It has been estimated that around one in four people deals with a mental illness at some point in their life. Even though mental illness does not define you it does play a major part in your life; often it affects the way you relate to other people.
However, it is impossible to ignore how these disorders can complicate your relationship- especially the beginning of a relationship. It can be hard for most partners to know when you’re in the midst of a panic attack, serious depression or having a manic episode.
Being in a relationship with someone who has a mental illness can be difficult for both the partners, but with the help of this article, you can understand how to deal with it.
Mentioned below are the top 5 realities you will have to face when being in a relationship with someone who has a mental illness. Keep on reading!
1. Mental illness does not mean your partner is unstable
If you have constant contact with someone who is dealing with a mental illness, then you must remember that it does not mean that they are unstable. Someone with mental illness, whether they have taken help via formal treatment or is aware of their condition, may have developed ways of coping it. They may try to live their life as normally as they can.
If someone who you are in a relationship with tells you about their mental illness, make sure that you listen to what they are saying.
Avoid assuming or jumping to a conclusion; do not act as if you know what they are dealing with. Be supportive and be sweet.
2. Have an open line of communication
This is something that is important for every type of relationship and is not restricted to a mentally ill partner. This is one of the most vital tips to make your things work when mental health issues play a major role in your private life. In order to make sure that there is an open line of communication, it is vital that your partner is aware of the fact that you are okay with their illness.
Your partner should be able to rely on you without making any assumptions or judging you.
You can have weekly-in check-in’s with your partner, and this will give you both a chance to talk about issues you are having. The more open you both are about your feelings, the easier they can talk to you about their problems.
3. You don’t have to fix them
The most tear-jerking thing to ever go through is watching the person you love the most suffer from physical pain and mental or emotional disorder. It can be incredibly difficult and can cause tension, anxiety, and confusion when one partner is undergoing mental health problems.
One thing that you must think of is that even though offering support to your partner is great but getting help to live a healthy and happy life is their decision, not yours.
A mental health patient goes through stages, and you can’t force your spouse to skip a stage or get out of it. You need to accept the stage they are in and be compassionate with them.
4. They have their own “normal” version
In a relationship with a mentally unhealthy partner, you will have to accept some quirks and elements of your partner in your life just like every other relationship. For example, if your partner has social anxiety, then you will not be spending your weekends at parties and crowded bars.
Everyone has flaws and quirks that they won’t change; you will just have to accept them and love them for who they are. If you can’t accept their issue, then you can’t be with them.
5. General relationship rules do apply
Even though a lot of things will be difficult with a mentally unhealthy partner, but the core of your relationship and the rules of dating will remain the same as with any other person you dated.
They are human after all; there should be a good balance between giving or take and equality.
There will be times when one partner will need more support than the other and be more vulnerable. You will deal with changes constantly, but it is up to you to build a strong relationship. Don’t just always take from them and never give.
Mental illness doesn’t make anybody inferior to others
Today, the stigma around mental health and people dealing with the issue are known as “damaged goods.” We must realize that those suffering from this condition are the same as us and capable of great and amazing things.