Disclosing Mental Illness During Dating: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Partners’ Experience

Carmit Noa Shpigelman, D. Roe, L. Konopny-Decleve, K. Eldan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relatively little research on disclosure of mental illness has mainly presented the perspective of the individual who copes with a mental illness. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the phenomenon of serious mental illness disclosure during dating from the perspective of the person to whom the information was disclosed. In-depth semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with five participants, and the transcripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. The findings indicated that the participants who experienced late and partial disclosure had more negative reactions than those who experienced early and full disclosure. Disclosure of a mental illness within the context of dating relationship seems to have implications on the intimate partner and the relationship. The findings highlight the need to support dating couples where one of the partners copes with a mental illness. This support should be provided at an early stage of the relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1327
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Dating
  • Disclosure
  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Intimate relationship
  • Mental illness
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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