Depression is the most common mental health condition across the globe. So, it’s not uncommon for at least one person in a relationship to struggle with it.
While depression and relationships don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, being with someone who struggles doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed.
If your partner has depression, the best thing you can do is to support them. But, if you’ve never struggled with it yourself, the idea of depression and relationships can be overwhelming.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you can do to support and help your partner.
Pay Attention to Your Needs
When you’re in a relationship with someone who has depression, it’s reasonable to want to put them first. That approach is appropriate at times, and even necessary at others. But, it doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your needs and wellbeing.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to take care of your partner when they need it most.
What’s more; is that you may even end up resenting them without even realizing it.
It’s okay to take time for yourself once in a while. Chances are, your partner will understand and encourage that. Self-care is crucial, especially when you’re trying to be supportive of another person.
Remember, being the best possible version of yourself; you can take better care of the person who depends on you for support.
Learn What Your Partner Needs
Again, depression and relationships aren’t uncommon. But, that doesn’t mean every depressed individual needs the same thing from their partner. Remind your partner in as many ways as possible that you’re there for them. Don’t be afraid to learn what genuinely that means.
It’s okay to ask your partner how you can be supportive. Sometimes, that might mean hugging them. Other times, they might need space. Understanding those individual needs a bit better can help to keep your relationship calm and balanced.
Remember, it isn’t your partner’s fault they’re dealing with depression. They probably get just as frustrated with it as you do. They might start to feel guilty or ashamed. Perhaps they even that they shouldn’t be in a relationship because of their struggles.
One of the best things you can do to support your partner is to assure them that you’re there and that they aren’t a burden.
Remember, your partner is more than just this particular mental health condition. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can help to remind yourself of all of the things you love about them and all of their incredible qualities. It can even help to remind them of those things from time to time, too.
Encourage Them to Get Help
If your partner is struggling with depression, you can support them by encouraging them to get help. Therapy is often an excellent resource for people with depression. It can help them to determine underlying causes and triggers. Plus, it can teach the skills needed to manage symptoms.
Maybe your partner has been avoiding professional help because they’ve been trying to manage their symptoms on their own. But, that can be a tough endeavor. There is no shame in seeking out help. As someone they love and trust, your encouragement could be just what they need to take action.
Depression and relationships will never be easy, but there are things you can do to make your relationship a bit better for you both.
If you’re in the Berkeley, CA area and your partner is struggling with depression, feel free to contact me to learn more. Or, visit my page on [specialty page link] to learn more about how I can help you.