#mentalhealthmonday

Good day, all! I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a series or tag about mental health – so here it is! Every Monday I’m going to be talking about a different aspect of mental health and its representation.

This will include:

  • Book reviews
  • Movie reviews
  • Discussion posts
  • Personal thoughts
  • Basic information about mental health, such as medication, therapy, stigma, and peer support

I know that I’ve touched on a couple of these previously, but I like the idea that they’ll all be collected in one series. And besides, I always want to talk about mental health, especially on (dreaded, awful, disgusting) Mondays.

For today, I’m just going to talk a little bit about relationships and mental health. In loads of YA books in particular, it is sometimes implied that once the mentally ill character gets into a relationship, that somehow ‘cures’ them. Now. Hold onto your butts.

Being in a relationship can help people deal with their mental illnesses. Being emotionally or physically close to someone, and having partners to talk to in times of stress, can be extremely useful. Living with someone can help motivate you to get out of bed, get a shower, or remember to eat. However, you can also get support like this from friends, family, or flatmates. If you are single and mentally unwell, that does not mean you can’t get better, or that your recovery is somehow less meaningful because you didn’t gain a partner. That’s utter crap, and also pretty insensitive to aromantic and asexual people.

Being in a relationship can also make mental health a thousand times worse. I was very mentally unwell when I went through my breakup last summer. I’m not going to go into details, but losing the person I was so dependent on for my mental stability was earth-shattering. However, this also meant that I had to really look at how I was (or more accurately, was not) dealing with my mental wellbeing whilst I was in that relationship. I think that since then, I’ve really taken a look at my independence, and really learned a lot about myself. I know now when I need to turn to other people, including my partner, and when I can handle things pretty well on my own.

This is a really difficult balance to get right. I’m not there yet – I don’t think many people are. How and when to share the sometimes scary thoughts in your head with your partner is not the easiest thing, especially when you don’t know how they’re going to react. My advice I suppose is to do what feels right, and that age-old advice, COMMUNICATION, is key. Being in a relationship can be a minefield, even without throwing mental illness into the mix. However. It can be done. There are always people to support you – and whether they’re your partner, in my opinion, means very little. As long as they love you, and are there for you – that’s what matters.

If you’ve got any questions about mental health – broad or specific – please leave a comment! I’m definitely looking for questions to answer. Also, this is a series that is open to everyone! Someone else using this tag would actually be incredible.

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11 thoughts on “#mentalhealthmonday

  1. Jupiter Brown says:

    I absolutely loathe this trope in YA Lit, actually, bc it almost never is explored past the initial surge of serotonin that comes with insta-love. Not that people with mental illness aren’t “worthy” of having a romantic relationship, but romance is not a cure. Love this post and this tag. It’ll be a good way to get through the rest of this winter ⛅

    Like

    • whatthelog says:

      That’s such a good point, about the surge in seratonin when people first fall in love. I have definitely experienced that before, but I never really put two and two together!
      I definitely agree. I’d love to read a book where the MC is in a committed relationship, and how that affects their mental health, in good ways and otherwise.

      Thank you! I’m really excited to start this series 🙂

      Like

  2. RanterWrites says:

    Interesting post. I’m in a relationship and have social anxiety, sometimes the relationship is helpful but other times not so much. I can sometimes become too dependent on my partner to get me through a particularly anxious day!

    Like

    • whatthelog says:

      I have the same sort of thing – my partner is hugely supportive of me, especially when I’m having bad days, but sometimes I feel like I’m relying on him too much. It is always difficult to get a good balance. I’m glad you have someone to rely on though ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Notchaitea says:

    I’m so glad you bought this up! The romance trope really ignores how harmful codependency in relationships can be for mental health. I wish people spoke about this more when I was younger!

    Like

    • whatthelog says:

      Thank you! This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, especially in regards to YA lit. And me too – that’s why I’m really pushing myself to be open about my experiences on my blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Yay! I couldn’t be more excited about this series of posts! We don’t address mental health as a culture the way we should, and I know I’m incredibly ignorant on such matters. Anything you can do to help me learn more is welcome and appreciated. 🙂

    I totally get you on the idea of relationships being devastating for those who struggle with mental health concerns. I wish that YA in particular would explore harmful relationships more. OR call relationships out when they are harmful! (I’m looking at you, Twilight!) Far too often, YA romances are well, romanticized when they are actually damaging to one half of the relationship. This breeds terrible beliefs in our society and often gets people into unhealthy situations.

    I can’t wait for more from this series!

    Like

    • whatthelog says:

      Thank you! I’m really excited too 🙂

      I totally agree with YA being better at calling out unhealthy relationships. I can think of way too many examples of this in recent publications.
      I think as well that there needs to be more room for an exploration of mental health within healthy relationships as well (romantic or not!). As much as I would love to say otherwise, my mental health does complicate things, and this is something that I’ve never read about. If only I was a writer!!

      Like

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