How to help your boyfriend with severe depression
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? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself. A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Support a Loved One Struggling With Mental Illness
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 10 Tips for Staying Sane When Your Partner is DepressedContent:
- How to support a partner with depression
- Seven ways to cope with a depressed partner
- When Someone You Love Has Depression
- Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
- Supporting a partner with depression
- How to Help Your Partner Through Their Depression
- 5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
How to support a partner with depression
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? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship?
While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself. A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Ask your partner's doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet. You can start with the following reputable sources:.
There are many myths about depression. For example, depression is not simply the result of laziness or weakness. Your partner's pain may not "just be in their head. If you are unfamiliar with depression, challenge preconceived thoughts, ideas, and stigma by educating yourself.
It's especially important to validate your partner's feelings and experience of this very real and biologically-based illness, and, just like any other illness, it can be treated. Suicide is also a very real risk of depression so it's important to keep your loved one's environment safe such as removing any alcohol, drugs, or guns and to take it seriously if your loved one is feeling suicidal.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression. It's OK to take some time out for yourself. Self-care is not selfish.
In fact, you'll both be better off if you carve out time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit. Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye. Certainly, this decision should be weighed carefully and ideally discussed with a mental health professional , but you may need to walk away if you or your children's emotional or physical well-being or safety are at risk.
When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. It is very important, however, that you don't allow these feelings to fester and grow. Therapists, counselors, and support groups are not only for people with depression.
Seeking professional help for yourself can help you feel supported, vent your frustrations, and make you more aware of your own emotional needs. Therapy can also provide answers to any questions you have about coping with the depression of a loved one.
One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support. Hold them close or just listen while they share their feelings. Offer to help them with making appointments or doing some of the daily chores that they are struggling to keep up with. Let them know that you are there for them in whatever way they need while they make their recovery. Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well.
They may become angry, irritable, or withdrawn. They may not be interested in going out or doing things with you like they used to. Your spouse or significant other may lose interest in sex. These things are not personal, and they don't mean that your partner no longer cares for or about you.
They are symptoms of the illness that requires treatment. Just like when a person has any other illness, they may simply not feel well enough to take care of paying the bills or cleaning the house. And, just like with any other illness, you may have to temporarily take over some of their daily chores until they feel well enough to do them again. Treatment is vitally important to a person's recovery from depression. You can help your loved one by helping them keep up with taking their medication and remembering appointments.
You can also help them by reassuring them that asking for help is not a sign or weakness or something to be ashamed of. Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Perhaps it's their children, a beloved pet who needs them, or their faith.
These reasons, which will be unique to the individual, can help them hold on a bit longer until the pain subsides. Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support. Proactively counteract those thoughts by telling and showing your partner that you love them.
Let them know that you understand that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you still love them. Reassure them that you are here to support them in their journey to get better. Everything feels more challenging when you're dealing with depression. Get our free guide when you sign up for our newsletter.
Dean J, Keshavan M. The neurobiology of depression: An integrated view. Asian J Psychiatr. Grohol JM. Top 10 Signs of Depression. Psych Central. Educate Yourself A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Separate Fact From Fiction There are many myths about depression. Remember to Take Care of Yourself It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression.
Try: Eating a healthy diet Exercising Getting enough sleep Practicing relaxation strategies Spending time in nature Practicing prayer or meditation Staying socially connected Participating in hobbies and activities you enjoy Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye. Get Support When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. Be There for Them One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support.
Don't Take It Personally Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well. Help Out Around the House Just like when a person has any other illness, they may simply not feel well enough to take care of paying the bills or cleaning the house. Treatment Is Important Treatment is vitally important to a person's recovery from depression.
Offer Hope Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Demonstrate Your Love Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback!
Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Suicide prevention. Updated October Related Articles. When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays. What Is Clinical Depression? Does Your Teen Seem Depressed? Here's How to Help. Physical Effects of Depression.
Seven ways to cope with a depressed partner
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.
Prevention is better than cure. Get in early and challenge the person about their behaviour. Be firm but not confrontational — argument is counter-productive. The PHQ9 questionnaire available online is a good first tool to see if someone might be depressed and help you get appropriate treatment. Be a good listener.
When Someone You Love Has 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.
Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
When one spouse has depression, it can put a strain on a marriage. Living with a depressed partner who is often unhappy, critical and negative isn't easy, and at the same time, it may also be hard to persuade a husband or wife to get help. Jay Baer, a psychiatrist and director of ambulatory services in the department of psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Depression results from shifts in brain chemistry that influence mood, thoughts, sex drive, sleep, appetite and energy levels — all factors that could affect a marriage, as well as disrupt home and family life.
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.
Supporting a partner with 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.
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave loved ones feeling helpless and afraid. The mood in major depression is often described as sad, hopeless, discouraged, or feeling down, but it can also include persistent anger. Angry outbursts and blaming others is common.
How to Help Your Partner Through Their Depression
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. You might not know what to do or say. And they might feel bad that they're "putting you through it. Even by simply being there, and lending an understanding shoulder to cry on, you can make a world of difference. Therefore, it is so important for loved ones to support those in their lives who are struggling 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. They might seem hopeless and have a hard time getting out of bed.
5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
Being in a romantic relationship when one or both of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. None of that means your relationship is the problem.
Depression builds walls around people and between people. When someone you love has been dragged inside those walls, there can be a distance between you both that feels relentless. Not in the way you both want to be anyway.