While I haven't had to deal with mental illness with myself, my wife has had several struggles with severe depression & anxiety. I heard your experience on while my wife & I were starting to see a therapist. It was extremely helpful in helping me to see some of the things she was struggling with from your point of view, things she had a hard time voicing & explaining.
By far the biggest challenge we face, on a daily basis, is the absolute lack of awareness most people have when it comes to dealing with mental illness. Even with the best of intentions, most people have no idea how to really help and unintentionally alienate the person they are trying to help. I honestly believe a lack of understanding is the largest obstacle that people on either side of the situation.
Your openly speaking about your personal struggles directly addresses the lack of awareness. It is bringing to light something that people just don't talk about, which causes people to think it is a rare thing that only they face.