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Relationships and mental health

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey guys :wave:

So.. Last night during the expert chat on mental health and relationships there were a couple of questions about starting a new relationship and how/when you could adress the issue of your mental health.

Starting a new relationship is sometimes a scary thing anyway but can be a lot more difficult when one or both of you have mental health issues.

In my experience before I got really serious with my ex boyfriend but did trust him enough, I told him about my past and that I had struggled with mental health issues. He was okay with this, just more upset for me. I found that telling him took a lot of pressure off the relationship.

Do any of you guys have any experience with this? Or do you have any suggestions that you may want to share on how starting a new relationship with mental health could be made a bit easier?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I have a mental issue but my boyfriend knew as soon as we started going out... just so if i did something not normal he wouldnt flip out... but if you would want to wait then you can wait, if he sees anything or questions something then tell him. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On the one hand I would not blurt it out too soon. It just gives a negative connotation if you are dating and having fun and you pack out a biggie how you cut yourself or something like that. It would probably put a damper on the whole mood and decrease the chances that this becomes more serious.

    On the other hand I would find it a bit unfair if someone held information like this back too long. Granted, it's your own personal thing and you are not obligated to let them know, but it will most probably influence the relationship and come out sooner or later anyway.

    I guess I would prefer to know it when you start to talk about more personal things, but before you start being a proper couple.

    I don't have any advice, I tend to avoid people with mental health issues, as shitty as this sounds, even though I frequently question my own sanity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    India1222 wrote: »
    Well I have a mental issue but my boyfriend knew as soon as we started going out... just so if i did something not normal he wouldnt flip out... but if you would want to wait then you can wait, if he sees anything or questions something then tell him. :)

    It sounds like you and your boyfriend manage things really well together and that you can be really open with him which is great :)

    I wonder did he know much about mental health issues before you met him? Was there quite a lot he had to learn?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    StrubbleS wrote: »
    On the one hand I would not blurt it out too soon. It just gives a negative connotation if you are dating and having fun and you pack out a biggie how you cut yourself or something like that. It would probably put a damper on the whole mood and decrease the chances that this becomes more serious.

    On the other hand I would find it a bit unfair if someone held information like this back too long. Granted, it's your own personal thing and you are not obligated to let them know, but it will most probably influence the relationship and come out sooner or later anyway.

    I guess I would prefer to know it when you start to talk about more personal things, but before you start being a proper couple.

    I don't have any advice, I tend to avoid people with mental health issues, as shitty as this sounds, even though I frequently question my own sanity.

    I agree with what you say about when to tell someone.

    I just wondered what is your reason for trying to avoid people with mental health issues? I'm intrigued to know how you would react if you got close with someone and started liking them very much, but then found out a little later than you would hope that they have mental health issues?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He has some himself, but mine are much more worse then his. He understands and helps me through them everytime i need help. an yes we are open about everything :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with what you say about when to tell someone.

    I just wondered what is your reason for trying to avoid people with mental health issues? I'm intrigued to know how you would react if you got close with someone and started liking them very much, but then found out a little later than you would hope that they have mental health issues?

    I can't answer this for any hypothetical case, it's just whenever I met someone who has "issues" - to put it colloquially - and we got close it ended in a disaster. Looking back at it all my relationships have been disaster, but I've always been with someone with substantial emotional baggage. I just don't have much patience for irrationality anymore and don't want to deal with it on a frequent basis.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you guys think that, in a relationship, if both of you have mental health issues this would have a really negative impact? I'm mixed on this because I feel like you would both know more about how the other is feeling and how to deal with them best which is good, but then I feel like together they would just ruin the relationship/friendship and maybe just make each other a lot worse. My ex also had bad days occasionally and on these days some we would hate each other, but others he would just cry on me and we'd be so close. I'd love to know what you guys think about this?

    Also, I have autism. This continuosly has a negative affect on my mental health and also caused problems in my relationship. I would feel guilty because my ex couldn't 'deal with it' and I'd feel like I was to blame for my ex having to try. I started to hurt myself partly because of this which also didn't help the relationship. I wondered if you guys have any experience with this? Does yours or your partners autism affect the relationship in any way? If so, how?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Difficult. It's good to have someone who understands your problems. But at the same time, I don't want to be dealing with my own mental health as well as someone elses. I was pretty much forced to do that earlier this year. I am now refusing to speak to him because of what he did to me. Might be different because we weren't in a relationship.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you guys think that, in a relationship, if both of you have mental health issues this would have a really negative impact? I'm mixed on this because I feel like you would both know more about how the other is feeling and how to deal with them best which is good, but then I feel like together they would just ruin the relationship/friendship and maybe just make each other a lot worse. My ex also had bad days occasionaly and on these days some we would hate each other, but others he would just cry on me and we'd be so close. I'd love to know what you guys think about this?

    I don't think that this being sad together has much value. It might feel very intimate and personal for some time, but if it's an ongoing thing I think trying to forge a bond by one party being miserable and the other nurturing will fail. Mostly speaking of opinion and only a bit of experience, but two minus do not make a plus in this case I think.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess it's always useful to have more than one avenue for support - relying solely on your boyfriend or girlfriend could put quite a lot of pressure on them at times perhaps?

    If you're both struggling then it could be comforting to face the world together, at other times as Melian and Strubbles say, if periods of sadness for example go on for too long then it might not be that positive for either person.

    India1222 - do you have any examples of how you and your boyfriend help each other out that you'd like to share? Is it mainly just talking things through and being open or do you have certain things that have developed in terms of how you let each other know what you need or what the other person can do to help at different times?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think Remarriage or re-cohabitation improved mental health, as opposed to remaining alone..!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mt last relationship was with somebody who completely took advantage of the fact I have mental health problems and dyspraxia (actually, I think I'm autistic)... She was always saying how I don't understand things, like how I offend her really easy.

    I'll admit I'm actually scared to start new relationships. I struggle with reading people, understanding their motives.. I find it really tiring trying to tailor my body language and what I say to appear "neurotypical"/wired like most people because I've been told my lack of eye contact and body language makes me come across as uptight, or shifty.

    That and I have a bipolar 2 diagnosis, which whilst I'm managing well with medication, I'm afraid the stress of a new relationship will either make me hypomanic or depressed and the fact that I even have a diagnosis may scare people off.

    I'm one of those people who likes to live life to the full, but non-professional relationships is something I struggle with and get anxious about and whilst I don't ever get lonely and enjoy my own company, I'll have to take on again at some point, because y'know... Life an' all that. :p
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Boards Champion
    StrubbleS wrote: »
    I can't answer this for any hypothetical case, it's just whenever I met someone who has "issues" - to put it colloquially - and we got close it ended in a disaster. Looking back at it all my relationships have been disaster, but I've always been with someone with substantial emotional baggage. I just don't have much patience for irrationality anymore and don't want to deal with it on a frequent basis.

    Hey, just wanted to drop in as this raises an interesting question about 'choosing the right person' as I think it's good to be honest about what you can handle in terms of stress/vulnerability, but also wonder where you stand on patience more generally in terms of a relationship working. Would be good to hear what you think of an article like this - http://students.thecoupleconnection.net/articles/choosing-the-right-partner and from anyone else who happens to be reading and can relate to what StrubbleS is saying :)
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