One of the most prevalent mental health diseases in the world is depression, which affects millions of people on an annual basis. As a result, it’s possible that you know or loves someone who deals with depression on a regular basis. Finding appropriate coping mechanisms is crucial when that someone is your partner and depression starts to affect your daily life.
How can you love and support your partner with depression while prioritizing your own mental health, you may wonder. What can you do to improve your relationship, yourself, and them all at once?
Here are some ideas to get you going on how to love someone with depression.
Ideas on How to Love Someone with Depression
#1. Develop Alongside Them
Because depression is a prevalent mental health disease, the usual ways in which it presents itself are generally known to most people. But everyone’s experience of despair is unique. There are many common core symptoms that are the same, including a loss of interest in daily activities, adjustments to food or sleeping patterns, and feelings of shame or worthlessness. However, your partner might also suffer less well-known symptoms like rage or anxiety. Additionally, they could exhibit extreme functional swings from one day to the next.
The first thing you should do if you’re in a relationship with a depressed person is to educate yourself on mental illness. There are many widely held misconceptions regarding depression, so it’s crucial to do your research or ask your spouse to share their experience with you. This conversation can help you communicate better, build stronger connections, and develop emotional intelligence.
#2. Encourage Your Partner
It can be difficult to see someone you love suffer or struggle in any way. There may not always seem to be a “correct” method to help them. You might attempt a softer approach one day and a firmer one the next, but nothing seems to be working. You might even attempt to gain insight from television programs like “This Is Us,” which realistically portray depression. Unfortunately, because everyone’s experience with sadness is unique, even the finest screenwriters can’t always get it just right.
Asking your partner what they need in a straightforward conversation is one of the best things you can do. What can you do to make them feel supported? It’s crucial to keep the connection in balance and to preserve consistency wherever possible. Be understanding of their needs and aware that they might change.
#3. Self-Care is Important
Although it’s admirable to want to look after your partner, this cannot always be your main concern.
When you are utterly exhausted, both physically and psychologically, you cannot care for someone. Even if you don’t personally deal with depression, if you don’t prioritize your own well-being, you are more likely to encounter mental health issues. If you’re always worrying about your partner, you could start to feel overly stressed, exhausted, and worrisome.
Putting your own mental health first is not being selfless. In fact, by doing so, you’ll be able to help your spouse more effectively because you’ll be more motivated, energetic, and focused on meeting their requirements. Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. You may improve your mental health every day by doing the following things:
- Mindfulness exercises
- Setting a priority for sleep
- Engaging in hobbies you enjoy
- Developing gratitude
Do not feel alone if you love someone who is depressed. Talking to someone else about your life and your struggles can be beneficial. You don’t need to put your spouse’s needs before your own or give up your own needs in order to assist your partner. You can care for yourself and still support and love them.
Love Someone with Depression: Red Flags
In order to really love someone with depression, you’ll need to first be able to identify that the person is going through depression.
Here are ten warning signs that you are in a relationship or in love with someone undergoing depression.
#1. Abuse of the Body
Physical abuse in any form must be treated extremely seriously. “That’s all you need to know if the individual makes you feel physically frightened or if they’ve ever acted in a physically abusive or threatening manner.” Give it a 100 percent final rating. “No,” he replies. If you’re in an abusive relationship, you can read our in-depth guide on how to leave it here.
#2. Harassment, Verbally or Emotionally
Verbal and emotional abuse are also major warning signs in addition to physical assault, say in a healthy relationship, you support and encourage one another.” “Anyone who makes you feel like the issue, that you’re insane, or that you’re the reason they act the way they do—those are all warning flags.”
#3. Current Dependency
Active addiction is a further warning sign. Be on the lookout for actions such as routine binge drinking or other substance addiction. If you’re interested in dating an addict, I advise that you should make sure they are receiving long-term support and are engaged in some form of long-term recovery.
