Does your mental health affect your relationships? It’s easy to answer. yes.
Anyone living with a mental illness knows that your mental health can contribute to how the relationship bonds change in your life. It is easier to keep bonds when your bond is deep like family relationships. But even those can succumb to how your mental state is at the moment.
For those of us with mental health problems, at times we lack the skills to sustain relationships. It’s not that we don’t want or need relationships, it’s hard to deal with us. When it comes to making it work with spouses, family members, or even friends it can be a struggle.
I am Bipolar and deal with social anxiety or depression daily. It is more often than not when I make plans, they are often broken promises from the beginning. In the moment I may tell a friend that I will go to the movies and then cancel last minute. It’s not to be mean but anxiety before leaving my house is common for me. People get tired of this, and I over time in my own life my friends invited me to things less and less. They usually don’t hold their breath when I make plans with them.
It doesn’t make it any easier that I am very introverted and my natural instinct is to be alone. I would rather be alone writing than going out with others. I am wired that way.
My last real relationship with a partner didn’t end well. I ended it because there was no way that I could bring my girlfriend through what was ahead. It ended up being the right decision because the next three years would be the hard and dark. To this day I still feel as if bringing someone into my life would be wrong decision. Its hard enough dealing with the emotions that come with my depression and anxiety. How could I ask someone else to deal with me?
Still. Here at my blog The Bipolar I want to be able to give advice on things that I have learned. I am by no means an expert, but here are some of my thoughts on building healthy relationships. These thoughts on relationships could serve as helping your mental health. These thoughts are for any relationships like spouses, family members, or even friends.
The biggest thing when entering a relationship as the person with the mental illness is to express yourself. One of the worst things that I am guilty of is keeping my feeling inside. They eat away at your soul and it can strain any relationship. We all have concerns and any relationship expert will tell you that communication is key.
But, It is even more important for those of us dealing with a mental illness.
It is never good to hold things in. It is important to release your thoughts and concerns in the relationship. The bad feeling will always accumulate when left unchecked and they may come out in a bad way. In my experience of not telling my girlfriend that I was suicidal, and then trying to take my life, put a strain on the relationship. She forgave me, but it was wrong to do that to her. It is one of the reasons why I ended the relationship.
A more recent example was with my best friend. We didn’t talk about the bad parts of life, and when she felt depressed enough to take her life, she turned to me. When she asked me to help her to commit suicide it became a major thing. I would never help someone do that to themselves. Now we don’t talk anymore.
We never talked about my own experiences with suicide. Even though she knew what I went through, not talking about it ended our friendship. At least for now.
One thing that I am famous for is being concerned about the small things in my personal relationships. When a friend never answers their text but expects you to always answer, is one I hate. It annoys me to a point where I start resenting the relationship.
I know in my own life I over-focus on my faults when I am depressed.
This can be counterproductive in my own personal relationships. I will let my own faults get to me. I start to lose sight of the bigger picture in my life and all my focus goes to the things I can’t control. Look at the text message example. The little things can ruin a relationship when you have depression controlling your life. So don’t let the little things win.
I am probably the worst person to give tips on relationships. I’d rather be alone, but its important to have relationships in your life. Being in your head with only your mental illness can be a lonely place. One of the things I plan on working on in 2018 is pulling people back into my life. I want to re-cultivate the relationships that over years have gone by the wayside.
I also should meet knew people beyond this blog.
It could mean another step in the right direction of my mental health.
Always Keep Fighting.