Mental Illness and Relationships

Mental Illness and Relationships

Mental illness is indiscriminate to those it infects. Regardless of age, ethnicity, or background, anyone could be susceptible. Whether it be pre-existing, such as ADHD, or something that develops, like depression, mental illness has an impact on your relationship. Here are a few things to abide by in managing mental illness healthily in a committed relationship.


The number one thing required in any relationship, especially where there’s one or more mental illnesses in play, is communication between everyone involved. Internalizing emotions and struggle severely damages both the holder and the relationship. Transparency needs to be in place for the relationship to succeed, for without it the partner will have little clue on how to properly treat, identify, and understand how mental illness is affecting relationship behavior. Talk about how you’re feeling, when you feel an attack coming on, how to properly treat a seizure or episode, and what you need from them when you’re struggling.

Where To Get Help

Being in a relationship will not cure mental illness, no matter what the movies tell you. Though your partner may help you manage your illness in many ways, there are many circumstances where their help will not be enough. Finding a mental health professional and/or a couples counselor to help guide you in managing your illness as well as your relationship is recommended.

They Will Not Always Be Able To Help

Try as you might, your significant other will not always be helpful for you. In fact, sometimes they may simply make things worse. No one should be blamed for failure to help you, not on either end of the relationship, but understanding and knowing that there will be times where they can’t help you facilitate a healthier relationship. Stress is a two-way street. Both of you effect the other, regardless of intent. Finding a way to manage when your significant other can’t help is imperative.