Over 16.2 million American adults had to face depression in the last year alone. Depression is a killer – and it’s on the rise. Your dark mind becomes a barrier to enjoying the pleasures of life. The disease takes root so deeply that people even lose the strength to ask for help.
Being in a relationship with someone who’s depressed is not easy. You have to stay considerate and always think before you act.
- 1 The Top 5 Tips to Help You Love Someone With Depression
- 2 1. Have Patience
- 3 2. Be a Good Listener
- 4 3. Practice Compassion
- 5 3. Be Ready to Face Rejections
- 6 4. Maintain Positivity Wisely
- 7 5. Self Care is Critical
- 8 Final Thoughts
The Top 5 Tips to Help You Love Someone With Depression
Here are 5 essential skills you need for a healthy relationship with your depressed partner.
1. Have Patience
Every minute you spend with a depressed soul needs patience. You can’t be pushy and expect them to do things you ask.
It takes time for someone who’s going through depression to even open up. Patience is a virtue, and more so in this case.
- Don’t rush things
- Give time to your partner to do any task (haircuts, shaving, bathing)
- Explain why you want to make them do something (like visiting a therapist)
- Be ready to hear a lot of “nos”
- Always be slow and steady with your approach
2. Be a Good Listener
It takes a lot for people with mental illness to open up. You have to work overtime to get their trust to be able to help. Being a good listener, in this case, is not a quality, but a necessity.
You will need patience before everything to be a good listener. We already covered that above, so follow the tips below to listen intently-
- Give the opportunity to your partner to finish what he/she’s saying
- Don’t interrupt in between
- Hold your opinions until your partner finishes speaking
- Get rid of your prejudices and judgments
- You don’t have to find a solution for everything, so just listen
- Encourage your partner to share more
- Maintain eye contact
Don’t use your phone while he/she speaks
3. Practice Compassion
We can’t really make out what goes on in the mind of someone who’s depressed. For this reason, we find it difficult to understand why the person is suffering.
Just know that depression is an illness, and nobody wants to get depressed. Your partner is living with an illness and needs all the support in the world.
Research the Illness
Your best bet of coping with a depressed partner is to learn more about the disease. The internet is full of resources, and you just need to spend a few hours of your time.
You will even find guides to live with someone who’s depressed and make the most of your relationship.
3. Be Ready to Face Rejections
Depression seldom comes alone. Someone who’s depressed most likely also has social anxiety, fear of crowded places, and other symptoms.
It’s natural for your partner to withdraw inside and cut ties with society. Sometimes, the situation gets more helpless as they aren’t even sure what triggered the depression.
As a result, make up your mind to deal with rejections.
Apart from social events, your partner may even withdraw from things that keep your relationship alive. That may include physical intimacy and even sex. So, you might have to depend on your realistic dildo or masturbator for a while!
- Don’t expect your partner to visit every house party or family get-together
- Don’t force them to attend social events
- Arrange meetups with a few close people your partner is comfortable with
- Always invite your partner to make them feel included
- Saying no is not a sign of disrespect or absence of love
4. Maintain Positivity Wisely
Being positive is not always the best thing to do around a depressed person. You don’t need to say, “it will be over,” “look at the bright side,” or “it’s all in your mind.” That could do more harm than good.
It’s normal to struggle with what to say when you lend an ear to your partner. So, don’t always expect to have something to say in return all the time.
Additionally, your partner doesn’t expect you to solve things.
Let Your Partner Help
Ask for suggestions on what you can do to help your partner. Moreover, ask what you shouldn’t do to trigger unwanted responses.
Cut the Ruminations
Depression casts a dark shadow over everything. Your partner will often feel useless and a burden to the world.
In such cases, try to distract your partner from negative thoughts. It’s important to focus on the finer things in life. Things that your partner enjoys – and what will help them take their mind off what’s bothering them. It could be a hobby or someplace that makes them happy – you know what’s going to bring a smile. Don’t say the thoughts or feelings are baseless – they feel quite real to your partner.
- Talk about something else
- Go for a walk
- Watch a movie together
- Play a game together
- Explore the city
5. Self Care is Critical
Taking care of someone who’s depressed can take a toll on your own health- both physical and mental.
Make a point to look after yourself and take good care of your needs. This may mean doing things on your own away from your partner. Also, be kind to yourself and don’t turn into a self-critic.
- It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated
- Understand you are grieving too
- Your partner is having withdrawal worries – but not from you
- Spend time with your own friends and family
- Share your feelings and thoughts with loved ones
- Be social and do things
- Take care of your mental wellbeing
- Eat healthy, exercise, and sleep adequately (encourage your partner to do the same)
Try to remember the person behind the depression and connect with him/her. Nudge your partner to do things he found pleasure in before depression. Lend all the support you can, but be careful not to pick up the negativity. Here is hoping a quick recovery for your partner for a happy relationship.