#mentalhealthmonday – how i told my boyfriend about my mental illness

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?

9 thoughts on “#mentalhealthmonday – how i told my boyfriend about my mental illness

  1. BiblioNyan says:

    Sir Betrothed and I became friends before we became a couple. He was there for me when I was getting out of a super abusive relationship and had witnessed first hand what a lot of my mental health illnesses entailed, especially Depression. One day while we were reading together, he asked me about my depression. It was a soft question, nothing super invasive. When I didn’t say anything at first, he shared with me how he had bipolar and understood what it was like to have something so out of your control, and that sometimes the best thing for you is support and knowing someone cares. I broke down and began crying. We spent the rest of the day just talking about mutual situations and, he’s a counsellor, so he had a lot of good advice and was excellent at listening to me. It was a huge change for me because my ex-husband was a psychologically & sexually abusive asshole, and he blamed my mental health for everything that he did to me, including his infidelity. So it was… an emotionally intense trigger and sensitive subject for me. But since speaking to Sir Betrothed that day, I’ve become more secure and accepting of myself and how it has shaped me to be stronger and more open and kind towards others. I’ve also come to realise that it’s easier for people to use mental health as an excuse for their terrible personalities and treatment of others rather than just accept that they are terrible people. I’ve never really talked about this before, but as I’ve mentioned before, seeing you talk about your mental health gives me courage to talk about mine. 🙂

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    1. whatthelog says:

      *all the hugs to you, if wanted*

      I’m so glad that Sir Betrothed (I love that name btw) was able to help xx I rely on my boyfriend so much, and I think I’m still only beginning to realise how important it is to have a supportive partner.

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      1. BiblioNyan says:

        Oh yeah, I’m the same. I always felt that it was important to hide these things from your partner for a successful relationship, but he has showed me that is completely untrue. You just need to find someone who’s going to be your partner and support you, not drag you or feel ashamed of you. 🙂 I’m glad you have that with your BF.

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  2. Norrie says:

    This is so nice to hear! ❤
    I usually prefer broaching subjects like this early on. As there are still people out there who "don't believe in mental illness", and i certainly don't want to be around them and annoy myself with wasting time on them.

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  3. seedsinthewasteland says:

    Before I got together properly with my boyfriend, I tried to actually put him off by telling about my mental health provlems and how it made me a bad person. Kind of sad looking at it, but also ridiculous. It didn’t work, obviously. He’s a good egg.

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