How to Support your Partner with Depression

a person looking depressed

It can be difficult to know how best to support a partner who is struggling with depression.

The condition can affect all aspects of life, from energy levels and motivation to relationships and communication.

By understanding the basics of depression and learning ways to show support, you can learn how to support your partner with depressiong by being helpful in their recovery.

This blog post will offer couples tools that can help you by acknowledging the problem, offering empathy and understanding, providing practical assistance, allowing for time alone and self-care, sustaining the relationship, and maintaining perspective during difficult times.  

Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Dominique Schweinhardt, MA, LPCC, LPP

Dominique Schweinhardt, MA, LPCC, LPP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

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(719) 481-3518
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sarah Lawler, LPC

Sarah Lawler, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Acknowledging the Problem and Reaching Out for Help

Explain what depression is, why it's important to reach out for help, and how to do so in a supportive way.

This can be done by saying things like "It seems like you're going through a tough time, and I am here to help.

It looks like depression might be an issue and it is important that we get you the right resources to get better. Is there anything I can do to help?"

This is important because it recognizes their struggles and gives them the space to share how they're feeling without fear of judgment.

It also offers support and lets them know you are there for them in any way possible. 


Empathy and Understanding

Offer tips on how to empathize with your partner, validate their feelings, and show understanding. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt misunderstood?

It can be very difficult to express depression and it is important to show understanding and not judgment.

Try using phrases like "I don't understand how you feel, but I am here to listen and be supportive" or "I know this must be hard for you, so take your time and let me know if you need anything from me" to show them acceptance and understanding.

Empathy is important when supporting your partner with depression because it helps to foster a safe and secure environment in which they can feel comfortable talking about their experience.

Practical Tools

Give suggestions on practical methods of support that can make a difference in the day-to-day lives of those dealing with depression, such as setting up doctor appointments, exercising together or practicing mindfulness activities.

Try not to overload them with too much at once; take things slowly and give them time to process.

Encourage your partner to practice good self-care by focusing on nutrition, sleep habits, and other healthful activities that can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

It's important to provide tangible, practical methods of support because it can help to reduce stress and make daily life more manageable. 

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Time Alone

Explain how allowing them the needed space and solitude can be beneficial for those dealing with depression.

It can be useful because it provides a much needed break from the stress and obligations of daily life.

Moreover, it allows them to spend time with themselves and reflect on their emotions in order to process them more effectively.

Let your partner know that they can take as much space or time as they need without feeling guilty or obligated to you.

You can say things like, "I understand that you need some time alone, and I am here to support you however I can" or "Let me know if there is anything you need while you take some time for yourself." 

Self Care

Discuss ways in which individuals can take care of themselves while supporting their partners through depression, such as getting enough rest and making time for meaningful activities like creative projects or hobbies.

It's important to not neglect your own needs while supporting your partner.

Depression can be a difficult experience for both the individual and their loved ones, so it is important to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically in order to provide the best possible help.

You may want to avoid talking about depression when you're both together, and instead focus on activities that make you feel good, like going for a walk in nature or having a relaxing evening with friends.

These practices can help to boost your own mental health so that you are better equipped to assist your partner. 

Looking After Your Relationship

Share advice on maintaining a positive relationship even when one of you may be struggling with mental health difficulties.

Since your relationship is also affected by depression, it is important to focus on the aspects that still bring you joy.

Do activities together like going for a walk or having a meal together.

It is also essential to spend quality time with your partner and understand how they are feeling without trying to "fix" things.

Be understanding and try to focus on the positive things in your relationship while avoiding potential triggers.

Maintaining Perspective

Reflect on why it's essential to keep perspective during difficult times and offer advice regarding seeking out mental healthcare professionals if needed from both members of the couple if possible.

A counselor could help by providing a neutral third-party point of view and could provide therapeutic tools to help manage the depression.

Remind your partner that having depression is not their fault, and offer positive reinforcement when they do something small like exercising or attending an appointment.

Provide support by listening and understanding, while recognizing that there are external limitations in what you can do for them.

Finally, remind your partner that depression is not permanent and that it can be overcome with the right amount of care and support! 

Disclaimer

The content in this blog post should be used for informational purposes only. The author is not a licenses counselor. If you need official medical advice, please reach out to a licensed professional.

Conclusion

Supporting a partner with depression can be stressful and difficult, but there are ways to help.

Offer them time alone, practice self-care, maintain perspective, and look after your relationship by doing activities you both enjoy.

Remind your partner that depression is not permanent and offer positive reinforcement as they work towards better mental health. Finally, be sure to seek professional help if needed.

With the right care, your partner can overcome their depression and you both can find peace and joy in life again. 

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May 25th, 2024

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