Home Mental Health & Well-Being 5 Ways Mental Health Can Affect Relationships

5 Ways Mental Health Can Affect Relationships

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 Americans has a mental disorder at any given time, and over 50% will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. This prevalence inevitably impacts those around them. With these statistics, nearly 100 million Americans have a close family member with a mental health disorder, excluding romantic partners or colleagues. This underscores the importance of understanding how mental health influences family relationships.

Strong relationships provide essential, community-minded support during challenging times. Failing to manage your close relationships while addressing your mental health can be harmful to both parties involved. Below, we explore how your mental health can affect those around you and offer tools for nurturing the relationships that matter most to you.

Job loss

Losing a job is a significant event in anyone’s life. It often leads to other challenges. It’s not just about losing a paycheck; it’s also the disappearance of daily structure and a reason to get out of bed. It can mean the end of a career, removing the drive to persevere through tough times. Perhaps most crushing is the loss of status.

Given how much time we spend at work, adjusting to unemployment can be extremely difficult, whether your job was a central part of your identity. Therapists can assist their patients during these hard times by understanding their relationship with their job, whether it was merely a way to pay the bills or an integral part of their identity.

Intimacy problems

Mental illness can lead to a decreased interest in sex, either due to the condition itself or its treatment, such as the common side effect of decreased libido from antidepressant medications. Many individuals with mental health conditions may feel inadequate, experience performance anxiety, and have low self-esteem.

This can reduce bonding opportunities for both partners, resulting in unmet needs. If you feel insecure about your body, a permanent penis enlargement surgery may help you boost your self-esteem and enhance sex life.

Guilt, shame, and resentment

Having a mental illness is tough, and the stigma around it adds more stress for both partners. The person with the illness might feel ashamed or guilty about their condition, often hiding their symptoms or not seeking help. Their partner may feel confused or frustrated because they can’t help.

Sometimes, the person with depression or anxiety may struggle to do household chores, be emotionally present, keep a job, or want to socialize. These issues can strain the relationship, leading to feelings of disappointment, rejection, and disconnect for their partner.

Codependent behaviours

Codependency is a detrimental relationship dynamic where one partner supports the other’s poor mental health, addiction, or ineffective coping mechanisms. The partner of someone with a mental illness may begin to find their self-worth in how much they are “needed” or in their ability to “care for” their loved one.


Even with the best intentions, both partners in a relationship can become worn down and fatigued if one is dealing with acute mental health issues. Constantly managing a mental health condition or supporting a partner through some of their toughest times can be exhausting.

Remember how draining it can be to live with these conditions and to support someone who is experiencing them. Both individuals need encouragement to rest and take breaks, occasionally treating themselves and each other. Understanding what helps each partner  recharge and feel appreciated can significantly nurture the relationship through small gestures.


Remember that every relationship faces challenges. Nonetheless, if your symptoms have intensified or you and your partner require additional support for growth, consider reaching out to our mental health professionals.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd