Depression affects millions of people, both men and women, each year. This makes it likely that at some point in your relationship, you might find that your partner is experiencing symptoms of depression.
This can be a challenging time for both of you. Depression is hard for the person experiencing it, but it can also cause strain in a relationship and leave the person not experiencing depression unsure of what to do and how to help. While you do not need to be an expert in psychology, knowing a few tips on how to support your partner through depression can help.
What to Do When Your Partner is Experiencing Depression
Identifying depression is one of the first steps in treating it, and as you know your partner well, you are likely well positioned to identify when they might be experiencing a change in their thought process. Symptoms of depression can include mood changes like hopelessness or irritability, insomnia and changes in eating habits, and a lack of interest in activities your partner previously enjoyed.
If you notice the symptoms or your partner already has a depression diagnosis, these are some of the ways that you can help them manage symptoms and progress on their journey towards mental wellbeing:
- Remain Judgment Free – Depression creates a lot of emotions which can often be overwhelming for the person experiencing them. One of the things you can do is focus on creating a safe and encouraging space where you are supporting your partner in getting the help they need and them a place to talk about emotions and what is troubling them without criticism.
- Encourage Professional Help – Depression is highly treatable through medication and psychotherapy. Encouraging your partner to look into these methods and providing assistance where necessary in finding a psychiatrist and attending appointments can help make this part of the treatment process easier.
- Learn About Depression – There are a lot of myths and generalizations about what it means to live with depression. Taking some time to read on your own and talk with your partner about what they are specifically experiencing can give you better insight and more effective ways to help.
- Support Treatment Goals – Whether your partner is treating depression with medication, psychotherapy, or both, become invested in their goals and help them to reach those goals.
- Be Patient – Recovery from depression does not happen overnight, and living with someone experiencing can be difficult, particularly when they are irritable or withdrawing from your relationship. Continue to remind yourself that this is something out of their control and instead focus on providing support while also making sure that you are continuing to take time for yourself and your own mental health.
These strategies can be helpful for other mental health conditions as well, such as anxiety, addiction, and others, that your significant other is dealing with. If you have a loved one experiencing depression or another condition a Dallas psychiatrist can be an additional partner in mental health concerns. Aware Behavioral Health has a variety of services to provide comprehensive treatment for depression, anxiety, and more. We work with teens and adults and can give you or your loved ones the support they need in achieving mental well-being. Contact us today for more information.