Dating mental health problems
I was married for nine years to someone struggling with depression and social anxiety. After all, I had spent most of my life managing my own depression, anxiety and anorexia. It takes an immense amount of patience and understanding to love someone through their down times, their body issues and the debilitating anxiety that simply doesn’t make any sense.Finding a partner who understood the challenges of mental illness seemed like a dream come true. What I have learned is that when you put two mentally ill people together, there can often be as much challenge as there is compassion and love.The following are signs that your loved one may want to speak to a medical or mental health professional.It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors.But when both people struggle with mental illness, it can take a lot of work and commitment.Both partners need to give what they can to help their partners stay healthy.The combination left him feeling nagged by my need to talk about our relationship, and me feeling neglected and devalued because he didn’t want to. If one person is constantly melting down, forcing the other to be strong and stable, it will probably never work. And check in often to make sure you are succeeding in those efforts.Please know this: no relationship, regardless of mental illness, can ever survive without good communication. Building a successful relationship with someone with mental illness is not impossible.
We have so many insights and pep talks and encouraging words we want to say. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of taking on your partner’s issues. But no — do not take their problems on as your problems, or soon you will be drowning alongside them. When I met my current partner, I knew he was stressed and low.
Accept your feelings Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, share similar experiences.
You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill.
With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
To hear personal descriptions of mental illness visit To learn more about symptoms that are specific to a particular mental illness, search under Mental Health Information or refer to the Mental Health America brochure on that illness.