Breaking up with a partner suffering from mental health issues

Breaking up with a partner with mental health issues

Deciding to break-up with a loved one is never an easy decision. It should ideally only happen when one or both partners sees no future together. Breaking up can take a toll on both partners physically and emotionally depending on how invested they were in the relationship. It gets harder if you have taken the role of a partner/caregiver. However, sometimes you have to take this decision to part ways for your own mental health and well-being. Psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada guides you on this heartbreaking reality.

Things to keep in mind if you are considering breaking up

Loved ones who have taken on the role of a caregiver are also likely to suffer from caregiver anxiety and depression. Dr Sagar cautions that there’s a very high chance of depressive issues that a caregiver is also likely to grapple with. If you are considering breaking up with your partner, here’s what you should do.

Ensure you have a support system

Breaking up is a difficult decision, especially if your partner is suffering from mental health issues. Hence, it’s important to have your own support system, who will not judge you for your decision to break-up. You should be comfortable talking and sharing your feelings and emotions with this group of people or individuals. It should be a group or an individual, who will not criticise or blame you for your partner’s mental health issues. They should act as an emotional anchor and be empathetic not indifferent to your plight.

Make sure your partner is at a stable place

Whether your partner is suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD or any other mental illness, make sure that your partner is at a stable place. They should have a psychiatrist or mental health therapist they should be visiting regularly. They should be able to take basic care of themselves and should be doing so for at least a few months. Create a support group for your partner in the family. Once you are confident that your partner does not exhibit self-harm tendencies or suicidal ideation and is taking his medication and getting therapy regularly, you can part ways.

Be ready to grapple with the overwhelming sense of guilt

Even if no one else blames you for things not working out, there’s a chance you could battle guilt. Tell yourself you deserve your own happiness and space. You are not abandoning your partner but saving yourself as it’s becoming difficult for you to be in this relationship.

Be there for your partner as a friend

It’s possible that your partner may reach out to you, and ask you to come back. You have to reassure your partner that you are always there for them as a supportive friend. Avoid getting emotionally invested in your partner again. Don’t pity your partner and get back because you feel sorry for him or her. It’s important to be empathetic, not sympathetic. Be there as a friend but avoid getting into a spiral of on-again off-again relationships.