Dating with a mental illness

How does that affect the way you interact with them? How does it affect a relationship once you are actually in one? At what point during the dating process is it appropriate to bring up mental health? The pressure of not knowing when or how to reveal your mental health status can be an additional and very valid source of anxiety. You would have thought there was a finite number of ways to do this wrong.

I thought, after a month or two of relative tranquility. At that point I was deeply embarrassed by my previous psychotic episode, and tried to distance myself from it as much as possible.

What You Need to Know About Dating While Mentally Ill: A Guide By Mentally Ill Women

It was easier for me to avoid the topic and skirt around it awkwardly than to confront it. I chose to blame my breakdown on the stress of starting university, moving away from home, and spending all my time drinking. It was two years into the relationship and we were in the pub.

Brittney Smaila - Dating Mental Illness

After two months, even, I could have escaped from the relationship pretty much unscathed. We argued about it a lot that day and from then on. He blamed me and said that he wished I would kill myself already and just get it over with if I was so serious about it. I was on a genuinely brilliant first date. He was tall, good-looking in a kind of dishevelled professor way and the first person I had met who had piqued my interest since the breakdown of my previous relationship.

I was very invested in not messing it up. In order for maintain a line of open communication, your partner needs to know that you are okay talking about his mental health without judgment or assumption. One good thing that you can do is have a weekly check-in with your partner.


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This gives you both a chance to bring up feelings and issues that you might be having that could affect your relationship. The more open with your feelings, the more he will feel that they can share with you.

‘So, you know I have bipolar?’ – the perils of dating with a mental health problem

Watching someone you love suffer from anything — whether it be physical pain or mental or emotional turmoil — is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult things you can do. While you can listen, cheer her up and to help her cope, she needs to discover which treatments work best for her, and needs to add those solutions into her daily life. You just need to accept them at whatever stage they are currently in with honesty and compassion. We all have those things about us that are not going to change and that our perfect partner will either appreciate or will learn to live with and those who suffer from mental illness are no different.

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This type of location gives both of you the space to be open and honest. Giving yourself plenty of time to discuss this is also key. It helps neither you nor your date to rush the conversation. More importantly, providing time gives your date space. Making time for this conversation shows you respect your date and their needs, too. Finally, an easy exit is a safety valve. If your date reacts badly, you can leave.


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  7. This way, you can leave without awkwardly getting back in their car. Disclosing is only the beginning. You would tell a partner about breaking your leg, so you should also share major changes in your mental health. Ongoing discussions matter more in serious relationships. It can be tough to talk about changes, such as new meds that change your sex life or ability to drink. Dating with mental illness comes with even more hurdles. In the long run, by taking the time to ask the right questions and keep the lines of communication open, you can choose better partners, have better communication and have stronger relationships.

    The Top 5 Realities of Dating Someone With a Mental Illness

    Life is hard, but it's better when you're not alone. Sign up for our newsletter and get our Self-Care and Solidarity eBook just because we love you! Skip to main content. Would you date someone with mental illness? Start With The Theoretical Disclosing my mental health requires me to be vulnerable.