How Can Mental Illness Affect Relationships?
When someone you love is experiencing mental health issues, it can be difficult to know what to do or how to help them.
It’s important to remember that mental illness doesn’t go away when you stop talking about it. In fact, by avoiding conversations about mental health, people with mental illnesses may feel even more isolated than they already are.
Conversations about mental health also play an integral role in helping others recognize their own symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment.
This can mean saving lives, which is why it is so crucial to have open discussions about mental health. Unfortunately, these talks aren’t always easy for everyone involved.
Certain things make it hard for some to discuss mental health concerns, such as fear of being judged or stigmatized, worry about disappointing or angering loved ones, or fears of not knowing what to say or done.
Given all this, most people don’t talk about mental health until they need to. This often creates additional stress for those who want or need to address mental health problems, and can prevent people from getting the help they deserve.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve relationships during times of emotional turmoil. By learning some simple relationship skills, you will be ready to handle almost any situation along this line.
These strategies include things like understanding why your friend/relative is acting irrationally, accepting that they might never recover, and realizing that you cannot control them.
Partner effects on mental health
A significant part of someone’s emotional well-being is influenced by their partner.
If your loved one is struggling with depression or anxiety, it can have an adverse effect on you. This may be because they are less able to relate to other people, or interact with them emotionally.
It can also negatively influence how much money they have, whether they go home after work, etc. All of these things contribute to poor quality of life and self-esteem, which only increase symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Relationship stress can even exacerbate mental illnesses like depression and anxiety in some individuals. For example, if your partner thinks you don’t love them anymore, this could cause additional worry and stress that can affect your own mood.
Symptoms of mental illness can also make it difficult to cope at times, so your loved one might not deal effectively with situations that require concentration and control.
All of these factors can have a negative impact on someone’s daily functioning and overall happiness.
Relationship effects on mental health
When a person is in a relationship, they are often asked how their partner impacts them. These questions usually revolve around things like whether or not their relationship makes them feel better about themselves, if it helps them to believe that they are worth more than nothing, and if it changes how they feels about themselves as people.
Relationship partners can also influence each other’s moods and behaviors outside of the bedroom- but these effects aren’t always positive.
For example, research has shown that when one member of the couple suffers from depression, the other person tends to suffer along with them. This may be due to the fact that depressed individuals sometimes make negative comments about life and people, which are then repeated and internalized by their loved ones.
Similarly, when someone experiences symptoms of anxiety or stress, they may say or do something that makes their loved one feel even worse. For instance, maybe their significant other gets upset because you left the house early without telling anyone where you were going.
Given all this, it seems clear that relationships play an important role in helping people manage their emotional wellness.
However, just because relationships are essential for overall happiness doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything we can do to address mental illness.
How to help your partner when they are having a bad day
When you’re in a relationship, things can get pretty heavy at times.
You may find yourself growing apart as time goes by, and that’s totally normal. It happens to all of us.
When this is occurring, being able to talk about what you’re going through can make a big difference.
Making each other feel loved and respected is one of the most important foundations of any healthy relationship.
By talking about how you’re feeling, you give each other that.
If your significant other is showing some signs of depression or anxiety, here are some ways to help them feel better.
Remind them that they matter — even if only for a short while
Give them lots of attention, take them out for coffee or lunch, do something they like to do.
Talking about why it’s important to you both will help them feel happier. They’ll appreciate the effort you made to spend time with them.
Be there for your partner
If you notice changes in how your significant other is behaving, or if they show obvious signs of depression or anxiety, it is important to be aware that these symptoms can affect their daily life and relationships with people around them.
Make an effort to understand what might be causing their behavior and address those issues, but also be sure to acknowledge that their mental health condition may not feel better quickly.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when someone you love goes through a difficult time, but trying to put some distance between them and yourself will only make things worse.
Relationships are a lot of work, but working together as a couple takes even more energy. When one person is struggling, the other needs to play a bigger role in supporting them.
Do not push your partner to talk about their mental health
It is very important to understand that if you are in a relationship with someone who has depression or anxiety, it does not mean they will get depressed or anxious immediately.
It can take them weeks, months, even years before these symptoms appear. So, when you try to bring up their mood, whether directly through questions or indirect statements, it may make them feel more stressed out.
This could then be used as an opportunity for them to become more aware of their emotions and what is making them feel this way, but it could also set off the spiral of worries that people with mental illnesses experience.
They may worry about being able to cope without feeling overwhelmed, which could lead to self-harm or thoughts about ending their lives. All of these things can start a vicious cycle that makes coping with mental illness even harder.
So, while it is okay to want to know how someone feels, it is best done at a time when they are less pressured and have chance to recover from any stressors.
Seek expert help
There are many ways that mental health issues can affect relationships, even breaking up over them. If you think your significant other is acting irrationally due to their illness, try to understand it from their perspective before calling things off.
The chances of succeeding in this endeavor are very low unless you have some understanding of how mental illnesses work. This is particularly true if the person with the disorder does not feel like they can explain their feelings to you.
If you do manage to talk them down, there’s no telling what effect your words will have. Some people find relief by talking about their problems, while others need more time to process what was said.
Whatever happens, don’t take their bad mood or silence as a sign that everything is okay! It isn’t until they are able to separate themselves from these experiences that they will be.
Have a backup plan in case of an emergency
When you are in a relationship with someone who has mental health issues, it is important to have a back up plan.
A lot of times, people with mental illness will suffer from depression or anxiety for long periods of time before seeking help. This can be very frustrating for those around them because they want to do something about it, but they don’t know what to do.
It can also be difficult to ask if you aren’t sure of the symptoms. There are many things that could cause symptoms like this, so it may not be easy to tell whether or not their behavior is abnormal.
When there is no clear answer as to why these symptoms exist, people often give up and hope that everything will go away by themselves. It is possible to treat mental illnesses, though, and research shows that early intervention is key.
There are several ways to help your loved one find the right treatment and/or deal with their current condition.
Connect with your family
When you’re in a relationship, it can be difficult to prioritize time together when someone is not well.
This is particularly true if one person is experiencing mental health issues. Even though they may want to spend time alone or separate from others, they need help figuring out what kind of interaction is safe at this time.
For example, there are times when talking about very emotional things could make them feel even more stressed-out. Talking about less emotional topics may also be too much for them.
If their symptoms improve, then it is possible to rekindle those relationships. But if they do not, you may have to address whether this is really working for your partner and whether they should continue seeking treatment.
It is important to remember that while depression and anxiety can sometimes seem like an obstacle to connecting with people, most people who experience these conditions are good individuals.
They just happen to be suffering right now and this is making it hard to relate to other people. It is totally normal to feel hurt, confused, and discouraged by this, but not angry.
Avoid becoming too involved with anyone else while both partners are trying to work through their own personal struggles. This could complicate matters further.
Relationship problems often escalate quickly so try to keep interactions light and fun. Do not let conversations turn into arguments unless you are prepared to deal with that as a couple.