When someone you love suffers from depression, you can feel confused. You may not know what to do, and that is alright. You may even feel angry, or like you just want to leave.
My husband is depressed, and I just don’t know what to do.
If your partner is depressed, then it will effect you. I’m hear to tell you the feelings you are having are normal. The depressed partner may feel everything is normal, but you don’t.
You may feel like your feelings aren’t validated by your partner. You may also feel like you have done something wrong, or are to blame. This is not the case. Your partner needs to see a professional for treatment.
I’d like to provide help for a partner of someone suffering from depression. It’s important that you don’t blame yourself.
Here are 5 tips to help a partner of someone suffering from depression:
- Learn to set clear boundaries. You don’t want to be your partners only support. Although, it is important to be understanding of your partner. This does not mean your partner can take advantage of you. It’s important that you have your own space. If you don’t set clear boundaries for yourself, you will harm your own mental health. This can lead to physical issues, as well. Encourage your partner to reach out to support groups or to seek help from a therapist. Just because your partner is depressed, doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold.
- You are not responsible for your partner’s depression. It is not your responsibility to pull your partner out of depression. Your partner will need to make that step. Your partner may want to blame you for the depression. This is not the case. You can be supportive and help him through the process. But, you can’t do this alone. Your partner does need professional help.
- Make self-care a priority in your life. Do not put yourself last in the relationship. This will cause you to feel resentful. Be kind to yourself. This starts with your own internal thought process. Have a few positive affirmations that you say daily. You can write them down and put them on your night stand. Listen to good music, take long baths, go for walks and get fresh air.
- Learn to talk about your partner’s depression. This could be a sign that you need to talk about your problems in the relationship. Your partner may have underlying feelings of feeling inadequate or unloved. This doesn’t mean that it’s your fault. When you are willing to listen to your depressed partner, this can go a long way in the relationship. This will help build trust. This doesn’t mean you are responsible for the depression. This can also help give you understanding. Try to look at it from your partners perspective. Remember, there are two sides.
- Don’t be afraid, educate yourself. The good news is, there is help for you. There is a lot of good information and resources out there for you. Depression, no longer carries the negative stigma it used to. Read blogs and books about depression. There are many great podcasts, as well. It’s easy to feel scared. If this is the case, you are not alone. There is help.
If you have read this article, then you have made a great first step. Small steps lead to big steps. You can get through this with help. Depression is a treatable disorder.
At the end of the day, it’s important to talk about depression. It’s important to listen to your partner’s concerns about the relationship. This doesn’t mean that you argue for your point of view. It’s also important that you have clear boundaries, and that you know your limits in the relationship.
If you liked this article, there are more in Relationship Challenges. It is filled with helpful tips to help get you through the bumps in life.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping couples in San Mateo, CA who are looking to rebuild a close emotional connection and get their relationship back on track. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.