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Mental Health in Relationships - Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

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  • Mental Health in Relationships - Mental Health Awareness Week 2017



    Hey everyone,

    This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the Mental Health Foundation's theme for this year is 'surviving to thriving'.

    There's too few people who thrive with good mental health, so this year's Mental Health awareness week aims to prompt a national conversation about what we can do to move from survive to thrive.

    Life can be tough for everyone and this can sometimes lead to mental health issues. When one person in a relationship is struggling with their mental health, there can be a major change in the relationship. At times like these, people can strongly influence the progress and recovery of someone’s mental health. However, it can be hard to know what to do when supporting someone with their mental health.

    If one person in a relationship is struggling with their mental health, how do you think their partner can influence their road to recovery?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts

  • #2
    This one is a topic i do hold close to my heart because my partner has been there before i was diagnosed with anxiety, when i was, and they still are now.
    it was hard especially at first because they said they noticed the real me had gone in a way? i can say hands down the best thing they do especially at the start was simply just being there, those times where i would just break down or feel gone they'd just drive down to me and do something silly like watch a movie with ben and jerry's and cry or, drive somewhere like the beach or cliffs and just sit. it was hard at first because he did feel to blame in a way, but i think what's most important is equal give and take. he listened to what i said and felt, i helped him understand and understood that everything he did was with best interest. he always takes me to places, gets me to do something once a week and hang with his friends even if its for 5 minutes, i honestly would be so much more worse if he weren't there. i think overall the best they can do is be there for them. they don't have to know what it's like or try to see it, they just have to listen to the person and understand that to them it can be a struggle, or even a life sentence x
    ~To be where one wishes to be, one must first truly believe that One's self will get there~


    -L A N E

    Comment


    • #3
      This is so close to my heart too, I'm a diagnosed depressive with an unspecified anxiety disorder, and my girlfriend too has so much anxiety and struggles with the urges to self harm. She feels like she can't get the help she needs because a diagnosis would end her chances of getting her dream job, which is something I understand as I could no longer join the RAF as a pilot because of my illness.

      I'll admit, it's so hard to be there for her when she lives over 200 miles away, but just being in a loving relationship with her has helped my mental health so much. I don't feel like we're missing much by being long distance, we're almost always chatting and we have plans for a weekend away soon. My suicidal urges are so much easier to fight off, its like I have to live for her. And apparently I've helped her sleep, which surely will be reversed when we're actually sleeping together haha

      The best thing you can do is be patient, listen, be there for them. And they'll br there for you too. Mental health issues are hard to understand for those without them, which is why I think me and my girlfriend are so understanding of each other- we share the same mind almost. But if you aren't struggling with mental health but your partner is, I guess it's okay to not understand as long as you're committed and patient and a good listener and very, very loving.
      SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

      Comment


      • #4
        You've all mentioned some important ways in which your partners have been there for you and helped you when you've been struggling. Simply having someone there for you can really influence someone's road to recovery. Aidan and LaneBoi you've also mentioned some really important ways that you've also been there for your partners. For some people, it can be difficult to support their partners with their mental health. When supporting your partner, is there a point that you need to prioritise your mental health ahead of theirs?

        Looking forward to hearing your thoughts

        - Aife

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aife View Post
          When supporting your partner, is there a point that you need to prioritise your mental health ahead of theirs?
          For me, never.

          The thing with most mental illnesses, is you get this accompanying sense of no self-worth. You feel you mean nothing, you deserve nothing. I'm pretty sure me and my girlfriend share this feeling. So we both prioritise the other person since we feel they are worth more and deserve better than ourselves.

          As long as both in the relationship prioritise the other person, I think it works the same as both people equally looking out for themselves and their partner.
          SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

          Comment


          • #6
            For me it's a little hard to answer because i've always loved helping other people and my partner loves helping me, i've always solved their problems and they've solved mine, he understands my problems better and i understand his like a fresh set of eyes x
            ~To be where one wishes to be, one must first truly believe that One's self will get there~


            -L A N E

            Comment


            • #7
              Thought I'd just interrupt

              I think its important to for someone whos supporting their partner with an mental illness to priorities their self. Because it can take a lot of stress& pateince & is hard to watch someone suffering from mental illness. May feel like they should be able to make them completely happy bur can't and could make them feel guilty and bad. But can't completely fix their problems and notprofesstionals or your job to. And should get professional support themselves if it feels too much. Cause not each other's therapist but yeah just by being their for someone - I could imagine that would help someone's recovering
              "Nothing's ever what we expect, but they keep asking where we're going next" Robin Schulz - Sun goes down

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              • #8
                That's absolutely true Shaunie.

