Both partners have depression

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

    What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

    Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
    Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health. These reports and detailed tables present estimates from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).



  • Among the 133.1 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2021, 60.0 million people (or 45.1%) were past month binge drinkers. The percentage of people who were past month binge drinkers was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (29.2% or 9.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (22.4% or 49.3 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.8% or 995,000 people). (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 15.1% (or 5.9 million people) were past month alcohol users. Estimates of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in the past month among underage people were 8.3% (or 3.2 million people) and 1.6% (or 613,000 people), respectively. (2021 NSDUH)
  • In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (i.e., current alcohol users) (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61.6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)
  • The percentage of people who were past month binge alcohol users was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (31. 4%) compared with 22.9% of adults aged 26 or older and 4.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily


  • STOP Underage Drinking interagency portal - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Talk. They Hear You.
  • Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
  • Talking with your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Relevant links:

  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
  • Department of Transportation Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance
  • Alcohol Policy Information Systems Database (APIS)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



  • In 2020, 20. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 57.3 million people) used nicotine products (i.e., used tobacco products or vaped nicotine) in the past month (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among past month users of nicotine products, nearly two thirds of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (63.1%) vaped nicotine but did not use tobacco products. In contrast, 88.9% of past month nicotine product users aged 26 or older used only tobacco products (2020 NSDUH)
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States
  • The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use data:

  • In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Among both middle and high school students, current use of e-cigarettes declined from 2019 to 2020, reversing previous trends and returning current e-cigarette use to levels similar to those observed in 2018
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women, especially because they contain nicotine and other chemicals


  • Tips for Teens: Tobacco
  • Tips for Teens: E-cigarettes
  • Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
  • Synar Amendment Program


  • Truth Initiative
  • FDA Center for Tobacco Products
  • CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: E-Cigarettes



  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3. 3% (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.2 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. These numbers include 574,000 people who both misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4% (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 902,000 people used heroin (2020 NSDUH)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose


  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
  • TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy
  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction
  • Pregnancy Planning for Women Being Treated for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tips for Teens: Opioids
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grants
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System - Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioids
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Heroin
  • HHS Prevent Opioid Abuse
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network
  • Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network



  • In 2021, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 18. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (35.4% or 11.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (17.2% or 37.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.5% or 2.7 million people).
  • The percentage of people who used marijuana in the past year was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.5%) compared with 16.3% of adults aged 26 or older and 10.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Marijuana can impair judgment and distort perception in the short term and can lead to memory impairment in the long term
  • Marijuana can have significant health effects on youth and pregnant women.


  • Know the Risks of Marijuana
  • Marijuana and Pregnancy
  • Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Relevant links:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers on Marijuana
  • CDC Marijuana and Public Health

Emerging Trends in Substance Misuse:

  • Methamphetamine—In 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Cocaine—In 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • Kratom—In 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


  • Tips for Teens: Methamphetamine
  • Tips for Teens: Cocaine
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

More SAMHSA publications on substance use prevention and treatment.

Last Updated: 01/05/2023

Depression in both partners. How to support each other? Or is it worth it to deal with each separately?

CounselingRelationships in couples




Both my boyfriend and I are depressed. Medium and heavy. It all lasts a long time, he has been quarantined and lost his job, I have three months, it got worse after the 28th birthday and the new year. We parted several times, because I think we could not cope with emotions and our own problems. But we reconciled because we still love each other. This spoiled our relationship. How can we support each other if both are depressed? Or is it worth it to deal with each separately?

01 Feb. 2021


Xenia, thank you for your reply! No, but according to Beka’s test, I understood it myself, and don’t go to a fortuneteller, the symptoms are obvious (I don’t plan to go to a specialist yet, I want to cope on my own. "It's hard to find a job, it aggravates everything. When something is getting better in life, then he is on the rise, as soon as a failure occurs, then this is another breakdown and a desire to leave for his hometown from Moscow. He said that he had already turned to a psychologist, but I did not asked for details.0005

01 Feb. 2021

Ksenia Pervushina Clinical, psychoanalytic psychologist

Anna, psychotherapist Otto Kernberg wrote: "Once I noticed that the degree of personal pathology of each of the partners does not allow predicting how their life together will turn out. It happens that two absolutely healthy people unite and it's a real hell. And sometimes both partners have severe personality disorders, but a great relationship! ".

