Maintaining Relationships When Dealing With A Mental Health Issue

Ben Mcgregor

Such a huge symptom of mental health illnesses like depression is the intense feeling that you’re alone against everything you’re dealing with. For so many people the influence of other people around them can bring them hope and strength at their worst times. Whether it be romantic, friendship or family we all need social interaction and some form of support around us to keep us going and get us through the hard times, but the people who are closest to us are the most likely to feel the effects of how we’re feeling.

It is not an excuse for everything, but mental health issues can make us behave, think and feel ways that to others are irrational, wrong or upsetting but in that position it is so hard to see the reality of the situation. People may overreact, feeling that whatever has happened is an absolute disaster, or not react anywhere near as much as you’d expect, their mind so full with thoughts that they just do not have the energy to react to or deal with the issue. Trying to understand someone and help them when they may not particularly want to be helped is such an incredible thing to do and it must be so frustrating for them when we react badly. We most likely don’t mean what we say or do and regret our actions afterwards. Whatever happens it’s confusing for everyone involved and can lead to a gradual or sudden breakdown in relationships. As these relationships become weaker and filled with disagreements the support previously being provided to the sufferer is likely to decrease with the significant other feeling that all their effort is going to waste.

Ideally, we wouldn’t go through these mood swings and changes in feelings all the time. So often we value our support so highly but do not feel able to express this or find that our actions say the opposite. It’s so important for your friends, family or partner to know that them being there is so influential and important and that you do not mean to push them away. It’s so hard to know how to say it but just reminding yourself through telling them how important they are to you can help you keep their impact in mind and prevent a breakdown in support. The more they know about how you’re feeling, the easier it is for them to give you support that works for both of you. Communication is everything if you want to get the very best out of the relationships you have.

Having someone who’s willing to be there for you is such a good position to be in and while sometimes it’s okay to have a bit of space from them, they are usually the people you want to be keeping in your life. Keep them in the loop of how things are and you’re giving yourself the best chance of working well together in whatever form the relationship takes.

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