A relationship is like the two wheels of a Bicycle. If one breaks down, the other one ceases. Fortunately, if one partner’s health goes down, the other can pull him or her up. This article provides tips to couples when one partner suffers from mental illness.

Mental illness threatens the future prospects of the sufferer and the relationship. This throws the double challenge of finding the right cure for the patient and saving relationship from breakdown.

Things become more tricky because each case varies on account of the patient’s personal history and circumstances. With well sought out planning and patience, proper care can be delivered to the patient to restore his/her health and consequently restore marital or partnerships happiness.

Below are tips for those providing health care to partners with mental illness. We have combined palliative and holistic approach to provide the best tips in shorter compass. We encourage the reader to read and  follow them carefully.

Compassionate Support

Reaction by any one diagnosed with mental illness, without missing a beat, is devastating, embarrassing and frightening. The sufferer fears being deserted by loved ones fear of living with  social stigma off mental illness  haunts him/her by day and by night. There is gloom and despair all around inside a barren soul. This crippled state of mind can be uplifted by compassionate support which is as old as humans. Words of kindness, a soft smile, a warm company are all it takes to relax the mind and sooth the soul. This will fuel the energy needed to encourage the patient to seek professional help. In the absence of compassionate support, the patient will sink deeper in the ocean of depression diminishing the scope of complete recovery.

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Like any illness that requires comprehensive treatment, mental health problems require complete investigation to diagnose and devise a comprehensive care plan.

There are as many causes of mental illness as mental health treatment options. Cases vary from person to person. There can be Mental illness related to Financial, social , relationship, sexual, family and the possibilities go on and on. This strikes humans across the social spectrum irrespective of race, color, creed and religion. Many famous figures like the German philosopher- Nietzsche suffered mental health break down that eventually led to his death.

In above section a palliative approach was suggested and in this section we illuminate the need to seek information from psychologists, medical professionals to assist those who are bereft of knowledge on how to deal with mentally ill patients.

A huge amount of information is available online. But make sure the information is provided by authentic and professional sources with a credible reputation. To name a few, organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), or Mental Health America (MHA) are reliable sources of practical information, resources, and support.

Patients with mental illness often display off-putting symptoms which can make you see him/her as lazy, irritable, fussy, distracted and irrational etc. A qualified experienced  mental health expert will educate you how to deal with this behavior disorder which itself maybe the actual symptom of mental illness.

Know Your Limits

Provide care to the patient within the limits of your knowledge. Don’t usurp the role of a professional. Leave that to the professional therapist. The best part you can perform is to provide compassionate support and love.

The patient has to realize his/her role and duty in the treatment process. They have to make an effort towards self treatment for a speedy and effective recovery.  If they won’t then their illness will begin to wash over their family and love ones.

Get Counseling

Dealing with a partner with mental illness can seriously ruin your emotions. While performing the care provider duties , you may begin to feel as if you are acting cruelly driven by  undesirable feelings of hate, spite, anger and  frustrations. This self doubting can create guilt. That’s where counseling plays the role to develop a perspective, roadmap to prevent the situation getting out of hand.

Counseling helps to diagnose and rectify painful emotions by educating couples how to manage their expectations for a smooth relation. Things can go wrong when the healthy partner runs the risk of blaming everything on the mentally ill partner. With the help of counseling, the healthy partner can learn how to change this behavior to avoid a relation breakdown.

Care For Yourself

Being selfless is very noble but caring for yourself is a wise thing. How can you provide best care to someone  if you’re not healthy yourself? So self care is equally important. In case of dealing with a mentally ill partner, there is a huge risk that you can end up mentally ill by emotional breakdown. Keep yourself engaged  with things that make you happy like some hobby or socializing with friends. Other tips include:

  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Sleep well
  • Do physical activities like walking ,cycling, swimming etc.
  • Ask yourself if you are doing enough for yourself, your family.

A strategy in which care is equally provided for you and yourself is the best approach promising best results.


As said in the outset of this article that the points presented to the reader should help to provide effective health care to mentally ill patient.

Intelligent and successful couples strive to save a relation from breakdown when one partner suffers from mental health. They take this challenge as an opportunity to show their loyalty and manage it wisely, logically as a team work to change the situation from a depressing, gloomy into a restored  happy marital life.