In this article, we will be addressing the question: how to help your girlfriend with depression?
How to help your girlfriend with depression?
Dating someone who’s suffering from depression can be a very challenging and taxing process on its own. You feel bad for the situation of someone you ardently love and care about with added feelings of guilt and frustration for not being able to be there for them all the time. It can also especially feel disheartening to see that sometimes, nothing you do manages to cheer them up.
However, there are ways to support your partner while they are battling with depression which can make a real difference, over time. You could follow these tips while communicating with your partner or while spending quality time with them.
Active listening is a very imminent and indispensable component, when it comes to hearing out people who are talking about their difficult times, especially about their depression. Most of us tend to come up with suggestions and solutions before hearing out the other person’s side, completely. Keep away this urge to respond immediately and give your partner ample space and freedom to express their genuine concerns and emotions.
Let them know that you are there for them by paying attention to their words and their emotional state without distractions or getting lost in your loop of thoughts, in between.
Create an environment that is safe, secure, free of judgments or irrelevant comments, and loving. Understand that your partner is willing and trusting you to empathize and hear out their feeling and thoughts. Take this fact into consideration and provide all of your care and encouragement, in the most gentle manner possible to help your partner open up and express their authentic self.
Do not pass unnecessary comments or make them feel bad for opening up to you. They should feel safe and be confident to turn to you too in their difficult times, in the future times of need.
Understand the kind of support your partner requires and provide with the same. Talk with them and enquire about their needs and how you can help them achieve the same with your presence. Some partners might find the care and smothering you provide a little suffocating or disturbing while some others might want it in abundance. It differs from person to person.
The best way to understand is through open and honest communication. Give your partner enough space to be themselves and to express their emotions without your interference in between. Acknowledge your partner for who they are and never try to force your ideologies or beliefs onto them.
Never try to fix the problem
Be aware at all times, of the fact that you possess the role of a partner and not of a therapist or a caretaker. It’s easy to think that you giving suggestions or solutions can save your partner from their depressive mood and brighten up their day. Unfortunately, that might be the last thing they are looking for. So try not to be a problem fixer and educate yourself about the difference between giving advice and hearing out one’s problems. We tend to view both as a merged process, which is wrong in all ways.
Small gestures of love
On some days, when your partner is facing their blues, it is nice to let them know that you adore and admire them for who they are, through tiny gestures. For instance, sending them a letter where you can pour your heart out to them and let them know what this relationship means to you and how thankful you feel for having your partner in your life.
It could also be through a painting, a bouquet, or a random phone call to check upon them. Make sure your partner is someone who appreciates and enjoys receiving these gestures before sending it over to them.
Look after yourself
Remember that your health is equally important as your partner’s and never comprise on your well-being for saving the relationship. It will turn out to be frustrating and mentally exhausting for you, by the end of it all. Build your support system, with people who you love, care for, and with whom you can connect, without being intimidated.
Take out time for yourself and indulge in activities that you enjoy and rejuvenate you physically and mentally. Understand the fact that you cannot save your partner from their depression at any cost and that you can only be there for them, throughout the whole phase.
Being with someone who is facing emotional and mental difficulties is an emotionally draining task and you need to be careful not to exhaust yourself in the whole process. Set your priorities straight, provide time slots for each of them, and try to follow through with them.
The importance of balance
In any kind of relationship, it is important for a continuous evaluation and reassessment of your needs, your partner’s needs, and the needs that are demanded by the dynamics of the relationship. This is because such an evaluation brings about a healthy and manageable balance between you and your partner and you both feel fulfilled.
If and when your partner is suffering from depression or going through a tough phase, it will be necessary to compromise on this balance, a little. However, make sure you do not forget yourself or the course of the relationship while supporting your partner in need.
Communicate honestly about the kind of emotional investment your partner is seeking and place healthy boundaries wherever required.
