The Marriage.com Editorial Team is a group of experienced relationship writers, experts, and mental health professionals. We provide practical and research-backed advice on relationships. Our content is thoroughly reviewed by experts to ensure that we offer high-quality and reliable relationship advice.
It’s very hard to maintain and work through a relationship when a person suffers from a mental illness.
Add this to the fact that it’s so hard to talk about it because of the stigma that people have with regard to mental illnesses.
This is the reason why we should be more aware of the impacts of mental health on relationships, what we can do about it, and how we can fix the gap between relationships and mental health.
10 ways mental health impacts relationships
“My mental illness is ruining my relationship. It started when I admitted that I was having mental health problems. Now, I don’t know what to do.” If you’re among people who wonder the same, do not lose hope.
Listed below are certain points that show the impact of mental health on relationships and ways to avoid or overcome that.
1. Communication problems
In mental illness relationships, the person suffering from the symptoms may have trouble communicating their feelings, thoughts, and even their emotions.
It’s when the person who has mental illness tries but cannot communicate with their partners that they may feel depressed.
The other person also feels like a failure for not being able to understand and help their partner, thus causing mistrust, misunderstanding, and that feeling of being alone where no one understands you.
Learning about mental illness and how it can affect relationships is important so that you can know what’s happening and what is causing everything that you might be experiencing.
Once there is no open communication in a relationship, this could lead to broken intimacy. It’s when you no longer feel connected with each other. We’re not just talking about sexual intimacy here.
It’s when you’re no longer connected intellectually, emotionally, and even spiritually that you lose that important bond that you used to share.
3. Work problems
Mental health relationships, when suffering from illnesses, can affect not just your romantic relationships but also your other relationships. This also means it could affect their jobs.
Sometimes, if someone loses their job, it could trigger mental health problems, or their mental health issues could affect how they work, and thus could lose their jobs.
This can cause a domino effect from depression, substance abuse, poor performance at work, and so much more. This is one reason it’s so hard to battle mental health illnesses.
There will come a time when you realize that everything around you is falling apart.
Have you ever heard about light therapy that can aid the treatment of depression? Emma McAdam, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, explains this and more:
4. Substance abuse or addiction
Understanding mental health relationships will lead you to connect chains of events such as the causes leading some people to substance abuse or addiction.
When someone who’s suffering from a mental illness cannot find someone to connect with, someone who understands them, they succumb to depression. This makes them susceptible to substance abuse or addiction.
Addiction and substance abuse is a common escape used by people suffering from mental illnesses. It’s their way of dulling the pain that they feel. Then, they realize that it’s too late to let go of these addictions.
5. Financial issues
A person who is suffering from mental health illnesses may realize how their addiction or job loss could lead to further effects on their financial status.
Mental illness and relationships are connected, and even the effects that they have, when faced with challenges, could also be linked.
Sudden debts, loss of properties, threat of bankruptcy, and losing all your savings can lead a person to feel more depressed, and will even add damage to the already hurting relationships.
When you realize how mental illnesses can affect your relationships, the outcome of these events can further damage you by feeling shame, guilt, and resentment.
You feel shame for what has happened to you, guilty because you did nothing about it, and resentment toward your partner for not being there or not helping you.
This can further damage the relationship. Truth is, both are already experiencing pain, sadness and depression and more often than not, they would clash furthermore.
7. Stress and fatigue
It’s indeed painful to know how mental illness affects relationships. Soon, everything just feels like a burden. Both parties are trying so hard to work it out, yet they feel like life is draining them.
The journey of having to deal with the pain and struggle of mental illnesses and their effects can really make anyone feel exhausted.
In some cases, one might give up on the other and leave them for the sake of their own mental health and for their family.
Because the couple may feel ashamed for their situation, they might agree not to talk to their friends or family, which makes it harder for them.
It’s another thing to learn how mental illness affects relationships, not just with spouses but with your family and friends.
This distance can further add tension and sadness to the situation as you’re cutting off the people that could help you.
9. Ineffective parents
If you are already a parent, then you know that parenting and relationships are connected. This means that this too will get affected if one parent has a mental illness that they are battling.
It will be hard for both parents since one may have a mental illness while trying to build connections, the other wants to take care of the person who has the mental illness and the kids as well.
Unfortunately, mental health problems may hamper a person’s capacity to perform their parental duties, thus, could cause more frustrations and strain in the relationship or the family.
One day, a person who suffers from a mental disability may just realize that they are unhappy. It’s one of the most painful effects of having an invisible battle that no one can understand.
For the other person, learning how to deal with mental illness in a spouse can also be draining. Sometimes, love, effort, and patience don’t seem to be enough. This is how mental illness affects relationships and one’s future.
We recommend you ask about someone’s mental health status and share yours as well this way you both are aware of what you are getting into.
This will also guide you on what can be done if something goes wrong in the future. You both are well aware of the situation which would save you both from a catastrophic event that can sabotage your relationship.
