Dealing With Emotional And Mental Illness in Relationships

Are you in a relationship where you or your partner has emotional or mental challenges, or what might be termed “mental illness?”  Overcoming the challenges presented by this complicated situation can tear couples apart. However, it’s vital to realize that mental health challenges don’t destroy relationships, people do.  Mental illness in relationships doesn’t mean the end of the relationship.

As partners, you rely on each other for support in life. When one of the individuals involved in the relationship starts to experience the onset of issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges,  it can be very taxing on both partners and place a strain on the health of the relationship.

It’s important to remember that couples have complete control of the relationship, if you’re dating somebody with mental health challenges, here is what you need to do if your partner’s condition  is affecting the health of your relationship.

Get a diagnosis and a Treatment Plan

If you partner contracts an infection, it’s easy to recognize the symptoms and rush them off to your nearest medical practitioner for treatment. However, mental health issues present very few physical symptoms. You may notice that your partner became depressed and withdrawn from physical and verbal contact with you.

Symptoms also include irritability, anxiety, and confusion. These are all common symptoms of mental health issues you must address immediately.

Visit your local clinical psychologist for diagnosis of your partner’s condition.  If you’re not sure of what kind of therapy would be best, check out this article.   Once you select one, make sure that you support them every step of the way, including their visit to the doctor’s office. After your partner reveals their diagnosis to you, be as supportive as you can.

Learn How to Support Your Partner

Take an active role in your partner’s treatment. It’s critical that they realize they are not in this alone and that you are there to help them. It can be frustrating for both individuals in the relationship if you don’t both take an active role in the rehabilitation and treatment of the condition.

Talk to your partner every day and ask them how they’re feeling. It’s important to focus on verbal cues that might give indirect clues to what they are feeling.  And of course, let them know you love them.

Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Every morning when you wake up, take 5 minutes with your partner to discuss what you’re grateful for in life. Start with each other and mention everything that you’re thankful for with your partner. Meeting them, starting a relationship, comforting and supporting each other in times of crisis, and the opportunity to grow old with someone you love.

Developing an “attitude of gratitude” lets you both focus on what’s working in your life and why you’re grateful for it. This powerful exercise gets you both in the right mindset for the challenges of the day ahead.

Don’t Play the Blame Game

After your partner’s diagnosis, it’s essential to provide them with as much comfort as possible. They have just received news that turned their entire world upside down, so it’s common for your partner to experience an emotional break in the hours after diagnosis.

Make sure you’re there for them if this happens and talk them through it until they have calmed down. In the midst of the mental anguish after the diagnosis, your partner might want to place blame on you for their condition. This reaction is typical and simply their effort to help them cope with the news.

Never fall into the blame game, this is no-one’s fault. Don’t focus on the past, look into the future and plan a course of treatment, rather than trying to place guilt on one another.

Avoid Using Medication as a Crutch

After diagnosis, the medical professional may prescribe medication so that your partner can cope with the symptoms of their disorder. Keep an eye on your partner’s medication schedule and ensure that they are not over-medicating themselves to deal with the stress of life and their mental state.

Medication is effective in treating symptoms but it won’t cure the source of the disorder. Arrange regular therapy sessions for your partner with a qualified psychologist that specializes in treating mental disease.

Dealing with a mentally ill partner is tough on your too, so you might want to think about signing up for a therapy session yourself. During the consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to vent about what’s bothering you with the situation and receive insight from your therapist about how to move forward.

Grow Together Against the Odds

Living with mental illness reduces the quality of life for both partners in the relationship. However, it’s possible to overcome the disease and return to a fully functional, healthy state of mind with the right treatment and support. View the disorder as an opportunity to get closer to your partner and understand their thoughts. Learn from the struggle and never give up