Coping With Depression In A Relationship: How To Support Your Partner?
A healthy relationship means being there for each other, no matter what. However, when you deal with a spouse or partner with depression, it carries out mixed emotions within you or even you struggle hard to help them in every possible way. Despite all your efforts, your actions are sometimes rejected or ignored and you begin to blame yourself for your spouse’s depression. But wait, DON’T. Understand that depression is not static and the phase can move away with your smart coping.
Depression is a condition that is affecting around 16 million adults in the United States every year. Such a huge number may easily take a toll on relationships but if you really care for your partner, you can learn how to deal with a depressed partner and help them to recover with your love and support.
Being EMPATHETIC is one way you could manage depression in a relationship and probably the best way. Instead of expecting them to cheer up on their own or blaming them that it is all in their head, you need to be a little more generous or try placing yourself in their shoes. Moreover, you can ask them things like:
- How are you feeling today?
- What do you want to do today?
- Did you sleep well last night?
- Are you taking your meals on time?
- How is your work going? Are you able to concentrate?
- Do you want to go out and meet your friends?
- Share your negative thoughts with me.
With that, let us figure out ways to manage depression in a relationship.
How To Deal With A Partner With Depression
1. Understand & Educate Yourself About Depression
Now that you are reading this blog, you must be looking for ways to deal with a depressed partner. It is best if you understand depression and show them empathetic signs in order to pass through this low phase. Some symptoms that define depression in your partner are:
- Feeling of sadness and hopelessness
- Sudden change in body weight
- Loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities
- Anxiety and agitation
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Trouble in making decisions or concentrating on work
- Thoughts of suicide
These symptoms are subjected to change and vary with your support and discussions with them. If the signs are very loud, make sure that you consult a therapist for the same.
2. Be There For Them
It might look like you need to go to see a therapist or ask various doctors in the city about the illness but sometimes your presence and kind words are enough to help your better half. If you begin to validate their feelings, tell them, “You are very important to me and I am here for you. Please tell me what I can do to help you.”
Image Source: mentalhealth.org.uk
Sit close to your partner, give them hugs in between, listen to them, and try to keep yourself calm amidst all. If you are not able to reach to them physically then call or video chat with them. Their hopes lie somewhere in you so it is necessary to cheer them up or simply smile by looking at them.
3. Encourage Treatment
Realize that depression needs treatment. Your constant support along with medical treatment can help your partner in recovering earlier than usual. Tell them that you care for them and discuss types of treatments, lifestyle changes, etc.
Encourage them to take appointments, help to find the right therapist, visit the therapist along and express to them all the symptoms, your concern, and your willingness to help.
4. Look For The Warning Signs
If the depression is showing worse signs like thoughts of death or suicide, the situation is severe here. Sometimes these signs come in other forms and you certainly need to keep an eye on them in order to deal with a partner suffering from depression.
- Bringing means of committing suicide like the stock of knives, pills, etc.
- Keeping a distance from everyone
- Showing changes in the personality
- Giving away all the belongings
- Showing self-destructive behavior like reckless drive, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.
If any of the signs become evident, it is best to reach out to the therapist without a delay. Moreover, you must also ask your supporting friends or members to help you in the process of a spouse’s recovery.
5. Show Your Love
Yes, you are there for them but there are other ways to show your love that helps in coping with depression in a relationship. Help them to finish the chores of the house or even you can take over all the chores for a few days and ask them to take rest. Tell them that they have so many hopes to live and enjoy their life like children, a beloved pet or someone whom they admire. Reassure them that this is just a phase and it will pass but you are there for them.
6. Don’t Take Anything Personally
It is courageous for you to stand by your partner all through their toughest times and there will be instances where you feel that your actions are of no use. Your partner is still very angry, engaged in overthinking, has lost interest in pleasure and tried to withdraw them but you don’t need to take anything personally. They are showing the symptoms of depression which can be cured with your love amalgamated with therapy.
7. Take Care Of Yourself
While you are coping with depression in a partner, it is also very important to take care of yourself. Moreover, it would be nice if you inspire your partner to follow the self-care routine that you are going through. For example:
- Eat healthy food
- Start exercising
- Join a Yoga and Meditation class together
- Go for a walk in nature or plan a picnic in the forest
- Participate in hobbies together
Make sure that your partner is not taking your self-care in a wrong manner. For example, you are planning to leave them alone! It is great if you take help from a professional to guide you in the right direction.
Helping your partner to cope with depression can be emotionally draining for you but it is time that you become a good listener, stand beside them and support them in any way possible. Yes, therapies are good but your love will triumph it all.
“When storm clouds gather and the skies grow dark, I know you will be my shelter and keep me safe from harm”
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