How Poor Mental Health Can Ruin Relationships

In this mental illness life, one thing I have been good at is ruining relationships. The worst of it for me was when I was suicidal and in poor mental health.

For me, personally, I have lost friendships, working relationships, and personal relationships because my mental health got in the way of living life. It was never anything personal because I was doing the best I could in the impossible situation of living with a mental illness, but when you start canceling plans because your too anxious, or are living on the border of suicidal thoughts, it can severely hurt personal relationships.

Why does poor mental health ruin relationships? Mainly what I see is the lack of understanding from those who have never lived this life, or worse the lack of empathy for people that have for mental illness sufferers. Right now, I am in a place in my life where things like people saying “just get over it” does not bother me, but I am in a different place in my mental health recovery. Someone in poor mental health is usually not so lucky because they feel guilty. When you lack empathy, it makes it harder for us to be open, and it ruins relationships.

I get it, we all have problems in this life. I am not saying mental health sufferers are worse off than any one person, but they do deal with more at times than someone who doesn’t wake up dreading a depression and anxiety-filled day, every day. They have to worry that depression will keep them from being productive or even a simple task like getting out of bed. It can seem impossible to find the energy to take a shower. Have you ever been so depressed that you can’t even take a shower? It sucks.

My hope with posts like these will reach those who are living with someone with poor mental health that you find a place of understanding. It is not forever. I, The Bipolar Writer, is living proof that you can get better in this mental illness life. I got my Bachelors of Art in Creative Writing and English. I am going for my MFA. I am soon to be a published author. The poor mental health, although it seemed it at the time, did not last forever.

Yes, poor mental health can ruin relationships, but it doesn’t have to because if you really love someone you will fight with them for better mental health. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting


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18 thoughts on “How Poor Mental Health Can Ruin Relationships

  1. So true James! Not so much in recent years, but back when I was younger I ruined many relationship often because of my being unstable. One minute I wanted this and the next moment that. Thanks for the post!


  2. As someone who has both suffered from depression and lives with people with mental health issues, I think I have a little insight. One thing I’ve noticed is that people with MHI ( mental health issues) often get involved with people like themselves. They usually help each other cope through hard times but if one person is able to overcome their issues, the relationship becomes unbalanced. The healthier person will start to feel the strain of the other person’s intense needs. Even though they understand and they care, they know that it could be self-destructive for them to remain in that relationship as the support system because their own health is still so fragile. If they want to stay with the person with active MHI, they must insist that that person get professional help. It is simply too much for one person to carry. And if the person doesn’t want help, they should not expect someone to continue to support them. If the person stays, then BOTH of them will be destroyed.


  3. First congrats on your achievement and secondly yes unfortunately can ruin relationships and friendships. I’ve lost friend through depression and anxiety and my ex used to give me the lecture I am psycho and no one would have me. But here I am new partner of 11 years and he knows my anxiety and my ocd and he supports when needed.since I now know I have anxiety and ocd few of my friend know and they too know when I need space or someone to talk too. And yes having mental health can be a pain in the arse but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve things. Like you I hope my book that I sent will be considered to be published something that I never thought I’d do. And it all about mental health and living with it. Good luck 😉


  4. My social anxiety and depression have definitely put a wedge in a lot of my personal relationships. Just a few months ago I thought my mental health problems would be the cause of my break-up with my boyfriend – who thankfully is very understanding of my struggles.

    What I’ve found to be equally disappointing is the fact the my mental health gets in the way of me forming new relationships. At work I’ve been invited out numerous times by people who could probably turn into friends, but I never accept. It’s a little because of fear and a little of me being content with juggling the relationships I already have. Forming new relationships is such a daunting task.


  5. Thank you for your openness (for sure, on this). It is such a slipper slope w/mental illness & then to add another adult into the equation w/whom might lack the empathy/compassion or desire to ‘learn/understand’ the further complications of MI in a relationship….relationships are hard enough [from what i’m told]. I require a LOT of “alone” time (in my writing-womb). With my MI I get ‘over stimulated’ very easily & symptoms will exacerbate w/constant interaction….sorry so wordy! (lol) Basically, I believe, as we better understand ourselves & how our MI influences certain aspects of our interactions w/others (communication mostly) we might step away from the cliff of crash diving possibly healthy relationships; trust of your partner is a huge factor. [Flags will always fly for me when I start hearing it’s “all my fault” due to “my thinking”….] blame game never works well for me. Ty for sharing a piece of you….much love


  6. I don’t suffer from depression, but looks like I have an anxiety issue. Your post is an inspiration to many. I know it is not easy, but you manage to accomplish your goals in your chosen career. Good job. And I love the way you write, straight forward and clear. 🙂 To keep relationships you need somebody that really understand what Mental issue is.
    By the way, I was trying to leave a comment on your poem “The White Pill” but it’s weird it won’t allow me even when I’m logged in. Since I can’t leave the comment there, I will just leave the comment here. 🙂 In the poem you are describing a bad attack of anxiety. I never had those, but I’m scared to be in that place. Lately I am suffering the palpitations even when I am trying to sleep, and my mind keeps on running. It’s really hard because I can’t stop it even when I’m really tired. I don’t want to get worse. 😦 😦 But yes, I hear a lot of people they don’t want to take the pill because the side effects are worse sometimes. I see them in my own eyes.


  7. It is my physical problem connected to my anxiety that keeps me from doing the things I want. When I have to worry if I will have diarrhea when out it makes me want to stay in. This in turn causes anxiety.


  8. Great Post, I know exactly what you mean as I too have suffered from Mental Illness it affected my relationships, my career and it took many years to get stable, but much of the damage was done. All too often people don’t have the empathy to deal with someone who has mental illness and unwilling to stick by the person, leaving the person to fight alone.. Its harder being alone, but I learned to cope, but I also learned to be bitter at those who said they loved me and left me in a hurry when things got tough. I get better, keep fighter never give up.


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