Mental disorders are as stressful on the families of the individual suffering from them – depression in particular. A highly complex condition in itself, dealing with depression can leave one completely drained, and the loved ones confused and unsure about how to support them. Here are a few ways to provide the very necessary support a depressed partner or spouse needs:
One of the best things that you can do to support your spouse when they are depressed is to have patience. Depression is by no means a pretty condition. As such, it is only a spouse’s patience and continued support that help a depressed patient push through even at their absolute worst. So when you feel that things couldn’t possibly deteriorate any further, they probably will, but just keep holding on.
All the living beings on the planet require love. And a depressed spouse requires the most of it. To support your partner you have to show them unconditional and unreserved love even when it’s difficult for you because they’re taking their anguish out on you. It’s important to remember that a person going through depression is struggling and fighting a battle within them and that they require all the support they can possibly get from the outside. Love you partner – while they might not be able to appreciate, or reciprocate it at the moment, they desperately need it and they definitely feel it.
A depressed spouse needs true understanding from their partner. You cannot be supportive when you’re having a good day and then be insensitive to their needs when you’re going through a difficult time yourself. Don’t nag, get annoyed, hover, or become upset with them because they aren’t cooperating with what you think they should be doing. Be communicative, ask them what they need and give them that – no conditions and no expectations.
Still struggling to know how to help your depressed partner/spouse? As a Burbank therapist we can help support you and teach you ways of helping your depressed spouse. Couples therapy can also be helpful. find new ways of coping with their depression.