Supporting a spouse or partner with a mental health problem can be scary and challenging - it can be tough to know what to do, or how to be helpful. These stories, by people with mental health problems and the loved ones who have supported them, could provide some useful tips and insight. 

Mental health support from people around me made all the difference

On 14th October 2014 I awoke feeling like I had woken with the worst hangover imaginable. I looked around and had no idea where I was or who these strange people were around me. I walked in a daze to a locked door and was eventually allowed to eat something that resembled breakfast. Yes, I was sectioned. This was for my own safety and just like police custody the staff ensured there were no means available for me to take my own life. 

Talking to my husband about anxiety and depression

I have severe anxiety and stress which can lead to panic attacks and depression, even culminating in non-epileptic seizures. 

From my perspective, mental illness cannot always be seen, so the people who experience it are often seen as fully functioning individuals, even when their minds are running marathons in all directions at once.  Often, I am not able to concentrate or I’m unable to finish things. With my drive, determination (stubbornness as my husband says) and the high standards I set myself, this means I become anxious and stressed very easily. 

Life with my partner who has depression and bipolar

I want to talk openly about the realities of living with and trying to support someone who is mentally ill, and what I’ve learned about mental health and stigma over the years. The stigma of mental illness isn’t just connected with those who are ill, but also to those of us on this journey with them. I live with a partner who has depression and bipolar disorder.