Not many people like talking about depression; it’s an incredibly depressing topic to be honest with you. This doesn’t make it any less prevalent, though, and it certainly doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
Depression has the potential to disrupt just about every aspect of your life, and this includes your relationships with others. However, it’s not just the depressed person who suffers. The people around them can also be negatively affected by their loved one’s depression. They often feel helpless as they watch their friends or family members struggle without being able to help in any meaningful way.
It’s common to feel frustrated and helpless in these situations, but it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to relieve this stress and make life easier on both yourself and the person you care about.
Warning Signs Your Partner Is Struggling
It can be easy to overlook the warning signs of depression in your partner, but it is important that you take notice.
Warning signs include feelings of hopelessness and despair, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, excessive worry, withdrawing from friends and family, feeling like everything is an effort (even things that would normally be pleasurable), and thoughts of death or suicide. The only way to know for sure if your partner is struggling with depression is to ask them!
How to Help Someone Who Has Depression
If you are trying to help someone with depression and they don't want your help, try to find other things that they may enjoy doing. For example, if they like to read but can't stand the thought of picking up a book right now, you could go out and pick one up for them. If they like movies but can't sit still for the length of time it takes to watch one, find one that is shorter in duration or just bring them the DVD so they can watch it at their own pace.
There are many things that people with depression cannot do, even if they want to. Find what you know they like and offer alternatives instead of pressuring them into something they aren't able to do.
Tips for Better Communication
It is important that you feel like you can talk to your partner about how you are feeling. If you're struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction or any other mental health issue, share this information with them. Your partner will be able to better understand what you're going through and they'll want to support you in your journey. You don't have to struggle alone, it's okay for you to ask for help. Asking for help does not make you weak; it makes you stronger.
Be specific about what you need
So try asking your partner for assistance because that can bring you two closer. When faced with so many of their partner's advice, you might be tempted to reject them all. It's best, though, to tell them the ones that seem the most feasible to you and to be receptive to their input on those, rather than shutting down all conversation.
It can be hard to know what to do or say when someone you love is going through depression, but supporting them through their tough time is one of the most important things you can do. One way to show your support is by letting them know that they are not alone. When your loved one feels like they have no one to turn to, remind them that you're there for them and encourage them to find professional help if they need it.
Set specific times to hang out.
Find out when your energy levels are at their highest and schedule activities with your partner then.
The most helpful way to show commitment in your relationship is by prioritizing the aspects of life that allow you to feel close to and in-sync with your partner. For example, if mornings are the only time that you and your partner feel up to going on walks, plan for breakfast together or taking a morning walk together a few times a week.
If you struggle with this issue, it’s important to see a therapist. They will help you create an effective treatment plan to manage your symptoms. If you’re still not sold, we offer a Free Consultation to match you with the right therapist. Call us today!