Sleeping Next to Depression: How to Help


It’s difficult to watch your partner struggle with depression. We all experience sadness at some point in our lives, but depression can take a large toll on our relationships. Luckily, there are ways you can help both your loved one and yourself get through this challenging time. The following are suggestions that may prove to be helpful.

Talk to Your Doctor

Encouraging your depressed partner to consult a professional is the first step. If your partner agrees to seek help, you may even want to go with them for support. This may be an opportunity for you to speak with the doctor about better understanding the illness, and ask questions as well. Your doctor can recommend literature and offer advice on how to support your loved one. Your partner should be encouraged to do research on their own as well.

Lend an Ear

Communication with your partner is essential in their recovery. Encouraging them to talk openly and being an active listener without judgment demonstrates you care. Offering an empathetic ear is sometimes all our loved one really wants.

Get Moving

Demonstrating a healthy lifestyle such as exercising, eating right, and getting enough rest will only encourage your loved one to do the same. Remind them of the things they used to like to do, and suggest picking up one or two of those things again. You may even want to accompany them.

Be a Team Player

There may not be a concrete reason for your loved one’s depression; however, you do have the option to participate in their recovery. Accompanying them on some counseling sessions may help. Offering hope to your partner can help remind them that they are very important to you, and a large part of your life.

Patience is a Virtue

Accepting that these things sometimes take time is also important. Try not to get discouraged if your loved one does not make progress right away. Every little bit of support is worth it, even when it feels frustrating and like a struggle. Keep in mind that this may be only temporary and there is help for depression.

Have a Plan

Always be aware of warning signs that your loved one is in danger. Have an action plan in place in the event that they appear suicidal. It may be difficult to discuss, but being prepared for such a situation will prove to be life-saving. Keeping the doctor’s number close by and having a plan set in place are suggested.

Take Care of You!

Finally, take care of yourself. It’s OK to feel frustrated, sad and resentful. These feelings are only human. Allow yourself space to feel the feelings. Joining a support group and talking to friends are good ideas. Keep in mind that your health is just as important, and you are most helpful to your partner when you are in a good place yourself.

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