How to help your boyfriend understand your depression
Living with depression makes basically every aspect of life so much harder than it should be, including romantic relationships. You need support to lend a different perspective, help you see hope and possibility, and know that others love and care about you. That said, this can be a really intimidating conversation to have. Here's what Brustein and Howes recommend for navigating it. AroundSEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Is Depression Destroying Your Relationship? Ten Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Depression
- Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend’s Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together
- 15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
- Supporting a partner with depression
- Seven ways to cope with a depressed partner
- How to support a depressed partner while maintaining your own mental health
- How to cope when your partner has depression
- How to support a partner with depression
- Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
- How to Tell Your Partner You Have Depression
Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend’s Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together
T here is no lightning-bolt moment when you realise you are losing your sense of self; just an absence. When you are caring for someone you love, your wants and needs are supplanted by theirs, because what you want, more than anything, is for them to be well. Looking after a partner with mental health problems — in my case, my husband Rob, who had chronic depression — is complicated.
Like many people, Rob and I were not raised in a society that acknowledged, let alone spoke about, depression. The silence and stigma shaped how he dealt with his illness: indeed, he struggled with the very idea of being ill.
He told me fairly early on in our relationship that he had depression, but I had no idea what this entailed — the scale, the scope, the fact that a chronic illness like this can recur every year and linger for months. And Rob struggled to articulate how bad it was. In , Rob took his life. The reasons are complex, but I believe it was a mix of depression and an addiction to the opiates he used to self-medicate. Hindsight is always bittersweet, but I did learn a lot — especially about taking care of my own mental health.
I was so sure he would feel better if he came out for a walk or met his friends, but depression is a physical illness, too. People sometimes feel very tired and want to stay in bed all the time.
People with depression find even mundane tasks, such as opening the post or going to the shops, impossible. Often, they keep their finances hidden, says Dr Cain. So, to maintain your own mental health and avoid unnecessary stress, it may be easier to have an agreement with your partner that, when they are ill, you will be in the admin driving seat.
And when they feel able, they will sort it out. But trying to maintain appearances while supporting your partner is exhausting. This can be easier said than done. I found my own coping mechanisms — therapy, exercise and lowering my expectations of what I needed and wanted from Rob when he was feeling bad.
Above all, hold on to your love. But your patience, kindness and understanding make such a difference. Take charge of admin and finance People with depression find even mundane tasks, such as opening the post or going to the shops, impossible.
The Samaritans helpline is In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 Topics Depression. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.
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15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times?
One woman shares the story of how undiagnosed depression almost ended her relationship and how she finally got the help she needed. It was a crisp, fall Sunday when my boyfriend, B, surprised me with a gift card for a nearby boarding facility. He knew I had been missing horseback riding. I had taken lessons from the age of 8, but stopped when the barn sold a few years prior. B had reached out to the barn manager and arranged for us to go out and meet some horses that were available for part-board which allows you to pay a monthly fee to ride the horse several times a week.
Supporting a partner with depression
Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives. The support of family and friends can play an important role in the treatment of mental health conditions. Depression is a condition that affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. Depression can take its toll on relationships and may cause loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, or fearful. In this article, we explore ways in which people can support a partner with depression in their journey toward recovery. Asking about symptoms also shows the person that their partner is interested in their feelings and experiences. Avoid asking questions that seem judgmental or place blame on the person with depression.
Seven ways to cope with a depressed partner
T here is no lightning-bolt moment when you realise you are losing your sense of self; just an absence. When you are caring for someone you love, your wants and needs are supplanted by theirs, because what you want, more than anything, is for them to be well. Looking after a partner with mental health problems — in my case, my husband Rob, who had chronic depression — is complicated. Like many people, Rob and I were not raised in a society that acknowledged, let alone spoke about, depression.
Prevention is better than cure. Get in early and challenge the person about their behaviour. Be firm but not confrontational — argument is counter-productive.
How to support a depressed partner while maintaining your own mental health
Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.
Understanding how depression affects your partner can be key to building a healthy, supportive relationship that cares for the mental wellbeing of both partners. Depression can cause people to withdraw, behave differently or become more irritable. Common symptoms include insomnia, feelings of worthlessness and loss of interest in activities. It can even lead to physical aches and pains. Living with depression for a longer period of time can take a toll on your partner's levels of energy, motivation and passion.
How to cope when your partner has depression
It can be hard to be in a relationship with someone with depression. Also, depression can make someone more irritable, angry, or withdrawn. The symptoms of depression may lead to more arguments, frustration, or feelings of alienation. Although depression can be challenging, most people want to do what they can to help. If your partner has depression, here are some ways you can help her through it and maybe even strengthen your relationship in the process. First and foremost, be patient. Try not to take it personally if she is irritable or distant. It might help to think of depression as you would any other illness.
I have seen how it can take the joy, energy, and sense of purpose out of everyday life. I also know how hard it can be to support someone who is living with depression. Depression may look different from person to person, but at its core the illness often causes people to feel lonely, inadequate, and misunderstood. One of the most prevalent symptoms of depression is a feeling of isolation.
How to support a partner with depression
When your spouse has depression , you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad.
Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
Mental illness, including depression , is something every person must face and manage in their own way. But it also impacts relationships with friends, family — and particularly partners. Those closest to someone living with depression can be a huge source of love, comfort, and support. But they can often feel enormous pressure.
When you're in a relationship, whatever your partner deals with, you deal with. And vice versa. So if your partner is depressed , it's imperative that you know how to handle it in a healthy, helpful, and supportive way — for the sake of each partner's mental health. Watching your partner go through something difficult like depression can be tough on you both of you.
How to Tell Your Partner You Have Depression
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity. It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life.
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do.