What to Tell a Date About Your Mental Illness

May 28, 2015 Tracey Lloyd

If you've been dating for a while, you might think it's time to tell your date about your mental illness. Figuring out what to tell a date about your mental illness might seem like a daunting task. You might believe that telling a date about your mental illness will alienate him or her. However, you can think about what to say before you have the conversation, and that will make things go more smoothly.

Deciding what to tell your date about your mental illness is a hard decision. Use a list to help you stay on track when telling your date about your mental illness.

As when talking to children, the type and amount of information you share about living with mental illness depends on how long you've known your date. A simplified way to approach this difficult dialogue is to think about what you'd want to know in your date's situation. That way, you can hit the "high points" of your history with mental illness without getting mired in the details. Here is a good list to follow:

  1. Tell your date about your mental illness diagnosis: Most people have some knowledge of mental illnesses, so knowing your diagnosis will give him or her a place to start.
  2. Tell your date a brief history of your symptoms and treatments: Don't rehash every medication you've taken and what happened during every hospitalization. Just talk in general terms about your medications, the major treatments you've had and what seems to work.
  3. Talk about how your mental illness affects your relationships: If you know that isolation and picking fights are what you do during an episode, then tell your date. They'll react better to you once they can prepare.
  4. Ask for help, if you want it: Not everyone wants his or her mate to be involved in his or her mental illness treatment and recovery. If you want it, be explicit about what you'll need from your date and how he or she can best provide it for you.

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APA Reference
Lloyd, T. (2015, May 28). What to Tell a Date About Your Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Tracey Lloyd

June, 26 2016 at 11:32 pm

thanks Tracey, I have a friend who has lost a number of relationship because of hinding his status.

May, 28 2015 at 8:12 pm

As always. This is a very important blog. Every time I need some information about mental health, I am sure to get some useful tips here. Thank you for the video too.

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