Depression is a complex illness to deal with, and if you are in love with a depressed person there are things you need to understand if you want it to work out. A depressed individual is a whole person, and they are capable of giving and receiving love. Always keep in mind that love won’t cure depression, but it will certainly help give the strength to battle with it.
So are you loving a depressed person? Here’s what you need to know:
1 It’s validating your loved one’s feelings, even if you don’t understand them.
2 They can feel depressed for no apparent reason at times, and yes, they are trying to be happy even if it fails. So, stop trying to make sense of something you can’t truly understand.
3 Do not act childish. If your partner is acting different and distant. Then don’t do that same. Remember depression is complicated and the way they are acting is unintentional. Instead reach out and give support.
4 Depression will make your loved one feel overwhelmed at times, and as their partner you need to understand that giving them some space when they need it is important.
5 Don’t assume you know how to support your partner because you will end up frustrated trying to “fix” it. Be open with them and ask what kind of support they would like from you.
6 Reach out to them in unexpected fun ways. When your partner is in a depressive episode they will lack energy, and feel fatigued. So, you can cheer them up by bringing to them their favorite restaurant food, and watching a good movie. Anything you know they would enjoy.
7 Don’t scold them with the “should”. Your partner already knows what they should be doing, and making them feel bad for it won’t help. Instead give them a hand and cheer them on as they attempt doing things.
8 Your partner is a lot stronger than you think they are because they wake up every morning to fight their demons. To be helpful, don’t see them as a defective or broken person.
9 You need to maintain balance. When your partner suffers from long periods of depression it’s vital that you take time to also take care of yourself while supporting them. If not, you may end up feeling exhausted and resentful.
10 There will be moments when the person you are in love with will act different and maybe even erratic. This doesn’t mean that the person you fell in love with is gone.
11 You need to let go of all stigmatization you have learned throughout the years. Experiencing mental illness first-hand is confusing and frustrating at times, but it needs to be respected.
12 You will need to focus on the positive. It’s easy to concentrate on the things you dislike when they are depressed. Remind yourself that your loved one has an illness, and keep in mind all the beautiful qualities they have.
13 They can seem moody at times, so don’t take it personally. Being irritable is part of the depression, and although it doesn’t excuse their attitude. You need to understand in most cases it’s done unintentionally.