How To Love Someone With a Mental Health Illness

Loving someone selflessly no matter the circumstance isn’t something that comes easy. Friendships & relationships can become strained when theres a lack of communication & understanding of one another. When it comes to Mental illnesses it can become even harder to navigate relationships, especially if its not you but your friend or partner that has the mental illness.

Today I’ll be sharing my advice on how to love someone with a mental illness & how to understand them a little bit more. Please remember these are my own personal views, and this advice won’t be a one size fits all for all mental illnesses, as they all vary!


The first and probably most important thing to do when you have a friend or partner with a mental illness is learning. Do your research and see what you can do to help them. Understand their illness and everything that comes with it. In time you will learn their triggers and symptoms but I think it’s important to put the effort in to learn to understand who they are what their illness involves.

Coming from someone who suffers with anxiety, I really appreciate it when people take the time to learn about what I go through mentally. It shows so much love when you are taking time to learn about the other person. If you are planning to be in their life for a long time, you should always educate yourself on how you can help. Doing this will also help strengthen and grow your bond with the other person.


It can be hard sometimes having a friend or partner who has a mental illness. Plans may change unexpectedly, their might be panic attacks and sleepless nights, but there’s nothing more comforting than having someone there for you who loves and can understand what you’re going through. Sometimes all we want to do is stay home and do nothing.

When I went through a really bad anxiety patch a few years ago, I was always cancelling plans and letting people down because I didn’t really want to leave the house. My friends and loved ones had to have a level of understanding to not get annoyed or angry at me for doing it, because I couldn’t help it. Its really comforting to know that you have a support system around you that understands you and loves you.


Once you get to know someone, you usually start to pick up on their mannerisms and their behaviour. You should always learn others triggers. If you don’t or cant pick these up naturally, I know I’d appreciate it if someone asked me what my triggers are. Now if you aren’t familiar with triggers, its basically the thing that can trigger someones mental illness. So maybe its seeing something on tv they don’t like, or hearing a particular noise or even speaking about a particular subject.

Communication is something good to mention here. Always communicate how you are feeling and make sure to ask how they are feeling too. Just by asking that question can stop a downward fall.

Always be mindful to not bring something up or show something to someone, especially if you know that it will trigger their mental illness. Doing this can be hard, especially if their triggers are unknown. But its always good to be mindful.


Patience is a big one here. Similarly to what I have already mentioned, a-lot of the time people with mental illnesses find it hard leaving the house sometimes, or they cancel plans last minute. So having patience is important in order to understand and love the person with the mental illness.

How do people show you love when you are going through a hard time? Do you have anything you can add to this list?

Thanks so much for being here! Mental illness is such an important topic to talk about, especially when it comes to loving one another.

Olivia x
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65 thoughts on “How To Love Someone With a Mental Health Illness

  1. Such a helpful post. Patience is such an important one and listening to the other person. I think random acts of kindness go a long way too. Yesterday my boyfriend made me a cup of tea and a hot water bottle but didnt push me to get off the sofa or berate me for being there all day. So I guess not being judgemental is important too xxxx

    1. Yep! Random act of kindness when you don’t feel your best —this usually the case with my anxiety. It does wonders when someone is nice, just pure nice to give you the lift you didn’t know you needed.

      Anyway, great post Olivia✨🤗❤️ xx

      1. You’re so right! Thats why we should always strive to be kind to others, because we don’t ever know what’s really going on💛

  2. Couldn’t agree more ..i go through this too and i also relate to how much it means when someone takes their time to learn about what you are going through so that they would understood you better😥

  3. I think another point I would add is that don’t make them feel that their mental illness is a hindrance in the friendship/relationship. It can be detrimental to someone with a mental illness if they are made to feel that they are a burden on their friends/partner

  4. These are very true points. I think you’re absolutely right, it’s really considerate when people take the time to understand and show compassion. One thing I find to also be really nice is for it not to be an elephant in the room but also not the topic of every conversation. A tough balance to manage but really nice when done right.

  5. Your advice is spot on until, the partners condition takes its toll. After 20 years since my diagnosis my wife has simply had enough. She has been my rock and I will miss her but sometimes dealing with mental illness is more than people can handle.

    1. You’re very right. It can be really tough, and too much to handle at times. There are so many different mental illnesses and things that people go through!

  6. These are very helpful. The main problem over here is a lot of people don’t want to accept they’re I’ll mentally. They associate any mental illness to mind loss or madness this makes it hard to even help them, cause they keep having attacks and when they get better and you tell them, they get all defensive

    1. Thats so sad. I know there are alot of places that don’t believe in mental illnesses and alot of the time its due to lack of education on the subject.

  7. The process of loving someone with mental illness should mirror the journey that they undergo to love themselves. You nailed that perfectly

  8. Wonderful post. I used to cancel plans I’d made with other people…till finally I just became a recluse. I’m 68, and fine with that 🙂 You have a lovey blog.

  9. So many things boil down to kindness… in all manner of guises.

    Like the kindness with which the post was written, inviting others to share the same.

    Sometimes, that’s everything.

  10. Hi! I really like your post, especially the way you describe it in detail. mental illness is very important and sensitive topic, everyone has to understand it first before judging anyone. be kind and gentle with them
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    1. Thank you so much. So glad you liked the post. I agree, it really is about understanding and educating yourself and knowing were all different and have different struggles!

  11. A very important blog… I have been through alot mentally and sometimes I feel like my family dont really think alot about my mental health, sometimes it makes me feel lonely… but I am trying to stay strong, and it is going well.

  12. What I have learned myself is to not be too demanding of the person. If say they should have done dishes but they had a bad mood swing that you do not know what triggered it, It is best to not confrontational. ADAPTABILITY is key. Know when to act or talk and when to just let things slide.

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