Mental illness will always likely affect one's relationships over time.
The impact can take many forms, especially when it goes untreated.
Zamo Mbele is a clinical psychologist and board member at The South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group.
He explains how the social isolation experienced by a mentally ill person can lead to a break down in communication.
The one who is struggling can feel terribly guilty for being unavailable and the other can maybe feel terribly insecure. Those are the missed conversations that happen when it manifests in this way.— Zamo Mbele, clinical psychologist
Asked whether one can develop a mental illness as consequence of the intensity in a relationship, Mbele says it is a common occurrence.
Consistently thinking what is wrong? What is going on? The helplessness and the hopelessness can manifest itself into something unique and then the two individuals find themselves feeding each other's difficulties and that is not helpful.— Zamo Mbele, clinical psychologist
Mbele says the isolation that comes with the diagnosis can often prevent one from dating.
He suggests psycho education for couples battling with the condition.
As a couple it is essential that you do not just work with the person with the diagnosis, but somehow find a way to support the partner.— Zamo Mbele, clinical psychologist
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