I hope everyone had a lovely, stress-free weekend. If you’ve been following my blog then you’ll remember my previous posts about interviewing people who suffer with mental health issues AND interviewing partners of people with mental health issues so that we can get a really true, honest and accurate idea of what it’s really like to be in the world of bad mental health. I have had the privilege of interviewing some absolutely wonderful and beautiful people who have been brave enough to confide in me and let me interview them about the struggles of either suffering with mental health issues themselves or being the partner of someone suffering. I can’t thank these people enough for their bravery and honesty. I hope to raise more awareness about mental health issues. Mental health is so important and it DOES matter – even more so than physical health. Suffering with a mental illness is a disease of the brain, it is not your fault (or your partners fault) the brain can malfunction just as much as any other organ in the body and mental health really needs to be taken more seriously in my opinion. I hope you enjoy reading the interview below. This interview is with a man called Alex who talks openly and honestly about his partner suffering with postnatal depression and how they deal with it as a family – they have 2 young children.
My interview with Alex:
Me: How long have you and your partner been together?
A: 6 years
Me: When did you first realise your partner was suffering with mental health problems?
A: I first thought there was something wrong when she had Scarlett and struggled to connect with her, I always new that Lauren was still struggling with deaths in her family but I didn’t know much about mental health so just always thought she was in a bad mood or just had a bad attitude, but when she couldn’t connect with Scarlett between the two of us we did a lot more research and realised she may be depressed and have symptoms of post natal illness.
Me: What has it been like for you personally being with someone who suffers with mental health problems?
A: it was really hard, I could see the woman I loved behind this angry, possessive person that was just always in a mood for what seemed like no reason, I felt like I was constantly on egg shells and at any moment anything I said or did would make her cry or lose her temper and that would result in a fall blown argument, I didn’t understand depression, I couldn’t see what was going on inside her head so I would just push and push for answers which made things worse.
Me: How have you supported your partner?/what do you try and do to support your partner?
A:when Lauren was finally diagnosed with depression I spent a lot more time trying to understand it, and what I realised is that some days it didn’t matter what I said or did – if the black cloud was over her head nothing would make it go away, so rather than trying to cheer her up or get angry at her I would leave her to it and go find something to do around the house, I started to help out a lot more with day to day jobs and just try and take a bit of stress away from her, I’ve never been the best at house work but I try. I was just there for her and would listen rather than speak.
Me: If you could give any advice to someone else out there who’s in a relationship with someone with mental health problems, what would it be?
A: I think the advice I could give is just do everything you can to make their day easier, if you can take the kids out for the day and give them time to themselves it may mean that week is just better, if you can cook dinner or do the chores it means they can have time to themselves. And most importantly don’t push them or get angry if they don’t tell you what the matter is and why they’re so sad or angry or really hyper on some occasions because what I have found with Lauren is most of the time she has no idea why, a black cloud hit her and that’s it she’s out for the day so me in her face asking “what have I done?” just make it ten times worse.
A huge thank you to Alex for being honest in his answers during this interview. ❤️
I'm a 28 year old mum to a 9 year old son -- yep that's right, I gave birth to my son at the young age of 18 (just before my 19th birthday) with some of these past 8 years being a single mother. I have suffered with anxiety from the young age of 8 and have never truly gotten over it. I am a very normal, real, down to Earth mum who wants to share my high's and low's of being a mum suffering with anxiety which is still, surprisingly, a bit of a taboo subject. There is nothing I haven't been through when it comes to anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD and over the last 8 years I have found ways to cope with it whilst being the best mum I can be to my son. I have made mistakes, some hilarious, some not so hilarious. But I am here to open up about this taboo subject of parents suffering with mental health issues and I am here to share my weird and wonderful life with you. This is the secret life of an anxious mum.
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