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How to help your partner with depression

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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.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Helping a friend struggling with depression: Tips from Dr. Randy Auerbach

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Help a Depressed Friend or Partner

Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship

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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. Social withdrawal and lack of interest or pleasure are common among depressed people. Family members notice that depressed people seem not to care about finding joy anymore.

All of these factors can make it difficult to know how to help a depressed partner. But your support is important. Take one of our 2-minute Depression quizzes to see if you or a loved one could benefit from further diagnosis and treatment. While the essential feature of major depressive disorder is a period of at least two weeks during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, depression is not a static illness.

An important first step in helping your partner is to understand the disease. Symptoms of depression can vary, and can change over time. You can certainly read about depression and consult a professional for more information, but the best way to understand how your partner experiences depression is to ask open-ended questions and use empathic listening. You can respond with encouraging statements:. For many people with depression, symptoms are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in daily activities, such as work, school, social activities, or relationships.

They might not understand the symptoms of depression and think that their feelings are just something they have to endure. All too often, people feel that they just have to will themselves better, but depression seldom improves without treatment. You can help your partner by encouraging treatment and being there during appointments. Changes in lifestyle can make a big difference during the treatment process.

You can help:. Depression feels overwhelming. When someone is severely depressed, even the act of getting out of bed can feel like a monumental task. You can help your partner by setting and acknowledging small goals and daily achievements. Breaking down larger tasks i. For people who struggle to get out of bed each day, focus on getting up, taking a shower, and eating a healthy meal.

Your partner is likely to improve with treatment, but you will need to practice patience and understanding when working through a depressive episode. The risk of suicide is always elevated during major depressive disorder. Caring for a partner with depression is emotionally taxing for the caregiver. Photo: iStock. Jump to: 1. Learn about depression 2. Be there 3. Encourage treatment 4. Create a supportive home environment 5.

Focus on small goals 6. Know the warning signs of suicide. Article continues below Are you or your partner feeling depressed? Get our Free eNewsletter!

15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful

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.

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.

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.

9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression

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. It's important not to take changes personally or as a reflection of your partner's investment in the relationship. Depression, like many mental health problems, can take over your life. They also have many other roles and interests.

When Depressed Husbands Refuse Help

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.

Depression is tough on a relationship.

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?

8 Tips for Dealing with a Depressed Spouse

Try these: time management relationship advice healthy lifestyle money wealth success leadership psychology. When you married your partner, you agreed to love and support them for better or for worse, through sickness and in health. Though you may have found it easy to maintain your connection when you were both in a good mental space, your vows are tested when one of you experiences emotional issues.

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. You bet," Baer said. But the condition can also be uniting: There are plenty of instances when a couple faces the illness together, and it becomes another one of life's many challenges, he said.

Depression in Men

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.

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When your spouse is depressed, your marriage can become depressed. You need to keep in mind that even the loveliest and happiest people can be pulled into the depression corner within no time. But, what is depression? It goes beyond the daily sadness that someone may feel once in a moment. Sometimes, depression can look like real happiness one day, followed by the scariest and deepest form of sadness the next day.

How to Help Your Partner Through Their 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.

Supporting a partner with depression

To the outside world, Emme lived a charmed life. She was a successful model, creative director of her own clothing line, a television host, lecturer, and mother of a beautiful baby girl. Phillip Aronson, the wonderful man she married, found himself in a downward spiral of depression, even attempting suicide at one point to escape his pain. Phil was always an energetic partner, excited to go to work each morning either to the showroom to check on the latest graphic designs for the Emme line or to attend meetings about some new project.

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Comments: 3
  1. Zulutaxe

    Your opinion is useful

  2. Bazil

    Here there's nothing to be done.

  3. Douzahn

    In my opinion you are not right. I can prove it.

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