To speak to your partner about your mental health can seem like an intimidating prospect. Still, it is an integral part of any successful relationship. You are likely concerned that the discussion will not go as you planned it, or that your partner will respond negatively. However, by not being honest about your mental health issues, your partner may feel lost and helpless when your symptoms appear without warning.
If you are dealing with a mental health problem, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are support systems in place for you if you need them, such as mental health clinics and practitioners. It can be challenging to speak to your partner about your mental health, but below is some helpful advice to aid in sparking a positive conversation.
Understand Your Condition
Before you open up to your partner and address your mental health issues, you need to understand your condition first. You can do some research into your diagnosis or speak to a mental health practitioner about your symptoms and any possible causes. In this way, you will be able to provide your partner with detailed information about your mental health diagnosis.
If you know the signs and symptoms of your condition, you will be able to prepare your partner for any flare-ups and the impact on your relationship. Not understanding your condition, could lead to misinformation, which could be harmful if your partner needs to help you during a panic attack or other situation.
Consider Possible Consequences
Once you have a better understanding of your mental health condition, you should consider the possible consequences of telling your partner about your mental illness. There could be several reactions that occur, some negative, some positive, and some even neutral. You will need to be prepared for any eventuality, especially if you are in a long-term relationship.
Your partner might not consider your mental health problem an issue, which is positive and can lead to an open dialogue surrounding your condition. However, if your partner has a negative reaction, it will shed light on the health of your relationship. A positive and helpful response is ideal but is not always the outcome.
Think About Timing
Timing is essential when it comes to serious conversations, so be sure to think carefully about the right situation to start speaking about your mental health. If you have had an argument with your partner, which might have been caused by symptoms of anxiety, it could be the right time to explain your condition.
If your partner experiences you suffering from a panic attack or are having a breakdown, you will need to explain that a mental health condition causes it. Clear information will help your partner to feel more at ease and better able to assist you. The right timing is vital to ensuring your conversation flows smoothly and without too much stress.
Choose A Comfortable Location
Once you have chosen the right time, you should consider selecting a comfortable and calm location. You should avoid an overly public place, as it might make you feel uncomfortable if your partner becomes loud or distressed. Opt for an environment that makes you both feel comfortable, such as at home in a relaxing room.
If you feel more relaxed outdoors, perhaps choose a peaceful location in a park, or in your garden where you can be completely open and honest while feeling comfortable. You could also ask a friend or family member to be present if you feel as though the conversation might be too difficult. Having the extra support can help you feel more confident and in control.
Wait Until You Are Ready
Disclosing a mental illness or mental health disorder to a partner can be a difficult decision, and it is an extremely personal one. You should wait until you feel comfortable with yourself and with your partner before you start any form of conversation about your mental health. Forcing this issue might make you feel anxious, which could result in one or both of you feeling negatively after the interaction.
Understanding your condition and considering all possible consequences of speaking to your partner can help you to be more prepared for the moment. The right timing and location will help everything to run smoothly and efficiently. If you would like help in dealing with a mental health issue, contact Life Path Health to find out how our Mental Health Professionals can assist.
Call or WhatsApp their 24/7-Helpline at 072 7900 506