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How to help your partner get through depression

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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.

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

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The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Your Partner Through Depression

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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 Also, depression can make someone more irritable, angry, or withdrawn.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. Unfortunately, an episode of depression lasts longer than the flu, but the principle is the same.

When you know the symptoms of depression you can more easily distance yourself from behavior that might otherwise strain your relationship. Symptoms of depression typically include sadness, irritability, anger, hopelessness, disturbed sleep, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, feelings of worthlessness, lethargy, isolation, and thoughts of suicide or death.

Knowing the symptoms of depression also helps you recognize the beginning of another episode. If you catch an episode early enough, you can sometimes limit its severity.

Sometimes, just sitting and watching TV together is enough. Depression often makes you feel like you want to be alone, but often being alone only makes it worse. Keep doing things together even if you have to dial it back a bit. A work party or a 10k race might be out of the question, but maybe you can go for a walk in the park or go see a movie together. Sometimes depression goes away on its own, but getting professional help can shorten a depressive episode and make it less likely to recur.

Emphasize that therapy really does help people and that you want to see your partner get better. Even if your partner does want to get help, actually making the effort can feel impossible. The effort it takes to research likely candidates and actually make an appointment might seem totally out of the question.

You can help with this process a lot. Listening lets him know you care and want to understand. Ask questions questions and show your support. Just being there and listening can help. There are two major sticking points in a treatment plan for depression: getting started and sticking with it once you feel a little better.

Getting started is hard because depression makes you lethargic and pessimistic. This makes it harder to start on a treatment plan, so reminders and encouragement can help. If exercise is part of the plan, exercise together. Remind him to take his medication or supplements every morning. Once things start improving, make sure he keeps up with the treatment plan. An episode of depression may last months.

Although you may be committed to caring for your depressed partner, you have to take care of yourself as well. Spend time with friends and family who can help you manage the stress of caring for a depressed loved one. Take time to relax and do things you enjoy. Watch out for the warning signs of suicide.

In addition to the other signs of depression, these warning signs may include talking about suicide, expressing feelings such as being a burden, feeling trapped, or being in unbearable pain, tying up loose ends like saying goodbye to people or giving away valued possessions, or looking for a means of committing suicide, such as pills or a gun. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at or bring your partner to the emergency room. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help.

Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible.

Request information online or call us today at Skip to content. Call Us Today Be patient. Recognize the symptoms. Do things together. Encourage your partner to get help. Help your partner get help. Help your partner stick to a treatment plan. Take care of yourself too. Know the warning signs of suicide. Related posts. March 18, DBT Techniques March 6, CBT Techniques March 3, Freedom From Addiction February 25,

Depression in Men

Call 1. By Rodney Robertson, D. She blamed herself for not being capable enough and went from her usual schedule of getting up for work to barely leaving home.

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.

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.

Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend’s Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together

Depression is tough on a relationship. A psychologist explains how to help a depressed spouse, signs of depression and how to strengthen your relationship. Clinical psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD , shares how you can help a depressed spouse — and yourself — so you can get through the tough times, together. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Borland explains. If you suspect your partner is dealing with depression, Dr. Borland recommends these five action items:. Depression is treatable.

Supporting a partner with depression

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.

It can be hard to be in a relationship with someone with depression. Also, depression can make someone more irritable, angry, or withdrawn.

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.

How to cope when your partner has depression

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. Relationships take work, and those that are marked by a depressed spouse take even more work than usual.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Support a Loved One Struggling With Mental Illness

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.

How to help a depressed spouse

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.

Oct 9, - 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.

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.

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.

Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.

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