#4. Poor Mental Health Conditions
Untreated mental health problems are comparable to addiction and frequently go hand in hand. That’s not to say folks with mental health issues can’t have healthy relationships. They most definitely can. (With that in mind, check out our advice on dating someone who is depressed.) However, relationships will be extremely difficult to maintain when problems are not handled or stabilized. He continues, “They need to be working on it and stabilizing it.”
A healthy relationship should not feel like a roller coaster but rather safe and steady. Erratic behavior is a warning sign that a person won’t make a trustworthy companion. Whether they fail to call when they promise,
You’ll want to keep a watch on those who go for extended periods of time without getting in touch before abruptly reaching out to you with an excuse or apology (also known as “going zombie”).
#6. Being Possessive
Possessiveness can be anything from healthy to unhealthy. A little bit of occasional jealousy is okay, but if their possessiveness toward you is accompanied by “anger, hostility, narcissism, threats, or rage,” that should raise a red flag—especially if it worsens over time. The attempt to control you or to keep you apart from friends or family is not acceptable. Be on the lookout for manipulation in any form.
Many traits and behaviors fall under the umbrella of narcissism, but generally speaking, look out for conduct that suggests the individual has a superiority complex, such as entitlement, a lack of self-accountability, a lack of empathy, etc. A person can display narcissistic features even if they don’t have a full-blown narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). If you notice that everything seems to revolve around them in some way, it means they won’t be able to see you clearly.
Gaslighting is a sort of manipulation that aggressively denies another person’s reality in order to maintain control over them. Being gaslit can be incredibly unsettling for the person experiencing it, leading them to doubt their own feelings and intuition. This raises a lot of red flags, If someone tells you “you’re being dramatic” or “that never happened” when you’re upset about anything, they are not only refusing to accept responsibility but also attempting to manipulate you and the course of your relationship.
#9. Emotional Aloofness
There are several ways that someone who is emotionally unavailable can show it. It’s possible that this person only wants to visit you at odd hours of the night or when it’s convenient for them or that they aren’t making the necessary efforts in general. A person may not be emotionally available if they have trouble discussing their feelings or expressing a desire to end a relationship.
#10. They Leave You Feeling Inferior
Get a comprehensive understanding of how this person makes you feel on the inside, going back to the verbal and emotional abuse. Do they elevate you or are they condescending and speak down to you? Considering dating anyone who makes you feel inferior is not in your best interest.
How to Love Someone with Depression: When to Confront It and When to Leave
Walk away if your intuition is telling you clearly that this won’t work. Stop there. Stay away from trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
If you’re unsure, there are a lot of factors to take into account, and it takes some intelligence. We must develop our ability to discriminate, which entails developing self-confidence, he argues.
Do you notice patterns in your own relationships? This is essential. Don’t assume that this time will be any different if you consistently follow the same patterns and draw in the same types of people. Similarly, if you’ve been harmed in the past, you should be aware of your own triggers. Something you think is a warning sign might actually be a projection.
How to Love Someone with Depression Tips
You can find it intimidating to date while suffering from depression, but many depressed people go on to have fulfilling relationships.
When treated with care and compassion, a partner’s depression can be stressful on both the person and the relationship and does not necessarily spell doom.
When two people stick together out of love in the face of adversity, their bond and love can grow stronger and more beautiful. It can assist you in better understanding your relationship and allowing them to see your vulnerabilities.
However, it’s critical to keep in mind that if your partner has depression, it might be emotionally exhausting. They may behave horribly toward you, toward themselves, or even toward you emotionally.
It’s critical to be honest about the circumstances and how much you can take on without losing your mental equilibrium.
Depression’s Effects on Relationships
Have you ever wondered how depression affects relationships because of your partner’s condition?
Dating someone who is depressed can be challenging and perplexing. It can frequently be fruitless and draining to try to alter your dating partner’s perception of their life.
No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to heal and console your depressed partner so that they see things from your perspective because depression is frequently a chronic condition. Their negative bubble may prevent them from seeing themselves objectively.
