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I was married for nine years to someone struggling with depression and social anxiety. After all, I had spent most of my life managing my own depression, anxiety and anorexia. It takes an immense amount of patience and understanding to love someone through their down times, their body issues and the debilitating anxiety that simply doesn’t make any sense.
We have so many insights and pep talks and encouraging words we want to say. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of taking on your partner’s issues. But no — do not take their problems on as your problems, or soon you will be drowning alongside them. When I met my current partner, I knew he was stressed and low.
Accept your feelings Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, share similar experiences.
You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill.
Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events.
Also keep in mind that the onset of several of the symptoms below, and not just any one change, indicates a problem that should be assessed.