Dating With Depression: What Your Partner Should Know

This post is the third part in my “Dating With Depression” series. You can read the first post about putting yourself out there here, and the second post about talking about mental health with your partner here.

Dating someone while dealing with mental health issues, or living with a chronic mental illness, isn’t easy. It’s not easy for the people who are living with these issues (obviously), but it can also be very difficult for the other person, the other half of the relationship. It’s great that people want to help care and support their partners who live with mental illness, and it’s beautiful to see relationships thrive even though one (or both) people are dealing with mental health issues. But if someone wants to be as helpful and supportive as possible, what am I supposed to tell them? Even though my experience is specific, there are a few things you could tell your partner that might help them understand what you’re dealing with.

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Dating With Depression: Putting Yourself Out There

I’ve written on the blog before that living with mental illness can impact daily life in so many ways. One of those ways that has the biggest impact is with the relationships we form. My entire adult life, I wasn’t really sure how I’d approach dating with depression, and it was something I was afraid of. I’ve written in the past about some types of relationships, but I’ve never really had the courage or knowledge of how to write about romantic relationships – until recently. From putting yourself out there, to opening up and having those conversations about your mental health and figuring out what comes next, dating when you live with mental illness – and dating someone who lives with a mental illness – isn’t easy to navigate. Where do we even start? Well friends, I’m here to help (with the limited personal experience I have). Welcome to Dating with Depression – told with the help of a wonderful woman I’ve been fortunate to get to know this year.

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Mental Health Terms to Avoid – And What to Say Instead

Earlier this week, I wrote about the daily work involved in reducing the mental health stigma. There are things we can do every day to normalize mental health discourse, seeking help and talking to other people about our own mental health. One thing I mentioned specifically is to work on limiting the language that contributes to the disrespect and distrust of mental health issues. These words and terms make mental health issues out as something to be ashamed about, something to fear, instead of something to be open and honest about. Time to change our vocabularies!

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The Constant Work of Shrinking the Mental Health Stigma

As I thought about what to write on this week (I have some good posts coming up, so stay tuned!), one thing I kept coming back to was the work I’ve been doing as a Mental Health Advocate. When you’re in a space where people are so open to hearing your own mental health experience and sharing their own, it can make you think that there still isn’t a major stigma out there surrounding mental health. But there is, and in the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of why it’s important to always challenge that stigma wherever we see it.

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A Bad Mental Health Day Doesn’t Undo Progress

Recently, I had a bad day (that’s what I call going through any spells of depression and anxiety). A bad few days, even, since the residual effects of dealing with depression can linger in a uniquely difficult way. You can also call them bad mental health days if you want to be more specific. Either way, this was happening, and I felt powerless to stop it. But there was a calm after the storm, and during that time I try to collect my thoughts, process what happened and try to gain insight into that particular episode. It happened a few months ago, and I got through that moment differently. But in this moment, I needed a different reminder, and I got it (hint: it’s the title of the post!)

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Healthy Ways to Cope With Anxiety

If you’re new to the blog, you might have missed some of the ways I’ve discussed depression and anxiety in this space. Most of my posts come from one of two places: 1) statistics and data that I find or 2) my personal experience living with clinical depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve written about managing anxiety before, as well as what to do when depression hits. But this week, I want to talk about coping strategies – namely, how to make sure we find healthy ones, and understanding our relationship with these strategies.

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A Look at Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

As I wrote last week, it’s extremely difficult to understand some of the nuances and differences of mental health outside of my own cishet male experience. In some cases, it’s near impossible. But in looking at looking at statistics and data, it’s also clear that certain groups and demographics of people are at a higher risk of mental health issues. Last week, I wrote about the male demographic because it was Men’s Health Week. This week, as we reach the end of Pride Month, I wanted to dive into some statistics and data surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. And though it won’t be news for our siblings in that community, it presents a harsh reality as we look to understand how LGBTQ+ persons are affected by mental health disorders and mental illness.

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Guest Post: A Mental Health Reflection

This post was written by Stephen A. Harris, who was asked to reflect on his experience with mental health and masculinity in his life. He is a dear friend of mine who has agreed to share his story. Thank you Stephen!

It Started From the Beginning

“You weak, cuz.”

“Why you cryin’ like a bitch?”

“You need to man up, that’s how females talk.”

These were common phrases when showing emotion around family growing up, especially my cousins around the same age as me. I was raised to believe real men don’t cry, real men are tough and real men don’t show weakness. What I didn’t realize was the damage that was being done that affects me to this day.

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A Look at Mental Health During Men’s Health Week

As I’ve leaned more into the mental health space and got to know people in the community, I’ve recognized subtle differences and undertones when certain people discuss mental health. I’ve also recognized less subtle differences in part of this discussion, and that usually involves how men talk about mental health. I can’t understand some of the nuances and differences of mental health outside of my own cishet male experience, but by looking at statistics and data alone, something is clear: men need help with mental health just as much as any group of people.

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Better Understanding the Term ‘Mental Health Crisis’

I’ll be honest, friends. I liked my post on Tuesday about what to do in a mental health crisis, but I think there was one thing I glossed over that I’d like to return to. The reason I wanted to share about what to do in a mental health crisis was that I wanted to stress the importance of knowing where to turn, who to call and how to be safe. But one thing I should’ve considered more is figuring out what it means to be in a ‘mental health crisis’ – so that’s what I’m doing today.

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