Previous research has shown that when mental illness is involved in romantic relationships, one partner may need to take on an additional role of support while the other attempts to manage their symptoms. Mental illness affects around 450 million people all over the world (that’s 1 in 4 people), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) – making it extremely common for couples to experience mental illness by either one partner or both. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) highlights the benefit of open communication in a relationship – if you feel safe and comfortable, telling your significant other about your disorder can help both of you work together to move forward. Talk to them when you’re ready. Ultimately, it’s important that you work together for compassion, love, respect, and support.
Couple’s therapy provides a safe, structured environment with which to talk about issues that may be difficult to discuss or understand. If you and your partner are open to couple’s therapy, there are many benefits you could each get from this experience:
Information on mental illnesses, medications, etc.
- Enhanced understanding for what each other is going through on a daily basis
- Greater clarity in what type of support is needed for each person
- An action plan for moving forward and for when triggers arise
- A bigger perspective on unconditional love for another person
- Increased confidence in the relationship derived from better understanding
Jan Sutherland, relationship, marriage, and family therapist, states, “Individual issues frequently get triggered and spill over into the relationship. Such issues may seem to be individual burdens, but they did not form in isolation…That’s why it’s so important to work not only with the individual showing mental health issues, but also with that person’s partner.”
By seeking out couple’s therapy, you and your partner can find better ways of communicating, relating, and connecting. Ultimately, this greater sense of clarity will likely help you form a stronger relationship, something that is key to a person’s health and well-being. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about couple’s therapy and treatment for mental illness. Recovery is possible.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.