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.


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.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, November 1). Maintaining Relationships when Mental Illness Interferes, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Last Updated: November 16, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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