Thoughts for Valentine’s Day: What Those with Mental Illness Need in Relationships

couple looking at phone

Mental illness can affect virtually aspect of our lives. Our intimate relationships, our work day, our home life, relationship with our kids, and more. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has a mental illness, there are certain things that you want to make sure you’re doing for your partner. Valentine’s Day is a momentous day to express your plan of action if you’re wanting to be more supportive. The following are ways that you can provide support to your significant other:

  • Be willing to listen to their experiences. Many people with mental illness don’t feel heard due to stigmas. If you can be the person that your partner can rely on, they will feel so loved and cared for. If they’re up for it this Valentine’s Day, allow them to tell you their story. Hear what they have to say. This may open your eyes to their day-to-day experiences, allowing both of you to better connect.
  • Ask questions to understand them better. Individuals with mental illness prefer questions over judgment any day – ask them respectfully and in a loving manner. You may even let your significant other know that you’d like to have an open, honest conversation about their mental illness this Valentine’s Day, and you’d like to ask them some questions that you’ve prepared.
  • Be patient with them. Mental illness can be difficult to work with at times. Be patient with your loved one and remember they are trying their best.
  • Do not judge them. For individuals with anxiety and depression, judgment can make symptoms even worse. Make the choice to take your partner’s side and trust in their lived experiences. Try to understand what is going on in their partner’s mind, from their perspective.
  • Work together to establish a plan. If you want to express to your loved one that you want to be more supportive, talk with them about an action plan for when certain situations arise, and you do not know how to handle it. Your loved one will be grateful that you both know what to expect.

Valentine’s Day is often considered a day of romance, but it could also be a day for you to show your significant other just how much you want to love and understand them better. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that a good relationship provides valuable support during challenging times, and having a supportive conversation could lend towards a stronger, healthier relationship.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment center. We can work closely with you to help you develop the tools you need to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Make the decision to place your recovery on top priority this Valentine’s Day. Call us at 888-743-0490 for a consultation.