If you find yourself in a relationship with someone straddling with depression, you might notice that your partner is having unexplained mood swings, persistent sadness, anxiety, change in habits, withdrawing from regular activities and losing the zest for life or enthusiasm in the relationship, it is time to confront the issue.
Depression is a common mental issue that people face, but it is often hardly noticeable until the symptoms are severe and hard to ignore, but just like other struggles, there are ways to deal with depression without causing a rift in a relationship.
1. Learning about Depression
Depression makes people feel emotionally terrible and often effects motivation to do anything. The most effective way to be supportive is to educate yourself about depression. Learning about the causes, triggers, symptoms and how to best deal with it will help you better prepare yourself for all the challenges.
2. Being There
People struggling with depression often isolate themselves and become reclusive of their emotions and find difficulty in comprehending it so trying to explain it to someone else could add more pressure on them. The best way to be supportive is just to let them know you are around when and if they need you while leaving them with space to meditate, journal or do other activities.
3. Encouraging Proactive Habits
Distracting them from things that trigger depression by stimulating or inviting them to participate in healthy habits is a subtle and healthy way to show support instead of pushing them about their appointments, medications and exercises.
4. Don’t be the Fix
It is hard to leave someone alone when you know they are struggling, but sacrificing your own needs and time for them all the time can adversely affect you and your partner because of the stress. Give them space and encouragement to find happiness in something else besides yourself.
5. Couples Counselling
If they are reluctant about going to therapy alone, you can consider couples counselling to confidentially discuss the issue to a third party who can offer you solutions and strategies to better deal with the problem. Do not force or push counselling on your partner. If they do not want to go, you can go alone to prepare yourself for the situation better.
6. Reassess your future
If your partner is not making positive steps to battle the struggle, it could lead to future unhappiness and cause further damage to your relationship. Consider the positive and negative potentials and let your partner know and decide what is best for you.
7. Do Not Neglect Your Needs
Your happiness is just as important as your partner’s, so if things do not look good, it is okay to part ways and let them deal with the situation while you take a back seat. It might sound insensitive and selfish, but you need to keep yourself healthy first to mentally deal with someone else’s struggles. Let them know you will be around if they do require you or seek you after they receive the help they need.