Love is blind. Yes, that is a fact often mouthed by Casanovas. The lovebird wants everyone to accept that love has neither boundary nor age barrier. Just anyone with blood flowing in his or her veins is capable of loving and being loved, notwithstanding their skin colour, physical appearance or even social status.
Does language pose a problem? Not anymore. Today, with modernity and technology reducing the world into a global village and the dominance of English Language, especially where it is the means of official communication, increased social contact and all that, relationship between persons of diverse background is now rampant.
But what about loving someone with a different mental disposition? Could there be a barrier? Of course, a good number will respond, ‘yes’. Tell me, who is that mama that will welcome a prospective son in-law who is a confirmed madman? What will the family say? And what about societal stigma? Even if you crave a warm hug from a madman, will you want that in public?
Well, Ifeoma believes it will only take a mad girl to crave the attention of a madman. “Tufia kwa. I dey mad? Bros, if na joke I beg make you stop am, ooh? Where I go hang madman for my shoulder go? Who go accept am for my family? Abi man don finish for Naija? I go go Ghana, Togo, Cameroon and even Niger Republic go carry one where go dey ‘browse’ me. At least dem go say na abroad I marry,” she said, insisting that a normal woman has nothing to do with an insane person.
“Well, I heard some do that for ritual purposes. Even at that, it is not done openly, it is only to lure them to have sex and then one goes away. Again, no normal person of good moral and mental health will ordinarily want to walk the streets with a confirmed madman as her lover. I think the government should carefully look at whoever claims to be normal and is found cuddling a mad woman or taking her to the altar. Something must be wrong and the state should come down hard on such an individual,” Alban, a practicing journalist, said.
Ibru, a filling station attendant, wonders what is wrong with being in love with someone who is mentally challenged. He sees nothing wrong because love is blind and the mad woman or man may possess some sterling qualities rare to come by among so-called normal persons.
“I think in some ways we are all mad. Isn’t it abnormal for an individual to steal billions of naira just because he or she is in government and within easy reach of the public tilt? Aren’t politicians who resort to human rituals just to clinch political offices mad persons? True, they are not in psychiatric homes nor are they walking the streets deranged, but indices have shown that there are mad persons in normal clothing who live and associate with normal persons,” A banker, Dave, said, noting that madness is a disease and since we are prune to illness none is really free from it.
Well, whatever the argument and whichever way the pendulum swings, relationships are challenging for everyone, but for someone battling a mental health condition, that can hinder a relationship. A mental health disorder acts like a magnifying glass to problems. It convinces the sufferer that they don’t deserve someone’s affection. It can cause them to be distant.
In other words? It is total hell.
Well, thanks to researchers who have discovered that even madmen are capable of loving and doing a good job of it.
The good news is, knowledge is power when it comes to mental illness. Just because someone suffers from a condition doesn’t make them broken. Below are a few things you should know if you love someone who has a mental health disorder.
Mental illness is not something they can just ‘get over’.
It takes time, treatment and acceptance to manage a mental health condition. Mental illness develops in the brain, making it very complex. It is not something that is “all in their heads” or a problem they can “snap out of” (although, they wish they could).
It also doesn’t make them ‘crazy’.
You wouldn’t call someone with cancer ‘insane’ or ‘crazy’, so the same courtesy should be extended to someone with a mental health condition. Mental illness is just as important as physical illness.
Some days are better than others.
One day they will feel excellent, but the next day getting out of bed is a victory in itself. And they never know when it will happen.
Their mood isn’t because of you.
It can feel like they are upset with you, but please know it isn’t personal. Many mental health conditions are characterised by mood swings, including feelings of anger, depression and mania.
It is manageable…
Through therapy, medication, exercise, group support… the list is endless. However, it is important to remember that treatment is not “one size fits all,” so what works for your cousin’s co-worker may not work for them. And that is OK.
But some days they don’t feel like fighting it.
And that can feel like the absolute worst. Experts recommend encouraging them to go to their appointments or whatever is necessary in their treatment process. Don’t give up on them on the days they have given up on themselves.
There is a negative stereotype associated with their condition.
There is a large stigma attached to mental health disorder. Only 25 percent of people with mental illness feel that others are compassionate or understanding of their condition. Your compassion means more than you will ever know.
Hugs help.
So do phone calls. Or texts. Or ice cream. Or anything that just lets them know that they are not alone.”It may look incredibly bleak for them right now,” Adam Kaplin, an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins, previously told HuffPost. “It is helpful to remind them that the feelings are temporary and you will be right there with them.
It is OK to ask them questions.
Education is half the battle. The more you learn about their condition, the easier it is for you to understand. That being said, if they don’t want to talk about what is going on at that moment, don’t push it. Silence doesn’t mean they don’t want your help, they may be doing their own processing.
It is physically debilitating.
Psychiatric illnesses don’t just mess with their emotions. Conditions like depression and anxiety can cause headaches, soreness, upset stomach and more.
They appreciate you.
Even if they express it every day. Your support and patience is vital to their treatment and self-acceptance. So thank you.

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Additional report from Yahoohealth.
It can feel like they are upset with you, but please know it isn’t personal. Many mental health conditions are characterised by mood swings, including feelings of anger, depression and mania.

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