Of course, you can continue the relationship and support each other, love is healing for both parties.

In a sense, it may even be easier for you to understand each other, having similar problems, but this same similarity can add difficulties when especially difficult periods coincide for both and there is very little resource even for self-support, and here you also need to support a partner . Therefore, it is best to combine support for each other with independent efforts to normalize the condition.

Depression is a disease that consists in a violation of the neurotransmitter balance, and for treatment it is often necessary to normalize this balance first with medication, and then gradually learn to maintain it with the help of psychotherapy.

If we are not talking about depression yet, but about a period of low mood, it would be good to understand what it can be connected with, and if it indicates the onset of depression, contact a specialist for diagnosis and correction of the condition, and this should be a doctor ( psychiatrist or medical psychotherapist).

01 Feb. 2021


Xenia, Thank you for your advice!

01 Feb. 2021

Ksenia Pervushina Clinical, psychoanalytic psychologist

Anna, if you add more about the ways of support, then everything is pretty universal. The best way to unload the psyche is a sincere conversation, when the other person is ready to listen and try to understand, sympathize, it is also quite appropriate to ask each other about the desired form of support, and simply about desires and fulfill them as much as possible, the main thing is that both of them can do it, no casualties.

01 Feb. 2021

Ksenia Pervushina Clinical, psychoanalytic psychologist

Xenia, Thank you for your advice!

Anna, happy to help! If you have no more questions for me, you can end the consultation by clicking the button below.

During the consultation, Ksenia asked about the problem, learned the details and gave recommendations for further actions. Thank you!


Similar consultations

How to build relationships if one of you (or both) has a mental disorder - Knife

Why love and mental disorder do not contradict each other

Love, no matter how strong, cannot cure mental illness. But there is a scientifically proven fact: stable and supportive relationships improve mental health. Even those with severe disorders are less likely to have seizures and spend more time in remission.

If you think: “Why any recommendations, you need to do your feet!” - keep in mind that about one in four people around is not healthy. And if we take borderline states (that is, mildly pronounced disorders), then almost every second person is abnormal to one degree or another in some period of his life. Since few people like to go to psychiatrists, this can be found out after many years of relationship. And at some point, you may become seriously ill yourself, and, probably, you will count on care, and not on the fact that those with whom you have lived for years will scatter in horror.

How to love a depressed person

A rather typical sad story of a relationship with a depressed partner: you had a magical romance, you dreamed of being together all the time, and finally made a common nest. And now nothing pleases him or her, and in general he or she does nothing: sits at home and whines. “Probably, they have already stopped loving me, or have never loved me at all,” you think.

It is important to distinguish between clinical depression (major depressive disorder) and reactive depression. The second develops in response to difficult events, and the chances are quite high that over time it will pass forever. In the first case, a person is chronically ill, usually from adolescence.

Attacks of depression occur more or less regularly, including without apparent external causes. Depression is almost twice as common in women, but it is harder to recognize in men, because they do not like to complain about symptoms and try to avoid visiting doctors.

Therefore, a man with depression has a higher risk of suicide, as well as slow self-destruction with the help of alcohol or psychoactive substances. And lowered mood can be accompanied by severe irritability, which makes the life of loved ones even less pleasant.

Depression may be less obvious. For example, in physical symptoms: your head always hurts, your back aches, your stomach twists and there is no strength for anything. Sex at the same time causes a lot of negative emotions - from quiet irritation to violent tears.

What not to do if your partner is prone to depression

Criticize and blame. Believe me, your partner is great at doing this on his own and does it from about morning to evening. The consciousness of a person in depression is distorted, he really considers himself in these weeks (or even months) to be a worthless loser who is not worthy of your love. On the contrary, praise in such a state will never be superfluous: even for the fact that she washed her hair and made tea.

Dissatisfaction with the world around and disappointment in what used to be so pleasant should not be egocentrically taken personally: most likely, at these moments, the partner does not think about you at all, but about the fact that his or her whole life is one big failure , and humanity is heading towards the apocalypse.

