Loving Someone With a Mental Illness

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What is mental illness? Mental illnesses are conditions that affect mood behavior and thinking. It’s challenging to live with a mental illness, and that’s why it’s crucial to have a support system. That way, you feel connected to others and loved. People with mental illness are just like everybody else. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, mental illness is real. They live with mental health conditions that affect them, but they deserve love. Here are some ways that you can love somebody who has a mental illness.

Empathy 

Everybody wants to be understood. Human beings need to feel loved. Part of showing somebody that you care about them is being empathetic. You may not know what they’re going through, but you can still care. People with mental illness experience different challenges such as mood shifts, erratic behavior, and trouble with thinking clearly as a part of their conditions. Depending on your mental illness, it can be extremely challenging to function. That’s why having a support system that is empathetic towards you is essential. If you are living with a mental illness your experiences are valid and you have the right to express yourself to those you love. Knowing that your loved ones care about what you’re going through is comforting. 

Listening 

 It is vital to listen to your loved one who has a mental illness. People with mental health conditions need a sounding board to express their feelings. You don’t have to fix their problems. They are in charge of their life and they need to figure out what coping skills to use to feel better. But you can listen when they express their struggles. It could be tempting to try to fix what they’re going through, but you don’t have to take that burden on. Listen to them and let them know that it’s going to be okay, and you’re there to support them.

Learning 

When it comes to mental illness, there are so many things to learn. You may not understand what your loved one is experiencing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t educate yourself. Let’s say that your partner lives with borderline personality disorder. Now is the chance to ask questions about what they are experiencing and try to understand. You can also buy books on the condition and read up on it. Part of learning about mental illness is reading and educating yourself. Another aspect is lived experience. You can talk to the person who has the condition and hear what they have to say. You can gain a better understanding of what it’s like to live with a mental illness by listening to your loved one’s experience and asking any questions that you might not know the answers to so you can be supportive.

Ask questions 

One way to learn about mental illness is to ask your loved one questions. You don’t know all the answers, and to be supportive, you need to have a clear understanding of what their condition entails. Ask them questions in a nonjudgmental way. Ask them how you can be supportive and what works for them. You can also communicate that you’re willing to learn, and that is crucial to the relationship. Your loved one will appreciate your willingness to understand their condition, and they will be grateful for the support. 

Communication is key 

It’s essential to communicate your feelings when you have a relationship with somebody who has a mental illness. It’s not just about their experiences, it’s about how you feel as well. A friendship or relationship is a two-way street, and if something is hurting your feelings, it’s important to let that person know. They have a right to their feelings and you have a right to yours. It’s essential to express yourself and tell them what you need in the relationship just as they’re telling you what they need. Another place that you can talk about what it’s like to love somebody with mental illness is therapy. Whether you work with an online therapist or someone in your local area, it’s crucial to express yourself and get the support that you need. Online counseling is an excellent place to express your feelings to a licensed mental health professional. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you’re having trouble in your life and need to speak to somebody. Loving somebody with mental illness is not easy, but everybody deserves care no matter what their life circumstances are.

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