5 Ways to heal when your mental illness is ruining your relationship?
Foremost, we never support hiding mental health status from partners. If anyone did, it might put your partner in an awkward and horrifying situation. Imagine you both are having an intimate moment or in a social event when suddenly there is a mental breakdown. Unaware of what to do and how to act, might leave an inevitable dent in your relationship with them.
If you’re the one who is hiding your mental health status from your partner, you’re putting them in an unwanted and awkward position.
We understand that there are multiple stigmas attached to mental health and not everyone is supportive and understanding of the situation.If your partner doesn’t appreciate your honesty, they don’t deserve you. If you’re the one who have just received a surprise as suddenly your partner had a mental breakdown, it’s tough to comprehend everything.
The best way to deal with this would be to ask them about it and see how you can help them.
1. Spend more time with each other
People with mental illness may seem complex to most of us, but they’re not. All they need is time. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has a mental illness or is about to get into a relationship with them, spend as much as time possible.
Try to understand about their mental health and try to get the signs of their breakdown. If you’re the one with a mental illness then you should ask your partner to spend time with you to understand you better.
Your ill mental health should never be a reason for the breakup. Spending time will give both of you an opportunity to understand each other and create a sync, which will further help in strengthening the relationship.
Most people hide their mental illness because they think others might perceive them as sick or mad. Well, to break the news, people with mental illness are not sick but are just another version of ‘normal’.
If you’re the one with this thought then it’s time you disown it and feel proud of yourself. We understand that getting into a relationship will be a tough task, but surely not impossible.
We should foremost make peace with the fact that there is nothing called a ‘perfect’ person. When you’re in love with someone or are getting into a relationship, you must accept the person for who they are, in their true self.
The ideology of the ‘perfect’ partner often creates trouble in relationships since we are running behind something that doesn’t exist.
3. Be knowledgeable
Mental illnesses are not a dead end. Everyone who has it has hope. Together, learn about the illness. Take time and read. Allow yourself to understand every emotion, every situation and symptom that you are feeling.
This aids in your awareness about mental illnesses and helps you by providing you with information on how the symptoms appear, what you can do about it, and how you can help each other in your marriage or other relationship.
4. Prioritize self-care and self-love
Learning that you have a mental illness can be a start of a new journey. A journey that will teach you valuable lessons in life, and from there, you get to know yourself better.
Don’t forget to focus on taking good care of your physical and emotional health. Start with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a regular sleep pattern.
You can also start journaling, writing, and engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy are all beneficial forms of self-care. Start by loving yourself, and everything else will follow.
Remember that you first need to accept yourself, love yourself, and be kind to yourself. Also, allow the people around you to love you. Don’t push them away; instead, let them in.
5. Seek guidance from experts
Impact of mental health on relationships can be serious if one refuses to seek the help of an expert in tough situations. Knowing your mental status, accepting it and opening up about it to the partner is the most important thing that one should never run away from.
Then, once your partner is ready to accept you with your mental illness, consult the expert. The expert will guide both of you on what can be done and what can be avoided to maintain a healthy relationship.
They will be your guiding light through a tough time. Enroll to a save my marriage course and commit to the whole therapy. You and your partner should believe in yourselves that you, along with this save my marriage course can make a difference.
They will prepare you for the worst that might uncover as you move ahead in your relationship. Remember, don’t be ashamed of your mental illness. There is a huge impact of mental health on relationships.
We ignore the importance of mental health and thus find ourselves in an awkward position. If you’re suffering from one, or are in a relationship with one, the aforementioned points will help you cope up with your partner.
Seek advice, wherever and whenever necessary. The relationship is about accepting each other with flaws and as they’re.
How do relationships relate to mental health?
How do relationships affect mental health and how are they are related?
One of the most significant components of our lives is our relationships. In fact, we are socially linked to our family, friends, and our community.
If we live in a happy, harmonious, and calm environment with lots of build beautiful relationships, our mental health also flourishes.
What if a person grows up with broken relationships or an unsupportive environment? These are factors that also affect our mental health negatively.
The good thing about this is that it’s never too late. There is always a chance to work on your relationship and your mental health. With the proper support, love, and skills, a person who suffers from mental illness can have another chance.
You are not alone!
If you’re the one suffering from a mental illness, then tell it to your partner as soon as you can. It’s time to stop the stigma about people who are battling mental illness and let’s understand how we can help.
What if you are on the other side? Learning how mental illness affects relationships is important, especially when you experience the effects of having a partner who suffers from a mental illness.
In order to help your partner or spouse, you need to understand that it’s not too late. It would also help to learn how you can deal with the challenges of having a mental illness.
Knowledge, patience, understanding, and lots of love are just some things you can use when you’re in this situation.
The Marriage.com Editorial Team is a group of experienced relationship writers, experts, and mental health professionals. We provide practical and research-backed advice on relationships. Our content is thoroughly reviewed by experts Read more to ensure that we offer high-quality and reliable relationship advice. Read less
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