Dealing with any type of mental illness is hard, but add a relationship into it and it makes it even harder for some people. It can be hard especially when you yourself have never suffered with any sort of mental illness. I know the feeling of wanting to help people but not being sure what to do because I haven’t ever been through what they’re going through. So I wrote this from my perspective. I am an anxiety sufferer, I have been for many years. And these are the things that I would want the guy I’m dating to know.
Be patient with us, we might not want to open up straight away. We might not want to leave our homes, we might not want to see you. As an anxiety sufferer I know for myself that I like time away from people. I like being alone sometimes, and thats okay. Patience is a really big one because its hard when you don’t understand what someone is going through, but remember we are okay and we have been through this many times before.
REALISE IT’S NOT YOU
This is such a big one to remember. If you are in a relationship with someone with anxiety, you are probably the closest person to them, so that means a lot of their feelings and anxieties get dumped on you. Please know this is not intentional. We don’t mean to do this, but it happens. Just know we need you there to comfort us when we go through it.
IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
As I mentioned in one of the earlier points, its okay if you don’t understand. Most of the time we don’t either. It’s hard to relate to what someone is going through if you haven’t ever been through it before, you can sympathise but not empathise. We don’t expect you to understand, we just need someone there to listen to us. The mind is such a complex thing that I would be very surprised if anybody (anxiety or not) could understand each others thought processes. And I’m not sure I’d want to either.
TAKE EACH DAY AS THEY COME
Every single day will be different, some better than others. Don’t worry about tomorrow, next week or next year. Focus on the present day. Things will get better for us, in time. Each day is a fresh start, meaning whatever happened the day before can be wiped clean and we can start again. Some days will be better than others as anxiety can be triggered by many things, or even sometimes nothing at all. It’s okay if we have a bad day, because good days come too.
Do you suffer with mental illness? Or do you have a loved one who does? What advice could you share to add to this list?
Everybody is different, and thats what makes us who we are. These tips are from my personal view and what I want from someone I’m in a relationship with to consider! We all have different ideals and standards we want from partners, ours may be different or the same.