HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY PARTNER?
Caring for someone struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression can be distressing and confronting. Jenni Richardson, PANDA’s national helpline and programs manager, shares her tips for looking after your loved one:
The best thing you can provide for your partner is patient, understanding and non-judgemental support. Do not fuel any thoughts that being unwell is a sign of ‘failing’ as a parent.
Remember that the symptoms your partner is experiencing are due to illness, and with the right treatment any out of character behaviours are likely to resolve.
Try to avoid making big life decisions about things such as your relationship, career or house.
Explore ways of expressing intimacy that work for both of you at this time.
Prioritise your own health. To provide effective support you need to be physically and emotionally healthy. Being a carer can be hard work.
Accept offers of help from family or friends.
Finally, ask your partner what would be helpful. They may not know, but are likely to appreciate being asked.