If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a combination of emotions and masses of questions. When an individual is dealing with depression, protecting a relationship can sometimes be a hard things to do. It can also be tough for their spouse or partner, particularly if they are not sure of what to do to assist.
What’s it like to feel depressed? What can you do to enable them through tough times? How will their symptoms and treatment effect your relationship? While every individual’s experience with depression is different, here are 10 tips you can try to fight depression in a relationship.
There is no set experience of depression. Every individual has different symptoms, their depression is caused by various factors, and it affects them at different moments.
Taking the time to find out about depression enable you to get a better knowledge of what your spouse is going through, and help you to observe when they are probably struggling.
Ask your partner’s consultant for some reliable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the internet. You can start with the following reliable sources:
- Anxiety and Depression Associaton of America
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Institute of Mental Health
It can be simple to take certain symptoms of depression to heart, especially if the person is unfavorable towards you or seems to be alienating themselves. Instead of taking these things personally, keep in mind that their negativity will mostly be a symptom of their mental health condition.
Take Good Care of Yourself
It can be very stressful coping with another person’s depression. Remember to take care of your own health and wellbeing. You don’t want to burn out, and looking after yourself can remind you that you are in the favorable space to help and support your partner. In fact, you’ll both be better off if you put time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit with habits like:
- Get enough sleep
- Go for the hobbies and activities you enjoy
- Practice prayer or meditation
- Practice relaxation strategies
- Spend time in nature
- Stay socially connected
- Have a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
Keep in mind that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it is important in helping you fight depression in a relationship you are in.
It’s also OK to tell it to your partner when you need to be alone or you need a bit of extra help. You both need to be open and candid, and that means telling each other when you’re having a difficult time too.
On the other hand, looking after yourself might also mean realizing when it’s time to say goodbye. Clearly, this decision should be evaluated carefully (and ideally discussed with a mental health professional), but you may need to say goodbye if you or your kid’s emotional or physical well-being or safety is at risk.
When someone you love is feeling depressed, it’s alright for you to feel frustrated, irritated, and distressed. It is very crucial, however, that you don’t let these feelings to fester and grow.
Depression may reduce your energy levels to the point where you feel too tired to talk or even be around a person. It can also make you think that you are not deserving anything decent, including a relationship. These feelings may force you to withdraw, but any distance between you and your partner, or other family members and friends, can leave you feeling terrible.
Therapists, counselors, and support groups are not just for people with depression. Going for professional assistance for yourself can help you feel supported, discharge your frustrations, and make you more conscious of your own emotional needs.
Therapy can also give answers to any questions you have in your mind about coping with the depression of a loved one. Even if you don’t go the mental health professional route, it’s vital to lean on your support network during this tough time.
We know that the idea of being open and truthful about your depression may be uneasy, but it is an extremely useful conversation to have.
When you feel prepared, think about how you want to talk to your loved one about it. Would you feel more pleased sitting next to them and converse face-to-face, talking when you are walking together, or when you’re both watching a movie? Possibly you may wish to write some ideas down first.
When you talk, let them know about your symptoms. Try to clarify the thoughts and sensations that you experience as well as the behaviors that they may notice, such as struggling to get out of bed, alienating yourself or seeming silent in conversations.
Some people who are depressed tend to isolate as they feel tired, embarrassed and as though they don’t worth anything good. As the partner of someone with depression, this can leave you feeling helpless and alone.
Motivate your loved one to have an open and truthful conversation with you about how they feel. Ask them about what differences you can make together to assist them feel better, and what they need from you when they are dealing with their symptoms.
You may want to recommend lifestyle changes, such as going for daily evening walks or starting a new hobby together. Also, talk to them about booking an appointment with their GP in order to get a better understanding of the support and treatment that’s available to them.
With depression, it can be hard to know what to do in order to feel good. Implying that you work as a team can indicate that you are there for them, and that this is something that they don’t have to strive for alone. Instead, it is something that you can work together.
Be There for Them
One of the most significant things you can do for someone who is feeling depressed is simply to be there for them and vocalize your support. Keep them close or just listen while they share their feelings. Keep caressing them and tell them that you are always there for them.
Offer your help with doing some of the daily chores that they are struggling to keep up with. Let them understand that you are there for them in whatever way they need while they make their recovery.
Don’t Take It Personally
Depression can force people to behave in ways that they generally wouldn’t when they are feeling okay. They may become furious, volatile, or isolated. They may not be interested in going out or doing things with you like they used to. Your spouse or significant other may .
These things are not personal, and they don’t mean that your partner no longer cares for or about you. They are symptoms of the illness that requires treatment.
Help Them Around the House Chores
Just like when a person has any other illness, they may simply not feel well enough to take care of paying the bills or cleaning the house. And, just like with any other illness, you may have to temporarily take over some of their daily chores until they feel well enough to do them again.
Treatment Is Important
Treatment is vital to a person’s recovery from depression. You can assist your loved one by helping them keep up with taking their medication and remembering appointments. You can also assist them by comforting them that asking for help is not a sign or weakness or something to be ashamed of.
Give Them Some Hope
Offer them hope by prompting them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Perhaps it’s their kids, a beloved pet who needs them, or their faith. These reasons, which will be different to the individual, can help them hold on a bit longer until the pain vanishes.
Show Your Love
Depression can make a person feel like a burden and think they are unworthy of love and support. Proactively counteract those thoughts and feelings by telling your partner that you love them. Let them know that you know that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you (still) love them. Reassure them that you are here to support and love them in their journey to get well.