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Dating Someone with a Mental Illness

The topic of a person’s mental health issues has been taboo in the past, making it uncomfortable for some people to discuss. When someone who suffers from mental illness experiences pain, it’s so important to talk through their struggles either with a therapist or with a supportive loved one. With regard to romantic relationships, mental health should be discussed before things get serious. If your partner suffers from any mental illness, it’s important to understand the common signs and symptoms as well as ways to help them through the challenging times. If you are worried about saying the wrong thing or hurting your partner, this is normal.

Our experts at Banyan Mental Health explain tips for dating someone with a mental illness and offer mental health treatment. This illness or condition should not be a reason to end the relationship. Two partners can love and support each other through the difficult times that come with a mental illness.

How to Date Someone With a Mental Illness 

Dating can be a fun and exciting experience for two people as they are getting to know each other and figuring out if they’re compatible. But dating someone with a mental illness can be more challenging. Dating with a mental illness is difficult for the person with the mental illness as well because it can be hard to determine when to tell the person they are dating about their disorder. Your partner’s struggles with mental illness may not come up immediately, but when it does, we don’t want this to intimidate you or scare you away from the relationship. Having an open and honest conversation will help you to not only understand their struggles but find ways you can support this person as well.

Follow these tips from our mental health treatment center in Pompano to learn more about how to date someone with a mental illness.

  • Educate yourself on their disorder. There is a big difference between trauma disorders and Specific Phobia Disorder. They involve different symptoms and have different triggers. They also involve different treatment plans which is why our trauma disorder treatment and anxiety disorder treatment in Boca are unique.
  • You should not use your partner’s illness to label them as “crazy” or “unstable” as this is a common stereotype. These terms are hurtful and can quickly end your relationship.
  • Ask questions to truly understand your partner’s struggles. Internet searches can only get you so far; your partner will be able to fill in the missing piece. Being this vulnerable with someone can be a major step in the relationship so be sure not to push them too hard.
  • Find ways to help your partner maintain stability with a daily routine. Dating someone with a mental illness is more challenging at times, but if you can help your partner manage their symptoms with reminders, this support can go a long way.
  • Understand that there will be ups and downs and some days can be really tough for your partner. Your patience may be tested. By bringing positivity and support during these times you can help guide your partner out of a bad day.
  • Learn to recognize their symptoms. When you know that your partner’s behavior is a direct result of their mental health disorder, you can stop taking their actions personally. This will make your relationship healthier and help you help your partner when they are struggling.
  • Do not try to fix them. Dating someone in therapy can come with the assumption that your partner is broken and needs to be fixed. It is not your responsibility to fix your partner; it is your responsibility to support them. Any “fixes” they make must come from them.
  • Understand that your partner may struggle to talk to you. Mental illness is a very personal problem, and it can be difficult to tell someone you love about it. If your partner is having trouble opening up to you, encourage them to write a letter instead or to see a professional.
  • Encourage your partner to get treatment. If your loved one is experiencing intense symptoms but has yet to seek treatment, they need help. While they may be resistant to the idea, it is important to research possible treatment options so that they know what is available to them. If you are dating a girl with a mental illness like anxiety and she is resistant to the idea of taking medication, she may not know that there are other treatments available like cognitive behavioral therapy instead. By researching different options together, she could get the help she needs.

While dating someone with a mental illness can place a heavy focus on your partner’s symptoms and needs, you must not lose yourself along the way. Remember to practice self-care and establish your wants and needs with your partner.

Contact us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about the treatment services we offer.

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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