Create stress . If your girlfriend or boyfriend is prone to depression, it is important to understand that they objectively have less strength and energy, they get tired faster and react more strongly to negativity. The magic kick method, calls to get out of the comfort zone and brilliant advice in the spirit of "be more positive" will not help in any way. This does not mean that nothing can be demanded from a partner at all. It is possible, but not now, but when a person returns to normal and will be able to adequately perceive these requirements. A depressed man experiences double pressure, because he is traditionally expected to act and initiate. It must be recognized that this will not happen in the near future. You may have to take care of your family for a while.

What to do if your partner is prone to depression

Relax a little. It is not the body that is paralyzed in a depressed person, but the willpower. Physically, he is able to get out of bed, but he does not see the point in this. He needs to be helped, but in no case should he be pressured, but interested. Negative emotions of all kinds are over the top, so it is important to show that there is still something pleasant left in life.

If depression is severe, it will be a great achievement to simply take a loved one by the hand and take them out for a breath of fresh air, like a seriously ill person (and they are). If the situation is easier, you can choose different activities, the main thing is feasible.

Support in the pursuit of recovery. Relevant to any mental disorder: Instead of deprecating comments like “yes, you’re fine, get some rest and move on,” support practical steps to recovery. Take them to a neurologist and a psychotherapist, remind them how important it is to get enough sleep and exercise.

If episodes of depression recur and do not go away for weeks, antidepressants should be taken (only with a good doctor's prescription). And to dissuade from this is a disservice.

Always remember that depressive episodes pass, and if a person was good, then he will be. How soon depends on both of you.


Depressed people are by nature sensitive and impressionable. Many of them are thoughtful, subtle and romantic natures, not alien to the arts. If you are attracted to lovers of philosophical conversations and poetry, there are very, very many depressive ones among them.


Such people can be not only weak and passive in life, but also obsessive. They are very attached and hard to endure separation. This can turn into a constant shifting of responsibility to the partner and the requirements of caring for those who have been tamed. Depressed men often become bitter drinkers, getting used to drowning out their depressed mood with alcohol.

How to love a person with bipolar disorder

This self-confident charismatic cannot be ignored. He pursued you with all his passion, and he managed to impress you not only with his lively wit, but also with a sudden trip to Africa on a safari. What was your surprise when, after just a year of living together, the partner turned into a weak-willed inhabitant of the sofa. He watches helplessly as you, in splendid isolation, complete the creative repairs he started, and only occasionally makes comments that maybe you shouldn’t have done it. Yes, and generally move out.

The whole life of a person with bipolar disorder (and this is both men and women) is a swing, a rollercoaster of dizzying ups and painful downs. The degree of steepness of these slides is different for everyone: for some, the contrasts are not so strong, and they retain a normal human appearance almost all the time. Others are first carried into a complete separation from reality (mania with psychosis), and then thrown into the abyss (severe depression).

What not to do if your partner has a bipolar disorder of

Wait for persistence. He will not be. If you dream of "taming and domesticating" a bipolar person, it's in vain. Even the most conscious and treated person needs a certain amount of adventurism. This is a person doomed to constant search: for himself, for a place in life. You should not expect him to patiently climb the career ladder in a big company for 10 years and complete all the work he has begun. But you have a chance to become the main constant in his or her life (such people really really need something permanent).

Argue. When a person is in a mania, it is useless to argue with him. At this moment you are a mere mortal, unable to appreciate the genius of his ideas. And if there are signs of psychosis, any conversations are meaningless. Only strong drugs will help.

Keep up the frenzy. The opposite tactic is also very dangerous: encourage and support madness. Traveling across India on a bike? Walrus tusk souvenir business? In mania, a bipolar is ready to jump into any crazy undertaking, and you may even like it at first. But if you are healthy, this will be a great adventure for you, and for him - a trigger that can trigger a real psychosis attack. Or suicidal depression.

