How to Love Someone with Mental Health Struggles

Hey y’all!

Loving someone with a mental illness is…a lot! It’s not easy. It can seem like the other person is selfish. It can be a heavy load and it can be at times really frustrating. You don’t want to turn the person away and seem like you don’t care but also, you can only do what you can do. I say it all the time but you can’t pour from an empty cup. It can seriously be overwhelming and you’re not the one dealing with the mental illness, you’re on the receiving end. What the person says or do can be irritating and can make you really upset. We’re all imperfect.

Being an empath can be a lot, especially when dealing with someone with a mental illness. I’m not saying don’t be empathetic but know your boundaries. Empath burnout is real. Empathy burnout comes about when a person is regularly expending much of their energy—emotional, physical, mental—to care for others to the point that they, themselves, feel exhausted. You don’t have to be superwoman or superman.

This subject has been near and dear to my heart. I recently actually experienced a situation where this topic sort of came to my mind and I wish me and the person’s conversation went different. After that phone call, I wanted the person to understand what it’s like for someone with a mental illness. I figured if others had the tools, then I can give them some type of insight on how to deal with and love those with a mental illness.

I have anxiety and depression. I’m always on edge and worried all the time (I put a pause on therapy for now for the simple fact that I can’t afford it right now). I feel alone. My best friends live far away from me and even though I’m renting a room from someone, its mostly me and my cat for most of the time. When hard times hit me, boy do they hit me. I feel alone and like a burden. I know it’s Dolores making me feel this way but sometimes, I start to believe it. Sometimes I feel like my loved ones are better off without me and yeah my mind goes to suicide.

So, what can you do if someone you know and love have a mental illness? Here are some tips to help yourself and them.

Know that we love you and appreciate you and your attempts to help. We may not show it at the time but we love you and when we come out on the other side, celebrate with us. Please be patient when loving someone with a mental illness.


How can you support someone you love with a mental illness? If you have a mental illness yourself, what do you wish people understood about it or you?

Photo by Helena Lopes on


Nessa D.


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