Ways To Help Your Partner Suffering With Depression
How to support your loved one without burning out.
Life during a pandemic has caused mental health issues to upsurge. We are experiencing extreme circumstances which can easily cause anxiety and despair. Caring for a partner who is suffering with depression is a difficult task. It is easy to lose yourself in the well being of your other half. Follow the below tips to maintain balance in your life between offering support and supporting yourself.
When your partner is prone to depressive periods it is important to look for the signs. Changes in habits, social withdrawal and extreme fluxes in moods can signal depression.
Communication is key in supporting a loved one suffering with depression. Regularly reach out to them by asking how they are and actively listening to their troubles. Although you can not offer a solution to their feelings, your love and support will help relive them of distress.
Sometimes the best way to be there for a loved one suffering with depression is simply just to be there. It is not necessary, and sometimes unhelpful, to continuously analyse how they may be feeling. Instead plan activities which reinstate some normalcy.
Viva Wellness co-founder and clinical therapist Rachel Gersten, LMHC, highlighted to Well + Good how “you can be there for your partner just by simply watching a movie with them on the couch. Or by picking up their favorite ice cream next time you’re at the store.”
Seek Outside Support
Ensure you are not left to fend through these hard times alone. Encourage your loved one to seek outside support, through online therapy or contacting their GP.
Clinical therapist Nedra Tawwab spoke to Well + Good about the importance of protecting your own mental health whilst helping your partner through depression.
“We are all collectively experiencing some sort of grief and traumatic response to everything that’s happening. You may barely be coping yourself, so taking on someone else’s emotional burdens can be too much. It’s important to set boundaries about just how frequently you are listening to others’ problems.”
Practice Self Care
It is important to maintain a self-care regime. Schedule time for yourself, where you can simply focus on activities which fuel your sense of wellbeing. Online yoga and meditation can have transformational effect.
Simple pleasures can make a huge difference! Treat yourself to a home spa evening or your favorite meal to help prevent burn out.
Depression can be an extremely debilitating mental illness. If your partner is suffering with depression your daily household routines may be unsustainable. Make sure to reshuffle and prioritise your responsibilities so you are not swamped with an unachievable list of tasks.
Sometimes having tasks to complete can be helpful for someone suffering with depression. Keep communication with your partner open to see what they can manage to help with in the day.