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Discussing my depression with SO

M

mjm04180

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
1
Location
United Kingdom
Tried asking this on a Reddit advice forum and surprise surprise, what little reply I got was mainly from assholes. So decided to come here to actually chat with some people who would understand my situation and (hopefully) be less judgmental.

So, a bit of backstory & context- I was diagnosed with depression in late-2016. I struggled with my MH throughout university as well as SH, and it took until last year for me to find a medication that worked for me for more than a few months without horrible side effects. I am also 2 years SH free as of 4 days ago, and have been getting much better in myself. Doctor has been talking about weaning off the medication, but I have declined at the moment due to COVID and lockdown uncertainties- it's something I'll be trying once lockdown ends though.

So, the actual topic:

Me: 22 M
SO: 19 F

After months of my MH improving and me getting more like my old self, I decided to re-enter the dating scene. I met this lovely girl on a dating app in August last year, and we hit it off right away. Asked her out about a month after, and we've been together since.

I've kept my mental health history a 'secret' from her but want to tell her, to ensure she knows what's going on with me when I have bad days or depressive episodes- that it's not her fault and she's not done anything wrong, stuff like that. But I'm very nervous about this, for the following reasons:

One night we were chatting on Facetime (she's away at uni at the moment) and we were chatting about disastrous dates we've had in the past for a bit of fun. She talked about an old boyfriend of hers that had MH issues, and the more I learn about the bloke it's clear he wasn't well and needed some help. But she talked about medication use and mental illness in general in a poor light, calling this guy 'mental' and 'crazy', and how stressful it could be for her. This definitely hurt me a bit as my MH is quite a bit part of who I am now and how I have changed over the past 4.5 years, and I felt as if I didn't want to 'come clean' to her at that time- and I kind of kept putting it off constantly since then.

Another reason for keeping it a secret is past experiences- when I was at uni and in some of my lowest moments I would confide in and take support from a girl I lived with, until late 2018 when she cut me off, saying that my mental illness was 'too much for her to handle as a friend' and that being around me 'brought her down'. Not only that, but in order to save face she then spread rumours saying I was the one that wronged her, and turned almost everyone I lived with in the house against me- they would exclude me from house events, speak about me behind my back, and the girl in question literally didn't speak to me or look me in the eye again until we parted ways at graduation. This event severely put me back in terms of recovery and made me relapse into SH quite badly for a few weeks until I met some new friends that I am still close with today. I stand by the sentiment that meeting those new friends saved my life.

So, primarily I'm scared to tell my SO about my past mental health problems in case she sees me in a different light & thinks of me in a similar way to her previous boyfriend, and I don't want things to get like they did with the girl at uni. I also don't know if she's going to be angry with me that I kept such a thing secret for 6 months. I know the longer I leave it the more upset she will be and I don't want it to be a case of 'she sees my medication one day and googles it', but due to past experiences and what she's said before, I'm too frightened to say anything.

What would be the best way to approach a conversation like this, and what should I say/expect her to say? Have any of you had a similar situation and can give me some advice?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks for reading.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
1,120
Location
USA
That's complicated. I suppose you have to tell her sooner or later, because she'll find out anyway-and then be pissed because you didn't tell her. And she could get pissed of you tell her, also, what with her past history and ex boyfriend.

Maybe you should compromise on solutions and just hold off until she knows you're a reliable chap (maybe not perfect, but reliable) and not likely to harbor deep MH issues? Not that you don't have MH concerns, but you're in control of them is what I mean.

I've been married so long I no longer worry about those kind of things. We know all of each others faults, it's no surprise anymore. There's a lot to be said for that. As for women getting mad if you do one thing or another-they get mad all the time anyway, so don't worry too much. They get over it quickly as well. At least most of the time. LOL
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
828
Location
Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
Wow. This is a tough situation that you're in. I'm pretty sure your SO doesn't want to feel like she's a caregiver to you and that you're too much for her to handle, so I'd tread very lightly in this area. I don't think you need to tell her forthright. Maybe it would be a good idea if she did find your medication and google it. Then you could put a positive spin on it, saying that your medication is definitely helping you and that you're so glad that you found something that's really making a difference in your life. Don't mention your MH at all. Just refer to your life instead, in general. Let her figure out the situation gradually, on her own terms. If she asks you why you didn't tell her sooner, just say that you have the situation under control. Good luck!
 
