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How to Be a Supportive to a Partner Who has a Mental Health Condition

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Mental health conditions can take a toll on any marriage or relationship. Sometimes when we are with a partner who has a mental illness, it can seem overwhelming and emotional. Studies have shown that couples with a partner who has a mental illness can harm their spouse’s mental health. At times in a relationship, both partners may struggle with mental illness. Understanding your partner’s needs when they are facing mental health struggles can be challenging. If you are in a relationship with someone who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition, Harmony Bay Wellness can offer some tips on how you can support them. Learning to be a supportive partner is key in not only helping those you care about stay healthy but keeping yourself in positive mental health.

Educate Yourself

You need to educate yourself on your loved one’s mental illness. Sometimes our partners may be suffering in silence because not all mental illness symptoms are apparent. Symptoms of mental illness can range from not sleeping to panic attacks and loss of interest in activities. Understanding your partner’s mental illness can help educate you on their personal experiences and what triggers their symptoms. For example, if your partner is living with anxiety, experts recommend not dismissing their worries by blindly reassuring them that everything will be okay. If your partner has anxiety, ask about their specific concerns and how you can both create a plan on how to address them.

A Supportive Partner is a Good Listener

It is easy to assume that you know what is going on in your partner’s life. However, mental illness affects everyone differently. To provide support and a different perspective to your loved one, you should listen to what they are going through. Often, just allowing someone to express what is weighing on their mind can help them feel better. For many, it can feel as though they are struggling in isolation, even if they have friends, loved ones, and family around them. Learning to listen, encouraging your partner to be honest in their communication, and avoiding judgment and making their expressions of feelings about yourself are all key to being a good listener.

Practice Self Care

Caring for your partner while they are recovering from their mental illness can be a big responsibility. You may have taken on additional household roles to help your partner. To maintain your mental wellbeing and support your partner, you must take care of yourself first. It is important to participate in hobbies, exercise, and eat a balanced diet. Some other self-care activities may include journaling, joining support groups, or yoga. At Harmony Bay Wellness, you’ll find numerous therapeutic approaches to not only help your partner but give you the support necessary to stay mentally healthy yourself.

Do Not Become a Therapist

Although you should educate yourself on your partner’s mental illness, no not become their therapist, this can be harmful to both you and your partner. No matter how well-informed you may think you have become, you are not a professional. Also, it’s not your responsibility to ‘fix’ your partner because they are not ‘broken.’ When mental health issues arise, a supportive partner needs to educate themselves so they can give the help necessary when necessary and know when to encourage finding professional support at a place like Harmony Bay Wellness. If your partner needs help with their mental wellbeing, reach out to a licensed therapist. As a partner, your role should be limited to providing love, support, and sympathy during your loved one’s recovery.

Learning To Be a Supportive Partner at Harmony Bay Wellness

Do not allow mental illness to destroy your relationship. Reach out to Harmony Bay Wellness in Clementon, New Jersey. We treat South Jersey residents for a variety of mental health concerns and provide anxiety therapy, depression therapy, ADHD therapy, and more. Contact a Harmony Bay Staff member today at [Direct].

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.