Dear Dr. Archer,
I've been suffering from anxiety, agoraphobia, depression and panic attacks for years. I'm used to it being very difficult or impossible to go out in pubic, but it took me a long time to accept it and even longer to talk about it.
One of the main problems in my last relationship was me trying to hide my problems from my girlfriend, because I thought she couldn't handle it. Now, in my new relationship, I thought I'd do better and tell her about my mental state. The problem is that lately she's been stressed out by work, so I went back to acting like everything is just fine so I wouldn't burden her.
It feels terribly wrong, but I don't know when is the right time to tell her. I don't want to prevent her from getting rest by telling her I barely managed to fight back heavy panic attacks for more than half the day. When is the right time to bring up something like this, and when is it better to just remain silent?
Hiding something like this is not in the best interest of a relationship. That said, the worst time to bring up such a potentially in depth topic is when she gets home, tired and stressed from a long day. Also, never bring up this or any other topic that requires discussion right before going to sleep for obvious reasons.
So forgo the weekday talk and go for a weekend discussion. Plan to cook her breakfast on a Saturday and after you eat, then have the talk. Make sure you have a couple of hours of uninterrupted quiet time scheduled.
Bring up the subject by letting her know she's important to you, and that you trust her. Convey to her that you want to be totally honest and that she needs to know that you have anxiety issues. And then, Kai, take it from there. Give her the opportunity to ask questions, she'll probably have a few.