When it comes to mental health and love relationships, we have to be mindful that our relationships can require a little more TLC. Mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, PTSD and ADHD can impact your relationship through symptoms like irritability, forgetfulness, frustration and more. Regardless, love and mental health maintenance can happen side by side.
Mental health and love: tips to make it through
Relationships can be difficult for everyone, but there are ways that you can make it. There are some things it will take to make mental illness and relationships work.
- Communication- Talk, talk talk. Listen and understand. When mental illness and relationships come together, you have to be able to hear each other. The best relationships happen when partners are able to have fantastic communication. Love relationships and mental health require consistent communication to keep things going This is something that takes a lot of practice. When we are intentional about communication, it can dramatically improve the quality of our relationships.
- Patience – To maintain your mental health and love, we need patience. Sometimes symptoms can be frustrating for our partners. For us, the lack of understanding from our partners can be equally frustrating. Being patient with each other and remaining on the same team rather than branching off into separate sides is really important.
- Education- Learning more about the conditions you each face and what that means for each person in the relationship is really important. You can make love last if you have solid mental health education. Take the time to read up about the symptoms, behaviors, treatment, and trouble that you or your partner may face.
Relationships are all about the connection in the first place. We are seeking out someone who we can be with and feel loved by. An important part of maintaining your mental health and love is knowing how to work to strengthen your bond. Learning what makes a person feel closer to you takes some communication, and it is not an overnight process. When you’ve been living with a mental illness, you learn love doesn’t always go smoothly. Give your partner time to connect with you.
Loosening up the constraints and allowing serious talks to include moving around, or doodling, or playing a stupid video game can make for way more meaningful conversations. And that’s just one example of how we can modify things to make them more ADHD friendly. I’m sure you and your sweetheart will think of more together.
Identify the trouble spots
Relationships can be fantastic, but every relationship has its challenges. It can really put a strain on love and mental health when those challenges get out of control. In relationships with people who are working to maintain their mental health, there are a few trouble spots that you can encounter. If you are able to take a look at those trouble spots, you’ll be able to hop over them and keep the relationship going strong.
Trouble Spots In Your ADHD Relationship
I believe that ADHD relationships are remarkable. That we make caring, sensitive, loving partners. We have idiosyncrasies just like every other human being but it doesn’t take away from us being emotionally supportive and kindhearted partners. Having said all of that, let’s get down to brass tacks here: there ARE some trouble spots when it comes to being in a relationship with someone who has ADHD, and I’m not taking away from any of us when I say so. It’s important for us to overcome those challenges in order to thrive in a relationship.
Mental health and love protip: make sure your partner feels safe
When you’re in a relationship, it is really important to make sure that your partner feels protected. Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone who they feel won’t have their back. Fearing your partner may abandon or abuse you can be another challenge. Do the extra work to reassure your partner but also recognize that some of this could require some inner work on their part as well.
Healing from trauma doesn't happen overnight. That healing takes place over an extended period of time. During that time, you'll resume activities from your regular life. You'll feel safer interacting with people, and part of that interaction means it could be time to consider your romantic prospects again. While you may be ready to consider that step, there are some challenges you can face when you're dating with PTSD. Here are some points you'll want to consider while you're deciding if you're ready.
Handle your fear of rejection
Sometimes in relationships, things just don’t work out, or people disappear without a word. Occasionally relationships hit a point where people aren’t sure if they can stay together. All of those things can create a fear of rejection in us. Those fears can be projected onto the relationship and make the relationships more complicated. Working to learn to cope with our fear of rejection can pay off majorly for our relationships!
Rejection sensitivity, much like social anxiety can leave us fearful of forming new relationships with people. After all, once one has been rejected romantically by a person they truly cared for, how could they not have a fear of being hurt again? While being afraid is normal, rejection sensitivity can make us upset enough that we can cause our relationships to fail before we even get started. That's not what you want.
Focus on the good in your relationship to enhance mental health and love
Relationships are work, sure, but it is supposed to be fun too! You have to focus on the positive in your relationships to continue to enjoy them. What do you really love about your partner? Do they have amazing insight? Is there a geeky hobby that you both enjoy? Are you into the same cuisine? All of those are points in the relationship to focus on. The problems? Don’t let those be your primary concern.
Really, when it comes to relationship struggles, isn’t that what the entire world is doing? The divorce rates are climbing, people seem more selfish, and we are all confused about the reasons why. Contrary to popular belief, to be in a relationship with someone who has ADHD can be fulfilling and fun.
We are made to love
Human beings are made for connection. We love love, and being in love. Being in a relationship where we are fulfilled and understood is so important. Relationships can be a phenomenal source of support.
If you are wondering if mental health and relationships can coexist, the answer is a definite resounding yes. I wish you much luck in love and in life.
Until next time,
For more ADHD resources, please visit CHADD (children and adults with ADD)