Living with Mental Health Issues: Romance

By Ella Thwaites | @ellathwaites_

Living with Mental Health Issues is a five-part written series which gives you an insight into life with mental health issues and how this affects different areas of your life.

Part 1: Living with Mental Health Issues: Education & Career
Part 2: Living with Mental Health Issues: Romance
Part 3: Living with Mental Health Issues: Friends
Part 4: Living with Mental Health Issues: Family
Part 5: Living with Mental Health Issues: Conclusion

Struggling with your mental health can be extremely isolating and it tends to affect even aspects of your life you thought were untouchable. Of all the things your mental health can affect, your relationships with the people around you are probably the hardest one to deal with.

It became apparent to me that I’d never felt so unworthy of being in the lives of others until I started experiencing depression and anxiety. For someone that’s usually quite sure of themselves I was so doubtful of my worth that I let people make me feel inferior. Mental health problems significantly shrink your self-worth and this makes a lot of human interaction unbearable, let alone romantic interaction. A situation that can already be so awkward is amplified tenfold by this elephant in the room.

You start second guessing yourself and planning a future you wouldn’t normally think about. Should I tell them about my mental health now? Will it affect any possible relationship I might have with this person? Does my mental health issue make me less attractive? I’m sure they don’t want to deal with me, maybe I should just leave them alone. Before anything has even started you’ve ended this non-existent relationship by assuming that your mental health makes you impossible to date let alone love.

Self-help tips:

When you’re struggling with your mental health it seems that all your statements turn into apologies and you end up worshipping people for sticking with you. Don’t do this. Nobody is a saint for putting up with you because, in reality, you’re not a problem. You shouldn’t give any person the power to feel like they’re better than you because you don’t value yourself. Be sure of who you are, flaws and all. You’re not impossible to love because you’re struggling. Take time to appreciate yourself and your needs before you find someone you want to invest your time in.

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