The distance between you two may grow, and unneeded disagreements may result from a constant attempt to show how incorrect your date is.
What to Anticipate When You Date or Love Someone With Depression
Depending on one’s circumstances and personality, depression might seem different for various people.
Men and women have different relationships with depression in various aspects because of differences in their biology, psychology, and social positions. When dating someone who has depression, it can be confusing because the symptoms of depression manifest themselves differently in various people.
Dating a Depressed Male
Studies show that males frequently find it more difficult to communicate their emotions, whether they are positive or negative, due to the expectations of masculinity and other biological reasons. Dating a man with depression can be challenging since negative thoughts often come out violently when they are suppressed.
In light of this, the following notable characteristics distinguish depression in males from that in women:
Men are more likely to lose their temper and become frustrated and angry when depressed, according to studies on the behavioral patterns of men and women. Additionally, the hostility makes people unaware of their depression.
#2. Less Likely to Ask for Assistance
Men are also less inclined to seek assistance if they are mentally struggling. Until something goes horribly wrong, they frequently deny that there is a problem.
Dating a Depressed Female
According to data, women are twice as likely to be given a depressive diagnosis. The increased rate could be a result of their life circumstances and aging-related physical changes.
Here are some important indicators of depression in women only:
#1. It Is Impacted by Hormonal Changes
There may be hormonal imbalances that lead to depression as a result of the biological changes that women experience at different stages of their life. Women frequently suffer without knowing why they are hurting due to a lack of knowledge about these changes.
The hormonal balance of a woman might naturally change as a result of menopause, pregnancy, giving birth, and other factors. A doctor can use their thorough knowledge of these changes to help you get ready and treat you.
#2. More Likely to Experience Depression and Seek Treatment
Women are far more likely to admit that they have difficulty managing their mental health issues. If they believe they are sad, they are more willing to seek therapy.
If you are dating a depressed person, keep in mind that, in addition to biological factors, women are frequently more prone than males to be diagnosed with mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
Advice on Dating a Depressed Person
Depression’s impact on relationships can significantly change the dynamics between you and your lover. However, you may make your relationship last by having empathy for your partner and an awareness of the circumstances.
We provide the following guidance if you’re dating someone who experiences depression:
#1. Recognize reality
When you are dating someone who suffers from depression, your partner may occasionally be in denial about their illness. You can’t get someone to see things clearly before you acknowledge that they could be having a problem.
The first step to healing is acceptance.
Your partner’s healing may be hampered by denial on your part. You can only fully and consciously help your partner if you first acknowledge that they are depressed.
#2. Maintain Equilibrium
The idea of balance applies to relationships just like it does to everything else in life. When you’re dating someone, you’ll consider both your needs and theirs.
When dealing with a depressed person, you must pay closer attention to their requirements because they frequently outweigh yours.
This does not imply that you should be less helpful to them or less concerned for them, but rather that you should be mindful not to put other people’s needs before your own.
Recognize the needs that must be satisfied. You won’t be able to accomplish every task on your own.
#3. Consistently Show Support
No matter how mentally taxed your romantic partners are, you must always show them that you care.
Stop attempting to change their perception of themselves and accept them as they are.
Be enquiring and engaging with them even when they’re at their lowest. A depressive partner has to be understood and empathically involved without having their perspective altered.
#4. Constantly Look on the Positive Side
When a person has depression, things can occasionally get rather challenging. Nevertheless, it would be best if you constantly reminded yourself of the good things about the person you are speaking with.
When you perceive that your interactions with them may be heading in an unpleasant direction, it is imperative that you constantly remind yourself of the other person’s great qualities.
Accept your partner for who they are, let them embrace their negativity, but also work to build a loving, close relationship with them.
You may connect with your dating partners even when they are at the peak of their internal conflict if you put more effort into improving your patience and conversational abilities.
#5. No “fix-it” projects, please
You cannot treat depression as your own personal project since it is a serious mental disorder.