What to do if your partner has a BAR

Look for balance, set the mode. The golden mean probably sounds boring, but you have to stick to it in everything. Most likely, it is you - as a more balanced person - who will have to establish and maintain an adequate regimen of living together: eat normal food on time (and not a champagne cake), go to bed on time, alternate work and rest, and take normotimics in case of deterioration. Your partner's health depends on this routine: the more stable his daily life, the less seizures there will be.

Channel your energy. It is useless to forbid inventing adventures, but you can take on the role of an expert who rationally evaluates the prospects of new ideas.

It can be occupied, for example, by drawing up a detailed business plan and gathering information. If a person is still inadequate, he will spend his energy on diagrams and sketches and calm down a little. And if he remains critical, maybe he will think of something really brilliant.

Keep track of your finances. In mania, a bipolar person can easily spend the entire family budget on cute trinkets. Psychologists strictly advise for the duration of an attack (and usually it is only a few weeks) to seize documents and bank cards from a partner and even block the Internet.


Perhaps the most "creative" diagnosis. A wide range of emotions and wild imagination help such people become inventors, entrepreneurs, actors (with talent, of course). On the rise, this is a holiday person and the soul of the company, who will pick you up and carry you towards adventure.


The rise never lasts long. The main problem of life with a bipolar man is instability: he either works around the clock, or he doesn’t work at all, or he comes up with a dozen cases, then he abandons them, leaving you to deal with the consequences.

People with bipolar disorder can be not only creators, but also swindlers and graphomaniacs, as well as pathological liars and incorrigible cheaters.

A man in mania changes lovers as easily as all his other hobbies. Those who have known each other for half a year, and couples with 10 years of experience and three children, are not immune from this. The craving for novelty and adventure does not always bring them to good.

How to love a person with an anxiety disorder

You met a nice girl with whom you finally felt warm and comfortable. Sensitive, attentive, for the first time in her life she put your apartment in order and, it seems, is ready to cherish and cherish like a mother. However, the comparison with your mother is not the most encouraging, because pretty soon she begins to control you in the same way. You can no longer hang out after work in a bar, because she does not let go alone, afraid to death that someone will beat and rob you. However, she also doesn’t go to parties, because she can’t stand loud music and big companies. And at some point, an attempt to correct the marafet induced by her at home causes a real hysteria.

This may not just be a “severe temperament”, but an anxiety disorder - a widespread and diverse mental disorder: from generalized anxiety disorder to panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and various types of phobias.

Everyone who is anxious has his own main fears: someone is shaking from the company of new people, someone - from concern for loved ones. Constant anxiety is exhausting and leaves little energy for useful activities, so you should not expect high energy and efficiency from them.

Some will find fearfulness and impressionability very cute, but don't be too deluded: anxiety has another side - aggression aimed at self-defense. This side is especially pronounced in anxious men: they, as a rule, are also economic and caring, but the level of control (for your own good!) can reach despotism.

A common way of dealing with anxiety is the many rules and rituals that go to the extreme in OCD. This is not a whim, but a relatively effective way to cope with the situation: the performed ritual calms, gives a feeling of control over what is happening. It's definitely not worth laughing at. After all, when you read a prayer to calm yourself before an important event, or sleep with a textbook under your pillow before an exam, you are doing the same.

What not to do if your partner has an anxiety disorder

Leave alone with problems. Being alone with fears is the main nightmare of the anxious. Dr. Spock's methods of "the best way to stop a tantrum is not to react to it" do not work here. Of course, you will save yourself from an unpleasant sight, but the relationship is unlikely to live long after that. And if you stay nearby, embodying understanding and calmness with your whole appearance, they will definitely appreciate it. A firm hold on the hand and lead away from an unpleasant place can be enough to stop a panic attack. It is important to listen to the entire stream of consciousness, to say something soothing.

Feed the alarm. If you yourself are anxious enough, you will have a very difficult time. It is important for an anxious person to believe that there is a person nearby who controls the situation better than him. And if you are easily infected with panic and start voicing new terrible versions of what is happening, then he will lose the last ground under his feet.

