A subject I’ve been asked about before is how I initially broached the topic of mental health with my now-boyfriend. So I thought I would chat to you a little about how I told him about my illness, how he reacted, and my thoughts going forward.
When I first started dating my boyfriend, nearly 2 years ago now, I was nervous about telling him about my mental illness. My mental health had effectively ended my last relationship, and I didn’t want it to negatively impact my romantic relationships again.At first, I hid my mental illness. If I needed to spend a day indoors or if I was having a panic attack or anything like that, I just told him that I was sick, without specifying with what. He didn’t press me, assuming, as most people would, that I had a physical illness.
It was around 3 weeks into our relationship that I thought I needed to talk to him about it. I knew that I liked him a lot, and that I wanted to be completely honest with him about my mental health, because it is a big part of my life, and I thought that he would react well. He’s a medical student, so I figured that he would have some knowledge about mental health. And he did! He’d been taught about all sorts of mental health conditions, and was incredibly understanding of why I hadn’t told him up to that point. Thankfully, since that moment on, he has reacted amazingly to my mental illness. He is undoubtedly the best thing that has ever happened to me, with regards to my mental illness. He is always supportive of me, even when I have lost faith in myself.
I know that I am unspeakably lucky when it comes to how he reacted to my mental illness. I think, had he not been a medical student, I would have broached the topic a bit differently, perhaps bringing up mental health in a conversation and seeing how he reacted. From there, I would have talked about my own experiences, and worked it up from there.
What have your experiences with telling people about mental health?