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Better Together: How to be a Supportive Partner for a Loved One with Depression

27 June 2021

Depression is defined as a psychological disorder that affects how you experience, perceive, and manage everyday routines like resting, eating, and performing at work. Even though you might hear people say things like "I'm feeling depressed," it's important to recognize what clinical depression looks like, especially if you're with somebody who is diagnosed.

Let us take a step back first before we get into the things that you need to know about loving a depressed partner. It is vital to note that everyone's symptoms will vary from what's mentioned in this article.

The following suggestions may not be suitable for everyone suffering from depression; as a result, you should receive guidance from a qualified psychotherapist who can best meet your particular requirements.

Is There a Tell-Tale Sign That Someone Is Experiencing Depression?

Depression can show up in many different manners. In fact, it's safer to view mental illness as an inward emotion rather than something visible on the surface.

In other words, depression is a serious mental and emotional state that can leave you feeling isolated, lonely, and dead inside. Apathy, a negative outlook, seclusion, a disturbed sleeping pattern, and poor dietary habits are all early symptoms that differ from person to person.

As you might expect, these indicators can have a significant impact on your romantic partner.

To begin with, mood disorders, specifically depression, can make a lover withdraw from intimacy and even alienate themselves from their relationship. This may appear as if your loved one has suddenly lost attraction in you, and it's merely a symptom of their melancholy. This reveals that the depressed individual has issues to cope with.

It might take the form of withdrawing reservations minutes before they are expected to, rescheduling social commitments, persuading their spouse to visit acquaintances, relatives, and friends' birthday celebrations without them, and so on.

Furthermore, because there is a strong link involving arousal and depression, it can have a detrimental effect on an individual's interest in sex. As a result, your spouse could struggle to find the stamina or enthusiasm to do something intimate.

Depression can also manifest itself as a significant reduction of meaningful time together. To disguise their emotions, people with depression often retreat or devote themselves to office tasks or another pastime.

Finally, due to the mental condition, the interaction between two lovers may deteriorate. Mood swings, hypersensitivity, frustration, and feeling completely misinterpreted are all symptoms of depression.

It gets better, just stick through with your partner

To be fair, many people suffering from depression also have great, intimate relationships. It all starts with figuring out what your companion does or doesn't require.

When dating someone who suffers from depression, you can expect specific problems but also ups and downs. Because everybody has tough times, a relationship should be empathetic. Accept that things may not always go as anticipated if your spouse is having a particularly rough day or is coping with their depressive episodes by lying in bed or refusing to leave the house. Be open and compassionate.

It's also crucial to keep an eye on your own feelings. Acknowledge your partner's boundaries and offer them what they need if they want space or time alone. When your partner asks for space, it's usually more over their own issues and less about your bond. It might be beneficial for you to see a licensed psychologist as well to go through your concerns as a couple.

Finally, keep in mind that your partner's feelings can change quickly. Don't blame your spouse for their bouts of depression; sadness is a physiological as well as a psychological condition.

Are there ways to comfort your loved one with depression?

It's critical to know and respect your spouse, just as it is in any other relationship. Find out what they need during depressive episodes. Do not be afraid to ask questions to gain a better understanding of how to assist them in these situations.

Having said that, don't be scared to do a little homework on your own. The more you know regarding depression, the more you'll be capable of comprehending what your lover is going through and how you can help. You may receive wonderful materials to begin from groups like Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Please remember to practice self-care. Make time to do the things you love, such as exercising, gardening, studying, dancing, meditating, and so on. It's critical that you don't take on your partner's emotional weight and you must not also take yourself for granted.

Finally, recognize that you can't "heal" or "cure" your partner. As their partner, it's natural to strive to support them in conquering their issues. Unfortunately, you will not be able to cure their unhappiness or make them feel better, and attempting to do so will leave you exhausted and disappointed. You can rather be patient, kind, sympathetic, and supportive of your loved one at all times.

If you're looking for some ideas on how to encourage your partner, consider the following:

  • Talk to your partner if they want to go for a stroll with you to get some clean air and sunshine.
  • Bring them meals or order food at home.
  • Make a play and watchlist of your favorite albums and movies then send it to them.
  • Make a list of all the qualities you admire about them and write a letter to them.
  • Discuss their options with them, and see if they'd ever been open to talking with an expert.
  • Help assure your partner that they are not alone in their feelings and that you are there to support them.

Depression can be a crippling disorder that many couples would not be able to withstand. But with these helpful tips, you will have the realization that it gets better for your loved one. As long as you stick by his or her side till the end, you will see that every hardship is worth it.