MSB's Guide to Loving Someone With Mental Illness

Not Bad, Just Different: MSB’s Guide To Loving Someone with Mental Illness

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Relationships are hard enough already- and it only gets tougher when you throw mental illness into the mix.

But did you know, having an supportive intimate relationship can drastically improve the life of someone battling mental illness?

That’s right, love is so important!! And those struggling with their mental health need it more than anyone.

Click on the Soul Balm approved links below to find out how love and mental illness can and do co-exist!

Education

  1. Romantic Relationships Article by NAMI (Short Read) – This fabulously informative article by the National Alliance on Mental Health says, “It’s important to know that many people with serious mental illnesses have strong, supportive, long-term relationships.” It breaks through the stigma that people with bi-polar, OCD, Depression and Schizophrenia can’t have functional relationships and gives background on why intimacy is key to recovery for so many people.
  2. When to Disclose your Mental Illness to Someone You’re Dating. Article by Bustle (Medium Read) – This handy guide from Bustle spills the beans about how and when are the best times to tell someone about your ongoing battle with mental illness. It can be really hard to “come out” to someone about your struggles, especially a potential love interest. What if they see you differently? What if they don’t want to be with you? What if they do want to be with you? The only way to find out is to tell them in a way that feels safe and comfortable for you.
  3. 5 Not so Scary Truths about about Loving Someone with Mental Illness. Article by Karla Stephens Tolstoy (Short Read)“It’s not bad, it’s just different” The tagline of this article couldn’t be more true. Just like any other, relationships with mental health complications have the potential to thrive if cared for appropriately – this article contains some practical rules to help your unique love bloom!

Treatment

  1. Maintaining Healthy Relationships from Heads Up Guys(Short Read) – Maintaining healthy relationships is hard enough, but even harder when you’re low on energy, irritable, and depressed. While geared towards men, this page has some sage advice for anyone looking to keep their partnerships strong while at the same time battling a mental illness.
  2. How to Enjoy Intimacy with Depression or Anxiety by Youtubers Sebastian and Millicent (Video) – Depression and anxiety (and the meds to combat them) can really affect the physical and mental connection with your partner. This video does a great job of explaining how you can still enjoy a healthy intimate connection even in the midst of an episode.
  3. Integrated Behavioral Couples Counseling Article from Psych Central (Short Read)- Oftentimes when a partner is struggling their behavior can be odd to us, even hurtful. It can be helpful for a couple to visit a counselor, especially one trained in Integrated Behavioral Couples Counseling. ICBT helps you better understand what your partner is going through mentally and can help your partner develop skills to communicate what they need to you.
  4. Behavioral Activation with your Partner Listicle from The Mighty (Medium Read)- Couples activities may seem out of reach when one or both of you is struggling, but with a little adjustment in expectations, you can enjoy quality time with your partner that makes both of you feel better. This list provides a variety of excellent low pressure activities that take the burden of “romanticism” off both partners.

Community Care

  1. NAMI Family Support Groups (Video and Short Read) – The best way to keep your relationship healthy is to keep yourself in good mental shape. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has support groups everywhere that can provide a social outlet and fantastic peer advice for those who love someone with a mental illness.

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