Your partner may show signs of depression, and you can offer assistance in response, but they must travel their own path to recovery. Although you cannot make all the decisions because you are not the one who is depressed, you can try to assist them.
Treating your partner’s depression as your own personal “fix-it” project may place undue pressure on them to recover more quickly, which may cause them to grow bitter toward you.
#6. Avoid Personalizing it
People with depression, a mental disease, sometimes behave in irrational and annoying ways. They might lose control when upset or construct a barrier between themselves and everyone they care about.
The capacity to not take things personally, even when their behaviors damage your feelings, is necessary while dating someone who has depression. You’ll have to keep telling yourself that their mood swings, irritation, hostility, or distance are not your fault.
#7. Inform Yourself
Use every resource at your disposal to learn as much as you can about depression if you’re trying to figure out how to love someone who has it.
To learn more about depression and how you may support your spouse, use books, reputable websites, or even chat with others who have dealt with depression.
#8. Support Without Condemnation
Even if it could be difficult, try not to criticize your spouse for his actions because they might not be fully in control of them.
Encourage your spouse to believe in their abilities and to get support when they’re down.
They will feel worse about themselves and the circumstance if they detect your judgment, but if you encourage them, they will proceed in the right way.
#9. Be Willing to Call it Quits
Dealing with depression’s impact on relationships can be challenging at times since it can sometimes make you lose respect for the other person. Even if you are no longer happy in the relationship, you could feel responsible and compelled to continue. However, this is unhealthy for both of you, so you might want to consider splitting up.
When dating a depressed person, keep in mind that your happiness is just as essential as your partner’s, so consider ending the relationship if things get too challenging for you.
If you feel you are giving your partner and relationship too much, be willing to quit.
#10. Moderated Optimism
Your ability to overcome challenging circumstances might be boosted by having a positive outlook. But too much optimism that ignores reality also serves no useful purpose.
Try to maintain some sense of realism while being hopeful about the relationship’s future when learning how to date someone who is depressed. You can better grasp your circumstances going forward if you keep your optimism in check with some sobering realities.
# 11. Effective Communication
The key to success is always effective communication, isn’t it?
If you can learn to interact with them honestly and constructively, being in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression may be simpler.
Depression may cause your partner to isolate themselves and withhold their emotions. However, if they don’t talk, they risk allowing the situation to fester and get worse.
Talk to each other, even if it’s difficult and you’re not used to exposing yourself to emotional vulnerability.
#12. Assisting a Depressed Partner
Dating someone who has depression might be challenging, but keep in mind that many couples have successfully managed this challenge with the appropriate approach.
The best way to love someone who is depressed is to take an informed, reasonable stance.
Give them as much time and space as they require to confide in you. Remove yourself from the situation if you feel rushed or under pressure to give more of yourself than you are willing to.
What to Avoid When Dating a Depressed Person
One of the most important pieces of dating advice for someone with depression is to keep in mind that you cannot serve as their therapist.
When you date someone who has depression, you become a member of their support system that offers them sympathy, empathy, understanding, and consideration. But unlike a therapist, you cannot provide a loved one unbiased counsel.
Allow a licensed therapist to assist them if they require assistance because they can carefully offer your partner suggestions that will be effective for them.
Dating someone who has depression can be daunting and perplexing because depression affects people differently. However, a lot of people have succeeded in doing that by taking a positive and sympathetic stance.
The advice provided in this article can make it easier for you to deal with your partner’s depression. Take the time to understand your partner’s emotions and support them without being fearful.
How to Love Someone With Depression FAQs
Can depressed people be in happy relationships?
No, people with depression are neither happy nor able to share happiness with someone they love in any relationship or marriage.
Does depression make you end relationships?
Certainly, in most cases, it is easier to walk out of a relationship with someone you love who is in depression, especially when they are unwilling to come out regardless of your efforts.
How do you care for a depressed person?
By always encouraging them, it can be difficult to see someone you love suffer or struggle in any way. There may not always seem to be a “correct” method to help them. Your presence around them makes them feel a lot better.