Cultivating and supporting a healthy romantic relationship isn’t always easy, especially when you, your partner, or both of you are dealing with depression. The key is to find the support you both need to help you better understand and overcome these challenges together. Seeking depression therapy or marriage counselling is an excellent first step, however, there are also a few things you can do at home or on a more personal level to help support your depressed partner.
Recognize the Symptoms of Depression
Take the time to learn about depression and the impact it can have on a person’s personality and their relationships. If you notice any glaring differences such as sudden lack of interest in previous passions, trouble sleeping, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, drastic weight gain or loss, lack of appetite, despondency, and so on, then it’s possible your partner may be feeling depressed. Find a delicate way to discuss your concerns with your partner before making any snap judgments.
Communication Is Key
Paving the way for an open dialogue about how your partner is feeling is a great way to help them express their emotions, fears, and concerns. Oftentimes, people who suffer from depression tend to internalize their feelings because they don’t want to burden their loved ones. This can make them come off as cold and distant. Don’t let it discourage you from trying to open the lines of communication, but don’t force it either. Let your partner know that they can talk to you whenever they need to and that you’re willing to listen.
Don’t Take Your Partner’s Depression Personally
There are a lot of reasons your partner might be feeling depressed. It could be a genetic disposition, certain life circumstances, or perhaps they don’t feel like their life is going as planned. Maybe they feel like they should have accomplished much more than they have by a certain point in their life and this could be weighing on them. Learn to recognize the signs of depression and don’t take it personally.
Give Them Space if They Need or Ask for It
Letting your partner know you’re there to support them is important, but so is giving them their space when they need it. Sometimes, they might be feeling overwhelmed and need some time to cool off or unwind.
Help Them Take Care of Their Health
Preparing healthy meals and exercising together can be a great bonding experience. It can also help your partner manage the lows experienced with depression
Take Some Time for Yourself
Loving and caring for someone suffering from depression can take a toll on your own mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It can be frustrating, demoralizing, and upsetting at times. Sometimes it’s important to take a breather and practice self care so that you can be a better and more supportive partner to your loved one.
Encourage Your Partner to Consult a Professional
Sometimes, the best form of support you can offer is to encourage your depressed spouse to seek professional help. It also helps if you attend some of the counselling sessions together. A major part of showing support is simply showing up.