Partner with mental illness

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 2
408 posts
Helper bee

I am the partner with a mental illness, and it’s not always sunny and roses. 

I take FULL responsibility for my actions & how I manage my symptoms. 


The fact he’s on medication is great, how are his moods? are you noticing anything that would equate he is not – getting better – OR managing his day to day life?

If he’s showering, taking meds, going to work. I wouldn’t worry about it effecting you too much at this point. But going into the future a few google searches to be a supporting partner AND to learn toxic behaviour so depression & anxiety is NOT an excuse.

Newly dating my depression would not effect the person I was dating,
maybe catching up less – i need time to recharge
not spending the night – i need my space for recharging (hah)
getting anxious with lack of communication – if maybe the relationship to me seemed one sided.


Patience, a good heart and LOTS of communication make the foundations for a good relationship but are 100% required when dating someone with mental illness. (everyone is different, this is just my view)

Post # 3
391 posts
Helper bee

It’s up to you if you think you are willing to take on the potential challenges involved with someone so close to you having mental health problems. 

I wouldn’t date someone with a mental illness but that’s just me. I’ve had enough exposure through my friends and I find it too overwhelming. 

Post # 4
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Anxiety and depression could be caused by different factors, or be symptoms of something else. Personally, I wouldn’t date somebody with schizophrenia or true bi-polar with marked manic phase, as I don’t feel like I could deal with it. 

However, anxiety could be just a trait of someone worried too much about things. Depression could be a result of life course or life events. I was surprised to read that grieving for more than 2 weeks about someone’s death is considered depression. Or, rephrasing, you are mentally ill to grieve for more than 2 weeks…This kind of people are just normal people who need friendship, acceptance, love and support.

My advise is start dating if you like him, and in the process you will see if it is something you can deal with or not. You can PM me if you like. I would prefer to discuss this subject in private.

Post # 5
1389 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

View original reply
esmilka :  So long as he keeps taking his meds and is stable, then you needn’t worry. In fact, being able to openly speak about depression and mental illness, I believe, shows great maturity. It would not be a factor in my decision to date someone.

You only need to worry if he suddenly goes off his meds (this needs to be moitored by a doc), or if he suddenly becomes unstable, which might indicate his treatment needs to be reassessed. 

My Fiance has diagnosed depression and aside from it costing $35 a month to treat, I genuinely don’t even remember he has it. But, I’ve learned more about approaching mental illness from him and his family than I ever did from my own toxic, judgemental, “she’ll be right” family.

Please don’t let this be a factor in you turning him down. Because that would definitely reflect poorer on you, than the lad you reject.

Post # 6
2002 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

I’ve suffered with depression in the past and as I got help through seeing a therapist and medication for a short time I think it would have been sad if someone would have dated me then found out I had depression and thought I wasn’t worth it. That being said, I have close family members and friends with depression and/ or anxiety that has rendered them unable to work and often wanting to stay in bed all day and that is very stressful for their SOs.

It sounds like he is being proactive about treatment so I personally would give him a chance but if you don’t think you could cope with the ups and downs that may come along the way then it is much better to bow out sooner rather than later.

Post # 7
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I’ve never dated anyone with life-interfering mental health issues (fiance has minor anxiety issues he works through by jogging) but I have tried to be the supportive friend/sister for people going through major depressive or anxiety issues and here are a couple things that kept me going when things were rough:

1. You are NOT their therapist, psychiatrist, social worker, etc. It is not your responsibility to fix anything and you should not feel badly if you can’t fix anything. You are not responsible for setbacks or successes

2. You are NOT the only support person in their life. Set boundaries. It’s tough when they’re in a depressive state but that doesn’t mean you have to drop everything every time they need to talk, especially since it can be very draining to talk to someone in that state of mind. Take care of yourself first, and check and see what you need emotionally while you’re supporting another person, and don’t be afraid to communicate that

3. While we’re on boundaries, respect the person’s boundaries. They can’t go out tonight?  No biggie. Cancel plans at the last minute becauae of anxiety?  That’s cool. Be honest about your needs but also respect theirs

Post # 8
11338 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
esmilka :  

If you eliminate all potential partners who struggle with anxiety and/or depression, your dating pool will become rather small. Those are common mood disorders that generally respond well to treatment with meds and therapy. There are exceptions, of course; it’s not an exact science. But, if your current interest is struggling with a severe, intractable form of depression, that will be apparent enough.

He deserves credit for being honest with you early on. I give him more credit for having the courage to face his issues and seek treatment. This is no small thing for men. They are brainwashed to believe they should bootstrap their way through their problems on their own. 

If he’s taking his meds and you’re having fun together, I don’t see what the problem is.

No, people being treated for depression and anxiety are not any more dangerous than the rest of the population. At their worst, they are far more prone to self injury than to harming others.

If you have questions about this guy’s condition, the best source of information is him.  Talk to the man.

And for gawd’s sake, don’t drop a guy just because of this kind of diagnosis when the condition is well controlled and he is diligent about taking his meds. 

