Relationships are difficult but if your partner is depressed it can lead to more challenges. As a companion your role doubles into a caregiver as well. In this article, we try to understand the role of a caregiver, who is also the companion. We also try to look at the do’s and don’ts. And at the end your own mental health is equally important, hence we’ll be looking at coping strategies as well.
Topics we will be covering :
- Why is my partner depressed?
- What is depression?
- How can I help my partner?
- How to stay positive?
- Coping strategies
Why is my partner depressed?
Your partner can be depressed for many reasons, and for no reason as well. Depression comes with no warning signs and can hit you at the most random times.
That being said, there are always triggers that set it off. But it can be difficult to spot the exact trigger, and then trace it back to its source. That’s where therapy comes into the picture.
Most of the time depression and anxiety are co-morbid. They enable each other and thus to help your partner deal with depression you might want to check if there are signs of anxiety as well.
Here are a few things for you to keep in mind :
- Each one’s experience with depression is unique.
- Each one’s reasons are equally unique.
- During the course of depression your partner might lose interest in a lot of activities you both did together.
- Try not to take this or anything else you see during the course of depression, personally.
- It might be easy to blame yourself and indulge in self-pity, but that’s a slippery slope and it’s better to avoid it.
- Don’t believe in myths, always verify information when it comes to mental health
Myths are a big hurdle in the field of mental health. They move the focus from the issue at hand, and most people waste time believing myths instead of seeking help and doing what’s necessary.
One commonly heard myth is that “it’s just all in your head, there’s nothing as depression.” This automatically makes a person feel poorly about themselves, and for an individual facing depression, this is dangerous.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental illness characterized by persistent low mood, loss of interest, loss of hope, and change in eating and sleeping habits.
For some people, depression can last for a lifetime, in which case it is chronic. For some, it might have been triggered by a recent or ongoing event, in which case it is acute depression. Suppose your partner needs medication, then it’s a form of clinical depression.
The time period for which depression lasts varies based on the person. It depends on the following factors as well:
- Type of depression
- Environmental factors
- Socio-economic status
- Social factors
- Financial situation
This may include the place, whether it is a rural or urban area. And the kind of resources one can access. It can also include family and the kind of support systems one has.
This includes the class a person belongs to and how this might be a hurdle in achieving help for depression.
Social factors might include caste, and also social stigma surrounding mental health. Some people might refrain from seeking help to avoid judgement.
Seeking professional help can be expensive and not all can afford to do so. This can become a burden as it takes a number of sessions to feel better.
If a person is uneducated about mental health and how they can help each other and themselves, they could easily believe myths. Following myths is dangerous when it comes to depression as it might do alot of harm and worsen the condition.
How can I help my partner?
You can help your partner by educating yourself about depression firstly. Read about the illness from credible sources and understand how this affects an individual.
As mentioned earlier, try not to take this personally and make it about you. Focus on the needs of your partner and encourage them to seek help.
One of the best things you can do is just be present for your partner. Let them know that you’re always there, and actively listen to how they feel. Empathize, don’t sympathize with your partner.
Empathy is when you put yourself in another person’s shoes and sympathy is when you show pity. Sympathizing automatically makes it look like you’re in a better place than your partner. This would end up discouraging the way your partner feels.
How to stay positive?
You can stay positive by keeping your life going in the usual way. Make sure you have your hobbies, your work, social activities and so on. It’s important to maintain a balance between your life and being a companion for your partner.
Sometimes it can become taxing to be with someone who is depressed. You might begin to feel low In mood as well. Try to indulge in minimal activities you both can do together.
This may include painting, painting with your fingers instead of brushes just like children do can be particularly fun and uplifting. A small walk around the neighbourhood or in the park when the sun is out is helpful.
Your partner needs to have their dose of sun, it has proven to be extremely beneficial. Exercise helps in releasing dopamine which is the happy hormone.
As a caregiver for a partner who is depressed, coping strategies is a must. You need to understand that you might also need to seek help in the form of therapy.
As mentioned earlier, you will have a double role now, as a companion and caregiver. One common thing caregivers face is ” compassion fatigue.”
This usually happens over a period of time when you aren’t able to care anymore. It’s like a form of burnout. To avoid this, you need to have certain coping strategies.
- Have your “me time.” This is only your time to relax and do things that make you feel good.
- Seek help in the form of therapy when you’re constantly feeling low or losing hope.
- Speak to friends and have a social life.
- Exercise as regularly as you can.
- Have one hobby that helps you vent, this can be writing, or painting, dancing, any other form of art. Even running helps in releasing a lot of pent up emotions.
Having a partner with depression can be difficult and draining. Just remember that if you want to help your partner, you need to also take care of your own mental health. At the end of the day, you just need to be there for your partner and be sensitive towards their situation. Communicate with your partner as much as you can.
A common thing people feel is that they aren’t making their partners happy, this is an unrealistic assumption to have when you’re with someone who is depressed. It takes time to heal and it’s a whole process
If you have any comments or questions for us, please drop them in the comment section below.
FAQs – My partner is depressed
How do I deal with a depressed husband?
When you’re taking care of your depressed husband it’s important to help yourself as well. One thing you can do is seek help in the form of therapy to express how you’re feeling in the relationship.
What does a person usually feel when he is depressed?
A person usually feels hopelessness, sadness and loss of interest in activities when he Is depressed. Depression is a mental illness that can be serious and last for long periods of time.
Is infidelity a symptom of depression?
Infidelity isn’t a symptom of depression but it can lead to depression. Cheating can affect our mental health and lead to anxiety, depression as well as other distresses.
What actually causes depression?
One of the few causes of depression includes genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications. Medical problems might also lead to depression.
Can a bad relationship cause mental illness?
Yes, a bad relationship can cause mental illness such as anxiety or depression and it affects your self-esteem. A low self-esteem can lead to stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, introversion and depression