(image: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
I have bipolar disorder and four years ago I was hospitalised for a severe manic episode.
Without the love, kindness and support of my friends, I definitely would not have recovered as well.
Their support reminds me I am not alone and helps me to feel loved and safe. But mental ill health can be frightening for those who do not understand it, and sometimes friendships can be lost when one person experiences a mental health condition.
Some people may find it hard to cope with symptoms of a friend’s illness and, as such, cut ties or back away.
Jessica Valentine, psychologist at the Brighton Wellness Centre spoke to Metro.co.uk. She says: ‘Sometimes having a friend with a mental health illness can be draining. ‘On the other hand, it’s good to experience the journey of mental health; the ups and the downs, from a personal level. ‘You really get to ‘feel’ your friend come out of the depression. And, it somewhat makes you feel that you are living it too, side by side, helping them.’
The Mental Health Foundation explains that friendship can ‘play a key role in helping someone live with or recover from a mental health problem and overcome the isolation that often comes with it.
It advises that many people who manage to hold onto friendships while experiencing a mental health condition can see those friendships become stronger as a result.
I wanted to see the role of friendships in other peoples’ lives, either when they were coping with a mental health condition, or when they had witnessed a friend in crisis.
Here six people explain their experiences:
Read their experiences and rest of article: http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/01/6-people-share-their-experiences-of-friendship-during-mental-illness-7343290/?ito=cbshare