Dating someone with mental health issues

Dating someone with mental health issues
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 10-04-2023

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Nearly one in every five adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, has a mental disease. Because of the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, many people who suffer from it may find it more difficult to date and form meaningful relationships. When they find someone, it is critical that he or she is empathetic and eager to establish a positive relationship despite the circumstances. Dating someone who is dealing with mental health challenges can be difficult, but with enough effort and the right limits, you can build a good connection.

The realm of mental health can be overwhelming, especially for those who are dealing with the daily hardships that such a condition can bring. But also, for those on the outside looking in, whether it s a friend, family member, or even a co-worker. When you are dating someone who has a mental illness, things might get even more challenging. Finding out your partner has a mental health problem does not necessarily indicate the relationship is doomed, and now it is easier than ever to get information to understand what your partner is going through.

When you first discover of your partner s condition, the first thought that may spring to mind is to opt out. Or perhaps you are asking yourself, "What have I gotten myself into?" The answer is that you have gotten yourself into a relationship that needs a bit more understanding, love and care. The most important thing to remember is that your partner s condition does not define him or her.

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Here are basic steps to maintain a healthy relationship and support your partner:

This is not just about being understanding; this is talking about truly comprehending your partner s predicament. Encourage your partner to share this information in the early stages of your relationship, however, it is easier said than done, so pick a time when you are both calm and comfortable with each other—and keep in mind that they are possibly discussing something very personal. Avoid being judgemental, rather, be empathetic to what is going on in their lives.

Patience is required. It i
s guaranteed that your partner wishes things were different and that you did not have to see him or her in this manner. You must reassure your partner that "normal" is not what you desire, but for him or her to be happy and healthy. That you do not feel sorry and that you merely want the best for them.

On the journey to recovery, having a partner who can provide healthy support can be beneficial. When a person is suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental illnesses, what they typically need is warmth and support from others who sincerely care about them and want the best for them. Knowing what triggers anxiety or discomfort for them (whether in your own conduct or in the behavior of others) allows you to be better prepared to deal with, or even avoid, these trigger circumstances.

Because dating and caring for one
s mental health can be demanding, romantic relationships may have to be put on hold so that the person can focus on his or her mental health. This means that on some days, the partner may prefer alone time. A caring and understanding partner can provide the space that the other person requires for the development of balanced emotions and adequate recuperation. Taking time away from a person so they can focus on rehabilitative care (without being penalized in the relationship) may be the best option for the well-being of a highly impacted partner in some instances.

It is important to remember that you should never try to be a personal therapist for someone you care about who has a mental condition. Trying to help a partner with psychological disorders without the correct expertise and skills can be inconvenient, if not disastrous. However, assisting the individual in locating appropriate therapy is an excellent alternative with online counselling.

Sometimes, a person is in denial about their situation and is unable to seek treatment without external incentive. Symptoms and discomfort may linger and get more severe if the person does not seek treatment to relieve and eliminate their mental illness. When dating someone with a mental illness, it is critical to encourage them to seek the care they need to start healing and thriving in life. Even if he or she is uncomfortable confessing the truths of the difficulties that create stress, encouraging him or her to do so with a mental health care expert can be critical on the road to recovery.

Here are Examples of the steps in simpler terms:

When you are dating a person suffering from mental illness, you must

Empathize with the partner to understand what they are going through.

Always avoid confrontation towards their irrational thoughts as these thoughts are the part of their illness.

Providing an ear to hear works greatly with mentally ill individuals as they get a channel to vent out all their negative feelings and thoughts.

Not be judgmental, aggressive, and demanding with their partner in this case.

Be more emotionally available and encourage your partner to socialize to some extent.

Taking your partner for short walks outside also helps in elevating their low mood state.

When your long-term partner gets diagnosed with mental illness, be calm and psycho-educate them that it is as common as fever these days and give assurance to your partner that you are always there to support.

Your support will go a long way in their life as well as in your relationship. They’d be forever grateful for you to be by their side during their hardest of times!

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HopeQure’s health services uses a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platform. If you have chosen to pursue online counseling at HopeQure, our therapists serve both adults, adolescents, and elderly. You can access the services, programs, and webinars at our site, regardless of where you live. To schedule a online session for you or a loved one Click Here

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