How To Help A Partner With Depression

How to Help a Partner With Depression As anyone suffering from depression can attest,
not only can it be an ordeal to endure, but it can also happen to anyone. According to statistical research from the
World Health Organization, depression affects over 300 million people worldwide, and it
is estimated that 15 percent of all adults will experience depression at some point in
their lives. In spite of its prevalence, depression is
surrounded by a number of misconceptions and stigmas about what the illness entails; this
can make it difficult for people with depression to feel as though they’re voices are being
heard. If your partner or other loved one is suffering
from depression, how can you help them in a way that’s supportive, respectful and
understanding of what they’re going through? Before we continue, subscribe to Bestie, and
click the notification bell to ensure you stay up to date on all of our daily videos. Like all conditions which have an effect on
mental health, people who don’t struggle with depression often have a difficult time
fully understanding what it means to be depressed, which can often lead to stigmas or skewed
perspectives on the illness as a result of misinformation. If your partner is currently going through
depression and you want to help them, the first step would be to properly educate you
on the nature of depression, and in doing so get rid of any preconceived notions surrounding
the illness that you might have. As we mentioned previously, depression affects
hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In 2018, it was estimated that over 16 million
American adults experienced a major depressive episode. But what do we mean when we say that? Depression affects the mind, and since no
two human minds are exactly alike, the symptoms of depression are bound to manifest differently
in different individuals. However, there are a number of common symptoms
that indicate depression that you can watch out for. Many people with depression experience some
or all of the following: Changes in appetite (weight loss or weight
gain) Problems with memory or concentration
Changes in sleeping habits (under or oversleeping) Loss of energy
Aches and pains Loss of motivation or interest in activities
Feelings of hopelessness or self-loathing. Because things such as oversleeping and lack
of motivation or interest are common symptoms, many people who are struggling with depression
are often mischaracterized as being simply “lazy” or unmotivated in general. However, there are some people with depression
who still find themselves able to carry out their daily activities and responsibilities
in everyday life with little to no impairment. In these cases of “high-functioning depression”,
things can be difficult for the depressed person in question for additional reasons:
even though they may be suffering internally, the fact that everything seems fine on the
outside means that they feel the need to prove they are not “faking” their condition,
both to others as well as to themselves. According to psychologist Kathryn Moore, one
common misconception about any form of depression is that all you need to do in order to get
better is just “snap out of it”. People who haven’t experienced depression
firsthand might interpret the condition as a mere state of mind that can be controlled
and ultimately “beaten” through simply thinking positively, or that there is an external
cause that is responsible for making the depressed person feel sad. Both of these are untrue, as depression can
affect anyone with no external reason whatsoever, and is not something that someone can simply
get rid of by trying to cheer themselves up. If you are a loved one of a person struggling
with depression, one of the most harmful things you can do without even realizing is belittling
the other person’s feelings about their condition, or making them feel as though their
symptoms are not genuine. If your partner wishes to talk to you about
their depression, give that conversation the proper respect that it deserves: be attentive,
open, and receptive to what your partner has to say about their depression and how it affects
them in their everyday life. This is not an easy conversation for a depressed
person to have, and chances are they spent a lot of time working up the courage to have
this discussion with you, so the very least you can do for your partner is make sure they
know you are listening and that they are being heard. As with any other aspect of a relationship,
communication is key. If you do end up having this conversation
with your partner, one additional thing you can do is employ the use of active listening. Bear in mind that it isn’t your job to “diagnose”
your partner’s depression or it’s level of severity- leave that to the mental health
professionals. However, there are questions you can ask your
partner in order to gain a better insight and understanding into what they are currently
experiencing and the way in which the symptoms of depression are currently manifesting in
them. Consider asking your partner any of the following
questions: Are you eating more or less than usual? Are you sleeping more or less than usual? Do you still feel tired even after sleeping? Are you still capable of enjoying things right
now? By asking these questions, not only are you
able to potentially gain a better understanding of your partner’s current experiences with
depression but the questions themselves can also help your partner feel respected by your
willingness to understand, and answering these questions gives them a sense of agency in
the situation. Active listening means not just acknowledging
what the other person has to say, but also requesting them to elaborate on and explain
what they are saying, be more specific with detail as well. Once you and your partner have discussed the
severity and symptoms of their depression, it’s time to think about how you can best
help them move forward. If you are a naturally helpful person, it
might be tempting for you to do things for your partner when their depression renders
them unable to. While your heart is in the right place, this
can actually lead to more harm than good, as doing too much for your partner can lead
to increased feelings of helplessness and dependency on others. When helping your partner through a depressive
episode, you shouldn’t think of yourself as a caretaker, but rather as a collaborator:
Communicate with your partner and ask questions on ways in which the two of you can work together
to make these depressive downswings more bearable. Ask them when they last felt this way, and
what they did that time that they found helpful. If they recently started taking medication
for their depression, ask them if they are feeling any difference as a result so far. Try to find out what you can provide for your
partner, and what changes can be made in order to make things better for them when they are
struggling with the symptoms of their depression.All of this is an extension of what we said before
about the vital importance of communication in a relationship. Of course, when taking steps to help a partner
or loved one with depression, remember that it’s important for you to not neglect taking
care of yourself as well. Think of it as like the emergency oxygen masks
in an airplane: while you may want to help the person sitting next to you with their
mask before putting on your own, this will only impair your ability to help and might
cause you to pass out before either of you get your masks on. The first step in being able to help others
is knowing when and how to best help yourself as well. The National Alliance on Mental Illness encourages
people helping others with mental health conditions to first ensure that their own needs are met,
in order to maximize the amount of help that they can provide. This means making sure that you’re getting
enough sleep every night, eating well, exercising regularly, and paying attention to your own
symptoms of stress if and when they arise. It is also recommended that you stay away
from alcohol and drugs, and consider practicing relaxation activities such as deep breathing
and meditation in order to properly manage and reduce stress. When things do become stressful, try to avoid
feeling guilt over these negative emotions, and instead try to focus on the positive moments
throughout your average day instead. You should always remember to consider those
who you can reach out to for help as well, and always remind yourself where you can find
people and resources to help you with the current situation. Depression is a condition that can affect
a person’s mental health in a number of different ways and through a variety of symptoms
that can manifest themselves differently on a case to case basis. Because of this, someone who doesn’t have
depression may initially have a difficult time understanding or relating to someone
who does, and when this happens, it’s not very hard for misinformation and stigmas to
begin to form. If you have a partner or loved one in your
life who is currently struggling with the effects of depression, the best way to help
is by being communicative and receptive to what they have to say about their personal
struggle, and take measures to ensure that both of you are doing everything you can to
help lessen the effects of depression and strive towards a healthier lifestyle. And of course, always be sure to seek out
help from a professional as well, but you already knew that, right? Depression affects everyone differently. If you or someone you know has or has had
depression, do you have any stories or anecdotes on the subject that you feel comfortable sharing? In an effort to make your voice heard, we
encourage you to keep the conversation going in the comments section below and remember
to always take care of yourself.