Everyone needs to just knock it the hell off with the stigmatizing of mental illness.

Post # 9
860 posts
Busy bee

Not trying to be ugly, but no one on this board, or even in general, can speak to how difficult or “easy” it would be to date this guy. No two people are the same and that means no two people’s illnesses, behaviors, and habits are. I suffer from anxiety and mild depression and it’s absolute hell for my partner (and family members) sometimes. I’m learning and growing and working on it constantly, but it’s still VERY difficult for me. Sure, most of the time I’m “fine” and it’s in my head/I’m dealing with it solo. But, it does manifest itself and it’s not for the faint of heart unfortunately.

This guy could be a walk in the park/very in control of his illness or he could be a total shit show. Do you like him? If so, why would you cut someone out of your life and ruin a potentially wonderful relationship because of their innate behaviors? I understand that everyone is entitled to speak their minds, especially on an anonymous internet board, but it saddens me to see how “mentally ill” people are clumped in the discard pile. How thankful I am that I found my fiancé…

View original reply
sbl99 :  Definitely not trying to attack you on this, but to say “it’s all good if they stay on their meds” is incredibly incorrect. You clearly have experience with someone who suffers from mental illness, yes, but simply because he is 100% when he is on his medication does not mean everyone else is, myself included. It is impossible to know what someone is dealing with inside their head at any given time. So, while he seems like sunshine and roses, he, or any other person, could be having a very hard time internally. Just food for thought for everyone.

Post # 10
1826 posts
Buzzing bee

I wouldn’t date someone with those issues or any other more serious issues like bipolar, because of my own personal experience with my sister in law and her struggles. It has made my brothers life hell, their daughter has had to deal with it as well and i have seen how In some cases it can create a dynamic where everyone puts aside their happiness and gives up their life simply to deal with this 1 persons struggle. While I feel my sister in law deserves love and a family, she didn’t deserve it at the expense of my brother and all those around her. 

I think that anxiety is something I am not comfortable with either but that is because I have seen how it impacts the other partner if it isn’t being treated correctly. My friends boyfriend wasn’t getting help for his anxiety and wasn’t able to cope with normal life stress. That culminated with him leaving her at the drop of the hat with no explanations after 3 years together where he had said he was going to propose. For me personally a big requirement in a future husband is that he can handle hard times and life stress in a way where we stand together. Its nothing I wouldn’t expect from myself. For me it would be too much of a risk. 

For the OP I think she just needs to keep and eye out to see how he handles stressful situations. If he is able to get through stressful life situations well and or actively gets help when he needs it, and she can tell he is on top of making sure he does what he needs to stay healthy than it isn’t a deal breaker. But that choice is entirely up to OP. OP is entitled to the life she wants, and there is no shame in not wanting to sign up for that if she doesn’t want that in her life. 

Post # 11
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

View original reply
keikochan :  this. #3. My husband has anxiety and it affects going out to events sometimes.

One day, he might be fine going to a concert or sporting event, but another day he might not be able to handle it. That’s ok. If we get there and he realizes he can’t handle it, we leave. It’s not really a big deal any more, but if you’re in the beginning stages of dating, it might be frustrating. I don’t know if the guy you’re talking to has social anxiety, either.

Post # 12
1826 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t wanna cause a whole argument here but while I agree we shouldn’t shame people for having a mental illness or stigmatize them. No one should feel that they can’t break up with someone because of a mental illness. No one is obligated to date or stay with someone if they don’t want a partner with those challenges. If OP doesn’t want a partner with these challenges than she can and should break up with him for that specific reason. And meds aren’t a catch all solution. There is no cure for these challenges and each person is different. 


View original reply
sassy411 :  

Post # 13
3454 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

It really depends on how they manage their illness. 

I could never be with someone who took no responsibility for how they behave in response to their emotions, whether they’re caused by mental illness or anything else. 

However, as someone who has struggled with my mental health my entire life, I find it hurtful and stigmatizing that people straight up say they’d never date someone who struggles, because I know well enough that every individual is different. 

Some people use their mental illness as an excuse to be shitty to others or to make everything about them. But there are plenty of others who do their damnedest to handle their own shit and while they may lean on their partner for support, which is what partners do whether they’re mentally ill or not, they don’t take advantage or force them to try to solve their lrovprob for them. 

If you like this guy and he makes you feel good, then keep seeing him and see where it goes. If at some point he stops making you feel good, end it. Just like any other guy. 

Post # 14
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

View original reply
ladyjane123 :  i agree. Even if someone is medicated, going to counseling, etc., it doesn’t mean they won’t still struggle and have hard days. 

If OP’s guy has both anxiety and depression, they will likely go through some hard times with it here and there. OP, you will just have to decide if it’s something you can handle. Sometimes, it is a lot, but I provide as much support to my husband as I can. 

Post # 15
1564 posts
Bumble bee

I will NEVER date someone with mental illness.   My former husband was under treatment for bipolar.   Stopped taking his meds.   Almost killed me.   Killed our unborn child.   And died from suicide by cop.   I was 29.

Good luck.   

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