This post was updated on Nov 28, 2022
Issues with mental health can cause a great deal of pain in your social and romantic life. If you are living with someone with mental health issues, you may be at a loss at how to give them the love and support they need.
First things first, you can make the situation less stressful and draining for both you and your partner if you educate yourself on the effects of mental health on relationships. Whether you are dealing with anxiety in your relationship or feel like you are obsessed with your partner, reaching out to a professional mental health coach can be extremely beneficial.
While no two individuals or relationships are the same, there are some helpful methods that you can rely on to better help yourself or your partner if they are suffering from a mental illness.
How Does Mental Health Affect Relationships?
Most relationships experience their own challenges, but if one or both of the partners are struggling with mental health issues, these challenges can be exacerbated. This is because the mental illness of one partner can impact the mental health of the other, and vice versa.
Unfortunately, many individuals aren’t aware of their own mental health issues, and their partner may be oblivious to the fact as well. While conflict is a natural part of any relationship, excessive and overly dramatic arguments may indicate that there is a more serious problem at play which needs to be addressed by a qualified professional.
If you find that you and your partner are experiencing issues that you can’t seem to resolve no matter how hard you try, it is essential that you find guidance and support through coaching and other forms of relationship support.
Can You Date Someone With A Mental Illness?
There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues. Luckily, more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that a great number of individuals across the globe struggle with one form of mental illness or another, and that dating someone with mental issues is something that many of us go through.
Relationships can be a great source of support to a person suffering from a mental illness. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to be in a relationship with a mentally ill individual, which can lead to a wide array of issues for both parties.
What’s more, the mental issues one person in the relationship experiences can negatively affect the emotional and mental wellbeing of the other, which creates a vicious cycle of pain, bitterness, and disappointment.
How Can I Help A Loved One With Mental Illness?
While mental health conditions come in a myriad of forms, there are some universal guidelines that you can follow if you wish to make it work with a partner who may be struggling with mental health:
- Stay open minded
It is entirely normal to feel at least a little bit uneasy when you hear about your partner’s mental health issues. Still, if you care about them, try to keep an open mind and understand that your partner’s mental illness doesn’t define them.
- Patience is key
If you are dating someone with mental health problems, you need to be prepared to see your partner in vulnerable states, whether they are manic, irrational, or lethargic. Try to be understanding and patient with them in these situations.
- Educate yourself
The best way to handle your partner’s mental condition is to learn as much as you can about it. You should understand how their condition affects them and what they’ve learned to do to fight it.
- Be a source of encouragement
Dealing with mental health problems is among the most debilitating experiences a person can endure. However, you should avoid expressing pity towards your partner. Instead, remind them how valuable they are, both to you and to the world.
- Respect your partner’s boundaries
There may be times when your partner withdraws and refuses to show you their vulnerabilities. It is important that you don’t try to force them out of their shell, but be gentle and understanding until they feel better.
- It is not your job to “fix” them
Even if your partner is suffering from a mental health condition, that doesn’t mean that they need somebody to fix them. Be there for them to show support, not to act as a mental health professional.
How Do You End A Relationship With Someone Who Has Mental Illness?
Unfortunately, not everyone can handle being in a relationship with someone with untreated mental health challenges, and that is completely understandable. Even if you deeply care about the person, the emotional toll of being in the relationship may simply be too great for you to bear. Leaving a partner with mental illness is not an easy task – you may feel guilt, shame, hurt, or anything in between.
If you’ve noticed that your relationship is getting in the way of your daily life or that it may compromise your safety, then breaking up may be the best option. We know how hard letting go of someone with mental illness can be, but staying in a relationship that is clearly painful will only make things worse, both for you and your partner. If you do decide to break up, do so kindly, honestly, and firmly, and try not to give them any mixed signals once the relationship is over.
Contact a remote relationship coach and find relief
Living with a mental health condition can be devastating, not only to the person struggling with it, but also to their family, friends, and romantic partners. If you have someone in your life who has mental health issues, finding the right kind of support can be of immense help both for your own wellbeing and the success of your relationship.
At PIVOT, we work with insightful coaches to bring expert guidance and advice to individuals and couples struggling with issues in their relationships. Whether you are struggling to deal with a partner who gaslights you or need help noticing love bombing techniques, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We are here to help you heal your emotional wounds and find happiness in your romantic relationships. At PIVOT, you can find professional guidance via our online coaching sessions or one of our intensive relationship workshops and retreats. Contact us today!