Mental Health affects the majority of people's lives every day, whether that be to a large or small degree, it also affects people around us and close to us more than we might think. With this in mind, It is no surprise then that it can majorly affect our relationships whether that be romantic relationships, friendships, or our relationships with our families mental health can have a detrimental impact on all of these and if not correctly understood and handled by both sides then it can have negative effects on all of the aforementioned relationships for both those who suffer with mental issues and those who are around them.
Mental Health and Romantic Relationships:
Romantic relationships are great ways to relieve each other's stress, share mutual interests and hobbies, offer support and increase each other's confidence. However many mental health issues can get in the way of such blessings and muddy people's views of the interactions they share together. A good example is a blog on mind's website (a mental health charity organisation) written about a personal experience. In which She goes into detail about her and her husband's methods for dealing with each other's depression and anxiety.
Some important things she mentions include, seeing it from the other person's perspective and understanding why they might act or react that way, this is helpful for those who suffer from mental health and those who do not, understanding another's perspective can help you to be more understanding and better communication. This leads me to her next point, she states that the way you phrase things is important and making sure your partner understands exactly how you feel and why can be reassuring and lead to less guilt or worrying from both partners. Finally, another important point is just talking about it and not being afraid to ask any questions to each other surrounding the topic, the more you know about each other and the more you know about mental illness the easier it will be to communicate and resolve any issues.
The NHS's section on mental well-being and health relationships reiterates most of the same points as the blog on mind's website, again promoting conversation, taking time to think, and checking in on each other
Mental Health and Family Relationships:
Many of these same points can also be applied to family as well, however, in most cases, this will be something that is always affecting them, in comparison to being in a relationship where you might not always be near that person. For families especially if developed when young, mental health can affect your relationships with parents/guardians greatly due to living with them. It can cause rifts and confusion due to not understanding sudden changes in behaviour or mood, and if not properly discussed and learnt about can cause misunderstandings and arguments with each others. Again the most important factor comes down to understanding and when that crucial component is missing everything can fall apart. This also applies the other way around however it is much harder for an adult to explain to their children mental illness and have them fully understand what it means.
How can We Prevent This?
it's evident that mental health issues can have a detrimental effect on the relationships people share with each other, whether you are dealing with it yourself or are in a relationship with someone who is, it can be something that's really hard to understand and get around. However conversation, understanding and learning about mental health can only improve relationships and how people cope with mental issues, making things easier for everyone involved. No matter where you stand in these situations the more you and the people around you know about mental health and the more open they are, the more we can make mental health more common knowledge and easier to understand.