How To Help A Partner With Depression

Relationships

How to Help a Partner With Depression As anyone suffering from depression can attest, not only can it be an ordeal to endure, but it can also happen to anyone. According to statistical research from the World Health Organization, depression affects over 300 million people worldwide, and it is estimated that 15 percent of all adults will experience depression at some point in their lives. In spite of its prevalence, depression is surrounded by a number of misconceptions and stigmas about what the illness entails; this can make it difficult for people with depression to feel as though they’re voices are being heard.

If your partner or other loved one is suffering from depression, how can you help them in a way that’s supportive, respectful and understanding of what they’re going through? Before we continue, subscribe to Bestie, and click the notification bell to ensure you stay up to date on all of our daily videos. Like all conditions which have an effect on mental health, people who don’t struggle with depression often have a difficult time fully understanding what it means to be depressed, which can often lead to stigmas or skewed perspectives on the illness as a result of misinformation. If your partner is currently going through depression and you want to help them, the first step would be to properly educate you on the nature of depression, and in doing so get rid of any preconceived notions surrounding the illness that you might have. As we mentioned previously, depression affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide.https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/relationships/best-dating-apps

In 2018, it was estimated that over 16 million American adults experienced a major depressive episode. But what do we mean when we say that? Depression affects the mind, and since no two human minds are exactly alike, the symptoms of depression are bound to manifest differently in different individuals.

However, there are a number of common symptoms that indicate depression that you can watch out for. Many people with depression experience some or all of the following: Changes in appetite (weight loss or weight gain) Problems with memory or concentration Changes in sleeping habits (under or oversleeping) Loss of energy Aches and pains Loss of motivation or interest in activities Feelings of hopelessness or self-loathing. Because things such as oversleeping and lack of motivation or interest are common symptoms, many people who are struggling with depression are often mischaracterized as being simply “lazy” or unmotivated in general. However, there are some people with depression who still find themselves able to carry out their daily activities and responsibilities in everyday life with little to no impairment.

In these cases of “high-functioning depression”, things can be difficult for the depressed person in question for additional reasons: even though they may be suffering internally, the fact that everything seems fine on the outside means that they feel the need to prove they are not “faking” their condition, both to others as well as to themselves. According to psychologist Kathryn Moore, one common misconception about any form of depression is that all you need to do in order to get better is just “snap out of it”. People who haven’t experienced depression firsthand might interpret the condition as a mere state of mind that can be controlled and ultimately “beaten” through simply thinking positively, or that there is an external cause that is responsible for making the depressed person feel sad. Both of these are untrue, as depression can affect anyone with no external reason whatsoever, and is not something that someone can simply get rid of by trying to cheer themselves up. If you are a loved one of a person struggling with depression, one of the most harmful things you can do without even realizing is belittling the other person’s feelings about their condition, or making them feel as though their symptoms are not genuine.

If your partner wishes to talk to you about their depression, give that conversation the proper respect that it deserves: be attentive, open, and receptive to what your partner has to say about their depression and how it affects them in their everyday life. This is not an easy conversation for a depressed person to have, and chances are they spent a lot of time working up the courage to have this discussion with you, so the very least you can do for your partner is make sure they know you are listening and that they are being heard. As with any other aspect of a relationship, communication is key.

If you do end up having this conversation with your partner, one additional thing you can do is employ the use of active listening. Bear in mind that it isn’t your job to “diagnose” your partner’s depression or it’s level of severity- leave that to the mental health professionals. However, there are questions you can ask your partner in order to gain a better insight and understanding into what they are currently experiencing and the way in which the symptoms of depression are currently manifesting in them.

How to Help a Partner With Depression As anyone suffering from depression can attest, not only can it be an ordeal to endure, but it can also happen to anyone. According to statistical research from the World Health Organization, depression affects over 300 million people worldwide, and it is estimated that 15 percent of all adults will experience depression at some point in their lives. In spite of its prevalence, depression is surrounded by a number of misconceptions and stigmas about what the illness entails; this can make it difficult for people with depression to feel as though they’re voices are being heard.

If your partner or other loved one is suffering from depression, how can you help them in a way that’s supportive, respectful and understanding of what they’re going through? Before we continue, subscribe to Bestie, and click the notification bell to ensure you stay up to date on all of our daily videos. Like all conditions which have an effect on mental health, people who don’t struggle with depression often have a difficult time fully understanding what it means to be depressed, which can often lead to stigmas or skewed perspectives on the illness as a result of misinformation. If your partner is currently going through depression and you want to help them, the first step would be to properly educate you on the nature of depression, and in doing so get rid of any preconceived notions surrounding the illness that you might have. As we mentioned previously, depression affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

In 2018, it was estimated that over 16 million American adults experienced a major depressive episode. But what do we mean when we say that? Depression affects the mind, and since no two human minds are exactly alike, the symptoms of depression are bound to manifest differently in different individuals.

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However, there are a number of common symptoms that indicate depression that you can watch out for. Many people with depression experience some or all of the following: Changes in appetite (weight loss or weight gain) Problems with memory or concentration Changes in sleeping habits (under or oversleeping) Loss of energy Aches and pains Loss of motivation or interest in activities Feelings of hopelessness or self-loathing. Because things such as oversleeping and lack of motivation or interest are common symptoms, many people who are struggling with depression are often mischaracterized as being simply “lazy” or unmotivated in general. However, there are some people with depression who still find themselves able to carry out their daily activities and responsibilities in everyday life with little to no impairment.

