When you have a cold, a fever, or a headache, it might be easy for you to say, "I'm sick again, right?" You might even receive a lot of sayings and prayers to get well soon. However, what if you are at risk or even have been diagnosed as having a mental disorder - for example, depression?
Should you tell the couple if I have a mental illness?
Mental disorders can affect anyone, including ourselves and the closest people. According to the 2013 Health Ministry's Riskedas, there are around 14 million Indonesians who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders, and approximately 400 thousand people with schizophrenia.
It's hard to talk frankly about your illness with your partner. Because, mental disorders still often get a negative stigma in society, even almost always generalized with "crazy people". That is why many people who have mental disorders feel hesitant to seek treatment, especially telling their condition with the closest people, including their partners. Not even a few who actually hide the disease from anyone.
Your doubts about sharing your condition with your partner may also be based on fear of not being trusted or fear of being ignored. Indeed, most diseases and mental disorders do not have typical physical symptoms. However, it never hurts to tell your partner if you have a mental disorder. Whether it's depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental health problems. Telling your partner about your condition is not to scare or embarrass yourself.
When should I tell him?
There is no right time limit to tell your partner about your health condition. Ideally, you should immediately notify your partner after you have been diagnosed as having a mental disorder. But if the age of the relationship is still corn, you don't need to quickly tell your medical history. You are the one who knows yourself best inside and out. If you need more time until you feel ready, use it well to consider it.
However, it is better to reveal your health condition from the beginning than to hide it until it is already very severe. The longer a healthy partner lives with a partner who is depressed, the higher the risk for him to also experience depression. Moreover, the development of mental disorders can occur slowly, almost imperceptibly. The symptoms also appear different in men and women.
Remember also that openness is an important foundation of a healthy relationship. By being honest and open, you show trust in each other. You need support to be able to recover completely and get back up to do activities like other healthy people. This is supported by Dr. Ayelet Krieger, a psychologist in the Bay Area, who states that revealing mental disorders at the beginning of a relationship is very important. That means you trust your partner wholeheartedly.
How do you tell your partner that I have a mental illness?
Starting to be honest about this heavy problem is indeed not easy. Remember that many people with the same problem have strong relationships with their partners. It could be that your partner will also do the same thing after he knows it, can even share strength.
Well, here are some tips for you to start telling your partner that you have a mental disorder:
1. Choose the right time
Whatever type of mental disorder you experience, you certainly have your own way of finding, processing, and expressing your emotions. So, adjust the right time to discuss it with your partner. Avoid moments of your relapse, whether it's anxiety, depression, psychosis, and other recurring symptoms.
If you are still unsure and confused about how to express it, you should consult a therapist or psychiatrist. You can also practice with him about the best ways to express health problems that are experienced. Practicing can help you determine what things need to be told.
2. Avoid directly to the point about your problem
This topic is not an easy thing to talk about. So, avoid directly to the point of telling the problem you are experiencing. Start by talking about light things, for example about the development of your relationship and talking to each other from heart to heart.
You can also package the conversation by expressing two good news before going to the heart of the conversation. For example, tell your partner that you love him and want to continue with him. Bring positive chat to improve your mood.
After the atmosphere melts, just point the conversation to the core of the problem. Convey that you want to share difficult things with him and hope to be heard and understood by him. Then you can tell that you have a mental disorder. Explain slowly until he understands. Prepare all information about your mental disorder before talking to your partner, including symptoms, triggers for recurrence, to the type of treatment. If necessary, bring an example article related to an explanation of your type of illness.
After that, wake up again with positive conversation by explaining what care you have lived and what has made you strong to live it.
3. Ready with all possibilities
You may not be ready for various reactions that can occur after you are honest with your partner. According to Avi Steinhardt, a clinical expert in Brooklyn New York, the risk of being honest about mental disorders is similar to the risk of falling in love. And basically there are only two possibilities.
First , the couple empathizes with the problem you are facing, maybe even if he invites you to find the best treatment. This means your partner supports whatever happens to you and is ready to fight together. This is certainly good news for you.
Second , the worst possibility is that the couple doesn't pay attention at all and instead wants to end the relationship. This might happen if you keep slacking off. Not because he underestimates your health problems, but may be more angry and disappointed because he feels unappreciated.
So, whatever the consequences, keep communicating to your partner from the start and believe everything will be fine.
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