How to help your partner understand depression
None of those questions are comfortable to hear from your spouse or another loved one, but they can be particularly hard to bear if you are suffering from depression. Depression affects many individuals and families in debilitating and sometimes even devastating ways, but one of the most difficult things about it is that it is so highly personal to each person who suffers from it — and such a mystery to many of the people who do not. Explaining depression to a spouse can be hard. It can be frustrating.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Love Someone Who Has Depression? This is What You Need to Know.
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How To Help A Partner With DepressionContent:
- 15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
- How to Help Your Partner Through Their Depression
- Supporting a partner with depression
- 9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression
- How to help a depressed spouse
- Relationships and depression
- How to support a partner with depression
- Depression in Men
15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself.
A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner's doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet. You can start with the following reputable sources:. There are many myths about depression. For example, depression is not simply the result of laziness or weakness.
Your partner's pain may not "just be in their head. If you are unfamiliar with depression, challenge preconceived thoughts, ideas, and stigma by educating yourself. It's especially important to validate your partner's feelings and experience of this very real and biologically-based illness, and, just like any other illness, it can be treated.
Suicide is also a very real risk of depression so it's important to keep your loved one's environment safe such as removing any alcohol, drugs, or guns and to take it seriously if your loved one is feeling suicidal. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at for support and assistance from a trained counselor.
If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression. It's OK to take some time out for yourself. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, you'll both be better off if you carve out time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit. Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye.
Certainly, this decision should be weighed carefully and ideally discussed with a mental health professional , but you may need to walk away if you or your children's emotional or physical well-being or safety are at risk.
When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. It is very important, however, that you don't allow these feelings to fester and grow. Therapists, counselors, and support groups are not only for people with depression. Seeking professional help for yourself can help you feel supported, vent your frustrations, and make you more aware of your own emotional needs.
Therapy can also provide answers to any questions you have about coping with the depression of a loved one. One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support. Hold them close or just listen while they share their feelings. Offer to help them with making appointments or doing some of the daily chores that they are struggling to keep up with.
Let them know that you are there for them in whatever way they need while they make their recovery. Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well.
They may become angry, irritable, or withdrawn. They may not be interested in going out or doing things with you like they used to. Your spouse or significant other may lose interest in sex.
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. 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 vitally important to a person's recovery from depression. You can help your loved one by helping them keep up with taking their medication and remembering appointments.
You can also help them by reassuring them that asking for help is not a sign or weakness or something to be ashamed of. Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Perhaps it's their children, a beloved pet who needs them, or their faith. These reasons, which will be unique to the individual, can help them hold on a bit longer until the pain subsides. Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support.
Proactively counteract those thoughts by telling and showing your partner that you love them. Let them know that you understand that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you still love them. Reassure them that you are here to support them in their journey to get better. Everything feels more challenging when you're dealing with depression. Get our free guide when you sign up for our newsletter. Dean J, Keshavan M. The neurobiology of depression: An integrated view.
Asian J Psychiatr. Grohol JM. Top 10 Signs of Depression. Psych Central. Educate Yourself A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Separate Fact From Fiction There are many myths about depression. Remember to Take Care of Yourself It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression. Try: Eating a healthy diet Exercising Getting enough sleep Practicing relaxation strategies Spending time in nature Practicing prayer or meditation Staying socially connected Participating in hobbies and activities you enjoy Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye.
Get Support When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. Be There for Them One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support.
Don't Take It Personally Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well. Help Out Around the House 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.
Treatment Is Important Treatment is vitally important to a person's recovery from depression. Offer Hope Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Demonstrate Your Love Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback!
Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Suicide prevention. Updated October Related Articles. What Is Clinical Depression? Does Your Teen Seem Depressed? Here's How to Help. When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays.
How to Help Your Partner Through Their Depression
When your spouse is depressed, your marriage can become depressed. You need to keep in mind that even the loveliest and happiest people can be pulled into the depression corner within no time. But, what is depression? It goes beyond the daily sadness that someone may feel once in a moment. Sometimes, depression can look like real happiness one day, followed by the scariest and deepest form of sadness the next day.
It can be hard to be in a relationship with someone with depression. Also, depression can make someone more irritable, angry, or withdrawn. The symptoms of depression may lead to more arguments, frustration, or feelings of alienation. Although depression can be challenging, most people want to do what they can to help. If your partner has depression, here are some ways you can help her through it and maybe even strengthen your relationship in the process.
Supporting a partner with depression
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself. A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner's doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet. You can start with the following reputable sources:.
9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression
Too many for me to ignore. When we got married at the ripe old age of 23, we thought we knew each other pretty well. After all we had already been an item for five years, including living together for three. And when it all went down, it was a giant mess. The kind that happens when the shit hits the fan.
When your spouse has depression , you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad.
How to help a depressed spouse
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Help a Depressed Friend or Partner
Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives. The support of family and friends can play an important role in the treatment of mental health conditions. Depression is a condition that affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. Depression can take its toll on relationships and may cause loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, or fearful. In this article, we explore ways in which people can support a partner with depression in their journey toward recovery.
Relationships and depression
Being in a romantic relationship when one or both of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. None of that means your relationship is the problem. You two can tackle this together. We can give you some tips and suggestions, but only you and your partner can decide your boundaries, your compromises, and what you can handle. A depressed partner can cause stress in a relationship. So can a death in the family, money troubles, or disagreeing about whether Firefly is good or not. Just like any other problem, you can seek therapy together and work through your problems.
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity.
How to support a partner with depression
Understanding how depression affects your partner can be key to building a healthy, supportive relationship that cares for the mental wellbeing of both partners. Depression can cause people to withdraw, behave differently or become more irritable. Common symptoms include insomnia, feelings of worthlessness and loss of interest in activities. It can even lead to physical aches and pains.
Depression in Men
I suffer from depression myself and I know how tough it can be. But I want to talk to the partners - the people living with the people who are living with depression. It can make them say and do things that you just don't understand. I spent three years talking to more than people about their experiences with love, sex, and depression for my book, The Monster Under The Bed.
When you're in a relationship, whatever your partner deals with, you deal with. And vice versa. So if your partner is depressed , it's imperative that you know how to handle it in a healthy, helpful, and supportive way — for the sake of each partner's mental health. Watching your partner go through something difficult like depression can be tough on you both of you. You might not know what to do or say.