How to help your boyfriend get through depression
Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives. The support of family and friends can play an important role in the treatment of mental health conditions. Depression is a condition that affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. Depression can take its toll on relationships and may cause loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, or fearful. In this article, we explore ways in which people can support a partner with depression in their journey toward recovery. Asking about symptoms also shows the person that their partner is interested in their feelings and experiences.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Helping a friend struggling with depression: Tips from Dr. Randy Auerbach
9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression
Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives. The support of family and friends can play an important role in the treatment of mental health conditions. Depression is a condition that affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. Depression can take its toll on relationships and may cause loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, or fearful. In this article, we explore ways in which people can support a partner with depression in their journey toward recovery.
Asking about symptoms also shows the person that their partner is interested in their feelings and experiences. Avoid asking questions that seem judgmental or place blame on the person with depression. They may already be blaming themselves for their symptoms, and they need support instead of further judgment. Becoming educated about depression can make it easier to support those with the condition. Learning about the symptoms often helps people recognize them in their loved ones. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they may vary over time.
However, the American Psychiatric Association state that symptoms need to last for at least 2 weeks before a doctor can diagnose depression. Symptoms of depression can include :. One way to demonstrate empathy is to reflect what the person says. Continually trying to cheer the person up is not helpful as this invalidates their condition and their feelings. Depression can cause a person to lose their motivation, which can be a barrier to seeking treatment.
However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health , most people with depression need treatment to recover. Those supporting someone with depression can play an important role in their recovery by encouraging them to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. Another way to encourage treatment is to make an appointment on behalf of the person with depression, but only if they make this request.
It can also be helpful to accompany them to appointments. While recovery from depression is possible, it can be challenging at times. To support a partner during the recovery process:. It may also be helpful to attend a support group for family members of those with a mental health condition. Couples may also benefit from couples therapy or family-based counseling.
This risk is particularly high in cases where a man is supporting a woman with depression. Those looking after someone with a mental health condition also need to take care of their own mental health. They can do this by:. Professional treatment is an important part of the recovery process. The first step is often to see a doctor who can recommend medication, psychotherapy, or both.
For particularly severe depressive symptoms or in life-threatening situations, call or go to the nearest emergency department. People with depression may be at risk of suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention , more than half of those who die by suicide have major depression. Partners of those with depression should be aware of the warning signs of suicide so that they can take swift action if necessary.
Warning signs include:. If a person suspects that someone is at immediate risk of suicide, they should seek emergency assistance. Supporting a partner with depression, both emotionally and practically, can help them go through the recovery process. While it can be rewarding, caring for someone with a mental health condition is also challenging. Caregivers should practice regular self-care to look after their own mental well-being. Long-term, it can also affect their body in ways that may be serious.
In this article…. Depression can lead to a lack of physical and emotional energy, in addition to causing sleep disturbances that leave a person feeling chronically…. People with depression can experience a variety of symptoms, some of which may be harder to recognize than others. Hidden symptoms of depression can….
What is the difference between sadness and depression? Learn how to recognize the two and find out when medical help may be needed. Sadness does not…. Doctors often prescribe medications and counseling, but diet can also make a difference. How to support a partner with depression Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Questions to ask about symptoms Questions to avoid Ways to support a partner Professional support Summary Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives.
Questions to ask about symptoms. Share on Pinterest The support of family and friends is important in the treatment of mental health disorders. Questions to avoid. Ways to support a partner. Share on Pinterest A person can support their partner by accompanying them to their therapy sessions.
Share on Pinterest When a person is supporting a partner with depression, it is essential to make time to enjoy hobbies and other activities.
How and when to get professional support. Warning signs of suicide. Suicide prevention If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person: Call or the local emergency number. Stay with the person until professional help arrives. Remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects. Listen to the person without judgment. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at Depression Mental Health.
Medically reviewed by Timothy J. COVID antigen test could give quick results, but is not foolproof. Related Coverage. How does depression affect the body? Legg, Ph. Why does depression make you feel tired?
Recognizing the hidden signs of depression Medically reviewed by Timothy J. The difference between depression and sadness Medically reviewed by Timothy J.
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How to support a partner with depression
Depression is tough on a relationship. A psychologist explains how to help a depressed spouse, signs of depression and how to strengthen your relationship. Clinical psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD , shares how you can help a depressed spouse — and yourself — so you can get through the tough times, together. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center.
I suffer from depression myself and I know how tough it can be. But I want to talk to the partners - the people living with the people who are living with depression. It can make them say and do things that you just don't understand. I spent three years talking to more than people about their experiences with love, sex, and depression for my book, The Monster Under The Bed.
How to help a depressed spouse
When you're in a relationship, whatever your partner deals with, you deal with. And vice versa. So if your partner is depressed , it's imperative that you know how to handle it in a healthy, helpful, and supportive way — for the sake of each partner's mental health. Watching your partner go through something difficult like depression can be tough on you both of you. You might not know what to do or say. And they might feel bad that they're "putting you through it. Even by simply being there, and lending an understanding shoulder to cry on, you can make a world of difference.
How to cope when your partner has depression
Try these: time management relationship advice healthy lifestyle money wealth success leadership psychology. When you married your partner, you agreed to love and support them for better or for worse, through sickness and in health. Though you may have found it easy to maintain your connection when you were both in a good mental space, your vows are tested when one of you experiences emotional issues. Relationships take work, and those that are marked by a depressed spouse take even more work than usual.
Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy. Read about how Sara dealt with the overwhelming experience of helping her depressed boyfriend, and the lessons she learnt in the process. Seeing a loved one go through a hard time always impacts you in some way or another.
5 Ways to Offer Support When Your Spouse Is Depressed
Understanding how depression affects your partner can be key to building a healthy, supportive relationship that cares for the mental wellbeing of both partners. Depression can cause people to withdraw, behave differently or become more irritable. Common symptoms include insomnia, feelings of worthlessness and loss of interest in activities. It can even lead to physical aches and pains.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Is Depression Destroying Your Relationship? Ten Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Depression
Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear. My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s, and we recently moved in together after being in a long-distance relationship for four years. I can barely get a normal conversation. I feel so alone.
Supporting a partner with depression
During Men's Health Week, here's how you can help if a man in your life is suffering with depression and anxiety. But what should you do if your boyfriend or husband is suffering from mental health problems? A key warning sign that your boyfriend is dealing with depression or anxiety is him shutting down communication. Not every conversation has to be about how he is feeling, as that can feel claustrophobic. When your boyfriend recognises that you can communicate without any pressure, he may confide in you more often. It is important to generate open and relaxed conversation with your loved one.
When your spouse has depression , you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad.
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do.
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave loved ones feeling helpless and afraid.
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship?