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Dating and Mental Health Conditions

Dating and Mental Health Conditions

Have you ever wondered what dating somebody with a mental health condition is like? Can a person with a mental health disorder find a romantic partner? How can you support a partner with a mental health disorder? If these are questions that have crossed your mind at some point, continue reading!

Traditionally, mental health struggles have been a taboo topic, however, when someone who suffers from it, experiences poor quality of life and difficulties with occupational and social functioning, it is crucial for them to be able to speak to someone and access professional help.

According to the World Health Organisation, in India, about 90 million people suffer from mental health conditions. Although aware of the stigmas that continue to exist, it is safe to say we’re in a much better place than we were years ago. The increasing dialogue surrounding the importance of overall well-being and people speaking up about their struggles has changed the narrative around stigmatisation.

One of the biggest challenges individuals face is with their relationships and especially romantic relationships. In this regard, the blog attempts to answer some commonly asked questions.

How can my mental health condition affect my relationship?

There may be a great deal of dread and shame associated with the disorder. People frequently withhold information from their partners out of fear of being judged, fear of commitment, and of being in circumstances where they might be scrutinised and thrown in the spotlight. Additionally, it may interfere with their ability to manage their household and work on a daily basis. For instance, someone suffering from depression may have reduced motivation or experience emotions of worthlessness and hopelessness, which can have an impact on their productivity both professionally and in their personal lives. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may lower libido, decreasing intimacy. This can also result in misunderstandings because the partner may believe they no longer care about them. It can also result in harmful codependency problems where a spouse is accustomed to someone being there and meeting their needs.

Should I tell my partner about my condition?

Being upfront with them could cause problems, however, it can help improve their ability to understand and assist you. It can fortify the relationship, boost trust, and create a brighter future. On the other hand, when somebody does not understand, the dynamics are frequently overlooked.

Despite one’s willingness to assist, one might not be aware of the appropriate course of action. Many more people, though, are ignorant of the details of the conflict. As a result, the relationship becomes disconnected. It’s critical, to be honest about our problems and recognise the ways in which we can support our relationships.

How can I tell my partner?

Like a medical issue, a mental health condition need not be kept secret. It should not be withheld from a spouse or partner because you need support and understanding from your loved ones to help you through your difficulties. Even though telling your partner everything can be intimidating, it must and should be done to enjoy a fulfilling relationship.

When you are prepared and in the right frame of mind, sit them down and talk to them. At first, it could be challenging to express yourself, but being aware of your diagnoses, issues, strengths, needs, and desires can help you through the process. Check-in with yourself during the talk to see how you are doing and do not berate yourself through the process.

How to support my partner?

Although it can be challenging to maintain your composure, kindness and patience go a long way in assisting the person in coping and demonstrating your support. Kindness and patience can be quite helpful in situations where your partner exhibits indications of a mental health issue, such as mood swings, weariness, and lack of interest.

When necessary, give them some space. It can be difficult, irritating, and confusing to live with a person suffering from a mental health problem. Your relationship may suffer as a result of the challenges encountered. Give them the time and space necessary in this situation for moods and emotions to be balanced.

You should familiarise yourself with your partner’s mental health issues if you want your relationship to succeed. Between the types and spectrum of disorders, there are significant distinctions. They have various triggers and include different symptoms. Knowing more can help you better understand your partner and how to support them when they are in need. It will also help you to understand that your partner’s actions need not necessarily be directed at you personally, but are an outcome of their difficulties.

So can people with mental health conditions find a romantic partner?

The answer is yes. Before we consider these questions, it’s essential to keep in mind, that one’s identity is not based on their struggles but is much larger and deeper incorporating all spheres of life. While one’s needs and wants differ, it does not imply that a romantic partner cannot be found. Through open communication, understanding, love, and support, it is possible for one to lead a romantic life even with mental health issues…


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