May is mental health awareness month and in this blog I want to highlight some ways in which an individual’s mental health may impact a relationship. If you or someone you know who experiences a mental health diagnosis, note that these are some things that can potentially be happening within their relationships. Or perhaps you are the one with a mental health diagnosis and are realizing that there have been some blocks occurring in your important relationships. Regardless of who it is, there are ways to help heal from this!

Symptoms that can impact your relationship

Mental health diagnoses are different and unique; however, there are some common symptoms that can come up for multiple diagnoses. For example, irritability is a common symptom that can be present in depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and trauma to name a few. Some symptoms of common mental health diagnoses can be the following: 

  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension 
  • Mood swings
  • Fear or worry
  • Sex drive changes
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty coping

Changes that can occur in your relationship

Some of the symptoms above can be challenging for many people to experience individually and can definitely be frustrating. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms, it can be challenging to turn towards your partner when trying to have a difficult conversation because perhaps it’s harder to regulate your emotions due to mood swings or being worried about something going wrong. Some common changes that I have seen with couples that I have worked with are the following:

  • It’s difficult to turn towards your partner due to inability to regulate emotions in a healthy way.
  • Shutting down and distancing yourself from your partner is easier because it at least will “protect” the relationship from another argument; however, it leaves both partner’s feeling lonely and unheard. 
  • Feeling understood by your partner or ability to understand your partner is challenging due to finding it challenging to focus. 
  • There are many more worries and fears that may be related to your relationship and sense of security.
  • It can be hard to stay present around your partner, friends, or family due to feeling anxious.

Modern Wellness Counseling Texas Changes that can occur in your relationship

What can help

Understanding the importance of needing individual therapy can sometimes be a roadblock for some people. But once you are able to accept that individual therapy can help improve your own mental health, you can then transfer some of these coping skills and internal awareness into how you interact with those you love. 

Here are some ways in which individual therapy and understanding of your own mental health can help your relationship:

  • There can be a positive impact in your relationships because you are now able to utilize coping skills to be present. Perhaps in individual therapy you have learned ways to help you self-regulate, so irritability or shutting down does not happen as frequently anymore. 
  • For others, the ability to self-regulate then helps couples therapy progress much faster as you are able to self-regulate and express yourself easily, which helps in your partner understanding you and you have an open mind to understand your partner. 
  • If you are processing and healing from trauma, understand that this is not a quick and easy experience. It takes a lot of guidance and self-love to be able to do this and being patient and kind with yourself is part of individual therapy, which will directly impact learning how to feel safe in your relationship. 

If you have had questions and/or interest in receiving your own individual therapy, please reach out to our clinicians at Modern Wellness Counseling and we would be happy to help you by seeing your virtually for online counseling. You can call our office at (210) 706-0392 to schedule an appointment so that you can learn more about your own mental health.

By Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT, Owner of Modern Wellness Counseling Priscilla specializes in working with couples and individuals who have experienced anxiety, past trauma, depression, low self-esteem, and who are looking to find healthy ways to cope and find ways to connect with their partner. Priscilla utilizes research based techniques to help clients implement healthy coping skills and communication skills. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.

Want to say “thank you”?

Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT (she/her/hers)

Priscilla is the owner and founder of Modern Wellness Counseling and is passionate about helping people learn how to implement healthy relationship skills and learn how to take care of their mental wellbeing.

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