Finding someone who you want to be with for the rest of your life is a beautiful thing. Nowadays, the number of adults engaging in intimate relationships is rapidly increasing. But studies show that nearly half of these adults are also suffering from mental illnesses.
Our mental health and our relationships affect one another. But romantic relationships play a considerably more vital role in one’s mental health. They require higher emotional capacity and more effort as opposed to sharing a connection with family and friends.
Having a mental disorder can undoubtedly make it more challenging. However, there are many ways to cope with this and support both yourself and your partner.
Understanding Mental Health Disorders
Psychological disorders, also known as mental disorders or illnesses, refer to a broad range of conditions that severely affects a person’s thinking, emotional, and behavioral capacities. Some of the most common diagnoses include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder.
Alcoholism and drug abuse are also under this category. Those who suffer from these often receive medications and therapy, which can be short-term for some and long-term for others.
Different mental illnesses require different levels of care and reception. Both parties of the relationship must identify the other’s conditions, if there are any. Understanding the suffering and experiences of your partner will help you support and survive your relationship. You will find more resources and tools to nurture what you have.
Disclosing Your Mental Health Condition To Your Partner
For many mental health sufferers, disclosing their mental health condition to their partners is probably one of the most grueling things they need to do. After all, there are still plenty of misconceptions about the topic. Most people cannot take in the news very well or refuse to do so because of the stigma surrounding mental health.
Mental health often appears as a stressor in most relationships. People tend to think it is an added burden, which may be true to an extent. But hiding your dilemmas to your partner will only further risk your relationship, and more underlying nuisances may arise. Thus, it is essential for both you and your partner to know whether you live through one or a few mental disorders.
Talk to your partner. It may be challenging, but acknowledging that there is something wrong with one or both of you could help your relationship navigate these obstacles.
Dealing With A Romantic Relationship Affected By Mental Illness
Assuming that you have sat with your partner and confer about mental health disorders, the next step now is coping with the impediments it brings to prolong your romantic relationship. The battle against psychological disorders can be exhausting and taxing, but you need to hang in there. There are days where intimacy, love, and patience start thinning out, but here are ways to avoid those:
- Educate Yourself About Mental Health
First, understanding what is happening is the best plan of action you can do. When you are, or you want to enter a relationship with a person having a mental disorder, it is vital to understand their situation. Being informed on topics and conditions like this will help you gain more ideas on how to approach your partner when undergoing an episode.
Reading literature, online information, or even joining your partner’s therapy or other psychological and psychiatric appointments, of course, all under approval, are some of the legitimate resources available that you can seek.
- Do Counseling Together
It does not matter if only one of you is distressed. In a relationship, issues of one individual affect the other just the same. There can be no fixed position in a relationship since it is a mutual process. One cannot always act as the caregiver or vice-versa. You have to make sure that the well-being of the two of you are taken care of. With the help of a professional, both of you can practice self-care.
No matter how unstable your significant other may seem because of the illness, let your partner decide for him/herself. It is easy to assume that just because you are the sounder person in the relationship, you can already make the right choices for both of you. That is not always the case.
You will never truly understand what your partner is going through, despite reading hundreds of literature or seeking doctors’ bits of advice. It is why it is necessary to understand your significant other’s perspective, what he/she has to say about situations, and let him/her take the wheel at times.
Even people with mental health disorders can have a successful, healthy relationship. Ultimately, the decision should come from both sides of the relationship and mutually come up with ways to overcome the tides as one.