How Mental Health Affects Relationships: E. Jean Carroll

Dr. Susan Edelman
5 min readMay 27

One of the highlights of mental health awareness month was the legal battle between writer E. Jean Carroll and former president Donald Trump. Wherever you stand politically, this case demonstrates the long-lasting devastating effects that sexual trauma can have on a woman’s romantic relationships and her entire life.

Ms. Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages for sexual abuse and defamation. This verdict was an important step in making it easier for survivors of sexual assault to come forward to confront their abusers. Historically, women have faced doubt and intimidation, so they were understandably afraid to speak out for fear nobody would believe them, or they would face retaliation. Standing up to your abuser requires a tremendous amount of courage and can be very therapeutic.

E. Jean Carroll is a vibrant and talented woman, known for her sharp wit and captivating advice column. But behind the confident façade was a struggle that damaged her love life — a mental health condition that affected her relationships.

Following the assault, Carroll had difficulty trusting men and forming close relationships with them. Her relationships ended badly, leaving her isolated. She felt like she had a shameful secret that she couldn’t share with anyone, and she hadn’t had a sexual relationship in over 20 years. Feeling like damaged goods, she didn’t believe anyone would want to be with her.

E. Jean’s story is one of hope and empowerment. Though you may not have experienced a physical assault, if you have a mental health condition that affects your relationships, there is hope for you too.Excellent treatments are available if you’re struggling to make relationships work for you. It may be time for you to face the cold, hard truth that a mental health condition might be wreaking havoc on your love life.

Here are some signs that a mental health condition might be hurting your relationships:

1. Fear of vulnerability

One of the most common signs that a mental health condition is affecting your relationship prospects is an overwhelming fear of vulnerability. It’s completely natural to feel guarded when it comes to matters of the heart, but if you find yourself constantly putting up barriers…

Dr. Susan Edelman

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