A

azlan

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Earth
First of all, your mental health is a lot more important than anything else and you shouldn't compromise that. Thinking about telling your SO might develop anxiety inside you and that, as you already know is horrifying. Tell her everything and if she cares for you she would be more than comfortable.
I know it sounds extreme to jump like that but, I am saying to do this because I fear that you might develop anxiety. You have been through a lot, you know how is it. Lastly, I cannot stress this enough "your mental health is more important than anything else".
 
C

Confused one

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Illinois
Honesty is the best policy without out it things will never work out. Also, it’s nobody’s obligation to accept your mental health, only yours! Think about this for a moment of a significant other is not willing to stand by your side in good or bad times then that person doesn’t belong deserve you. It’s extremely hard not to be your real self, but you can’t continue to hide behind a lie. Be you, accept yourself with your own strengths and weaknesses. If it’s meant to be it will be if not then there’s always tomorrow. But do yourself a favor, please be honest..
 
K

karl7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
918
Tried asking this on a Reddit advice forum and surprise surprise, what little reply I got was mainly from assholes. So decided to come here to actually chat with some people who would understand my situation and (hopefully) be less judgmental.

So, a bit of backstory & context- I was diagnosed with depression in late-2016. I struggled with my MH throughout university as well as SH, and it took until last year for me to find a medication that worked for me for more than a few months without horrible side effects. I am also 2 years SH free as of 4 days ago, and have been getting much better in myself. Doctor has been talking about weaning off the medication, but I have declined at the moment due to COVID and lockdown uncertainties- it's something I'll be trying once lockdown ends though.

So, the actual topic:

Me: 22 M
SO: 19 F

After months of my MH improving and me getting more like my old self, I decided to re-enter the dating scene. I met this lovely girl on a dating app in August last year, and we hit it off right away. Asked her out about a month after, and we've been together since.

I've kept my mental health history a 'secret' from her but want to tell her, to ensure she knows what's going on with me when I have bad days or depressive episodes- that it's not her fault and she's not done anything wrong, stuff like that. But I'm very nervous about this, for the following reasons:

One night we were chatting on Facetime (she's away at uni at the moment) and we were chatting about disastrous dates we've had in the past for a bit of fun. She talked about an old boyfriend of hers that had MH issues, and the more I learn about the bloke it's clear he wasn't well and needed some help. But she talked about medication use and mental illness in general in a poor light, calling this guy 'mental' and 'crazy', and how stressful it could be for her. This definitely hurt me a bit as my MH is quite a bit part of who I am now and how I have changed over the past 4.5 years, and I felt as if I didn't want to 'come clean' to her at that time- and I kind of kept putting it off constantly since then.

Another reason for keeping it a secret is past experiences- when I was at uni and in some of my lowest moments I would confide in and take support from a girl I lived with, until late 2018 when she cut me off, saying that my mental illness was 'too much for her to handle as a friend' and that being around me 'brought her down'. Not only that, but in order to save face she then spread rumours saying I was the one that wronged her, and turned almost everyone I lived with in the house against me- they would exclude me from house events, speak about me behind my back, and the girl in question literally didn't speak to me or look me in the eye again until we parted ways at graduation. This event severely put me back in terms of recovery and made me relapse into SH quite badly for a few weeks until I met some new friends that I am still close with today. I stand by the sentiment that meeting those new friends saved my life.

So, primarily I'm scared to tell my SO about my past mental health problems in case she sees me in a different light & thinks of me in a similar way to her previous boyfriend, and I don't want things to get like they did with the girl at uni. I also don't know if she's going to be angry with me that I kept such a thing secret for 6 months. I know the longer I leave it the more upset she will be and I don't want it to be a case of 'she sees my medication one day and googles it', but due to past experiences and what she's said before, I'm too frightened to say anything.

What would be the best way to approach a conversation like this, and what should I say/expect her to say? Have any of you had a similar situation and can give me some advice?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks for reading.
if it was me and i felt the relationship was strong enough i would open up a bit. From what you say, it seems she respects you.....its easy to explain to her why you didnt mention it earlier as you did have a very bad experience with that other girl.....anyway in my humble opinion, its not something to tell your girlfriend on your first date but 6 months in i think so.....in truth if you see this girl as marriage material, you got to tell her sometime.
 
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