Save from all adversity. Ridding a loved one of all hardships (from nervous work to a couple of hours in an apartment alone) is also not at all a solution. Anxiety has a dangerous feature: fueled by fears, it grows, capturing new spaces. This is called "generalization": at first a person is afraid of white mice, then of the laboratories in which they live, and in the end he cannot cross the threshold of the university. Thus, the anxious one runs the risk of driving himself into a corner and finding himself in complete isolation.

What to do if your partner has an anxiety disorder

Don't escalate. Since you are together, find out what exactly scares your soul mate and never abuse it.

Keep me posted. Regularly report when you get home what important things you are doing and why you are in a bad mood. So you save yours and her or his nerves. After all, when an anxious person does not know what is happening, his brain draws the most terrible version possible. By the time you return from an unscheduled meeting with a friend, they may already start looking for you with a detachment of volunteer rescuers.

Create a safe environment. The sensitive psyche of an anxious person cannot bear overload. She can be "closed" even from an excess of positive impressions, for example, at a stormy holiday. Therefore, it is extremely important that the house be that quiet and cozy place where you can relax.

Support in the fight against fears. Cognitive-behavioral therapy offers to deal with fears according to the “wedge wedge” method: accustom yourself to frightening situations. But you need to do this gradually and in really safe conditions, no "throw off the boat - let him learn to swim" (you will never be forgiven for this). The support of a partner just creates this feeling of security, and in general it’s great to expand the boundaries of an interesting world together: for example, climb a beautiful roof arm in arm with a loved one and overcome the fear of heights.


Anxious people are attentive, empathic and responsible. They try to foresee everything and prepare for everything simply because they cannot do otherwise. They will find a way to save money "for a rainy day", they will always notice when something has happened to you, and they will take a warm jacket for you on a trip. If care is dear to you and some degree of overprotection is not frightening, then you will be comfortable together.


Reasons for fear and anxiety may have nothing to do with reality, and then guardianship turns into hysteria or domestic terror. Anxious people can be tough and controlling in their attempts to shield themselves from anything threatening. They torture their loved ones with interrogations and prohibitions. It is not in vain that in lectures on psychology they like to cite Chekhov's "Man in a Case" as an example - a rather heavy character.

Pathological jealous people are also often anxious people.

And if you even accidentally put your beloved in an unbearable situation for her, for example, get stuck in an elevator on the 20th floor with her fear of heights, you can physically suffer from heels and nails.

How to love someone with borderline personality disorder

Like depression, this disorder is more common in women. But do not forget that a quarter of all "border guards" are men. Being in a relationship with a "border guard" or "border guard" is as easy as shelling pears: these are emotional, sociable guys who, in the truest sense of the word, cannot live without love. But they are quickly disappointed (or disappointed), and therefore they are periodically in active search. The essence of their relationship style is perfectly described in the book "I hate you - do not leave me": a constant storm of emotions and contrasts.

Today you were a princess and a dream come true for him - and a week later he calls you an arrogant egoist. In the morning she sings in the bathroom, and in the evening she complains that she has been unhappy all her life and is not understood by anyone. The peculiarity of the border guards is the all-encompassing predominance of feelings over reason. On the most physical level: they have a hyperactive amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions, mostly negative ones. Their thinking is painted in black and white, at every single moment everything is either perfect or too bad.

Border guards have difficulty understanding who they really are and what they want from life and from you: this is called an identity disorder. It is very painful. Often, border guards inflict physical harm on themselves, only to drown out the mental pain.

To maintain balance, the border guard needs to “attach” to a more stable person and look at himself through his eyes. No partner can fully compensate for the deficit that comes from childhood, and therefore the relationship will not be easy. But this does not mean that they are doomed to failure. Given sufficient awareness on both sides, there is a chance to learn how to smooth out sharp corners.

What not to do if your partner has a BPD

Ignore. "Freezing" from a hysterical border guard is not only pointless, but also dangerous. If you leave, slamming the door, it will be perceived as "gone forever, no one needs me, why live. " It can even go as far as suicide threats, which will seem like banal blackmail to you. This may be true, but always remember that most border guards have real suicide attempts on their account. One of them is in danger of becoming the last. Emotions are so strong and unstable that they drown out the voice of reason completely. The accusations made in hysterics cannot be taken seriously. When the storm subsides, the border guard will most likely forget what he had to say.

