I used to think that the worst part of my relationship was that we get our periods at different times of the month, but I’ve decided that that’s only the second worst part. The first is that I have depression and she has anxiety, boy are we a laugh at parties.
I’ve had depression since I was 18 and my girlfriend has had anxiety since she was 26, I don’t want to point score but… I was mentally challenged first so I should get ALL THE SYMPATHY.
The good thing about us both having mental health issues is that we’re very understanding with each other. When she tells me that she doesn’t love me and that I’m a huge burden and inconvenience in her life I know that she’s just having bad anxiety that day and to completely ignore what she’s saying. Similarly, when she’s having a go at me for not putting the washing away I know to just leave her in the flat by herself for a few hours to give her time to calm her anxiety down and possibly put the washing away…
Similarly when I tell her that there’s no point in this life because we all end up either being burnt at 980 °C or digested a million times over by worms, she knows that I’m just having a bit of an off day.
How do I solve it? Well unlike with a crying baby, there’s no quick way to shut it up. There is however lots of things that we and you can do to keep the feelings at bay and go back to enjoying the relationship you’re in.
Be a right Chatty Cathy if you have to. I don’t talk much, in fact I love not talking, but when I do talk to my girlfriend about how I’m feeling it always makes me feel better and it helps her to understand. There’s also the added bonus of getting her to stop asking ‘what’s wrong?’
My girlfriend and I are very open with our feelings and we talk to each other about them a lot, even if we don’t come up with a solution on how to solve the problem we always feel better by sharing. Sharing is caring apparently, unless it’s with food.
2. Help Yourself
When I first met my girlfriend I was drinking four cans of lager a night, eating Easter eggs like they were Tic Tacs and doing sod all exercise, yes it was great but it was also absolutely terrible for my mental health (and my physical health…)
Alcohol is a depressant so just don’t touch the stuff… No matter how delicious four pint cans of Stella are! Exercise is also amazing, bla bla bla yeah everyone says exercise is good for you but it does make you feel so much better and helps clear your head. I was 18 stone when I started the C25K app and since starting the program I have lost weight and am feeling so much better. Also, if I’m ever being chased by an attacker I can now run for 28 minutes before actually being attacked, #win.
And I don’t mean start banging all the time, unless that does fix things for you, in which case great! I mean spend quality time with each other by going out and doing things together. E.g. visit a castle, go to an arcade or go to a world buffet and eat your yearly intake of salt. Anything to help you have fun together will no doubt improve your mental health and your relationship woes.
4. Don’t Be Rash
You know when you’re blind drunk and you think that buying a house in Bulgaria for £8.75 online is a good idea? Well it’s the same with depression and anxiety, when you’re at the height of your mental health issue, don’t make any rash decisions.
This goes back to tip number one, talk to your partner about what’s on your mind and listen to what they have to say as well. Talk to your parents, your friends, your counsellor, your post man, the neighbour’s dog FLUFFY!- just get the issues out of your head.
5. Stop Overthinking
If we sat and thought about everything the way that I like to sometimes, we would all go absolutely insane and nothing good would ever become of anything.
Like in tip four, you need to get the issues out of your head because the longer they stay in there the longer you will over think them and they will turn into something so huge that the only way to solve them is to run away.
Being in a relationship when both partners have depression or anxiety is not easy, but you shouldn’t be afraid to love someone because of it. Sometimes being with someone who also has mental health issues is the best thing because they understand more than someone who has never experienced it.
I’m incredibly lucky that my girlfriend is so understanding and absolutely amazing, even if she does leave her rotten socks all over the floor…
Do you and your partner/ex-partner have mental health issues? How did/are you try to solve things and did it work? Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from like-minded people.
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