About the author


  1. If you or someone you know has or has had depression, do you have any stories or anecdotes on the subject that you feel comfortable sharing? In an effort to make your voice heard, we encourage you to keep the conversation going in the comments section below and remember to always take care of yourself. 🙂

  2. OMG I have been looking for a video like this for months. My friend is so depressed, she has even tried to kill herself by cutting 🙁
    I want to help her but don't know how

  3. If they say that they have suicidal thoughts, don't say that they just want attention. That's never helpful.

  4. I have depression and was diagnosed with it 20 years ago. My mom's side of the family is very insensitive about depression and they never took me seriously. I stopped associating with them and stuck to my husband's and my father's side of the family, at least they're more understanding and involve me in their activities. Depression can't be prayed away, can't snap out of it, there's no cure. I still on antidepressants and it helps. Also if someone is suicidal, they don't want attention, they need help!

  5. every day i feel terrible about inflicting this on my partner. i have been depressed since childhood and me and siblings all on medications. my mom doesn't acknowledge my one sisters existence since she left home in high school. Ironically, our father, the abuser , is more supportive since finding religion. Still, he can be very cruel at times. Wish the people who treat you weren't so demeaning when you find yourself back in hospital. i find that the stigma about mental illness is very
    prevalent even among the doctors
    and staff who are supposed to be providing care. since i stopped working i lost everyone's respect
    and mostly my own.

  6. I have found that you don’t have t have all the answers, and that’s okay, but what you can do is sit and listen. You can hold your partner’s hand, offer hugs, and be present. You can respond with encouraging statements

  7. I know it might sound naive people in general should be nicer to each other. Just because a person isn´t one of your family-members you shouldn´t treat him or her like trash.

  8. Sometimes I wonder if some people are simply born without feelings or regard feelings as a machine-function. And yet such people are supposed to help people with depression and similiar illnesses. I look forward to the day they can cure depression and not just treat the symptoms.

  9. The medications cannot cure you. Your spouse is battling with their own depression and waiting direly for you to get out of yours to do active listening on their selfish demands of you. To cure depression, read the whole entire bible in 3 months and learn the minute details of everything, dont take it for granted that Jesus willl say this or that. Thats a stereotype and assumption from fake churches and hollywood. Learn the minute details of everything that Jesus said. You will then have wise discernment on how to deal with your thoughts and how to deal with people then your depression will be cured instantly.

  10. For me silents and rest is the best remedy for depression (I have bipolar disorder). And of course medication. I am now trying to eat healthier because the medication gives me a lot of belly fat. I use lithium and for me it works, I don't get to deep in my depression but it also prevents me from mania. Everybody here goodluck with their partner's depression or people who have a depression it will be better may later than you want but it will go away. Keep up the good spirit loved ones 🙂

  11. Who in the hell wants to excercise? When your suffering in silence? No one wants to hear your voice or your problems need I say more?

  12. Sometimes you have to let go of those people in your life who can't acknowledge, respect and understand (your) depression. Sometimes you don't even realize it IS depression.

  13. I had two dysfunctional parents .My father an addictive gambler alcoholic chain smoker with heart issue.My mother an uneducated ,hormone inbalanced obese woman alcoholic sex crazed pokermachine addict.My mother's boyfrend an old man in his late fifty's molestered me at age five all the way till year ten highschool.I grew up in poverty and horror from my erotic and painful forcefull childhood sexual abuse and having to witness my father attempt to murder my mother and my father's violent outbursts and their daily feuding and police and living basically in a park with my elder brother and younger sister who too were sexually molesters by the very old phaedaphile lover of my mother.

  14. Pray God /walking /fruits /music /diverting the factor which cause depression is the best treatment. Avoid drugs

  15. Yeah, I have one of the symptoms of depression. I feel like I'm the worst person on Earth, I am ugly, self doubt and that I'm hopeless at everything. I may not have the condition, but I do cry very often. I have been encouraged to believe in myself. I tend to sleep for a long time on some days, I also lose interest in doing anything, although I do my tasks, but I feel like an idiot.

  16. I'm suffering from insomnia and depression, and the cause of my depression is my husband, to whom I love immensely. But he is not taking my depression seriously. Can anyone help me out plz 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

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