Being compassionate is one of the most beautiful ways through which you can express your support to your partner while they are undergoing depression. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand things from their perspective while they share their worries with you.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Compassion can be expressed in the simplest of ways. It could be through a tight hug, a pat on the back, a reassuring nod or smile, or a gentle kiss on their forehead. All these gestures reveal your compassion in your genuine concern for them and the way you express them, without hesitation.
Always remember that your partner is not at fault for suffering from depression and it’s not something that can just be ignored or invalidated at any cost.
In this article, we answered the question: how to help your girlfriend with depression?. We discussed the ways through which you can support your girlfriend who is battling with depression and the importance of balance and compassion in the relationship to maintain authenticity in the relationship.
FAQs: how to help your girlfriend with depression?
How do I comfort my girlfriend with anxiety?
You can help your girlfriend cope with their anxiety through the following ways:
Never try to fix the problem. Remember that you are a partner and not your partner’s therapist. Support and non-judgemental understanding will be what your partner is seeking.
Try not to explain why your partner should not be anxious or worried about something. Understand that it is something that is genuinely bothering them, rather than trying to make them feel guilty for opening up about their fears and worries.
Be honest and gentle with them during difficult times. Take things slowly and steadily. Talk to them or express your opinions to them in ways they can connect and understand.
Make sure you provide them with a safe and secure space to discuss their anxious thoughts and feelings. Do not exploit or take advantage of their vulnerability in any manner.
Take care not to get too involved with your partner’s problem to the point where you are neglecting your peace of mind and well-being. Live your life at the same time and give yourself space if you feel the situation is too much for you to handle.
How can I help my girlfriend mentally?
You can provide support to your girlfriend mentally, using the given below tips:
Maintain respectfully and a loving decorum of communication with your partner
Try to develop intimacy with your partner of both physical and mental kind
Respect and hear out your partner’s feelings and thoughts
Express disagreements in a kind and loving manner
Express your feelings genuinely and without filters. Show you love them whenever possible through small gestures.
pay attention to the time and space you both share, when together and do not ignore their presence
Gift each other small surprises and romantic dates where you both can indulge in mutually favorite activities.
Can anxiety ruin relationships?
Anxiety has the power to ruin any kind of relationship. It breaks down trust and connection. When you are caught up in your loops of thoughts, you will naturally create a mental distance between you and your partner and find it hard to get attuned to their needs and feelings. When you are overwhelmed, your partner will feel as if you are not paying attention to them.
How do you know if your partner is mentally unstable?
Look out for the following signs, if you observe unusual mannerisms and changes in your partner’s behavior that could be indicating mental distress or imbalance in them.
Your partner gets easily triggered and upset for the most trivial matters and brood over it for a long time.
There seems to be a severe fear of commitment that you observed in your partner
he/she becomes cold and distant when you express your feelings and emotions
he/she tries to control your life and your relationship with other significant people in your life
Your partner frequently finds it hard to admit their own mistakes and wrongdoings.
There is a severe fear of criticism and rejection which your partner projects on you.
Acts unusual and indifferent around your close friends and family, whom you consider important.
Why am I scared to be in a relationship?
Your fear concerning investing time and effort in a relationship would be mostly due to your past experiences in relationships or due to general fear towards commitments in life. There might fear of being abandoned or misunderstood; fear of the relationship turning toxic over time; fear of abuse or infidelity, or fear of not being compatible with your partner. Different individuals might have different kinds of fears depending upon their past experiences or their upbringing.
When should you give up on a relationship?
If you notice the following signs showing up in your relationship, then it might be time
to reevaluate your relationship or end it respectfully.
Your needs are being ignored or neglected completely
Your partner constantly projects their insecurities and fears on you
You find it extremely difficult and debilitating to ask for your partner’s time and attention in times of need
You begin to view the relationship as a mere obligation
You are no longer able to connect with your partner physically, mentally, or both.
Your partner breaks your trust in one or the other ways.
What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues
- If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.
If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.