Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States have a mental illness – equating to nearly 9.6 million people. It’s safe to assume that many of these individuals are in a romantic relationship; after all, mental illness isn’t uncommon, and there are many out there dating who have a mental illness and don’t realize it. If you have a mental illness and are in a romantic relationship, you may be pondering the effects that your mental illness could have on your relationship. The first question is this: have you told you significant other? Relationship experts have found that healthy, long-term relationships are based on honesty, trust, and communication – so it’s important to disclose your mental health disorder to get everything out in the open.
Mental illness can affect personal relationships in a variety of ways. For instance, both partners must learn to understand and appreciate each other despite distressing symptoms caused by a mental illness. This can take some time, as both partners must be open enough to ask questions and be there for each other when things go awry. Some people with mental illness struggle with sexual libido, which can also affect a relationship. A 2016 study published in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal interviewed 641 sexually active adults attending an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Their findings revealed that a majority of participants devalued themselves as sexual partners, which could have caused each of them some distress in their relationship.
All relationships need love, care, and support, but those with mental illness may require additional needs different from others. A 2016 study titled “Recovery and Severe Mental Illness: The Role of Romantic Relationships, Intimacy, and Sexuality” involved semi-structured interviews with 35 individuals with severe mental illness. A vast majority of participants considered a supportive relationship that was emotionally and/or sexually intimate to be a key facilitator and indicator of recovery; this emphasizes just how important support from one’s significant other is.
You deserve to be in a loving, supportive relationship. Mental illness does not define you, and it does not define those you love.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.