Relationships are essential in our lives and significantly impact physical and mental health and well-being. Individuals with strong social connections to family, friends, and community are happier, physically healthier, and have fewer mental health issues than those without these connections. The quality of these connections also impacts well-being. Research shows that living in unhealthy relationships damages physical and mental health more than living alone.
At Harmony Hills mental health treatment center, we understand the effects of mental health on relationships. While individuals with mental health issues often feel isolated and alone, their symptoms do not occur in a vacuum but impact everyone in their lives. Experts agree that family and close friends play a crucial role in recovery and that everyone who can participate in the treatment process should. Call us at 855.494.0357 to learn more about the connections between mental health and relationships and how we can help you or your loved ones.
Understanding the Effects of Mental Health on Relationships
Relationships include those we form with parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members, romantic partners, friends, co-workers, and community members. These close, positive relationships contribute to our sense of purpose and belonging. A lack of quality relationships, isolation, and loneliness are key predictors of poor physical and mental health.
While our relationships impact our mental health, the reverse is true: our mental health profoundly affects how we connect with others and our ability to form healthy relationships. Every individual and relationship is unique, so how poor mental health impacts relationships can vary. For example, poor mental health impacts romantic relationships differently than parent-child relationships.
Among the widespread ways that poor mental health can impact relationships are the following:
- Disrupted, strained, or superficial communication
- Loss of intimacy
- Loss of trust
- Inability to share feelings in healthy ways
- Co-dependency and other dysfunctional roles
- Caregiver burnout
- Increased conflict
- Physical or psychological abuse
- Development of negative emotions like guilt, anger, or resentment
While healthy relationships provide necessary emotional and social support, unhealthy ones can contribute to or exacerbate mental health symptoms. Mental health symptoms can disrupt daily routines, influence family dynamics, and impact financial stability. Looking after someone with a mental health condition can be time-consuming and stressful, resulting in the development of issues like anxiety and depression.
Recognizing the Signs of Poor Mental Health
The signs and symptoms of poor mental health will vary from person to person, between different diagnoses, and depending upon the severity of the illness. Individuals with milder symptoms can usually get by with little disruption to daily life, particularly when they proactively seek help from lifestyle changes, medication, therapy, or a combination of these.
Moderate to severe mental health symptoms can be highly disruptive to daily functioning, impacting the lives of everyone involved. Individuals experiencing mental health symptoms are often reluctant to talk about them because of the stigma attached to poor mental health. Following are signs that can indicate you or a loved one is experiencing the impacts of a mental health disorder:
- Reliance on drugs or alcohol to cope with mental and emotional discomfort
- Significant changes to sleeping, eating, and self-care routines
- Engaging in dangerous or self-injurious behaviors despite the consequences
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or depressed most of the time
- Difficulty maintaining employment or managing daily responsibilities
- Excessive worry or feeling anxious most of the time
- Isolating or disconnecting from friends and family
- Avoiding or finding no pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
A mental health treatment center like Harmony Hills provides a safe environment with 24-hour access to a multidisciplinary treatment team. This level of care benefits individuals lacking adequate support at home or in their community. An environment with peers who can relate to one another’s struggles offers support that helps alleviate isolation and build relationship skills.
Learn More About Mental Health and Relationships at Harmony Hills
At Harmony Hills, we know how poor mental health can negatively impact relationships. Family therapy is one of the many mental health programs we provide in our comprehensive treatment planning. Contact us or call us at 855.494.0357 to learn more about how poor mental health impacts relationships and what we can do to help.