An Online Psychiatrist Can Help Your Partner Manage Their Mental Illness
Updated January 14, 2020
Reviewer Dawn Brown
It can be heartbreaking to watch your partner struggle with a mental illness. Maybe you don't have any experience with it because you've never suffered from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or any other psychiatric illness, yourself.
It can be challenging to understand a condition that you haven't experienced yourself, and you may feel helpless watching your partner struggle. When you notice that your partner is struggling with their mental illness despite seeing a therapist regularly, consider that they might benefit from working with an online psychiatrist.
Why Psychiatry Helps Mental Illnesses
Some mental illnesses can be managed with therapy alone, whereas others require medication in conjunction with treatment. One of the best ways to treat cases with psychotic features such as Schizophrenia or severe Bipolar Disorder is medication.
Bipolar Disorder (with or without symptoms of psychosis) responds well with medication. It can improve the quality of a person's life significantly by allowing the highs and the lows that come with the condition to become less pronounced. It's essential for you, as the partner of a person with mental illness, to support your significant other in getting well no matter what their treatment plan is.
When Your Partner is Self-Destructive
Nobody wants to see their partner in pain or using self-destructive behavior. However, sometimes when a person is experiencing pain, they use actions that aren't good for them so that they can feel relief. For example, some people use self-injurious behaviors like cutting. Others might engage in substance abuse or eating disorder behaviors that harm them. It's important to support your partner when they tell you that they need you to be there.
Seeing a psychiatrist is not easy for some people. Some people have experienced taking medication for mental health issues already, while others haven't. If your partner is new to taking medication, they might be afraid. It could be hard for them to get used to - they don't know what to expect, and they're not sure about how taking the medication will affect them yet.
As their partner, you can assure them that they're doing the right thing by helping themselves get well. An online psychiatrist is an excellent provider who can prescribe the appropriate kind and amount of medication that'll help them. It'll take trial and error to find the right treatment plan, but they will get there.
You Can't Be a Substitute for Your Partner's Medication
When you're dating a person with a mental illness, you may have difficulty seeing them in pain. It's hard to watch someone you love suffer, and not be able to wave a magic wand to stop them from hurting. You can't fix their problems. You can support them when they have tough times, but you cannot take their pain away as much as he would like to do this.
It can be heartbreaking to watch your partner suffer through mania, depression, panic attacks or hallucinations. Medications will help with these issues. You will not be able to alleviate their symptoms. But you can provide a great sense of support to your partner while they find the right medication that works for them.
Finding the right medication that works for your partner will be trial and error. Sometimes you get lucky, and you find a drug that works well on the first shot. Other times, it can take a couple of times to see the psychiatric medicine that will work for your partner. You need to help your partner understand that getting on the right medication is a process.
Medication Changes Can be Tough
Mental illness is brutal to live with at times. It's particularly hard when you are transitioning from one medication to another. Try to understand that when you're supporting your partner through a medication change, there is a real major struggle.
When your partner is working with an online psychiatrist, just like any other psychiatric professional, they will be trying different drugs. Changing medicines is exceptionally challenging for the majority of people who take the psych meds. Your brain is so used to how it feels on a specific dose, and now you're removing medication and introducing a new one. For instance, there may be mood swings.
Try not to unload their mood swings personally, but it is also okay to let them know if their behavior hurts you. Just because you have a mental illness doesn't give you a free pass to disrespect those around you. We all hurt each other, but it's important to take ownership and responsibility for what we do so that you can be accountable for your actions.
You might say something along the lines of "I understand that this is a challenging time for you while you're changing medication, but what you said hurt my feelings. " While your partner is changing medicines they might not seem like "themselves." Once they get adjusted to their new medication, they will begin to act more stable. But that does take time and remember that you need to be patient just as much as they do. It can be exhausting to live alongside someone as they go through a med change. But just like everything in life, medication changes do subside, and the person gets back to a place of stability.
Discussing Mental Illness in Online Couples Counseling
In addition to seeing an online psychiatrist, you and your partner may consider seeing an online couples counselor. Only couples counseling is an excellent place for you to discuss relationship issues.
When dating somebody with a mental illness, specific questions come up. Sometimes you might not understand what your partner is going through, but that doesn't mean you can't be there for them and empathize with how they feel. You can learn ways to support your partner in couples counseling. There may be times that you don't know what to do if your partner is suffering.
If you've never experience hallucinations (for example), you might not know how to support your partner through them. But, you can ask questions. Online couples counselor is there to help you learn to communicate about mental illness with your partner in a way that they can understand and they feel supported.
Online Counseling for Couples
Being with the love of your life is thrilling. But as with every relationship, there will be ups and downs. Relationships are complicated at times and we can all benefit from some outside support. When you're dating a person with a mental illness, there are unique challenges that you two face. An excellent place to discuss issues related to dating someone with mental illness is online counseling.
You may feel helpless at times, not knowing how to help your partner and support them during the challenging moments of their mental illness. That's where counseling can help. Couples counseling online can be a great support to online psychiatry. Your partner is seeing a psychiatrist to manage the symptoms of their mental illness. They are familiar with online counseling and how it works. They can show you the ropes when it comes to online couples counseling. Search the network of professionals at Regain.us and find a counselor that you and your significant other can work with so that you can maintain a healthy relationship.