Provoke. The psyche of a border guard is easily excitable and unstable, and therefore they succumb to provocations easily. If you force your opinion or argue aggressively, then the banal finding out who goes to the store will turn into an analysis of your relationship from the first day you met. With a stream of swearing and the most sophisticated accusations.

What to do if your partner has BPD

Acknowledge the reality of his feelings. No matter how absurd the drama unfolded out of the blue may seem, for the border guard all experiences are absolutely real. At this moment, he feels rejected, lonely, practically non-existent. Just admit it - the border guard rarely meets with an understanding of his feelings, which are always "too much" for others, and will be grateful. You can also simply distract yourself from intense experiences: not always, but your favorite movie or good sex will save you.

Connect your mind. In psychotherapy, the main methods of helping people with BPD are teaching techniques to control emotions and training logical thinking. You can also help your partner in this by calmly (without moralizing!) pronouncing and explaining conflict situations.

Reality check helps a lot: using concrete examples to explain that there are no real reasons for his fear (for example, to be left alone and in poverty until the end of his days). It is important to remind that bad moments will pass, and life will continue on.


Many people with BPD are bright, intensely sensitive, creative. They are easily carried away by both people and affairs, they love the new and unusual. You definitely won’t get bored with them from the lack of emotions and events in your life together.


They are manipulators. From childhood, the border guards got used to the need to fight for care and attention by any means. And if you don’t give them enough (and it’s impossible to give, because too much is required), then heavy artillery can be used against you, and you yourself won’t notice how you find yourself guilty of all the troubles of the universe. Stalkers who pursue those who rejected their love are also often people with BPD. Their self-esteem is so strongly attached to the chosen one or chosen one that they are unable to let it go.

What to do if you have a mental disorder

Sometimes, or quite often, we are unbearable. No one chooses a mental disorder for himself, but no one removes responsibility for relationships from us, adults, capable people with their own characteristics. We can make them better, more honest, more constructive. In the end, this is in our personal interests: as I have already reminded, balance in relationships is not a guarantee, but an almost indispensable condition for mental balance.

Be honest. No one can read minds, you can’t expect a partner to guess everything and guess every time you feel bad. If you have serious plans for a life together, tell us about your personal characteristics and triggers. About in what situations you really need help and in what form. Do not expect that they will understand you and agree with everything right now - it is really difficult to accept the fact that a loved one has a mental illness.

But if, after numerous and patient explanations, your companion continues to stand on his prejudices, you will probably have to admit that the relationship will not work.

Another scientifically proven fact: a destructive relationship in which a person with an unstable psyche is regularly devalued, blamed, provoked to negative emotions is worse than none at all.

Explain. Perhaps you absolutely do not want to act as an educator and rummage through scientific literature. But if you don’t explain (in detail, with links to authoritative sources) to the person you live with what your diagnosis is in general, no one else will do this, and then misunderstanding is guaranteed. If it's hard to find words, find some good movies and books. And if trust reigns in your relationship, you can invite your partner to talk to your doctor.

Strive for remission. There are many people with mental disorders in the world who quite happily start families, build houses and give birth to children. But all happy families are similar in one thing: a spouse with a disease is aware of his condition and undergoes therapy. Psychotherapy helps some, pills are needed for others, a healthy lifestyle and self-control is enough for someone.

If you deny the very need to somehow correct your behavior and think that your partner is obliged to accept you as you are, with all the problems, you should hardly count on a long-term relationship.

There are also statistics that show that when a partner is not treated, the probability of divorce for various disorders reaches 90%.

How not to be an asshole

No matter how severe our disease is, only part of our impartial actions depends on the symptoms, the other part depends only on ourselves. Believe Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who found opportunities to show humanity even for people with schizophrenia imprisoned in a concentration camp.

A person with a mental disorder is in a state of attack / episode only a small part of the time, the rest of the time he is quite capable of controlling his behavior (if this were not the case, the issue of deprivation of legal capacity would be on the agenda).

If you can't help but destroy everything around you when panic attacks, you can fix the broken when you come to your senses. And to apologize to those who managed to suffer, thanking them for their patience and support.

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