Learning somebody you love has been struggling with their mental health so much that they needed to go on medication is hard. You can feel useless and to blame and question why you’re not enough to keep them off little white pills.

The thing is, right now, this isn’t about you. Right now they need your support. Right now hearing long, emotional speeches about how difficult this is for you is only playing into every single negative thing they’re already thinking about themselves.

Finding the strength to get to the doctor in the first place is a huge achievement for anybody struggling with mental health issues. Managing to articulate the way you have been feeling for the past few weeks/months/years is a miracle. Having a doctor who understands and sees you need something more to use as a crutch through this awful moment in your life genuinely feels like you’ve won the lottery. Something that seems like the easiest thing in the world to most took every ounce of strength when you’re struggling with your MH.

The best thing you can do for your loved one right now is be there. It’s as simple as that, just be there. Of course you don’t understand everything they’re going through, they don’t understand everything they’re going through. Don’t force them into trying to explain it to you, they just had to do that for the doctor. Some people will immediately want to talk about what they’re going through, once the plug’s been taken out it all comes flowing out. But most of the time that’s not the case. It takes time, it takes adjusting to the meds they’ve just started taking (which, for the record, will be one of the hardest things they will ever go through. That shit NASTY.), it takes learning to understand what’s happening themselves.

I am not and would never dismiss how difficult this is for the partner of somebody with mental health issues. But you’ve got to be sensitive in this situation. If you need to talk and shout and cry then you need to find somebody else to do that with right now, because just for now they need to be selfish.

My ex left me because I went on anti-depressants. It was a wonderful time of my life and I never felt better about myself. The way I felt when he dismissed my health, made me feel pathetic, and acted as though I was faking it is something I will never get over. That shit hurt.

If somebody trusts you enough to honestly share their lowest moments with you then that is a BIG. DEAL. Don’t dismiss that, don’t make it all about you, don’t tell them you don’t agree with their decision, and certainly don’t tell them about some article you read about exercise. Don’t be a dick essentially. You wouldn’t criticise your diabetic uncle for using insulin.

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Just be kind, be patient, be there. This is just a small step in a massive journey. An important one that with your support can help bring them all the way back.

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