If you suffer from mental health problems, you may struggle to maintain healthy relationships. Relationship problems can develop due to a wide range of issues including mental health problems like depression, impulsiveness, shame, trouble with intimacy, and codependent behavior. When you notice your mental health affecting your relationship, take action immediately. Use these tips to make lasting changes when your mental health is affecting your relationship.
Manage expectations regarding your mental health and your partner’s ability to adjust. Recognize that you will have bad days, and learn how to handle your emotions at those times to prevent yourself from shutting down or acting out.
Also, manage expectations when it comes to your partner’s reactions. Though they should be supportive, you can’t expect them to handle things perfectly. Do your best to understand when they struggle to relate to you or don’t know what to do.
Get a handle on your mental health condition with professional therapists and psychiatrists. A therapist uses talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to provide a safe space for you to express yourself and train your brain to replace negative or harmful thought patterns with healthier ones.
Psychiatry refers to the medical research and treatment of the human psyche. Many people choose to go to a therapist and psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will analyze your neurological functions and prescribe medicine to help you manage your symptoms.
You might also want to consider couples therapy if your mental health struggles are adversely affecting your current relationship. A couples therapist can work with both members of the relationship on what they can do to improve the health of the relationship.
When you take care of yourself, you will put yourself in a position to best take care of other people and your relationships with them. Emphasize self-care in your daily routine to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
To take care of yourself physically, drink more water, eat healthy foods, and exercise. While you’ve likely heard these tips repeatedly in the past, they really can make a big difference to your physical well-being. And, when your body feels better, your mind often will as well.
Emotional self-care can sometimes be more difficult to pinpoint, and different tips work for different people. Consider things like meditating, reciting positive affirmations, and cleaning your work and living spaces. These can all help relieve mental and emotional stress, which can ease your mental health symptoms significantly.
You can talk with your therapist about more self-care tips that could help with your specific mental health needs.
Communication is important in any relationship, but it is especially important when you’re struggling with your mental health. Learn how to communicate with your partner about your mental health productively. You should also learn how to talk in a healthy way when experiencing an episode.
Start by educating your partner about your condition and how to manage the condition best. You should use active listening skills to give them a moment to express themselves about the situation and ask questions. Keep things as lighthearted as possible, and perhaps avoid having the conversation too early in the relationship.
You should also learn how to communicate with your partner when you feel yourself slipping into an unhealthy place. Some things you can try to help manage your emotions include:
- Breathing exercises
- Creative outlets
- Emergency therapy sessions
- Stress balls
You can enjoy a healthy relationship despite your mental health condition as long as you use the resources around you. Start by talking with your mental health professional about your relationship and your specific needs.