This community is meant for women and men who are in an intimate relationship with someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Although family members and friends are welcome to join and contribute, the primary goal of the community is to provide well partners - those who are romantically involved with someone suffering from a psychiatric disorder, but are not mentally ill themselves - with a place where they can share their experiences, exchange helpful information and receive support in times when it is needed.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO JOIN!
This community is for you if:
- You are romantically involved with someone who has a psychiatric disorder - You are looking for support from others in a similar situation - You are interested in sharing information about your partner's illness and its treatment - You are here to share experiences and to offer support, and not to pass judgement on others.
This community is NOT for you if:
- You suffer from a psychiatric illness yourself* - You are under sixteen years of age - You are anti-psychiatry - You are experiencing an emergency and need help RIGHT NOW.
This community is, at this time, not allowing members who are suffering from a psychiatric disorder*. This may change in the future, depending on how the community develops. Input from people with a mental illness can be very valuable, but first and foremost we aim to provide well-partners with a place where they can open up to each other without feeling the need to censor themselves for fear they might hurt someone's feelings.
This community is meant for people who are deeply involved with someone suffering from mental illness. We hope to offer valuable advice, support and a safe place to vent and be taken seriously. We will not allow people under sixteen years old to join because they might serve as an inhibiting presence. We want to keep self-censorship to an absolute minimum.
This community is aimed primarily toward the partners of those who have already been diagnosed. In a perfect world, their partners would all be receiving treatment, but we are aware that non-compliance, denial and poor financial means can be major roadblocks to recovery. Although the founder of this community does not believe prescription drugs are the only way to treat mental illness – numerous interesting studies have proved the value of homeopatic remedies, exercise and omega-3, for instance – she is a firm believer in psychiatric medication and in staying on the drugs that one has been prescribed. We will not allow anyone interfering with a member's diagnosed partner, telling them to stop or alter their medicine regimen in favor of something else. It is up to the member's partner to discuss these matters with their mental health professional.
This community can and will not act as a hotline for those with emergencies that require immediate, professional assistance. If someone posts in distress because their partner is suicidal or out of control, we urge them to call their doctor or to dial 911. As an online community, we can only try to help solve problems that are less acute and do not, at the moment, require professional intervention.
----- *We are currently accepting members who are involved with someone who is mentally ill, but are also suffering from a psychiatric disorder themselves. The experiences of a partner who has never experienced a psychiatric disorder are likely different from those of someone who knows what it's like to be ill, but the last thing we want is to turn away people who feel like they can benefit from this community. If you're in a relationship with someone who is suffering from a psychiatric disorder and you are not here to discuss your own health issues, this group was made for you. -----
If you decide to join:
Please send the moderator an email (wellpartners at gmail dot com) with a brief descripton of your situation, in addition to applying for membership here. Make sure to include your username in the subject line of the email. Members who do not email the moderator will not be accepted as members. After your membership has been approved, please introduce yourself in a post to the community. Tell us a little bit about yourself (how old you are, which part of the world you are from, if you're male or female, what you do for a living...) Tell us more about your partner (how old they are, how long you have been together, whether you live together, which mental illness they suffer from, when they were officially diagnosed, what medications they are taking, whether they're using alternative methods to deal with their illness, whether they're in therapy...) What are some obstacles you and your partner have faced in your relationship due to their illness? Also, please remember to tell us which books or websites have been helpful to you in the past, so we can add them to our list of recommendations!
Keeping the community alive requires regular input of all of its members. Please try to post a new entry at least two times a month. Don't feel like you need to write only about the problems you encounter in your relationship; we want to hear about the good things, too! If you can't come up with anything, try looking at the community's interests for topics to think and write about.
Be considerate of our friendslists and place longer entries under an lj cut. You can make your post friends only, which only allows members to read it, or public; that's your call. Keep in mind, though, that some people may feel uncomfortable commenting on a public entry.
Please try your best to comment as often as you can on people's requests for advice, an opinion or a sympathetic ear. Be supportive of one another, not judgemental. Discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability will result in the offensive poster being banned from the community. Try to offer specific advice and share topical information that has proved to be helpful for you or others. Share your stories. If we do this right, it will help all of us to feel less isolated and more empowered and remind us that we don't have to do this alone.
If you understand what this community's goals are, and you agree with its guidelines, you are welcome to join and contribute. I'm grateful to have you there, and am looking forward to seeing your posts.