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If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show love.

One day they are fine and the other day they are sad, distant and may push you away.

It can be a massive struggle just to make it through each day. One of the hardest things about depression is understanding it.

Depression is not a mood, understand this. It is a debilitating illness. Mental illness is as real as physical illness.

Your relationship may seen one-sided during these times but by helping your partner through this difficult phase, you are strengthening your relationship and healing their mental health in long term.

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1. Identify when the person is falling into depression– Sorting out mails, cleaning the room or doing the laundry. All this seems the little chores of day to day life. But for a depressed person the life is slowing down, while the world is speeding up.

2. Be there for them– If they talk just listen, don’t give opinions or advice. Just really listen. They are not asking for help, they just need to be heard. This will reduce the risk of suicide.

3. Keep a check on the meals– Depression is a mental illness, but may change into a health problem.

Depressed people often go so deep into their thoughts, they forget to eat or do not feel hungry at all. Fix them a hungry meal and make sure they eat properly.

4. Take them out– The benefits for a depressed person for getting outside is huge.

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Persuade the person to go out, trust me its going to be a task. They would prefer sitting inside the 4 walls of the house. Take them somewhere in nature, a picnic, a morning/ evening walk, mountain hiking.

5.  Understand what they are feeling– If your partner is having difficulty in articulating what they are going through, have patience and ask them to help you understand what they are feeling.

Depression is like a dark tunnel, the more you try to drag them out of this tunnel, its more likely to make them curl up and hide than do any good.

6. Reassure them that you can handle their feeling– Reassure them that you won’t scare away because they have an illness. At times, the person might feel worthless or angry. You might even find them curled up in one corner of the bathroom crying for no  reason. Go near them and stay.

7. Hug them – A sincere tight hug will elevate their mood, also it will make you feel good.

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Depressed people often don’t want to be touched but a hug can give him/her a lift.

8. Tell them you love them

“I am unlovable”

“I am a failure”

“I am worthless”

“I am ugly”

A depressed person’s mind can be a never ending loop of destructive thoughts. Change these thoughts into positive one.

Tell them

“I love You”

“You are not a failure, here are things you have accomplished”

“You are beautiful and worth everything.”

9. Know about it and take professional help– Read books, articles and blogs about depression. It can be helpful in understanding your partner better. They often shed light on treatments available.

Encourage your partner to visit a physician or psychologist, make sure they take medicines as prescribed.

10. Take care of yourself– Taking care of the Depressed person can take a toll on you too. You need to take care of yourself, before taking care of your loved one. Share about your day with them, this will also comfort them and make them feel good.

Some days its going to be hard for you to handle the situation. You will feel the need to hide your feelings from them. Get your stress out even if you have to rant about to your dog.

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Namishtah Arora

I m Namishtah Arora....I love reading novels!!...I love penning down my thoughts and feelings in form of poems and stories...somewhere or the other they are all inspired my life's incidents...!!!

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