Depression comes under the broad category of mood disorders described as a feeling of loss, sadness, or anger. It is one of the known and most common mental health conditions worldwide; approximately 19.4 million people experience at least one depressive episode every year.
Depression and grief have some standard features, but depression is different from the grief one experiences after losing a dear person, or sadness felt due to a traumatic life event. But what happens when you love someone with depression?
We all know someone dealing with depression, but have you ever thought if that someone is the person you love or your partner. Under this condition, depression develops its presence in your everyday life, and you should know some healthy ways to cope.
It might be a question of concern about how you can love and support your better half while considering your own mental health as a priority.
This blog will help you to understand your partner better, save yourself, and your relationship all at once. Here are a few suggestions.
Be There: From High to Low
When you love someone, seeing them in pain or struggle in any way breaks your heart too. It may often appear there is no set way to support them; perhaps you try a gentle approach one day and a firm approach the next day, only to feel like nothing is working.
You might even try taking helpful clues from TV shows depicting depression, like “This Is Us.” But the fact that depression impacts people differently makes it clear that not even the best screenwriters across the globe can always get it exactly right.
Focus on the strengths and positive aspects of your relationship
It can help to focus on the positive aspects and highlight them in your partner. Additionally, you can plan something they will enjoy or do something that might boost their energy, like setting up a date night or candlelight dinner at home if they do not feel like going out.
Cooking dinner for them, a movie marathon, or having a game night are great ways to keep your partner in their comfort zone while helping you to reconnect and get well together as a couple.
Communication is the Key
One of the best things you can try with your partner is simply talking and asking what they need. Be there and make them feel supported, as it is essential to maintain balance in the relationship and keep everything as consistent as possible. Have conversations, be compassionate with what they need, and most importantly, understand that those needs may change.
Become Their Guiding Light
Depression hits everyone differently, but many of the core symptoms are identical, such as changes in sleeping patterns, loss of interest in regular activities, changes in eating habits, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
But it can be possible that your partner experiences less commonly known symptoms, such as anxiety or anger. Your partner may also feel highly functional some days and a nonfunctional depressant the very next day.
Learning about mental illness and being their guiding light together with helping yourself can be your first step to building a better and strong relationship even after having a partner with depression. There are plenty of myths associated with depression, so doing some research and asking your partner to share their experience may be effective.
Be Each Other Support
Please talk about your feelings and see how your partner also automatically shares their feelings with you. This dialogue can improve your relationship by strengthening your communication skills.
Growth of “emotional intelligence” and developing traits like self-awareness and empathy can help you both feel more connected. When you are in touch with both your own and your partner’s emotional well-being, you both can be there for each other on a deeper level.
Take Care of Yourself
You are also important. Wanting to take care of your partner is great, but it cannot be your top priority always.
You may feel completely burnt out, physically and mentally, while taking care of your partner. There are chances that you start feeling stressed, tired, and anxious.
It is not selfish to put your mental health a priority. Most importantly, do not hesitate to ask others for help if things are not working out.