Dating for people with mental illnes
While it is important to discuss your mental health concerns and needs with a partner, disclosure should only be done when you’re interested in or thinking about a long-term relationship.
Another important issue to remember includes consideration for your partner’s reaction to your mental health diagnosis.
Although, no one is perfect or without imperfections, the mere mention of mental illness can bring about negative and misleading images of the mental ill which are often depicted in movies and television.
It comes as no surprise, we live in a competitive world which often views limitations, disabilities, or other illnesses in an abnormal manner.
He or she may have no understanding or limited understanding of mental illness, may not be accepting, or willing to date someone with a mental illness, etc.
Unfortunately, some people may view a partner having a mental illness as a deal breaker, as some sort of insurmountable defect, flaw, or imperfection.
13.6 million people currently live with a serious mental illness, such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Fortunately, there are many people diagnosed with a serious mental illness involved in loving and stable relationships.
Another key thing to remember when dating someone with a mental illness is to refrain from holding onto unrealistic expectations, biases, or erroneous assumptions regarding what the disorder should “look like”, how or she should behave, engage with others, etc.
There is no shame in seeking treatment or medication for an illness.
However, it is important to note medications may not be right for everyone, but for some people they offer that little extra support in life to make life more manageable.
With proper adherence to medications (if being prescribed), individual and supportive counseling, family, and partner support those diagnosed with a serious mental illness will improve over time.
As reminder, consistency with treatment and a partner’s attitude and behavior surrounding mental illness can have a significant impact on the mental stability of persons with a mental health disorder.