“My husband is very supportive and he's there when I need him. He understands when I have days where I can't do anything and he encourages me just to go in the garden or paint. ”
Sharing a life with someone who has a mental health condition can be a challenge. There might be some confusion about what is happening to the person you love. You may find your roles in the relationship changing. You may need to learn new skills, including deeper personal and emotional skills. There could even be grieving due to unexpected changes in the relationship.
There are things you can do to support your relationship, even as it changes. A healthy partnership is possible, with counselling, support, and clear and caring communication. At the same time, it is important to take care of your personal wellbeing.
There are services and programs specifically for people who support someone with a mental health condition. You may have to take the initiative sometimes, but the important thing is you're not alone. The aim is for you and your partner to be able do this as a team.
Even as you support your partner, there are things you can do to help preserve your own identity and keep your sense of self. There is lots of information on looking after your wellbeing on our meaningful life pages. You can also get information about supporting someone on our carers page.
A closer look
Encourage your partner to live their life
Self-care is important
A loss of physical and emotional intimacy can affect mental health
It's quite common to become depressed after having a baby
My boyfriend and I have been together for two years now. I have been open about my mental health issues right from the beginning. I told him that I am not an ordinary person, and there will probably be some drama. He was okay with it, and has stuck by me.
At the first opportunity I just let my wife manage her own medication. I think that's helped her reflect and to take responsibility for her own treatment and her wellness.
Relationships are an issue when you have a mental illness. I’ve been married twice, plus a de facto relationship. It can be hard to disclose my illness to a partner but it's better for you and everyone else in the long run.