Dave Bashford, the boyfriend of former Women’s Health cover star Sam Frost, has penned an emotional essay about his experience supporting her through her mental illness.
In a post on her website Believe, the actress explained that she’d asked her partner of two years to share what it was like to be with someone with depression and anxiety, “in hope to help others who may be trying to support a loved one as well.”
“Reassurance is something that I’ve had to make a key part of life,” Dave explained, adding that this had the tendency to be “challenging” at times.
“Some of the signs your partner is struggling with mental illness are; short-tempered, irrational, emotional, distant and unmotivated.”
The 27-year-old also added that with time he’d learned he wasn’t equipped solve Sam’s problems.
“I am not a professional,” he wrote. “When things start to get tough for her, I will listen and give some voice of reason, but most importantly I will reassure her. She doesn’t need me to fix what is upsetting her. She needs reassurance and an ear. Giving her moments to vent out her sometimes irrational thinking. I will listen to try and understand what is going on in her mind and heart.”
Still, Dave realises her feelings are “very real” and shouldn’t be discredited. “I know I can’t make the pain or sadness go away. All I can do is tell her how much I love her and remind her that everything is going to be ok.”
He added: “When Sam is struggling I am always there for her, I don’t ever get upset or angry at her. If her anxiety or depression gets in the way of something we had planned, which happens sometimes, I reassure her that everything is ok and whatever the problem is we can work through it together.”
He finished the post by dedicating a personal note to his girlfriend.
“Seeing you grow from a beautiful, caring yet fragile girl into a fierce, strong, gorgeous woman has been so special. I’m very proud of you,” he wrote. “How far you have come in your personal and professional life is inspirational. My life is forever better with you in it.”
If you or someone you know needs support for anxiety or depression, call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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