Mental health: supporting your partner with haemophilia
Many of us will experience some form of mental health challenge during our lifetime.1,2 This is no different for people with haemophilia. There are ways to help take back control and protect your emotional wellbeing.
Life’s ups and downs
Even if your partner keeps on top of managing their haemophilia, everyday pressures can creep up and lead to negative emotions over time. These difficulties aren’t necessarily a reflection of you or your relationship, it’s a hurdle that both of you can work to overcome.
What your partner might be going through:3,4
- Feeling limited in life or not protected against bleeds by their current haemophilia treatment
- Frustrated by a treatment or treatment schedule that doesn’t fit into their daily life
- Having bleeds that stop them doing certain activities or that lead to hospitalisation
- Experiencing ongoing pain because of joint bleeds or joint damage
- Losing mobility that makes normal tasks difficult
All of these things can impact how your partner would usually go about their day-to-day life, which can have a knock-on effect on their social activities, hobbies and work.3
Things to look out for
Changes can be gradual, though some signs can be more obvious than others.2 If you notice the following signs for two or more weeks, your partner could be experiencing:
|Low mood or irritability||Constantly tense, nervous or worried|
|Loss of interest in things they normally enjoy||Avoiding situations that make them feel anxious|
|Trouble concentrating||Always fearing the worst|
|Feelings of worthlessness||Feeling disconnected from their body or surroundings|
|Trouble sleeping||Panic attacks|
Seek professional advice to find out what is going on and what support is needed
Remember, mental health issues aren’t limited to depression and anxiety – people can experience different problems depending on their emotional challenges and life circumstances.
How you can support your partner
If you feel that you or your partner need urgent support because of their mental health, you can contact emergency services or a confidential helpline.
References: 1. WHO. World health report – mental disorders affect one in four people (accessed March 2020). 2. Rethink Mental Health. Worried about your mental health? (accessed March 2020). 3. WFH. Psychosocial care for people with haemophilia (accessed March 2020). 4. The Haemophilia Society. Positive mental health (accessed March 2020). 5. WHO. Depression (accessed March 2020). 6. NHS. How to help someone with depression (accessed March 2020). 7. Duggal HS. Perm J. 2019;23:18-295. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-295. Epub 2019 May 31. 8. Mind. Anxiety and panic attacks (accessed March 2020).