Maintaining Relationships when Mental Illness Interferes

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Maintaining relationships when you have a mental illness is complicated. Get tips to maintain healthy relationships at HealthyPlace

Maintaining Relationships when Mental Illness Interferes

Let's face it. Relationships, whether they're with friends, family, or a romantic partner, are difficult. Maintaining relationships when mental illness interferes takes that difficulty to a new level. Sadly, mental illness does sometimes drive people apart. A 2011 study showed that, among 18 mental disorders studied, 14 are associated with an increased divorce rate (Marriage and Mental Illness: For Better or Worse?).

Whether you are living with a mental illness or are in any type of relationship with someone experiencing mental illness, your relationship isn't doomed to failure. Some keys to maintaining healthy relationships when mental illness interferes:

  • Communicate what things are like for you. Share honestly and calmly how your symptoms affect you, or gently let your partner know how his/her symptoms impact you. Together, determine how to make problems better.
  • Know your limits. When you're aware that you're reaching your frustration threshold, step away and enjoy a calming activity.
  • Define your relationship goals, and keep them at the forefront. Working toward common goals keeps you moving in the same direction, and it facilitates a healthy bond.

For anyone living with mental illness, healthy relationships are a key component of living well and thriving. While mental illness can interfere in relationships, having strong, positive

Related Articles Dealing with Relationships and Mental Illness

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Whether you live with mental illness or have a friend, family, or partner with mental illness, what helps you keep the relationship healthy and strong? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Depression Can Drain You Of Your Will To Live
  2. Borderline Drama, Learning to Engage the Observer Self
  3. Healthy Self-Esteem When You Have Bipolar

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

  • Psychotherapy Sessions Are Best In The Morning When Levels Of Helpful Hormone Are High
  • Awareness Of Self And Tendency To Ruminate Brain Regions Show Altered Activity In Patients With Insomnia
  • Developing Brain Regions In Children Hardest Hit By Sleep Deprivation
  • Fewer Indications Of ADHD In Children Whose Mothers Took Vitamin D During Pregnancy
  • High Blood Pressure Raises Risk Of Cognitive Decline, Dementia
  • Transcendental Meditation May Help Ease Trauma Symptoms, Stress
  • High Blood Pressure Drugs Impact Depression, Bipolar Disorder
  • Parental Absence Increases Chance Of Nicotine And Alcohol Use In Children

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index


APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, November 1). Maintaining Relationships when Mental Illness Interferes, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 27 from

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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