Best Ways to Support a Loved One with Depression

Best Ways to Support a Loved One with Depression

It can be difficult to show your love for a partner if they often struggle with episodes of depression.

One morning they may get up and appear fine, but the very next day, they may push you away, become distant and seem sad.

But by being caring and understanding of the situation, it is possible to lessen the bouts of depression and show that you can be trusted by them.

Mental illness is much like a case of the flu or other physical illness and needs to rely on you to help with everyday care and treatment.

Even though in difficult times the relationship may seem entirely one-sided, the more effort invested in helping a partner overcome this condition, the greater the chance of helping with their mental health and strengthening your relationship.

How does depression impact the life of your loved one?

While a long-term case of depression can come and go over time, there are plenty of different ways that it can have a negative impact on your partner’s life.

Some of the common issues include:

  • Not having the ability to make friends or even continue a relationship with existing friends. The longer it impacts their life the more it is likely to cripple their social life.
  • Depression can make everyday activities a lot more difficult and stressful, while they are very likely to doubt themselves and feel confused.
  • In certain situations when the effects of depression start to beat them, it is even possible to start feeling physical pain.
  • Over time, the condition can start to feel like it fully takes over their life and they start to just feel nothing.
  • Don’t take things personally

It is important to avoid taking things the loved one says and does personally because you aren’t the cause of the episodes of depression. But, in situations like these it can be very different to not look at things as personal.

Plus, it can even leave you with a feeling that you have done something that has lead to the feelings of being depressed.

When a loved one is depressed, it is very difficult to act like things are normal. On many occasions it is even more difficult when around the ones they care about the most.

Being in an environment that surrounds them with strangers is often a lot easier for them. A major reason for this is there is no need to pretend or put on a show to indicate they aren’t feeling depressed.

While this change in behavior may hurt at times, it is generally a great sign if a loved one is able to being around you and be open, trusting and share things with you.

It is really just a case of being there to help when possible – they may try to push you away or hide things – but is it still best to just be there when needed.

It isn’t possible to fix them

Even if you are constantly warm and positive around a loved one with depression, there is little chance of this being enough to fix them.

Plus, it isn’t always beneficial to be constantly positive because it will keep reminding the other party that they aren’t happy or cheerful.

In most cases, they aren’t even sad, but more related to having a complete lack of emotion.

It helps to just be there and give the reassurance that this condition is temporary.

Try to validate their feelings and listen to what they have to say, but try to avoid being a cheerleader with the aim of constantly cheering them up. Just be supportive and listen to them.

Any sort of emotion is appreciated

When a loved one starts the slow process of climbing out of depression, it is often seen the emotions return in a quite unusual way.

This can relate to a person sobbing, having a breakdown, or crying. On the reverse side, there are those that have a feeling of manic happiness, while this may at first may seem extremely fake it still best to give comfort.

But, there is also the emotion of anger. It is often reported that after a prolonged period of non-feeling, anger it the preferred choice to release the built up emotions.

Even though the explosion of anger can hurt, it should be appreciated that they now have a way to vent their frustration.

If preferred, it can help to give them their own space so that it is possible to let them vent rage in peace.

Take care of yourself

In addition to taking care of a loved one, it is also essential to think about your own well being and continue with most of your normal day-to-day activities.

While it may feel like you should be with them at all times, this is rarely practical because it is still necessary to continue focusing on your dreams and goals.

Try to stay in touch with friends and continue with your normal work activities.

Plus, it may seem right that you should downplay any accomplishments while the loved one is depressed, but this isn’t the case.

Even though they may not show it, they will still be delighted for you. Plus, by revealing what is going on in your life, your partner may start to realize what they are missing and encourage them to make the right steps to recover.

There will be those times that you are left feeling hurt, you will want to cry, and find it difficult to handle things.

Even though you may naturally want to hide these feelings from a loved one, you shouldn’t.

You can let your loved one know it is difficult; you still reassure them that you are still standing firmly behind them.

Be patient

Depression is very energy sapping and you really need to take care and make sure it doesn’t start to have a negative impact on your life.

Why not learn more about it and read up on the latest research and knowledge. Most people are quite misinformed and ignorant when it comes to depression.



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