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The Adverse Impact of Mental Health Illness on Your Relationships

Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, and other Mental Health Disorders affect every part of your life—including your relationships. Mental Health Illness hinders critical relationship skills such as communication and self-regulation. Furthermore, symptoms of Mental Health Disorders create interpersonal conflicts and make it difficult to clearly identify and productively address any relationship issues that arise. 

You cannot solve relationship conflicts that stem from Mental Health Disorders without first treating those disorders through professional and clinical interventions from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. By understanding how Mental Health Disorders work and how they affect your thought patterns, associations, mental states, emotions, and behavioral patterns, you can cultivate, build, sustain, nurture, nourish, and maintain stronger, healthier romantic relationships. Read on to learn more about the adverse impacts of Mental Health Illnesses on your romantic or intimate relationships and see why evidence-based treatment modalities from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist are the only viable option to ensure the quality of a meaningful life, career, marriage, and ensure the longevity of your relationships. 

Feelings of Shame and Guilt 

Shame, guilt, low self-esteem, lack of sense of self, childhood traumas, attachment disorders, and other psychological issues are common across a wide range of Mental Health Disorders. These negative thoughts and adverse associations about yourself warp your self-image and put a sense of doubt, guilt, and uncertainty on your relationships. Someone with a negative view of themselves will feel that they do not deserve help, affection, understanding, alliance, or support from a partner or anyone else. Similarly, the idea of love, relationship, care, and attachment is associated with abuse, neglect, dismissiveness, and violation of boundaries, which are a result of adverse childhood struggles and traumatic experiences stemming from a lack of a secure attachment. This can lead to mental isolation, inner loneliness, and an inability to trust a romantic partner, mentor, teacher, colleague, or anyone in the context of an emotionally intimate partnership. As a result, the individual is unable to experience any vulnerability, humility, care, respect, trust, or the ability to surrender.  

These feelings of shame and guilt can also stem from mental health stigmas. If you hold the false belief that you should be able to handle your Mental Health Disorder on your own, you might refuse support from your partner and refuse to seek treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Without treatment, you cannot heal from your Mental Health Illnesses, which means you cannot productively address and solve the relationship conflicts and intimacy issues that stem from them. 

Feelings of Frustration and Irritability 

Anger, irritability, and frustration are also common symptoms of Mental Health Disorders such as Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders, and Addiction Disorders. These negative and often aggressive emotions harm your relationship by causing arguments and other conflicts. Short tempers, poor anger management, and a lack of distress tolerance can lead to you saying or doing things that you regret.  

Furthermore, an inability to regulate emotions and perceive your situation, thoughts, and emotions clearly prevents you from discussing conflict effectively, adaptively, and productively. Without professional intervention by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, the arguments and conflicts will continue to unfold. This creates a vicious negative cycle that continues to exacerbate negative feelings, harmful thoughts, and maladaptive behaviors without the necessary clinical and intensive interventions. 

Low Energy  

Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders, Attachment Disorders, Traumas, PTSD, and other Mental Health Disorders lead to symptoms such as lethargy, fatigue, anhedonia, hopelessness, self-injurious behaviors, addictive behaviors, and other addiction issues. These challenges can stem from low energy levels, insomnia, poor dieting due to a lack of appetite, and other complications. As a result of this low energy, individuals lack the energy and motivation to take proper care of themselves. For example, you might struggle to get out of bed and be productive during the day. Important daily tasks such as showering, shaving, proper hygiene, or brushing your teeth can fall by the wayside. Similarly, responsibilities like cooking dinner, running errands, laundry, or doing the dishes can also become Herculean tasks.  

This lack of energy can feed into the feelings of guilt and shame that stem from a series of untreated Mental Health Illnesses. You might feel lazy, helpless, or overly reliant on your partner. Simultaneously, feelings of resentment can arise between you and your partner because you are not sharing responsibilities. All these issues worsen in the face of poor communication and an inability to discuss the issue and understand each other. 

Problems With Intimacy 

Another way Mental Health Illnesses have an adverse impact on all your relationships is through intimacy issues. Low self-esteem, Anxiety Disorders, lack of sense of self, lack of a secure attachment, addiction issues, traumas of childhood or adulthood, and other issues can make emotional and mental intimacy arduous and make relationships a very unpleasant experience. Alternatively, a low libido from fatigue, depression, or emotional numbness can cause you to become disinterested in sex or emotional and mental affection. A lack of physical connection can create a general disconnect between you and your partner—especially when you cannot address and discuss the Mental Health Conditions at the root cause of the issues. This struggle weakens your bond and leads to more pervasive miscommunication patterns, dissatisfaction with the quality of your relationship, uncertainty, resentment, anger, rage, hate, vindictiveness, and other serious conflicts that can be highly consequential to your mental health and your relationships. 

Insecure Attachments, Mental Health, and Relationships 

Attachment styles play a significant role in the interaction between Mental Health Illness and a pattern of relationship conflicts. Insecure attachment—stemming from unsafe, unpredictable, uncertain, erratic, or unreliable relationships with primary caregivers during infancy—affects your ability to relate to and trust others in your adulthood. Insecure attachment styles negatively affect self-image, emotional regulation, stress modulation, distress tolerance, mentalization, social causality, alliance, and rapport, all crucial social and communication skills that are significant factors in all your relationship conflicts in adulthood. 

Avoidant Attachment and Trust Issues 

Individuals with an avoidant attachment style attempt to resolve their lack of a secure infant-guardian relationship by clinging to strict independence and, as a result, can become controlling, dominating, and highly manipulative in all relationships to their own detriment. Avoidant attachment leads to a fear of physical, mental, and emotional bonds or closeness. As a result, you struggle to show vulnerability, humility, surrender, respect, or trust for others, leading to a lack of emotional, mental, and psychological availability that creates a disconnect in all adult relationships. 

Ambivalent Attachment and Codependency Issues 

Ambivalent attachment is, in many ways, the opposite of avoidant attachment. Instead of rejecting close relationships, individuals with an ambivalent attachment style cling to partners to an unhealthy degree by becoming enmeshed and overly violative of all boundaries required for a sustainable and adaptive relationship. Ambivalent attachment creates an intense and overwhelming fear of abandonment and rejection. This often leads to codependency issues and ongoing boundary violations, which can cause you to yearn for constant reassurance, care, and validation in the most inappropriate and unhealthy ways. The codependent relationships that stem from ambivalent attachment are unbalanced and unhealthy, and they make room for controlling behaviors, manipulation, domination, resentment, jealousy, vindictiveness, rage, anger, and other conflicts. 

Disorganized Attachment and Relationship Issues 

Individuals with a disorganized attachment style simultaneously fear and crave close relationships. This inconsistency creates severe ups and downs in the relationship and can cause feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and uneasiness. Disorganized attachment can lead to an intense fear of rejection and abandonment, difficulty being vulnerable and expressing emotions, an inability to trust others, lack of respect, lack of humility or vulnerability, insensitive behaviors, controlling and dominating behaviors, intrusiveness, manipulative tactics, and other conflicts. 

The Importance of Mental Health Treatment 

Solving relationship conflicts that stem from Mental Health Disorders begins with pursuing evidence-based Mental Health treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Proven therapy models such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and other Relationship Therapy services help you heal from Mental Health Disorders and their symptoms while building or restoring crucial interpersonal skills like communication and self-regulation. 

Mental Health Illness does not have to control your romantic life. Book your appointment with Blair Wellness Group today and work with a Relationship and Trauma Psychologist who will help you restore a secure attachment style, heal from Mental Health Disorders, and build healthier, happier relationships for yourself. 

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