The Other Side of Mental Illness

January 2, 2014 sexyknees

Nikki 1

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years talking about how difficult it has been for me to endure my significant other’s mental illness.  Little has been said about how much she has suffered.

First, I am not an angel.  I got irritable.  I got rude.  I got angry.  I was scared and confused.  There is no playbook for how to deal with a loved one’s descent into psychosis.  No matter how much support you may have, how many books you read, or doctors with whom you talk, you and your significant other are in it alone both as a couple as well as individuals.  No one else will ever truly understand what you are going through or how to help.

Second, my girlfriend was more alone and confused than I could ever imagine.  Even though I was there for her and trying to help, she was suffering her illness all by herself.  She was terrified.  Additionally, there is the social stigma that goes along with having a mental disorder.  Though I made sure that people understood what was happening, it does not prevent her from feeling embarrassed and ashamed for her behavior.

The both of us did the best we could, and have learned and grown from our experience.  What I can share with you is that if you have a loved one who has a mental disorder, please be sure to be patient and understanding, no matter how difficult the situation.  At times you will reach the end of your rope, as did I many times, but your loved one needs you – much more than he/she will ever say.  Stay the course and never give up.  Though he/she may leave you in the end, at least you will know that you probably saved his/her life.


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One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tonya  |  January 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    The internet is so weird! Just when you think you are alone, you find others going through the same types of issues at the same time. Somehow its relieving and comforting. My GF also had what I call an episode and has done a 180 on everything and is a different person. It started with RX to stop smoking, Those drugs are actually quite powerful and she liked it! She doesn’t understand when I try to tell her and because of it she stopped taking them which made it worse. We have been together for ten years and just had the fight I think that broke the camels back! I don’t know what to do anymore. I hope you figure out what happened and it works out how you want it to! Best of wishes Tonya

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