In these cases of “high-functioning depression”, things can be difficult for the depressed person in question for additional reasons: even though they may be suffering internally, the fact that everything seems fine on the outside means that they feel the need to prove they are not “faking” their condition, both to others as well as to themselves. According to psychologist Kathryn Moore, one common misconception about any form of depression is that all you need to do in order to get better is just “snap out of it”. People who haven’t experienced depression firsthand might interpret the condition as a mere state of mind that can be controlled and ultimately “beaten” through simply thinking positively, or that there is an external cause that is responsible for making the depressed person feel sad. Both of these are untrue, as depression can affect anyone with no external reason whatsoever, and is not something that someone can simply get rid of by trying to cheer themselves up. If you are a loved one of a person struggling with depression, one of the most harmful things you can do without even realizing is belittling the other person’s feelings about their condition, or making them feel as though their symptoms are not genuine.

If your partner wishes to talk to you about their depression, give that conversation the proper respect that it deserves: be attentive, open, and receptive to what your partner has to say about their depression and how it affects them in their everyday life. This is not an easy conversation for a depressed person to have, and chances are they spent a lot of time working up the courage to have this discussion with you, so the very least you can do for your partner is make sure they know you are listening and that they are being heard. As with any other aspect of a relationship, communication is key.

If you do end up having this conversation with your partner, one additional thing you can do is employ the use of active listening. Bear in mind that it isn’t your job to “diagnose” your partner’s depression or it’s level of severity- leave that to the mental health professionals. However, there are questions you can ask your partner in order to gain a better insight and understanding into what they are currently experiencing and the way in which the symptoms of depression are currently manifesting in them.

Consider asking your partner any of the following questions: Are you eating more or less than usual? Are you sleeping more or less than usual? Do you still feel tired even after sleeping? Are you still capable of enjoying things right now? By asking these questions, not only are you able to potentially gain a better understanding of your partner’s current experiences with depression but the questions themselves can also help your partner feel respected by your willingness to understand, and answering these questions gives them a sense of agency in the situation.

Active listening means not just acknowledging what the other person has to say, but also requesting them to elaborate on and explain what they are saying, be more specific with detail as well. Once you and your partner have discussed the severity and symptoms of their depression, it’s time to think about how you can best help them move forward. If you are a naturally helpful person, it might be tempting for you to do things for your partner when their depression renders them unable to. While your heart is in the right place, this can actually lead to more harm than good, as doing too much for your partner can lead to increased feelings of helplessness and dependency on others.

When helping your partner through a depressive episode, you shouldn’t think of yourself as a caretaker, but rather as a collaborator: Communicate with your partner and ask questions on ways in which the two of you can work together to make these depressive downswings more bearable. Ask them when they last felt this way, and what they did that time that they found helpful. If they recently started taking medication for their depression, ask them if they are feeling any difference as a result so far.

Try to find out what you can provide for your partner, and what changes can be made in order to make things better for them when they are struggling with the symptoms of their depression.All of this is an extension of what we said before about the vital importance of communication in a relationship. Of course, when taking steps to help a partner or loved one with depression, remember that it’s important for you to not neglect taking care of yourself as well. Think of it as like the emergency oxygen masks in an airplane: while you may want to help the person sitting next to you with their mask before putting on your own, this will only impair your ability to help and might cause you to pass out before either of you get your masks on.

The first step in being able to help others is knowing when and how to best help yourself as well. The National Alliance on Mental Illness encourages people helping others with mental health conditions to first ensure that their own needs are met, in order to maximize the amount of help that they can provide. This means making sure that you’re getting enough sleep every night, eating well, exercising regularly, and paying attention to your own symptoms of stress if and when they arise. It is also recommended that you stay away from alcohol and drugs, and consider practicing relaxation activities such as deep breathing and meditation in order to properly manage and reduce stress. When things do become stressful, try to avoid feeling guilt over these negative emotions, and instead try to focus on the positive moments throughout your average day instead.

You should always remember to consider those who you can reach out to for help as well, and always remind yourself where you can find people and resources to help you with the current situation. Depression is a condition that can affect a person’s mental health in a number of different ways and through a variety of symptoms that can manifest themselves differently on a case to case basis. Because of this, someone who doesn’t have depression may initially have a difficult time understanding or relating to someone who does, and when this happens, it’s not very hard for misinformation and stigmas to begin to form. If you have a partner or loved one in your life who is currently struggling with the effects of depression, the best way to help is by being communicative and receptive to what they have to say about their personal struggle, and take measures to ensure that both of you are doing everything you can to help lessen the effects of depression and strive towards a healthier lifestyle. And of course, always be sure to seek out help from a professional as well, but you already knew that, right?

Depression affects everyone differently. If you or someone you know has or has had depression, do you have any stories or anecdotes on the subject that you feel comfortable sharing? In an effort to make your voice heard, we encourage you to keep the conversation going in the comments section below and remember to always take care of yourself.

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