THE REALITY OF DATING SOMEONE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSDating is hard. The last thing you want to read is another article about dating. As with much of my life, my mental illness has irrevocably changed the course of my love life. Depression, too, has seriously affected my relationships. Sex goes out the window too, obviously, because nobody wants to have sex with a girl who literally smells like a bin. So how do I deal with these myriad problems? The answer to that one is probably badly.
We fell in love quickly and organically.
Perhaps it was because I had a love to offer that was built from the ground up. Perhaps it was because he had a heart that saw me for me. Perhaps it was because life knocked me off my feet and I had the opportunity to begin all over again with a new sense of self and insight. Perhaps it was all of the above. Over the years I taught Andrew how to be there for me. The difference in this relationship is that I was now knowledgeable about my mental health and skilled in advocating for myself when I was struggling.
I learned in therapy that it was okay to ask for what I needed from Andrew during the hard times and allow him the opportunity to be that for me.
I learned it was okay to be vulnerable. We put in the effort to find a rhythm that was right for us. We worked hard at communicating and found a love language that honored both of our needs.
Mentally ill dating
Call it timing, call it a milestone rattle, call it work stress, but after we moved in together, my mental health began to plummet. By May ofthe OCD was suffocating me to the point of debilitation. Andrew suddenly found himself sharing a table with the unforgiving, complicated, and scary side of mental illness.
But instead of being silent, I spoke up about what I was going through.
I accepted the support Andrew had to offer as he figured out how to offer it. Although it was out of his wheelhouse, he did his best to help me through something that could only be understood by my own verbal account of it. So he asked questions, he offered help, he listened, and he never stopped instilling the belief in me that I could make my way through it and maybe, eventually, out of it.
How do you tell someone you're dating that you've got a mental health problem? And what happens when you're affected by mental illness. Stigma associated with mental illness was a core barrier to successful dating and romance. Many participants poignantly reported instances. We are a stigma free dating site that breaks down barriers.
Communication saved my life. Speaking the pain saved my life. Allowing someone to be there for me saved my life. In September ofin the midst of my recovery from my OCD, Andrew proposed to me while we were vacationing in Colorado.
Every day up until then and even moments before! I had been battling my own mind, questioning my worth, succumbing to hours of mental rituals, and fighting for my life.
Even the morning of the proposal, I had woken up early to do my OCD homework. How wild it is that those two very different energies, love and challenge, shared space on the same day? Though I have a brain that likes to convince me otherwise, in that moment, it was loud and clear; love always wins. At first, being engaged was terrifying for me.
It is also just as important to check in with yourself, especially if you are a mentally ill person in a relationship with another mentally ill person. Your health and well-being always matters too.DATING WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS - 5 TOP TIPS
They are a whole person. Your love, support, and understanding is the best thing you can offer — just like any other relationship. And please practice self-care. Your needs are just as important. Love can be, and is, a refuge for many with mental illness, and when we do have it, we want to keep it.
As hard as we fight with symptoms that affect our everyday lives and self-advocate for ourselves over, and over, and over, it is important to say that mentally ill people deserve to be able to enjoy love, dating, and relationships. Give us a break and get to know us without reserve… we are some of the funniest, most resilient and brave people you will meet.
How to date when you’re mentally ill
Affectionate couple on bed In my experience, one of the most frustrating challenges about living with a mental illness is that the seemingly small things in life are often the most difficult. Stigma around mental health hurts.
While there is yet to be a dating manual for mentally ill folks, we can guide each other. I was fortunate to speak with several brave women who. It's been ten years since James Leftwich first created No Longer Lonely, a dating website exclusively for people with mental illnesses. Leftwich spoke with me. Are you dating someone, but a little nervous about pursuing a relationship because he or she has a mental illness? Let our reality check help you out.
No matter what others say, know you are always deserving of healthy, supportive, and real love. It can be scary to talk to people you are interested in about your mental health. However, honesty is worth it to find someone who values you for you. Hard moments will come, but you can prepare yourself.
And so can the people you love. Pin 3. Share Found this article helpful?
Dating with Anxiety: How Learning to Cope Helped Me Find Love Again Before diving into my story of living with a mental illness, I first want. ONLINE DATING & SUPPORT FOR ADULTS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS in CNN, NY Times, Huffington Post, Narratively Voted top 10 dating site for disabled by. Dating is tough. It's hard to find someone you click with, but it is even harder when you have an illness. A mental illness. And online dating?.
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