1. Realize that you are not the cause of their feelings.
People with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brain that makes them feel the way that they do, so more likely than not, they probably don’t feel this way because of you. It’s best to put that thought aside from the get go if you are aware of your partners illness, and go from a perspective of care rather than being distraught and hurt.
2. Validate how your partner is feeling.
Depression can be extremely hard to deal with, but having someone who listens and believes you can make a world of difference. If you make them feel like their problems are not actually a problem, you are only hurting them more and making them feel as though they are alone and that they can’t come to you because you lack the understanding. This can be isolating for a person, so telling them that you are there for them and hear them is a great step in helping them feel heard
3. Reach out!
If your significant other is showing signs of depression and they haven’t seen a specialist, encourage them to seek out that type of help. There are many doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists out there that work specifically to help people with depression. If necessary they may also be able to get medication to help ease their symptoms. Also, remember to reach out to friends and family, because it can be hard on you as well! Remember to continue to take care of yourself as well.
4. Don’t just “up and leave.”
While handling someone with depression is exhausting at times, it is good to remember to be patient. The person with depression most likely doesn’t want to be in the position that they are in. Set a time limit of improvement. If your significant other isn’t actively trying to get better, be it taking their medications or going to therapy, then it just may be your time to exit. But give them that time to heal (or at least try to.) If your partner threatens to harm themselves, get help. Call an emergency service and stay with them until help arrives.
5. Think about the possibility of couple counseling.
It may be a good ideal to have licensed professional provide help. A therapist or counselor has been trained in working with these types of issues, so it’s go to get their profession opinion and perspective before throwing in the towel.
6. Remember to be kind.
It can be hard to remember to be kind when your partner just isn’t their usual self, but treating them with kindness can go a long way, even if it feels futile at times. Give them a hug. Talk with them. Bring them flowers. Do a nice gesture. Realize that they will be happy that you cared enough to give them that attention.
Dealing with depression can be incredibly difficult. If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of harming yourself or committing suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at: 1-800-273-8255.
If you witness someone attempting suicide or trying to hurt themselves call 911 immediately.