How to maintain a healthy romantic relationship when you have anxiety/depression

It can be daunting entering a new romantic relationship knowing you have mental health issues or even confiding in a current partner about it, fearing that it will interfere with the bond between you and your partner. However, you should know that you aren’t alone as almost half of adults will experience some kind of mental health difficulty in their lifetime, but that doesn’t make it easier. There are some things you can do to ensure you and your partner always stay on the same page, and avoid misunderstandings and arguments as best as possible.

 

Communication is key

As much as we would like them to be, our partners aren’t mind readers. Let them know if you are feeling depressed, feel anxious, or think you may have a panic attack coming on. They are much more likely to understand and be able to help if you just tell them what is going on. If you would like some alone time or just a big hug, tell your partner!

If you argue and feel that you were in the wrong, it’s okay to apologise and say ‘Sorry that we fought, I have had a very anxious day and just needed some space’. Your partner should understand completely.

 

Try and explain how you feel

For those who have never experienced mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, it can often be difficult for someone else to put themselves in your shoes. Many people won’t understand why you are sad or why you are anxious, so it can be good to let your partner know how you feel, if there are specific triggers (e.g. places that trigger your panic attacks) and how best they can help you during that situation. Some people prefer isolation during these times, and for others being surrounded by those they love helps them best, it really is individual to you. Trying to help your partner understand the specifics can be really beneficial for them to understand you, and for the relationship as a whole.

 

Know that your mind can be very convincing

When it comes to suffering from depression or anxiety, these conditions are often accompanied by regular negative thought patterns. Your mind may lead you to believe that you aren’t good enough for your partner, they don’t really love you or you irritate them with your problems. Try and step back and acknowledge these thoughts, but know that they most likely are not true at all. Your partner should support you through tough times, and hopefully ease your worry surrounding these topics.

 

Appreciate your partner

Depression and anxiety can sometimes lead you to retreat to isolation regularly and show less affection. This can leave your partner feeling left out and unloved. Try to continue letting your partner know that you still love and appreciate them and their support a lot, a compliment and a little affection can go a long way.

 

Be available for them

Sometimes just mundane chit-chat is all your other half may want, so try to be there for them as much as possible, even if it’s just as a listening ear. Try to take interest in their day, work and hobbies, to ensure they know you care too and are still attentive to their needs, despite your struggles.

 

Plan regular activities together

This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even a picnic in the park or dinner out together is quality time well spent. Making sure you have something to look forward to can be a great help to both your relationship and mental health.

These are some ways to help yourself within your relationship, to maintain a healthy and happy connection with your partner. If you ever need further assistance, contact Mind Allies to speak to someone.