Want to know how to love a person with depression? Read part one of this write-up and then, get to this blog after you’re done with the first one. You will learn how it is to love someone who is suffering from depressive moods.
It’s Not About You.
According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Depression is an insidious, isolating disorder, which can sabotage relationships.” When the one you love has depression, things can get complicated, and you may easily misinterpret what is going on as your shortcoming. If they suddenly become distant, you shouldn’t be blaming yourself and focus on how to win them back. Keep in mind that the depression is not of your hand.
Don’t Force The Issue.
“Many individuals think that being tough on their loved one will undo their depression or inspire positive behavioral changes,” Deborah Serani, PsyD said. Ultimatums or a tough-love approach isn’t a recommended way to go about helping one with depression. Ultimately, it can be counter-productive to what you are trying to achieve and may end up being viewed as manipulation. You can, however, walk away if you can’t deal anymore with their issues and cannot keep up a healthy relationship.
They Need Others.
It is easy to assume that persons afflicted with depression want just to be left alone. While this may be true, they do need someone to face this entire tall wave of emotion with. Simple gestures like asking them out for a drive, coffee, or a small meal even can make a great count. Together time of yours and their choice, which can bring them out of their routine and a time where you two can connect is a critical factor in making this work. Assure them that you will face all of this together.
You may want to present yourself as relatable and can understand what the situation is at hand. It is tempting to go on about your own experiences, but often, it ends up looking like you’re belittling them, which is an outcome you wouldn’t want. Empathize, but make sure not to suppress their feelings. In this situation, they need most an ear to listen to.
Ask Their Status.
Ask them how they’re feeling. Ask them how they are holding up. “Remind your partner that you care for them even when they’re feeling at their worst.” according to Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST. Suicide is a common thought among depressed people, and it’s perfectly fine asking them how they are maintaining themselves daily. However, be sure to come up with a back-up plan if the depression gets too overwhelming.
Spend Time Together.
A common piece of advice, but essential nonetheless. A day or two set aside for them doing things you love together, be it simple grocery shopping, sport, or playing video games together goes a long way. With depression, cooking proper meals can be unceremoniously tossed aside, due to how draining it can be, and you may be of help setting it right, helping them make healthier meals that can be stored in the fridge for later.
Depression Is Not A Weakness.
Depression cannot stop people from setting out to their goals, with the right motivation from you and their circles. Dr. Neel Burton discussed in his Ted Talk about how even the most exceptional people in history experience varying bouts of depression. He then elaborates on how human distress is an indicator of putting our eyes on the things that matter more, not a mental illness.
Eric G. Wilson, author of Against Happiness, In Praise of Melancholia, tells that happiness must naturally come, and sadness is but the opposite side of the same coin, and as such, are both inevitable.
Overall, being there for that special someone with depression in the right manner may spell the difference between the success and failure of a relationship.