Thursday, June 13, 2024

Can Mental Health Affect Relationships? It Can, in 5 Ways

Mental health is all about how we feel, think, and act. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and how we manage stress and make healthy choices. Taking care of our mental health is crucial; a little ignorance can lead to issues like anxiety, depression, and so on. According to CDC reports, nearly half of adults experience a mental illness at least once in their lifetime. Now the question is: can mental health affect relationships? Research and practical experiences show us that mental illness can decrease the quality of life, lower productivity, and even affect one’s physical health.

Can Mental Health Affect Relationships?

If mental health can affect everything in life, from our perception to productivity, it can directly or indirectly affect our relationships with our partners and other family members. Mental health issues like major depressive disorder, post-traumatic disorder, anxiety, and alcoholism can affect a person’s relationships. According to mental health coaches, there is no relationship that is more affected by poor mental health than intimate relationships between partners.

The good fact is that a partner who is suffering from mental illness can be in a loving, healthy relationship. The affected person should try to improve their mental condition and lead a healthy life. The partner needs to be supportive enough to help the other person cure his/her mental issues and lead a normal life.

What Causes Mental Health Issues?

There is no single or certain reason behind mental illness. There are a lot of factors that can increase the risk of mental illness. Some of those factors are:

  • Adverse childhood experiences (such as the trauma of a history of abuse—sexual assault, witnessing violence, child abuse, and so on)
  • Going through chronic medical conditions
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Biological factors
  • Abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Isolation, and so on.

How Mental Health Affects Our Relationships

In order to find the answer to “Do mental health issues affect a relationship”, we have found some ways they can affect intimate relationships between partners. If you feel that your partner or you have mental health issues, consult with a psychologist first. Early detection can prevent things from getting worse. Just like any physical health issue, mental health issues can also get better with counseling, medication, and lifestyle modification.

Poor mental health is not something that you can fix yourself by watching YouTube videos or only motivational videos; get professional help to improve faster. Let’s check how mental health can affect relationships in the below:

  1. Breakdowns in Communication

When a partner is suffering from poor mental health, it can affect overall communication. People with mental health issues find it hard to convey their feelings, making communication complicated and the relationship floundering. Also, mental health coaches say that depression can cause apathy toward communication and increase anxiety. Both of these things can cause unfounded mistrust between a couple and ruin the charm of their relationship.

If you find that your partner is unable to convey his/her feelings and is getting off track, seek professional help. Therapists or counselors can help with tailored tactics to encourage frank and open conversations. Trying to improve the conversation is the best way to let your partner convey what he/she feels and overcome the stuckness.

  1. Shame, Guilt, and Resentment

Dealing with mental illness is hard, but the stigma associated with it makes it harder to manage for both partners. It has been noticed that people with mental health issues feel embarrassment, shame, or guilt about their condition. They often try to hide it and get no professional help.

When the other person cannot figure out what’s actually happening, they may feel frustrated by their inability to help. Also, some people with issues like depression or anxiety may find it hard to manage household tasks, have zero to little emotional availability, struggle to maintain employment, and so on. For partners, dealing with such behaviors and challenges can be overwhelming and may lead to disappointment, disconnection, and rejection.

  1. The Risk of Codependent Behaviors 

Without any doubt, codependency is an unhealthy relationship pattern. It can manifest that one partner is affecting the other partner’s mental issues. It often leads to a lack of confidence and self-esteem and lowers the quality of life.

In some cases, codependency often brings abusive behaviors such as manipulation, name-calling, and many other unhealthy dynamics. It is important to know the difference between helping and encouraging the partner, and the codependent nature of managing the other person’s symptoms can help improve the overall situation.

  1. Intimacy Problems 

People dealing with mental illness often find it extremely hard to indulge in sexual intimacy with their partners. Reduced libido is can be a common side effect of antidepressants. Also, many people may feel inadequate and have performance anxiety. All of these can reduce libido or the desire for intimacy. The lack of sexual intimacy means a decreased opportunity for bonding, leading to unmet needs and arguments.

  1. More Arguments

Arguments are pretty natural in a relationship. Little arguments are healthy and can help couples more intensely feel their need for each other. However, mental health issues can increase the number of arguments, leading to more tension inside the room. When we search for answers to the question Can mental health affect relationships? we find that a person with mental health issues often has no energy to communicate properly.

A lack of proper communication can lead to misunderstandings and a feeling of isolation, and when one partner tries to solve it, it leads to an argument. Professional mental health coaches or psychologists can help here. They can help both partners open up new lines of communication, introduce coping strategies, and clear the air after a series of arguments and misunderstandings. How a couple handles disputes or conflict can be a strong indicator of a healthy or unhealthy relationship.


So, if you want to know can mental health affect relationships, the answer is yes. It can affect a loving relationship in many ways, and some of them are discussed in this blog. Mental health issues can occur at any stage of life. Instead of hiding it, we should take the required steps to fix it.

When we get a fever or develop health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., we consult with doctors. In the case of mental health issues, we should follow the same procedure. As partners, we need to be more supportive and empathetic if we find the other person going through mental hardship. It is true that people should be held responsible for their actions, but they also deserve contentment, understanding, and support.

In order to get more updates on mental health and relationships, stay tuned to Menteblog.

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