Dating for people with mental illness

Holding your partner’s hand through his or her educational experience might aid in the acceptance process.

There will be days when your partner seems like a completely different person than he or she was on the first day that you met.

On the flip side, if you know someone who seems to be on a downhill spiral with their condition, don’t scare your partner by saying, “look, I just don’t want you to turn out like Tom, Dick and Harry.” Again, that puts a lot of pressure on your partner, and pressure is the last thing that’s going to make him or her feel comfortable in his or her own skin and capable of dealing with his or her condition. Your partner needs to feel like you trust him or her, just as you would want to feel trusted by your partner.

Then, once you’ve passed that phase, it’s on to really getting to know the other person.

Then, there are the practical questions to consider, like are you willing to move for said person, or what is said person’s health history? What do you do when the person you’re falling for is struggling with a condition that’s too complex for even your partner to understand?

A 2010 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 19.9 percent of adults in the U. reported having a mental health condition that year.

That’s a pretty hefty chunk of the dating pool, not to mention the unreported cases and the probable addition of cases since that report was published.

Mental health conditions come in far too many forms—depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, substance abuse, addiction, eating disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, autism and Asperger’s, those that don’t immediately come to mind and so many layers within each of those conditions—to try to come up with a one-size fits all approach for how to deal with dating someone who is mentally ill.

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