Relationships require a lot of work and commitment to keep them thriving. It’s up to the people in the relationship to make sure that they communicate with each other and address any issues that arise in a constructive way. While this can be difficult in any circumstance, it can be especially challenging when one of the partners has a mental illness. Here are some ways you can be supportive of your partner living with a mental illness.
Understand Their Diagnosis
This is an essential part of supporting your partner because it can provide you with important information. Knowing what your partner’s diagnosis is will allow you to research what it is, and could even help you develop some strategies to support them. In addition, it will allow you to gauge which behaviors of theirs are related to their mental illness and which are not. Some issues you may have with your partner may be problems that have nothing to do with their mental illness, so it’s important to know the difference.
Listen To Them
Even if you know your partner’s diagnosis, you won’t know how it affects them specifically if you don’t listen to them. Some people may not show all the textbook symptoms of their diagnosis, but can still need a little extra support here and there. Therefore, it’s important to be open to listening to your partner’s needs when they tell you about them. Only they can tell you how best to support them, so keep your ears open.
Nurture Your Relationship
Just because your partner has a mental illness doesn’t mean that your relationship should completely revolve around it. Make sure to spend some time together doing things to nurture your relationships. Go on dates, talk about your future goals, and share funny stories with each other. It’s important to think of your relationship outside of the terms of your partner’s mental illness.
Care For Yourself
Having a partner who lives with a mental illness can place some added responsibility on your shoulders but it’s important to realize that your existence should not be solely to take care of your partner. Self-care is valuable and can take the form of any positive activity you enjoy doing. From listening to your favorite music to taking a nap, there are a variety of valuable self-care methods. Taking care of yourself will put you in a better frame of mind, which can allow you to support your partner while also maintaining your own mental health.
Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!
Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps residents in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Frederick County, and Prince George’s County across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. We also provide interpretation services for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more, call us at 240-241-7249 or visit here.