Depression is a serious mental illness that can take a heavy toll on relationships, if not tackled head on. Depression makes you feel like you are all alone, and that you are sinking deeper and deeper, with no sign of a way out. People who have never experienced it can think that depression is the product of a weak mentality, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Depression is very challenging for couples, but when you notice its symptoms in your partner, the worst thing that you can do is to leave him or her alone. You must be there for them and try to understand what they are going through. It will be hard, especially if you’ve never been through anything similar.
There are many thing that can lead to depression, but you can recover, and come out stronger, better, and renewed — together.
Don’t Let Depression Sabotage a Beautiful Relationship
So what are the symptoms of depression? Let’s check them out.
- Having difficulty concentrating, maintaining focus
- Feeling fatigued
- Not having much energy
- Feeling guilty, worthless
- Low self-esteem
- Constant negative feelings
- Constant anxiety
- Thoughts of suicide
As soon as you notice some of these symptoms in yourself or your partner, you should immediately react. Going to a doctor is recommended, but not always necessary if you know how to handle it. If you don’t take care, these symptoms can worsen and create a vicious cycle that can be hard to break out of.
How to save your relationship from depression
If you truly love each other, then breaking up will be out of the question. The essence of a strong relationship is in the ability to understand and empathize with your partner’s personality and feelings. This plays a huge role in problem-solving, even when the problem is as complex and overwhelming as depression.
If you are depressed, you might feel like your partner is distant from you, and they might feel like you are too. You might feel like a terrible burden to your other half, and worry that you will only will bring more and more headaches to you both.
However, there is a solution, like always, and it involves both of you working together.
Let’s see how.
1. Stay open and honest
Honesty is number one for a reason. This one especially refers to the situation if you are depressed.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself, you must not be afraid to tell them to your partner. He/she probably already noticed but didn’t want to raise the alarm just yet, or maybe they didn’t, but you have to stay open and tell your partner about everything that’s bothering you.
The same thing goes if you notice these symptoms in your partner. Be open and talk, and let him/her know that it’s completely normal to feel that way, but that it isn’t necessary. Let your partner know you will be there for him. That’s step one.
2. Offer empathy and support
This is the part where your partner can truly feel that you are there for them. Words can be comforting, but not enough. Your behavior must match your words in a relationship.
Once you start “getting into your partner’s skin,” you will start understanding them and their feelings. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to feel like they do. Imagine if everything that happened to them had happened to you instead.
That’s the only path that you can take to truly understand your significant other.
Now that you see the world through your partner’s eyes a bit, you can proceed to help them. Let them know about it. Tell them what you would do. Tell them that you understand.
This is a game-changer, as it will prevent you from feeling like your partner is distancing themself from you.
3. Create a plan – together
The keyword here is together.
Think of how you can come up with solutions to their mental issues. Talk to him/her and then try to compose a plan together. Remember, you are doing this for them, so don’t take it easy on yourself.
Spend more time together, but make that time count. Figure out a game or something similar that will cheer you both up, take your minds off your problems, and redirect them towards positive stuff.
4. Compliment your partner
Every person loves to get compliments, but don’t say things that you don’t mean.
Stay honest, but emphasize your partner’s strengths. Tell them what you want for them to achieve and what you believe they can become.
Try to make their problems seem solvable every day. Don’t minimize them or make fun of them! But make them seem not so hard. After a rain, the sun comes up.
5. Be the change that you want to see
The best way to make your partner believe your words is to show them that you do. If you truly mean what you say, then act like it. If you want to cheer your partner up and make them more positive, the first thing you should do is make sure you are positive in the first place. Show them how. Be a reflection.
Relationships need work, but if it is true love you must find a way forward together. And never surrender.