If you’re thinking to yourself, what do you mean I have to tell someone I’m dating I have a mental illness? You’ll be happy to hear these statistics cited by The Guardian in an article about how-to and how-not-to tell someone you’re dating about your mental illness. A 2013 study by two charities called Mind and Relate, 77% of people living with a mental health disorder told their partners in an active, rather than passive way. Only 5% of those people reported that their relationship ended because of this information. Surely the partner was horrified and just hiding their fear. 74% of the partners reported they “weren’t fazed”. This is good news. Getting to that conversation and having it with confidence and emotional articulation is a different story. The Guardian author suggests these tips for talking with someone.
Remember, you have nothing to be ashamed of regarding your mental illness. Hundreds of millions of people around the earth live with mental health disorders every day. Not all of them make the decision to seek help and start a life of recovery for themselves. You have something to be proud of when it comes to learning how to live with mental illness in a healthy way.
You Should Tell Them At Some Point
You’ve worked hard in treatment developing the tools you need to manage your mental illness and yourself. Difficult days can still happen and you might not always do it perfectly. That’s okay, you aren’t supposed to. You don’t want to catch your partner off guard or let a bunch of projection stuff slip and hit them where they don’t deserve it. Instead, be honest with them and let them know about the powerful journey you’ve taken. Emphasize the daily program you work to take care of yourself and your commitment to mental health.
Be Honest, Within Reason
You don’t have to reveal every single detail of your entire life story at once. However, be willing to answer their questions and tell your story, within reason. You don’t owe them any kind of explanation. If they have insecurities about your mental health, it isn’t about to you to make them feel more secure.
Encourage Them To Do Their Research
If they are interested in learning more, rather than be the encyclopedia of your condition, encourage them to do some research for themselves. They’ll be able to create meaning for themselves, come up with questions, and probably find an article or two about dating someone living with a mental illness.
Avalon Malibu knows that one day, you are going to have healthy and meaningful relationships. We are here to provide the best possible care we can for individuals with a primary mental health diagnosis at our beautiful residential treatment center overlooking the stunning California coastline. For a confidential assessment, call us today at 1 888-958-7511.