Discussing Mental Health in a New Relationship
When finding yourself in a new romantic relationship, there are so many new things to learn about each other. Some of these topics can be harder to talk about than others. One of these being mental health. If you are someone who suffers from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health issue, it can be scary to tell a new partner this. Sometimes we worry whether or not they will be okay with this information or know how to support you. Here are a few tips on discussing mental health in a new relationship:
When to Start Talking
Because there is a lot of stigmas surrounding mental health, many people who suffer from it can feel reluctant to discuss it. They also wonder when, if ever, they should tell their romantic partner. If you are in a relationship, it is important to discuss with your partner about any mental health disorders or struggles you deal with. While you do not have to share the information right away, if you see your relationship as long-term it is important to have the talk. Once there is more commitment between the two of you, start having the discussion.
Have an Honest Conversation
More likely than not, especially with someone who has never experienced mental health issues, they will have some questions. It is important to not feel attacked and offended by their questions and to answer them honestly. Also, go into the discussion understanding there may be more than one conversation regarding this. Give them time to process the new information and be there to answer their questions. The only way to have an honest conversation and have your partner fully understand is by actually talking with them, not dropping the news then leaving it like that.
Ask For Their Help
The people in our lives play a major role in our mental wellness. In order to remain as mentally healthy as possible, it’s important for the people you love to support you and be there for you. Often times people with mental health issues need help from their loved ones. When discussing your mental health with a new partner, don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Address the kind of help you might need if you were to go into an episode and make sure they are prepared to do so. This will help build a stronger, healthier, and long-lasting relationship between you and your partner.
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