#MentalHealth Myth Buster: Dating Someone With Mental Illness Will Make Me Sick, Too?

couple sitting on couch

Mental illness, like other medical illnesses such as diabetes or cancer, requires personal and professional attention to its effects on mood, thinking, relationships and overall well-being. As medical evidence shows, mental illness results in more disabilities than any other group of illness, including cancer and heart disease.

However, people who survive mental illness can work, raise a family and be productive citizens. They date, marry and do anything else anyone without an illness does. So, why then are some people, including singles, afraid to date a person with depression or anxiety? Are they worried they’ll “catch” something like people who catch the flu from being in public places?

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Here are a few things single people who date should consider when choosing a mate with mental illness:

MYTH: Mental illness is contagious. Mental illness is a medical and biological disease. It’s not a contagion that you “catch” from spending time with other people. Notwithstanding the effects that being around depressed or anxious people can have on our own mental and spiritual well-being, but dating or even marrying someone with a mood disorder, for example, does not necessarily create illness in us. But as with other medical diseases, there are courses the disease goes through that can be taxing on the sufferer and their loved ones, but there are periods of latency, too.