                It isn't up to me to fix my partner, or the other way around, but it is my responsibility to take care of her and support her. And she does the same for me too. I think it's just amazing really. You have no idea how much having someone else there, whether they have mental health problems too or not, actually helps. I have to go to my counselor this week and explain why half my symptoms have improved. That'll be fun.
                SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey everyone, there's some really interesting thoughts from you all here.

                  Shaunie you've talked about some important reasons why it's important for someone who's supporting their partner to prioritise their own mental health. For many people it can be a lot of pressure to look after their partner and like Shaunie mentioned, some partners can feel like they should be able to help completely. Aidan and LaneBoi, you've both mentioned that you and your partners both support each other. Is there anything you find difficult when supporting your partner with their mental health?

                  There's been some interesting research that's found that if one partner suffers from a mental health issue, the other partner is more likely to develop a mental health issue too. What are your thoughts about this research? How do you think people can you provide their partner with support but also prevent this from happening?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aife View Post

                    There's been some interesting research that's found that if one partner suffers from a mental health issue, the other partner is more likely to develop a mental health issue too. What are your thoughts about this research? How do you think people can you provide their partner with support but also prevent this from happening?
                    I dont like that research. I'm sure it's true. But I dont know, just sounds like their a burden. And like should aviod people who are struggling to have a healthy mind. Which obviously isn't the case idk. Probably only me

                    I think th only way they can support without it affecting them is just being there and not trying to hard. And just trying to understand their behaviours. Like if they was being really distant and cold one minute then changing - to just understand it could be a symtoms of their illness and not take it to personally. And trying to understand without leaving can be a lot of support.
                    "Nothing's ever what we expect, but they keep asking where we're going next" Robin Schulz - Sun goes down

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Shaunie's absolutely right there. It is so helpful yet so hard to see the way your partner is as an illness, not their personality. Sure, there are different personality types, which are normal and are your personality, but personality disorders are an illness too which is harder to distinguish because it seems like who you are more than other mental illnesses do sometimes.

                      It's quite lucky really that the people strong enough to put up with mental illnesses, and those strong enough to support those people, are the most amazing people that exist and can make the most amazing couples.
                      SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey everyone,

                        You've all mentioned some interesting points here. In a few posts in this thread, there's a strong theme about the importance of understanding when supporting a partner with their mental health. For some people, mental health can be hard to understand in some relationships, how do you think people can help their partner understand what they're going through?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aife View Post
                          Hey everyone,

                          You've all mentioned some interesting points here. In a few posts in this thread, there's a strong theme about the importance of understanding when supporting a partner with their mental health. For some people, mental health can be hard to understand in some relationships, how do you think people can help their partner understand what they're going through?

                          Hey Aife,

                          In response to that question, I think the best way would be to be open about it and let their partners know what it is they do that makes them feel better. Many times even the smallest message of care or affection can help go a long way, and I guess in the longer run it is about the smaller things that their partners end up doing which makes the biggest difference to people who might be experiencing some sort of mental health issues. It seems to be a trend of the thread, as you mentioned, that the support and understanding is what makes it a whole lot better, and having that someone whom you can open up to, even about the smallest of things, ends up making the biggest impact.

                          Like Aidan mentioned previously, a lot of times its never about fixing each others problems, rather just offering to hear their partners out and being there for them when the going gets tough. And personally I believe it is possible to be that couple for everyone out there, just need to find that one person whom we all can open up to and share without worrying if they will be able to handle it or not.

                          Obviously everyone is unique in their own ways, meaning the method one individual might use to help their partner understand what they are experiencing, may not be applicable to another couple. However, at the core of all the various methods people might end up using, it requires both individuals to be open about what they feel about everything they are going through. Its not the most elegant or scientific solution out there, but hopefully this is helpful to those who are tired of surviving.

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