A Therapist Gives Relationship Advice for People With Mental Illness in Popular Twitter Thread [The Mighty]

Being in a good, supportive relationship with someone you love is a wonderful thing — but even good, supportive relationships take work. Quinn Gee, a therapist based in D.C., knows this all too well, and in an educational and widely-shared Twitter thread, Gee gave some important tips for couples facing mental illness.

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

So, I'd like to talk about being in a relationship with a partner that has mental illness. This is applicable for both persons in rlshp

8:53 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Gee noted this wasn’t necessarily information she gained from personal experience, but rather what she noticed after working with people in a clinical setting.

Gee also stressed that you can have a healthy relationship while battling mental illness. Like every relationship, you just have to put the work in. For those whose partners have a mental illness, this work may include supporting them when their symptoms flare, being understanding when they have a bad day and more. And although it’s easy to get discouraged, Gee had some great tips for making a relationship work when one or both of you have a mental illness.

Here are some of the tips she shared:

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Also, this isn't reflective of my personal experiences or relationship, but something I've noticed clinically and was asked to speak on

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

When dating someone with MI, it's important for you to research what their MI is/symptoms/criteria once they disclose it independent of them

8:59 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

When dating someone with MI, it's important for you to research what their MI is/symptoms/criteria once they disclose it independent of them

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

You dont want your partner to feel like they have to educate u about their MI, so learn on ur own and them talk to them about what u learned

9:00 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

You dont want your partner to feel like they have to educate u about their MI, so learn on ur own and them talk to them about what u learned

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

It's then important for you all to talk about what THEIR MI looks like, as it may present differently in everyone.

9:01 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

It's then important for you all to talk about what THEIR MI looks like, as it may present differently in everyone.

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

So learn THEIR symptoms, triggers, needs, and what to do in emergencies, like suicidal behaviors, self harming, raging, or psychosis

9:02 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

So learn THEIR symptoms, triggers, needs, and what to do in emergencies, like suicidal behaviors, self harming, raging, or psychosis

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

At this time, if they take meds, you ASK them what needs/support they have around that from you. So if they need accountability/support etc

9:05 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

At this time, if they take meds, you ASK them what needs/support they have around that from you. So if they need accountability/support etc

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

It is crucial that you ASK every step of the way. Never assume a role, and never assume that they don't need help

9:05 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

It is crucial that you ASK every step of the way. Never assume a role, and never assume that they don't need help

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

If possible, create a written plan so that you both agree on rules, boundaries, how to de-escalate, triggers, etc. Even a NO HARM contract

9:06 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

If possible, create a written plan so that you both agree on rules, boundaries, how to de-escalate, triggers, etc. Even a NO HARM contract

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

Now, if you BOTH have MI, talk about boundaries when it comes to support/discussion of your MI. You might need to have outside support

9:07 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Now, if you BOTH have MI, talk about boundaries when it comes to support/discussion of your MI. You might need to have outside support

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

Persons in place in case one or both of you are overwhelmed with each other's MI symptoms. EX: if you both have depression, talking about

9:08 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Persons in place in case one or both of you are overwhelmed with each other's MI symptoms. EX: if you both have depression, talking about

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

Suicidal thoughts may be triggering for each other, so when one of you have those thoughts maybe talk to another friend/therapist instead

9:09 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Suicidal thoughts may be triggering for each other, so when one of you have those thoughts maybe talk to another friend/therapist instead

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

That is why knowing each other's triggers and boundaries are crucial. Know what your partner's baseline is so that you don't overreact

9:09 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

That is why knowing each other's triggers and boundaries are crucial. Know what your partner's baseline is so that you don't overreact

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

Also, ask if their therapist does couples sessions. It may be helpful if issues arise to have a professional help you sort through it.

9:13 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Also, ask if their therapist does couples sessions. It may be helpful if issues arise to have a professional help you sort through it.

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

And finally, do not neglect your own mental health needs/treatment for the sake of your partner's. That will do more harm to you both

9:14 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

And finally, do not neglect your own mental health needs/treatment for the sake of your partner's. That will do more harm to you both

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

Remember, this is not something you have a one time conversation about. You will have to communicate about this often, so be empathetic

9:15 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

Remember, this is not something you have a one time conversation about. You will have to communicate about this often, so be empathetic

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

And if you dont feel support from your partner, tell them, and tell them explicitly what you do need and see if they can provide it

9:16 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

 · Jun 16, 2017

Replying to @Cuntrycounselor

And if you dont feel support from your partner, tell them, and tell them explicitly what you do need and see if they can provide it

Memphissippian@Cuntrycounselor

You're not alone. You don't have to do this alone. <3 You can have a healthy relationship while battling mental illness.

9:16 AM - Jun 16, 2017

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