Keep Mental Illness from Ruining Your Relationships: Recognize the Signs and Find Help

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According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adult Americans suffers from mental illnesses, the most common ones being anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Mental illness affects every facet of a person’s life and can be especially straining to romantic relationships. Whether you are in a new, exciting relationship or have been with your partner for years, it is important to recognize the signs of mental illness and prepare to deal with them in a healthy way. In many instances, psychological counseling can be a tremendous help. Traditional counseling or online-based therapy services like Talkspace are both great options for those seeking assistance.

Common signs of mental illness include: profound sadness, extreme stress levels, and severe mood swings. These symptoms might not be apparent early in a relationship because people often try to make the best impression on their new partner. However, as a relationship progresses, and guards are let down, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and unstable moods may surface. It is important to periodically check for these signs, in both our partners and in ourselves, so any mental health issues can be identified, addressed, and treated.

Unfortunately, many people are afraid to honestly examine themselves for mental illness because of the social stigma attached to psychological issues. It is common for the term ‘crazy’ to be used as an insult and people often use the words ‘bipolar’ and ‘schizophrenic’ lightly to describe the weather or as an exaggeration for being moody. These things can make a person feel ashamed to struggle with mental health and can make getting help embarrassing and difficult to cope with. In addition, traditional in-person therapy is expensive and requires a time commitment, usually during the workday. For this reason, the online platform Talkspace is a great choice for many people, especially those who may be new to therapy or have very busy schedules. Talkspace offers personalized, evidence-based counseling, with the added benefits of being affordable, convenient, and confidential.

If you notice any signs of anxiety or depression in yourself, it is imperative that you seek help. Untreated mental illness can lead to unstable decision making and damaged relationships with friends and partners. If you notice these signs in your partner, encourage them to seek help.

Mental illness can affect a relationship in many ways. These include unstable moods leading to frequent arguments, a loss of interest in anything enjoyable, impulsive decision-making that can be harmful, a loss of trust between partners, and relationship-ending situations with compatible partners.

The NAMI also found that 1 in every 25 American adults suffers from a severe mental illness. If left untreated, these issues can lead to serious consequences, the worst of which are an abusive behavior and the use of alcohol and/or drugs to self-medicate. In these cases, it is vital that a psychologist is contacted because they can recommend positive changes and exercises that can be helpful and therapeutic. For many people, finding the time and money to attend weekly in-office therapy appointments is not reasonable. Talkspace helps these people receive 50 minutes worth of therapy over the course of a week, with daily correspondences with a therapist who they can reach out to from anywhere, at anytime. Often, the mere act of venting and reflecting with a counselor is therapeutic and can help a patient begin to feel more in control of his or her life on a regular basis.

If issues with anxiety and depression have already begun to negatively affect your relationship, perhaps couples therapy is the answer. Talkspace offers a couples counseling plan, which allows both partners and the psychologist to all communicate on their own devices in a group text conversation. It can be very effective to have a neutral third party who will ensure the conversation is productive and fair and can offer suggestions for coping skills and strategies to discuss issues.

One of the best things about Talkspace is the flexibility it affords. Using the app, you can text your therapist, group message with your partner, and even make appointments to video chat with your therapist. Additionally, because Talkspace therapy takes place on your mobile device or personal computer, you can message the therapist from the comfort of your own home, when you have the time, space, and sense of security to open up.

If you or your partner are diagnosed with a severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, it is important to remember that most of the symptoms can be treated with medication and therapy. However, bipolar disorder does have a social stigma. Some people might think individuals with bipolar disorder can’t have healthy relationships, or that they are not trustworthy. With therapy and medication, people with bipolar disorders can, in fact, have long, healthy relationships. Talkspace can provide an important outlet for issues that arise for the individuals with bipolar disorders and can also serve as a support system for the patients’ partners.

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness, either diagnosed or suspected, speak to your doctor about treatment and investigate therapy options, like Talkspace, where you can get the support you need to reach your relationship goals.

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