto mainstream dating sites."You have somebody to throw your ideas off of." Barrett, 30, has worked with the mentally ill in a variety of settings, including the Bernalillo County jail and an Albuquerque psychiatric clinic.