Things I understand about being in a relationship involved with mental illness.
When one or both people in a relationship suffer from anxiety/depression/mood disorder/etc. Not only do you have to get through relationship battles of understanding one another, learning how to simultaneously be a part of a unit but also an individual, and compromise each others personal wants and needs. But you then also have these massive other individual issues that also become issues in the relationship.
You want to be in a ‘good’ place, and not constantly struggling for your partner - but at the same time you know that your energies are linked and they will know.
You want to be there for them as well, but if you are barely being able to deal with your own emotions/feelings, how can you be there for them?
The desire to drop everything and be there for each other is often overwhelming to your own goals and daily needs.
Then there’s always sympathetic feelings, which can bring you both down.
It can effect your time together and a part. Which often leads people to think that if they’re struggling or they’re partner is (or both) that maybe you’re better off being alone. My own personal opinion is - no.
Mental illness should not determine whether you deserve to be loved or to love. Relationships are not reserved for the times in your life where you are in control of your mental well-being. Relationships are a part of life and so is your mental health. I believe, if you are lucky enough to find someone you love, and they love you back then all those tricky situations listed above (and others) you somehow find a way to work through. And the more you work though things together - the more you trust each other. Which can at times, help with your mental health. If not at least bring you some contentment.
Understanding your partners or each others mental illness; triggers, stress indicators, noises, facial expressions, etc can help in learning how to be there for each other. Learning how to communicate what you both need as well as understanding and respecting each others boundaries and limits.
Over time, it can become easier - at least in the relationship. Being in a relationship is hard enough, but add mental illness into the equation? Of course it makes things harder. And allowances should be made for that if the love is there.
Its a similar case in my relationship - sometimes I have bad days/weeks sometimes he does. There usually aren’t simple formulated solutions to any of the problems involving mental illness, just day to day developments, understanding each other a bit more and quite often fumbling around trying to make some positive effects on each other and ourselves.
A big part of many mental illnesses is a constant feeling of loneliness. And I am definitely not suggesting that anyone be in a relationship to try and mask those issues. But if you are in the relationship for the right reasons (i.e. because you love each other) sometimes, you can help combat those issues by being there for one another (to a certain external extent other than what obviously needs to happen internally).
I don’t exactly know what my point is but I guess it isn’t exactly a clear topic because every relationship is different. But I think more awareness of mental illness in relationships would be good.
Also not to necessarily give up on a relationship if the main issue is involving mental illness because it definitely can in many situations be handled and maintained.
An art installation of green plants growing on the wall of the building next to the CaixaForum Madrid — a modern art gallery — In Madrid, Spain. The living wall was created by french botanist Patrick Blanc