How to Foster Healthy Relationships While Living With a Mental Health Disorder

How to Foster Healthy Relationships While Living With a Mental Health Disorder

When living with a mental health condition, it can be difficult to foster and maintain healthy relationships. If you have a mental health disorder, it likely affects every area of your life. Not only can it impact the relationship you have with yourself, but it can also get in the way of the relationship you have with others. 

For certain mental health disorders like borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder, unstable relationships are a common experience. However, it is possible to create positive relationships while living with a mental health condition. 

What Are the Signs of a Healthy Relationship?

Some examples of signs that may indicate a healthy relationship include:

  • Open communication
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Equality
  • Understanding
  • Honesty
  • Care
  • Support
  • Kindness
  • Shared and individual interests

Although living with a mental health disorder can be debilitating, it’s essential to know that your mental health condition does not define you; you deserve to have healthy relationships. Whether you want to work on your relationship with your significant other, a family member, or a friend, there are strategies you can implement to improve your relationships. 

How to Foster Healthy Relationships

There are many things you can do to foster healthy relationships in your life. Here are six examples to help get you started:

#1. Work on Loving Yourself

Struggling with your mental health does not make you unloveable. When working to improve your relationship with others, it’s crucial to examine the relationship you have with yourself. If you don’t love yourself, it can be challenging to build healthy relationships with the people in your life. 

Self-love is essential and without it, you may look to others for happiness. Solely depending on others for happiness leads to unhealthy relationships. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll constantly seek validation from others, and you’ll expect them to meet unrealistic expectations. Loving yourself allows you to show up as your best self in your relationships.

The first step for fostering healthy relationships is to work on the one you have with yourself. 

#2. Be Open About Your Diagnosis

Opening up about your mental health struggles is never easy, but it’s an important step for maintaining positive relationships. Talk to your loved ones about what your diagnosis entails. Explain your symptoms, triggers, coping skills, and any treatment you receive. This is also a good time to let them know how they can support you. 

#3. Practice Healthy Communication

Relationships thrive when there is healthy communication. Communication is key to developing good relationships. When a relationship has healthy communication, you and your loved one speak freely and honestly. You’re able to discuss both the good and bad regardless of how difficult it may be.

Healthy communication is paramount when you have a mental health condition because you need to feel comfortable asking for help or setting boundaries. 

#4. Maintain Your Independence

When it comes to romantic relationships, embracing your independence is essential. You should have a life outside of your partner. This may look like engaging in hobbies alone or going out with your friends while your partner stays home. Find the balance between independence and being in a relationship with your significant other. 

#5. Develop Shared Interests

Find hobbies both you and your loved one enjoy. This allows you to spend time together. Maybe the two of you enjoy spending time in nature and like going hiking or maybe both of you love trying new restaurants. What’s most important is that you’re making time for each other.

#6. Make Your Relationship a Priority

It’s easy to become consumed by the busyness of life. With so much happening around you, you may unintentionally place your relationships on the back burner. Work on establishing balance in every area of your life, and try prioritizing your relationships. 

Benefits of Healthy Relationships

Some of the benefits of healthy relationships include:

  • Promotes healing
  • Reduces stress
  • Encourages healthy behaviors
  • Better quality of life
  • Decreases loneliness
  • Increases empathy
  • Improves self-esteem 

Thrive in Your Relationships

Healthy relationships can enhance your life. Being in a community with others is essential to your well-being. Sometimes it can be challenging for people to understand mental health disorders if they don’t live with one, but you can still communicate with them about how they can support you.

Whether you live with an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, BPD, major depression, or another condition that makes life difficult, you can foster healthy relationships when you take the right steps. It takes time and a lot of effort, but the benefits are worth the work you put in. 

Following these tips can help you show up as the healthiest version of yourself in all of your relationships. Remember to be patient with yourself and extend some compassion towards yourself and others as you learn to navigate this new journey. 

Once you begin working on the relationship you have with yourself, you’ll be able to make meaningful connections with those around you. Not only is it critical to make yourself a priority, but it’s also just as vital to prioritize your relationships.

Fostering healthy relationships can improve your quality of life. When you have people in your corner who love and support you, you’re able to thrive. There are many benefits to having positive relationships, but when you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, maintaining healthy relationships is difficult. If you’re struggling with your mental health, help is available. At Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, we take pride in offering comprehensive mental health care and treating even the most debilitating mental health conditions. Our team of mental health professionals will work to ensure all of your needs are met. To learn more about our services, call us at (866) 311-3510

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