Bipolar disorder and regretted behavior in relation to use of social media and online dating

Klara F K Rydahl*, René B K Brund, Clara R Medici, Krista M N Straarup, Sune P V Straszek, Søren D Østergaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Individuals with bipolar disorder are prone to risk-taking behavior that is subsequently regretted. Here, we investigated whether this also occurs in relation to use of social media and online dating.

METHODS: A questionnaire-based survey focusing on the use of social media and online dating was conducted among individuals attending an outpatient clinic for bipolar disorder, and among individuals attending two general practices in the same region (controls). The association between bipolar disorder and self-reported regretted behavior on social media/online dating sites was investigated using logistic regression with adjustment for age and sex.

RESULTS: A total of 124 individuals with bipolar disorder and 196 individuals without affective disorder from the general practices (controls) formed the study sample. Among the individuals with bipolar disorder who used social media, 66% reported regretted behavior as a consequence of this use, whereas only 31% of the controls reported such behavior. The corresponding numbers for individuals who used online dating were 65% for those with bipolar disorder and 31% for the controls. Following adjustment for age and sex, bipolar disorder was associated with elevated risk of regretted behavior in relation to use of both social media (adjusted odds ratio: 3.6, 95%CI: 2.2;5.9) and online dating (adjusted odds ratio: 4.1, 95%CI: 2.1;8.0).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that risk-taking behavior and subsequent regret among individuals with bipolar disorder extends to social media and online dating. Cautious use of these platforms may be particularly relevant for individuals with bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBipolar disorders
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • affective symptoms
  • bipolar disorder
  • risk-taking
  • sexual behavior
  • social media


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