How to Cope with a Depressed Partner

depressed on the sofa

Sadness is considered as natural part of our daily life. However, if this dark mood persists for some time, ideally for more than a week or a month, it is considered as depression. Depression is caused by sudden changes in brain chemistry that alter energy levels, sleep and thought patterns as well as your appetite.

Depression affects both young and old people. It is a severe disorder that causes tremendous misery not only to the person suffering from it, but also his or her immediate family and friends. If your loved one is depressed, you may experience a whirlwind of emotions such as anger, sadness, frustrations and guilt. Since these feelings are normal, it’s advisable to take care of yourself through this trying period.

What is the First Thing to do?

The first and foremost thing you need to do is to remind yourself that your partner is not intentionally hostile or stubborn. It requires considerable patience to deal with a partner who is suffering from depression. Dealing with a depressed partner can wear you down hence you need to learn how to cope with a depressed spouse.

There are steps you may consider taking in the course of helping your partner recover from depression. First, you need to research vigorously about depression and how to approach your partner about this sensitive topic. Don’t neglect your own emotional well-being and that of your partner. Providing your partner with all kinds of support, including emotional support, will go a long way towards hastening recovery.

How to Support a Depressed Partner

The first step is to help your partner get the necessary help as most depressed people are afraid to seek out medical help. Ensure that your partner takes the necessary medication and keeps all the appointments with the therapist. In certain instances, the mental health professional may require your help as a co-therapist. In this role, you may be given the responsibility of assisting your partner with the tasks allocated by the therapist. For example, you may be required to accompany your partner to anxiety-triggering situations. Moreover, you can also teach your partner how to cope with high levels of anxiety.

Don’t forget to remind your partner that it may take weeks before the medication for depression starts taking effect. Just be patient throughout this journey and also reassure your partner that the treatment regime will ultimately be successful.

Taking Care of Yourself

It’s a natural inclination to want to fix your partner’s problems. However, it’s quite impossible to manage their depression and how their moods shift. That is the reason why you shouldn’t neglect yourself when trying to cope with a depressed partner. Don’t hesitate to speak up when your partner upsets you; if you don’t do so, you’ll only build resentment towards him or her. These negative emotions will only make them feel worse.

You also need to set boundaries on how much you can do to help your partner. Of course, you want to help but not to the extent that your own health will suffer. You don’t have to lose track of your own life, so try your best to have your own life, according to Helpguide.org. Consider joining a support group during this period. Turning to others for support is not an act of betrayal!

 
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