Tell your relative the standards you need him to meet so you can live well together. Make sure your loved one knows that you see him as a whole person, and that you expect him to follow those standards. Both you and your relative will be better able to cope if you expand your own support network, beyond her.

Fear of Intimacy: Signs, Causes, and How to Overcome It

Accept that this is a flawed logic, and that your loved one’s mind is valuable and vital to controlling their ability to get well. What do we do when we see someone having an asthma attack? We act fast, check we supply them with medication when needed, we give them adequate time and treatment and room to breathe, and we teach them the skills to properly take care of themselves and their affliction.

Strengthen your connections with other friends and family. This takes some pressure off your relative to help you as she did before she was ill. She can instead put that energy toward moving toward living well. At the same time, you may resent her less and feel strengthened by getting the social support you need.

How To Cope With Parenting Anxiety And Stress

Extra cuddles and verbal reassurance and I’m good to go. I haven’t dated many people and honestly don’t want to, but the only people that were caring and understood me also had mental illness. “Communication with the person needs to be driven by you being very clear why you are communicating,” says Dr. Klapow. “To support them with their condition, to offer help and some guidance is fine. To continue to engage as if you were together is not if that is not what you wanted.” Ideally, you want to have the conversation when you’re feeling good and things are generally calm between you two. “Whenever you feel ready to disclose this part of yourself, chances are your partner will already know someone else who has struggled with depression and likely will not react with shock or confusion,” Delawalla said.

The best advice I can give is to listen to yourself and your feelings. Although these may be affected by your mental illness, your feelings and experiences still matter. No matter what others say, know you are always deserving of healthy, supportive, and real love.

Mental Illness and Relationships

There are resources that can help, and it’s a good idea to connect with a support network that might include counselors or support groups that can help you figure out your options. When a loved one suffers from mental illness, it’s hard to not become hypervigilant and worry that your partner’s mental health will negatively affect everyone around you. See, when you become hypervigilant, you essentially tell your nervous system to be on guard, ready to take on a perceived threat at any moment and trigger the fight-or-flight response. Because there’s truly no one specific threat, however, you can end up staying in this high-alert state for too long, which, in turn, can be incredibly taxing on your brain and body. You can become more irritable, reactive, and even experience a weakened immune system.

Moreover, it’s easy to neglect sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and socialization when your partner is struggling, but this avoidance of your own needs will only add to their pain. You won’t be able to help anyone unless your cup is filled. If you meet someone and they tell you they have a mental illness, it usually means that they have accepted it, are comfortable with it, and they have it under control. I am ashamed to say that I did not understand it, nor support it until the last few years when I started to suffer with mental illness myself. Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Counseling can be a beneficial resource that may offer you a fresh perspective and helpful guidance in a situation that may feel overwhelming and stressful. Experiencing burnout will not only impact your own well-being but your relationship with your loved one as well. Communication is always important in a relationship, but especially so when living with someone with mental illness.

Dating and Chronic Illness

And yet a lingering stigma about this rather common mental illness remains. We asked therapists to share some of their recommendations about when and how to discuss your depression with the person you’re dating. Although awareness about depression is increasing, the condition is still misunderstood by some. Some people also deal with angry outbursts, frustration and agitation. Relationships can be challenging even when all parties involved are completely healthy. Add a chronic illness or debilitating condition into the mix, and it can feel nearly impossible to keep your relationship happy and emotionally healthy.

There’s a difference between them wanting to get back together and wanting to talk about the fact that their symptoms are reaching a breaking point. It’s important to recognize their true motives and remember that a breakup can be distressing regardless of whether the person has a mental illness. Keep in mind that there are all sorts of different stages that people go through when dealing with mental health problems and that you can’t force your partner out of one stage and into the next. You just need to accept them at whatever stage they are currently in with honesty and compassion. This doesn’t mean that you can’t suggest they make a change or get help, but you need to be prepared for the possibility that they might not follow your advice. While you can listen, cheer her up and help her cope, she needs to discover which treatments work best for her and needs to add those solutions into her daily life.



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