Depression is a complicated mental disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks and acts.
When someone is suffering from depression, maintaining a relationship can sometimes be challenging.
It can also be difficult for the spouse or partner, especially if they don’t know what to do to help.
You may be wondering: how can you love and support your partner while making your own mental health a priority?
In this article, we explore how people can support a partner with depression on their journey to recovery.
1. Be patient and understanding
It’s understandable to get upset at times, but it’s important to remember that depression is a mental illness.
Your partner should know and feel that you understand them and that you are there for them. We know that being patient in every situation is not easy for you either, but your partner will appreciate it.
Also, its recovery will take much less time.
Your partner didn’t choose to be “negative” or “lazy,” and it’s not just a “bad mood” they’re experiencing.
You can’t fully understand it because you haven’t felt these emotions yet and because you haven’t been in that state.
If your partner is frustrated because they’re sad, listless, or unwilling to do anything, it can make their symptoms worse and make them feel even worse.
You should talk to him and say that it’s okay that he can’t attend a certain activity and that you will schedule it another day.
It can be especially difficult to understand what your partner is going through if you haven’t experienced depression yourself.
He certainly understands you, but is also aware that you cannot understand him.
Try not to take it personally and remember that depression is nobody’s fault.
He would love to get well and feel good right away, but unfortunately things don’t work that way, especially when we talk about the depression.
With a little patience and understanding, you can make your partner feel loved and supported.
2. Work as a team
Marriage is a team sport – in good times and bad.
You two should be there for each other in every situation. And not because you have to, of course, but because you want to.
Partners certainly don’t want to move away from each other, although depression often demands being alone and grieving within yourself.
However, one must fight against it and seek help.
Both with a partner and with a specialist.
To avoid this, it is important to show unconditional support.
A partner will certainly endure the whole situation more easily when they have someone by their side who they love and who loves them.
Love really can change and improve everything.
If talk therapy is part of your partner’s treatment, attend the first few sessions, or more.
3. Focus on small goals
Small goals lead to big successes!
Too many expectations can be overwhelming for people with depression.
They may just feel greater pressure that they need to improve without feeling like they’ve made any progress.
You should therefore avoid looking too far into the future. Instead, focus on small goals.
You need to show your partner that you’ve noticed even the slightest change in their behavior.
If your partner has a hard time getting up in the morning, you can focus on things like getting up and eating healthy.
4. Try to learn about depression
In order to help someone with depression, you also need to know something about it.
Depression can present itself differently in every person.
And that is usually the case.
The more you know about the possible symptoms and course of depression, the better able you are to provide the support and access resources you need.
You need to know how to react to certain situations and what you need to do to help your partner and yourself.
This can also help you recognize when you’re feeling better or worse and to monitor your own mood.
5. Be there for your partner
One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is just to be there for them and let them know your support.
Maybe that should be number one.
Because you have to be there for your partner, no matter what situation they are in.
Hold his hand or just listen to him share his feelings.
Hug him and show that you feel his pain.
Offer to help your partner to keep appointments or to complete everyday tasks that are difficult for them.
Cook him a delicious meal and find an activity that might interest him.
Let him/her know you’re there for him/her when he/she needs it while he/she recovers.
6. Make time for things you enjoy
Throughout this process, you must also take care of yourself.
In addition to reaching out to a therapist or support group, it’s also important to find other ways to prioritize self-care.
Because if you don’t feel good, if you are tired or exhausted, your condition will also affect your partner.
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated.
Just do what you love, no matter what it is.
Just getting out of the house a little and making time for activities you enjoy can help protect your own emotional well-being when your partner is struggling.
7. Be both active
Changing your partner’s physical condition can have an incredible effect on their mood.
Because in this way his energy will increase and during physical activity he will forget his worries.
Going to the gym or even going for a walk in the neighborhood can have a positive impact on depression.
You can also go jogging in the forest or play with your children if you have any.
If your depressed partner is having a hard time exercising on their own, support them in finding an exercise they enjoy.
He can go alone or also call some friends.
Or better yet, join him — and encourage him to join others.
Whether it’s walking the dog or going on a hike, these little activities can lift your spirits and strengthen your relationship.