If you are in a relationship with someone who is depressed, you are probably dealing with a range of feelings and questions.
What does it feel like to be depressed? What can you do to assist them in their time of need? What impact will their symptoms and therapy have on your relationship? While everyone's experience with depression is different, there are certain things you can do to aid your loved one and yourself.
1. Educate Yourself
You may help your loved one by being as knowledgeable about depression as possible, including its origins, symptoms, and treatments. Request information on depression from your partner's doctor, or conduct your own research. Begin with these credible sources:
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Institute of Mental Health
2. Differentiate between fact and fiction
There are several misconceptions about depression. Depression, for example, is not the product of sloth or weakness. Your partner's suffering may not be "all in their mind." Depression does not require an explanation. If you are unfamiliar with depression, educate yourself to question preconceived notions, attitudes, and stigma.
It is critical to validate your partner's sentiments and experience with this very real and medically grounded sickness. Understand that it, like any other condition, can be treated.
Suicide is a very real danger of depression, so it's critical to make your loved one's environment safe (such as removing any alcohol, drugs, or firearms) and to take suicidal thoughts seriously.
3. Look after Yourself
Coping with another person's sadness may be quite distressing. It is OK to take some time for oneself. Self-care is not self-indulgent. In reality, you'll both be better off if you make time for habits like:
• Eating a good diet
• Getting enough sleep
• Participating in hobbies and activities you like
• Praying or meditating
• Practicing relaxation tactics
• Spending time in nature
• Staying socially connected
Caring for oneself may also include knowing when to say goodbye. Certainly, this option should be carefully considered (and ideally, discussed with a mental health professional). However, if your or your children's mental or physical well-being or safety is jeopardized, you may need to leave.
4. Obtain Assistance
It's normal to be disappointed, angry, and disturbed when someone you care about is depressed. It is critical, however, that you do not let these sentiments develop and expand.
Therapists, counselors, and support groups are not just for those suffering from depression. Seeking professional assistance for yourself may help you feel supported, allow you to express your emotions, and make you more aware of your own emotional needs.
Therapy may also address any questions you have about dealing with a loved one's depression. Even if you do not seek professional help for your mental health, it is critical to rely on your support network during this tough time.
5. Always be there for your partner
Being present for someone who is sad and verbalizing your support is one of the most significant things you can do for them. Hold them close or simply listen as they express their emotions.
Offer to assist them in booking appointments or performing some of the everyday duties that they are difficult to complete. Let them know that you are available to them in any way they require while they recover.
6. Avoid Taking It Personally
Depression can cause people to behave in ways that they would not ordinarily do when they are feeling good. They may feel impatient, furious, or retreat. They might not be as interested in going out or doing activities with you as they once were. Your partner's interest in sex may wane.
These are not personal issues, and they do not imply that your partner no longer cares about you. They are signs of a disease that must be treated.
7. Assist Around the House
As with any other disease, a person may just not feel well enough to take care of paying bills or cleaning the house. And, as with any other sickness, you may need to temporarily take over some of their everyday tasks until they feel well enough to resume them.
8. Be Aware That Treatment Is Critical
Treatment is critical for recovery from depression. You may assist your loved one by reminding them to take their medicine and follow appointments. You may also assist them by reminding them that seeking assistance is not a sign of weakness or anything to be embarrassed of.
9. Give Hope
Give your spouse hope by reminding them of their reasons for continuing to live, whatever they may be. Perhaps it's their children, a cherished pet, or their faith that requires them. These reasons, which are unique to the individual, might help them hold on a little longer till the agony goes away.
10. Exhibit Your Love
Depression may make someone feel burdened and undeserving of affection and support. Counteract those ideas by stating and showing your lover how much you love them.
Tell them you understand how depression affects their thoughts, feelings, and actions, and that you (still) love them. Assure them that you are here to help them on their path to recovery.