ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dating With Mental Illness

Updated on August 20, 2019

Finding Love

Finding love can be a very daunting and exciting process for anyone who puts themselves out there on the market, whether face to face or online. There are so many things that run through our minds and we often take a wild magical emotional roller coaster ride before we end up at the right destination, if we even make it to the right station on time. We worry about meeting the right person, making a good impression, wearing the right outfit and all the little butterflies that fly around in our tummies. Now imagine doing that while dealing the scary monster of mental illness.

Source

There are more than 200 classified types of mental disorders; some of the most common disorders are addictions, OCDs, depression and eating disorders.

According a World Health Organization (WHO) report – ‘One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.’

This means that 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental health disorder.

We may be living in an era where information is easily accessible however this does not change the fact that mental illness still receives a heavy dose of stigma. Persons who are living with mental health problems are still labelled as ‘psycho’, ‘crazy’ or ‘retarded.’ The view held by many is that persons who are suffering from these issues are unpredictable ,may not be easy to communicate with or even not able to form meaningful relationships.

The stigma towards mental illness has a long and mangled history. In times before persons with these problems were thought to be demon or spirit possessed and were forced to undergo crude and brutal ‘treatments.’

According a World Health Organization (WHO) report – ‘One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.’

Today cinematic portrayals of persons with mental health challenges like schizophrenia are normally the villain or the homicidal maniac terrorizing a town.

This immediately puts a person with a mental health challenge with a big disadvantage when it comes to meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right. There is an additional pressure dealing with the uncertainty of when is the right time to open up about their illness and how it will be received by the other party. What if your new beau doesn't want a girl who is struggling with depression?

So how does a person with a mental health challenge navigate the dating landscape and handle the possible stigma he or she will face?

Coping with mental health illness and stigma while dating

Dealing with stigma hurts especially if it comes from someone you care about. However it is important to honest with the person you are dating and also yourself. Communication is very key in the dating game. There is no formula or magical way to tell the right time to open up about it. You may not want to tell someone on the very first date but if you feel the relationship may progress into something more serious you should communicate with your intended partner.

It is important for you to prepare yourself for this conversation. When opening up, do not minimize your health problems; be real about it. It may go extremely well; you may be met with love, understanding and compassion. The flip side of that coin is you may receive rejection. This is not a reflection on your self-worth but it is the other person’s inability to deal with a partner with a mental challenge or their ignorance about mental health. Do not be hard on yourself!

You can take some comfort in a 2013 study undertaken by the charities Mind and Relate. Their research showed that 77% of people with mental health problems told partners about their mental health problems and just 5% experienced a breakup directly related to it.

The Good News

There is a growing culture of acceptance and understanding towards persons with mental illness. This shows by the number of support groups available such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can also reach out to your community mental health association or your health care provider. Stay connected to your family and friends. Remember that you are not alone.


Your mental health should not be a deterrent to you finding love. Your mental health does not define who you are and it should not define your relationship. It is only a part of the beautiful person you are. A healthy, happy and long lasting relationship is still possible. Stay positive!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cadine Vernon

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      4 weeks ago

      " What if your new beau doesn't want a girl who is struggling with depression?" Very few people would have such a person on their wish list. Most mentally ill people don't want to date mentally ill people!

      If someone does not love them self it makes no sense to expect others to do what you are unwilling to do.

      "You can take some comfort in a 2013 study undertaken by the charities Mind and Relate. Their research showed that 77% of people with mental health problems told partners about their mental health problems and just 5% experienced a breakup directly related to it." - I am incline to agree with these statistics.

      Lets face it most relationships fail regardless!

      When it comes to love and relationships most of us fail our way to success. Very few people hit a homerun their first, second, third, or fourth time up at bat If this were not true we would all be married to our high school sweethearts!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)