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Relationships and Mental Illness

Romantic relationships can be complicated for any of us; nearly everyone has a story from a relationship gone slightly (or incredibly) awry. Add on diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder, and these relationship complications can shift and take on entirely new forms. Here are some of the ways that anxiety has infiltrated into my relationships. 
Alleviating COVID-19 anxiety is especially difficult for me because I'm living with a chronic illness, which means I am the weak and immunocompromised who is most vulnerable to COVID-19. Because of this, the trauma that I have endured that has mounted due to a life in medical care and life-threat has been exaggerated. Still, I'm doing my best to stay calm.
No matter where you live, how old you are, what you do for work, or how healthy you are, coronavirus is most likely impacting your mental health in some way, shape, or form. As a graduate student living in New York City, where an imminent shelter-in-place may not necessarily be unrealistic, I have faced several lifestyle changes, for better or for worse. Furthermore, as someone diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I need to tend to my mental health during this coronavirus pandemic. 
When I first started having sex, I didn't know I was engaging in sexual spectation -- I didn't realize I was analyzing and directing my own behavior in the bedroom as though it was a performance. But at some point, I realized that my one and only focus in the bedroom was to make myself attractive to the man who played my counterpart.
Having a relationship with a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tends to be thought of as a tumultuous endeavor. In my opinion, there continues to be an immense stigma and misunderstanding around mental illnesses in our society. However, when it comes to personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, this stigma can be much more intense. Sadly, I have seen how the chronicity of personality disorders has led to a resistance to treat, even among mental health professionals. Yet, those diagnosed with personality disorders have the capacity to create a life worth living and are worthy of all available and effective treatment. I currently work with individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and have found therapeutic interventions to be very rewarding, especially when it comes to interpersonal effectiveness and relationships.
Do you have a drive for thinness even though you're in eating disorder recovery? Is it healthy for you? Let's explore those questions and get some answers. 
I am currently using opposite action to save my social life. Learn how opposite action, a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill, is helping me.
Body dissatisfaction is a part of Behcet's disease for me, and it's easier to talk about Behcet's disease than my body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. 
Dating someone with disordered eating can be confusing. I've never been in a relationship where my significant other totally gets my complicated relationship with food or my disordered eating habits. Despite their best efforts to empathize and understand, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding regarding these habits and the underlying motivations and experiences.
The relationships that I form with my personal training and online coaching clients are important, but they're also complicated. As a fitness professional, I fancy myself a peddler of good health. But in truth, the fitness industry is fraught with side effects and unintended consequences. Many of us use social media as a way to advertise our services. But as we label the photos we post of our abs as "fitness inspiration," many of us are willfully ignoring the fact that photos like these often make women feel worse, not better, and are perhaps contributing to body dissatisfaction and diminished self-esteem. Furthermore, in our efforts to help clients reach their fitness goals, we often find ourselves giving nutrition advice, which is outside of our scope of practice. Our clients trust us, and we want to form strong relationships with our clients. At the same time, it's important for us to keep in mind the complicated dynamics that go along with food -- and it's imperative that we don't matriculate our clients and followers into obsessive behaviors and disordered eating.