Loving someone with depression can be hard, it can be difficult to see someone you care about struggle daily, hearing them speak about themselves with such negativity can be bewildering as you do not see them in that light at all. Depression can be loud and take over someone’s mind, dominating their thoughts which as a result leads them feeling low and helpless. This can be difficult to partners to know how to support their spouse.
Accepting your partner has depression and learning how to live with the depression will help you let go of trying to treat their depression and ‘fix everything’. This means letting them have negative and painful thoughts when really you want them to see everything differently.
Instead of fixing, offer love, empathy and care – this is more likely to foster closeness and connection rather than trying to change their minds.
- Maintain a Balance in the relationship.
When a partner is suffering with depression, it can be easy to neglect our own wellbeing as we want our partner to feel better, this is necessary when supporting a loved one for sure! However, when someone we care for is suffering for a long time, it is important to learn how to balance the care for ourselves whilst still supporting our partners.
- Supporting Your Partner
Remind your partner you care for them and don’t assume you already know. Be patient, curious and listen to them. Simply being with them or giving them a hug can be enough. Learn to be OK with the discomfort this may bring and not trying to fix it.
- Focus on the positive
Remind yourself of the many reasons why you care for your partner.
Practice being compassion by imagining how it would feel if you were going through what your partner is going through. Remember your partner has a mental illness and how much strength it takes to be sick and still try and continue with life