What makes it more difficult is when both partners have mental illness. People who are co-suffering may very well be able to understand each other more, and may have more empathy. But it is very hard to deal with your own illness when you are also handling the stress of being with someone else who has a mental illness or an addiction.
Another thing I worry about is how my illness affects my daughters. I already see my oldest showing signs of depression. And my youngest - well, I worry about her growing up in a house with me, a depressive person, and her father, an alcoholic who is undiagnosed with bipolar.
And there is the effect that my behavior, my dark moods have on my children. I feel like they are not as happy as other children and don't have the opportunity to enjoy themselves like other kids do.
At some point I may ask my oldest daughter to do a guest entry on how having a parent with depression has felt to her.
For more information, please consult Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.