Mental health problems can have a large impact on a relationship. They can really drive a wedge between the growth that needs to occur between you and your partner. It is important to learn how to manage mental health problems in your relationship to prevent them from becoming a greater problem. Mental wellness is a challenging thing to manage on your own, but when you place it within a relationship it adds a completely different element.
So whats the best way to manage mental health problems when you are in a relationship?
Mental health struggles are best dealt with through open communication, which seems to be the root cause of many difficulties in relationships. Disclosing from the beginning that you have a mental health problem is central to overall wellbeing and most partners will react in a positive way! There has even been research done that's shown this to be true, regardless of whether the communication is positive or not. If you have been in a relationship for some time and are hiding the fact that mental health issues exists, it would be a good idea to disclose them to your partner. If you are clear with your partner on your needs and vice versa through daily communication, it will reassure them, make them feel closer, and prevent issues from being bottled up and exploding down the road.
Understand Your Partner's Perspective
Often times, significant stress can fall on your partner if they are playing a large caregiver role in the relationship. While they love you and want to help, caregiver burnout is likely to develop if the majority of your partner's time in the relationship is going towards caring for your mental health needs. The result is that your partner may end up slowly retreating from the role of caregiver or may react in anger/resentment. This can end up amplifying your own symptoms. If you begin to become more understanding of your partner's perspective, it can help avoid conflict that causes negative impacts on your relationship.
Take Some Space
If you find yourself to be quarreling with your partner about your mental health needs, it may be a good idea to take some space. This can be as simple as deciding mutually that if you feel an argument coming on, both parties will separate for a bit before discussing anything. Make sure that if you are spending a lot of time with your partner, that you take time to do independent activities. This will give you some time to breathe, relax and see things from a different perspective. When arguments begin taking a toll on the relationship, this step can be especially important. Sometimes, a little space is all thats needed.
Seek Help From a Professional
If things get to be too difficult for you to manage on your own. It might be best to seek relationship counseling. Having a third party assist you and your partner in dealing with mental health struggles together can be a game changer when it comes to making your relationship all that it can be! Individual counseling can also help you manage your own mental health concerns independently.