Mental Illness and Relationships
Many people across the United States and beyond have healthy, strong, supportive
relationships, even despite mental illness in one or both partners. While this can sound
somewhat hard to believe, it really comes down to both people being open and honest with the
other about their strengths, weaknesses, and struggles within their relationship. This way people can lean on each other.
The most important thing to know when it comes to mental health and
relationships is taking the steps to learn how to manage mental illness and promote sustainable habits.
Do I Need To Tell Others About My Mental Illness?
It is understandable to see why many people would be hesitant to share with their friends and/
or their significant other that they suffer from any sort of mental illness or disability.
As many probably already know, beginning any relationship or friendship while hiding a piece of
your identity can only lead to an unhealthy relationship and undoubtedly increased secrecy and
This isn’t to say that you have to share any health information on your first date or
upon meeting a new friend, but moreover that when both of you feel the relationship is
progressing into a more of long-term relationship it becomes more important to share this
Close friends and partners will want to support you with your illness, but also
need to be aware should any sort of episode or situation arise.
How Will My Condition Affect My Relationships?
Mental health and relationships very much go hand in hand as they can have a drastic affect on
An unhealthy or abusive relationship with a significant other can lead to poor
mental health and even depression, suicide or PTSD. On the other hand, entering into a
healthy, loving relationship when you are already struggling with any sort of mental illness can
turn the relationship sour very quickly. So, how do we strive for both good mental health and
- Exercise – Maintaining physical health directly relates to your mental health. Exercising
regularly has shown to improve stress levels, overall mood, as well as anxiety and
- Talk to a Doctor – If you’ve never actually been diagnosed with a mental illness, but you can feel
yourself changing or acting in a way that feels unusual to you, it can’t hurt to talk to
a doctor. There are several therapies, medications, and strategies to help you cope
rather than doing it alone.
- Counseling or Therapy – Whether or not you have or haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, counseling or therapy can always be helpful for both mental and overall emotional
- Nutrition – Several studies have shown the importance of a well-balanced diet and the major
effects it can have on your overall health, including mental health. Talking to a
nutritionist about your specific struggles can really help to maximize your overall
Overall taking care of your mental health is crucial to maintaining successful relationships and
friendships throughout your life.