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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Explaining depression/anxiety to a partner.

Topic: Explaining depression/anxiety to a partner.

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. lozziemw
    lozziemw avatar
    3 posts
    3 May 2020

    Hi all. New to the forum however have loved the resources from BB for a long time. I am in my late 20s and have been with my boyfriend for just shy of 7years.
    I have found it really difficult to explain mental health and the depression symptoms I experience to him and recently he told me ‘I don’t think you have “depression”. I questioned what he meant by this, and his response was ‘you know, the usually thing people mean when they say they’re depressed, I don’t think that’s you.’
    I got really agitated by this comment, mostly because depression takes so many forms and I feel like he is uneducated in the area/takes little interest in it. Does anyone have advice for explaining what depression is and how it takes many forms? I have a mild case, am on medication and am now seeing a naturopath to see if that can assist also.
    any advice would be great. I’ve tried to encourage him to read up on it, I share my naturopath treatments etc.

  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    4 May 2020 in reply to lozziemw

    Hello Lozziew, and a warm welcome.

    This can be very difficult, especially if they have not had any previous experience before, simply because they don't understand and find it hard to believe that an illness could take control over you.

    I had an elderly friend ask me the same question over and over and no matter how many times I printed off material, he couldn't work out why I was depressed, and it was only when he was admitted to a nursing home, he realised

    Being in your late 20's is a completely different matter and I'm truly sorry for you to be in this situation.

    I want to definitely get back to you, but in the meantime, BBlue has this site to look at, if possible:

    -Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.‎

    -there are many other links people may provide, it's just that I have to leave.

    Great to hear from you.

    Geoff.

  3. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    845 posts
    4 May 2020 in reply to lozziemw

    Hi lozziemw and welcome to the forums!

    I can understand that it can be frustrating when people don't understand mental health or only know about the 'stereotypes' of depression. You are completely right, depression can take on many forms. What I have used in the past are informative Youtube videos! People are really creative nowadays so they can explain mental health in a way that makes it easier to understand. How do you feel about this option?

  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3083 posts
    4 May 2020 in reply to lozziemw

    Hi lozziemw,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for being here. I do have some ideas but first I just want to acknowledge and commend you on what you said about him being 'uneducated'. I feel like this is such a powerful thing because often it can feel like people don't understand and don't care, when really it often is about not knowing enough. It can also help you take it less personally too knowing that it's about him and not you.

    You mentioned that you were encouraging him to read up on it and sharing your naturopath treatments; is he being open to that? I'm happy to link to lots of sites that explain depression but not sure if this would be relevant.

    For my own partner, if I gave him pamphlets to read I know they would sit there and gather dust! But if I had a conversation with him and used things like metaphors (the black dog is so popular, or a dark cloud) - then he's more open to the idea and it helps him understand. For another person, it was learning more about the science behind it and knowing that our brains are a bit different. Sometimes, even videos can be helpful and easier to process (TED-Ed has a great one on YouTube that's only 5 minutes). Sometimes, it can help to know what happens and how we feel/think, other times it helps to know what people can do - i.e. listen, cuddle, give space, do the dishes. Figuring out what helps can be key to helping them understand.

    I hope this gives you something to think about and I hope its helpful.

    rt

  5. lozziemw
    lozziemw avatar
    3 posts
    4 May 2020 in reply to missep123
    Hi Missep123. That’s a great suggestion, thank you. I will have a look at some YouTube vids that I can share with him. I think he’d much rather that medium as well rather than me giving him more and more reading to do.
  6. lozziemw
    lozziemw avatar
    3 posts
    4 May 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi RT,

    Thanks so much for the response and suggestions. Another user has responded also suggesting videos. I think this is such a great idea. Much like your partner, mine would be way more inclined to watch a video than to read articles and info I send his way.

    I shall take a look at the TED you suggested. Thanks again. Great to have support out there, and so lovely that we can obtain this through strangers. Love this platform.

  7. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    845 posts
    6 May 2020 in reply to lozziemw

    Hi lozziemw,

    I'm so glad that you think videos are a great idea! romantic_thi3f's suggestion of a TED talk is so good as well! Please let us know how it goes (if you want to of course) because we're definitely here for you!

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