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Mental Illness in Relationships

couple meets with therapist

For those who’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness, there comes a time when it’s difficult to decide whether or not to disclose this information to a love interest. Many people with mental illness battle the following types of thoughts:  “How much should I tell them?. Do they need to know that I’ve had breakdowns in the past from depression and anxiety…what about the different types of medications I take everyday?…It takes so much just to think about what to tell them or how much to tell them.” If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness, there are some challenges and communication barriers that will need to be overcome. Mental illness can hold people in relationships back if they’re not on the same page, but that cannot begin to take place if you and/or your significant other are not open and honest with each other about what you go through on a daily basis. If you feel safe to do so, it’s an excellent idea to start a conversation about mental illness and see how your partner feels and what their concerns are. There will be challenges that you’ll both need to work through, but many people find that opening up about these situations actually brings people closer together. For anyone with mental illness, there are various adjusting periods that every relationship must go through such as learning how to express what each person needs, understanding one another and practicing compassion regularly, learning triggers and identifying boundaries with one another, changing old habits to better fit the needs of each individual and couple as a whole, and being patient with each other throughout the entire process – because it’s all a learning opportunity.  Other sources suggest telling your significant other something that you really love about the relationship, and then disclosing to them your mental illness diagnosis, and then following up by telling them something else that you love – which could also include how patient they are with you or how open they’ve been willing to work with you through various challenges. 

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.