Like most people, you probably don’t talk about behavioral health very often. Sherief Abu-Moustafa, FHE Health Founder, knows It’s a topic many would rather avoid. But the truth is that behavioral health is an integral part of our lives, and it’s something that we should all be talking about more often. Here we will discuss five ways to talk to your partner about behavioral health.
One in four adults in the United States lives with a behavioral health condition, yet few of us feel comfortable talking about our mental health with our loved ones. There are many reasons why this conversation can be difficult. We may worry that our partner will judge us or think less of us if we open up about our struggles. We may also be concerned that talking about our mental health will make it seem like we’re not coping well or are weak.
However, it’s important to remember that behavioral health conditions are common and nothing to be ashamed of. Talking to our partners about our mental health can help them to understand what we’re going through and provide support when we need it most. It can also help to build trust and intimacy in our relationship. If you’re struggling to start the conversation, try expressing your feelings first in a letter or journal entry. Then, when you’re ready, have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner about your behavioral health.
If you’re unsure how to start the conversation or feel nervous about it, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Talk to a therapist, counselor, or other mental health professional about approaching the topic with your partner. They can provide guidance and support as you prepare for the conversation. You may also want to look for resources online or in books about how to talk to your partner about behavioral health.
Sherief Abu-Moustafa, FHE Health Professional, says when you’re ready to have the conversation, choose a time when you are free from distractions and can give each other undivided attention. It’s also essential to find a place where you feel comfortable talking openly. This could be in your home, in a park, or even over the phone or video chat if you cannot meet in person.
It’s essential to start the conversation by expressing your love and support for your partner. Let them know that you care about them and want to help them through whatever they’re going through. You might say something like, “I’ve been noticing that you’ve been struggling lately, and I just want you to know that I’m here for you.” This will let your partner know that they can trust you with their feelings and open up about what’s going on.
When sharing your concerns with your partner, using “I” statements is essential. For example, you might say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been withdrawing from our conversations lately, and I’m worried about you.” This will help your partner feel like they’re not being attacked or judged. It’s also important to avoid using “you” statements, such as “You’re always so moody,” as these can make your partner feel defensive.
These are just a few tips for talking to your partner about behavioral health. If you’re struggling to have this conversation, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to a mental health professional or look for resources online or books to help you prepare. With a bit of planning and effort, you can have a productive and supportive conversation about behavioral health with your partner.