Coping In A Relationship

For people who are suffering from some form of mental illness, relationships are a luxury that can’t often be afforded. In this world, you’d be lucky enough to find someone who loves you for you, without a mental health condition. So for those that are even luckier to find someone who wants to be with you regardless of a mental disorder, holding onto the relationship and finding different ways to make it work is paramount. 

Coping with each other’s mannerisms, odd habits, and stressful conditions is an ongoing daily grind. Communication is going to be the bridge that will be built, broken and mended many times throughout your time with each other. Not being annoying to one another, being mindful of how obnoxious you’re being and doing things that you like but your partner doesn’t with a respectful gap between each other, are all habits of experience. However, it’s not all about causing each other stress, because you can fight it together, along with many other mental illness conditions.

Leaning the signs

Stress may manifest itself in our minds, but it comes out in physical action. How we talk, how we sit, move around and even how we use our eyes, conveys the stresses we feel. It’s very common to have body language that expresses the kind of stress that you are going through. For example, when you’re depressed, you tend to make yourself small, keep your limbs together, look down all the time and try to look away from other people. During the early stages of a relationship, you and your partner can’t expect to be savvy with all the signs of each other’s mental state. The more you talk about the mental condition you have, the more your partner will understand what you’re going through. When they know what kind of symptoms to look out for, they can try to minimise their actions and not add to your stress.

A partner that really cares, will go online and do their own research. They’ll watch videos and read articles and try to understand what is going on when your mental illness does start to exacerbate. If you’re in a relationship with another person who also has their own mental disorders, then you should do the same.

Lookout for the signs that they’re a little angst, or having an episode of depression, anxiety or anger. Their mood can be assessed in the language they use, the tone and how fast they speak.

Physical manifest, physical solution

As aforementioned, mental illnesses fester in the mind but ultimately their symptoms are acted out. It’s good to go to a professional and seek help. Here in the UK, the NHS runs a lot of mental health awareness and treatment programs that you can get help from. If you’re being treated by a health care service, they will give you coping techniques as well as medication. However they’ll also inform you and explain why you lifestyle needs to change. Physical activity can often help a mental condition simply by getting your mind to focus on something else. The human mind is very task-oriented, it likes to problem-solve and try to find solutions to our questions and desires.

Getting your partner involved in something healthy, can allow you both to enjoy something together that will help your illness. Some of the coolest gift ideas for him that would achieve this are in the gardening section. A garden igloo, with a 360-degree dome and PVC waterproof cover of course, is superb for chilling outside and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes being cooped up indoors, adds to the stress we feel.

No matter how many windows you open, there’s never a feeling of being unrestricted as the four walls dictate how much space you have. Eating outside can do us a whole world of good. Generally, getting back to nature and relinquishing ourselves from a totally modern human way of living can calm our mental conditions down. A lotus grill that can do barbecue cooking is another gift you can give. Both of you should eat outside more when the weather is good. Couples that have mental illnesses may be too embarrassed to go to a restaurant to eat in public, especially if you have paranoia. But eating outside not only changes the scenery, you get fresh air, more room to move around and it feels like you’re breaking a monotonous lifestyle.

Be a tether

You still have to earn a living, while coping with a mental disorder. This means being away from your partner who knows you best and could help you when you’re having an episode at work. Therefore each of you should be the other’s tether. Remain online on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and messaging programs. It will give your partner great comfort to know that you’re not too far from contact. So if they are having an issue, they can always write down the issue, and ask for your advice. Modern smartphones are more than capable of doing this, therefore whenever you’re nearly at breaking point, you can just send a brief text to your partner and ask for advice or help.

Meeting up during the day, when things get especially tough, could prevent something more serious happening. During lunchtime, you could meet somewhere to eat together, talk about problems at work or just generally, enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes the closer you are to each other physically, can abate depression and anxieties from spiralling out of control.

In the end?

It’s hard enough to be in a relationship with a mentally ill individual. But we’re all human and we need company. Living together means that you have to find ways of coping with each other. Annoying mannerisms and learning each other’s body language greatly helps to avoid getting angry at your partner. Eating outside or sitting outside in the garden and not locking yourself away in the home, releases the pressure that builds up inside.


Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and I also love dogs.

One Comment

  1. This is so true and very helpful. Both my husband and I have mental health issues (i hate that phrase), but knowing when the other is having an ‘off’ day can be very helpful.

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