Depression is the most common mental health disorder. Around 5 percent of the global adult population suffers from it. Depression heavily influences a person’s quality of life. It is often isolating, where people suffering from it don’t talk about the condition and how they feel with their loved ones.
So, parents, children, spouses, and friends must step up and lend emotional support and whatever kind of support people suffering from depression require.
If you are wondering “how to deal with a partner with depression,” then read on. This blog will specifically focus on how romantic partners and spouses can support their partners through depression.
The first thing is to understand the condition because you can’t empathize if you don’t really know what your partner is going through.
Depression is serious and can be extremely severe. This condition causes the person to lose interest. Things that were previously enjoyable stop sparking any joy or enthusiasm. So, if you are wondering what happened to your wife who loved cooking but now can’t move out of bed, this is what.
Depression is characterized by persistent sadness, but that is not all a person faces. Some of the other common symptoms of depression are:
- Lack of appetite
- Disturbed sleep
- Feeling frustrated and angry
- Poor concentration
- Fatigue and constantly feeling tired
- Loss of hope and feeling lost
All these symptoms are extremely debilitating and can cause lasting psychological, emotional, and physical effects. It is during this time when the person can not motivate themselves toward treatment and getting better, that they require their loved ones to lend them unconditional support.
However, when people don’t understand the condition, they are quick to misjudge and get frustrated. It is common for depressed men to be more volatile and get angry easily, but their wives may not understand why this is happening. So, it is important to understand depression and how it manifests itself in different people.
Similarly, spouses complain that their partners have changed. They are not the fun-loving, active, and happening people they used to be. The problem is that it’s not on them, it’s the condition that makes them hopeless and tired. Instead of losing your temper, be more understanding during these times.
Read on depression and how the person feels during these times. When does it get worse? How to make it better? Which mental health expert to take them to? When to push them to go out and engage in activities and when to let them be? These things require time, effort, and patience but it’s only a matter of time. When your spouse recovers, your relationship will have reached new levels of strength and they will cherish you more for what you did when they needed your support.
If you are trying to do all this but get exhausted and angry, then you can also take professional guidance. Enroll in an online anger management course so you can follow their tips and tricks to vent out the anger building up in you so you don’t take that out on your already suffering partner.
Depression is a mental health condition that requires treatment just like any other physical condition would.
You can try helping your partner with home remedies and natural remedies, but keep a close eye on their condition. You can motivate them to incorporate some sort of physical activity that releases serotonin and other mood-regulating hormones. Similarly, add more leafy greens into their diet. Give them supplements and multivitamins like Omega-3 and B-12.
If you see no improvement in your partner’s overall health, or even worse, if the condition worsens, you must seek professional help.
You can ask around family and friends if they know a good psychologist and psychiatrist in your area. The other, and the recommended, way is to visit a general physician. They would do a thorough check-up and themselves recommend a mental health expert for consultation.
6 Ways To Support Your Partner To Overcome Depression
- Just Be There
- Go for Exercise
- Eat Healthy
- Organize the Daily Routine
- Plan Things Together
- Create Small Goals
1 – Just Be There
The first thing which you should know that your partner requires is for you to just be there, by their side, providing relentless support. Simply knowing that they have someone helps a lot. Even if they don’t have the energy to express it in words, it would mean the world to them.
They may say that they are okay by themselves or to leave them alone, but you try to be there. Allow them their personal space but also be around when they need you. It’s okay if you can’t make them magically better. You can hold their hands, gently comb their hair with your fingers, and make small talk.
You can say these things to make them feel better:
- “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”
- “You are the world to me.”
- “I am here if you need me. Whenever you need me.”
- “It will get better and we will get through it together.”
2 – Go for Exercise
Exercise is a great way to blow off steam. Go for a jog if you feel things are getting to you. Scream if you want. Cry if your heart feels heavy. But go out and have some time for yourself.
Physical activity or exercise helps release serotonin and endorphins which are happy hormones. If you are not into running, you can register for a class like yoga or meditation, or something that requires more jumping around like zumba, aerobics, pilates, etc. After you sweat out, you are guaranteed to feel better and return home in a chirpy mood.
Therefore, do this for yourself and your spouse.
3 – Eat Healthy
Don’t undermine when they say that you are what you eat. Your diet has a huge impact on how you feel. If you are regularly consuming dripping-in-oil, high-caloric fast food items then you are certain to feel bloated and weighed down. Not only do you feel miserable from the inside, but you are likely to lack the motivation to do anything.
But if you eat healthy, well-rounded meals with protein, fats, and carbs then you will feel the difference.
When your partner is depressed, they won’t have the energy to cook. So, you are more likely to order out. That’s okay for once a week, but you both need nutrition and good food to stay healthy. So, if your partner does not have the energy, you cook them something they like and they will surely love you more.
4 – Organize the Daily Routine
A person with depression has intense fatigue. So, if you leave it on them, they will stay in bed all day. They are not able to get out of it even when they try. It requires more strength than you can imagine. But you can’t let them just remain in bed because that just creates more problems.
So, make a daily routine. keep it flexible and realistic. And then you BOTH follow it and don’t just ask your partner to follow it. this way, your partner will get the motivation to do it, and there will so many small things that you can do together. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be ideal, but it will be the first big step in the right direction.
5 – Plan Things Together
As a couple, you should already be doing things together. When a person is depressed, they want to feel alive and happy but they don’t have the energy to do things. Even when they do, they don’t always enjoy it.
So, one way how to help a boyfriend with depression is to plan small things that you know your partner will enjoy.
6 – Create Small Goals
Again, don’t forget how overwhelming even a small task could be for your partner. So, don’t make unrealistic huge goals that your partner will not be able to achieve and spiral downwards. Instead, set achievable small goals.
Don’t set going out as a goal for day one. Start by just getting out of bed. That could be monumental for someone who struggles to get out of bed. Other small goals could be to take a shower, eat a healthy meal, fold the laundry, or help you meal prep. Your partner will get better with treatment, but on days where they have a depressive episode, you will have to practice patience and empathy and set small goals for them and yourselves.
Living with a depressed spouse could be challenging, but who said marriage is easy? It is a lot of work and commitment. Having your partner struggle with a mental health condition like depression is emotionally taxing and physically exhausting, but it is an instance where you must show love, support, and empathy.
It could get difficult to deal with a depressed spouse but you must help your partner with depression. Apart from seeking medical treatment and making sure they complete their treatment, there are many things you can do to support a partner with depression.
In this blog, we shared some ways how to help a depressed spouse. The first step is to understand the condition itself. When you don’t know what the condition is, you can’t understand what they must be going through. The second thing, you must have are patience and relentless support. Finally, there are other things that you can do to help your partner.
You should set small goals, plan things together, and say words of encouragement to them. At the same time, take some time out for yourself to exercise and blow off the steam if you feel exhausted and frustrated.