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:
- 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.