Depression is one of the most common mental health problems out there, affecting men and women in an equal percentage.
Unfortunately, depression often goes on undiagnosed, despite of affecting the overall quality of life and bringing a number of additional problems. If you have noticed a change in your partner, do not wait until the problem becomes worse. There are certain measures you can take, in order to help your soul mate overcome depression and return to a normal quality of life.
There are certain measures you can take, in order to help your soul mate overcome depression and return to a normal quality of life.
1. Be emphatic
The symptoms of depression can vary from one person to the other, but there are certain common signs to be on the lookout for. Many of the people who suffer from depression tend to have a pessimistic view of life; they are constantly waiting for something bad to happen and they prefer routine to the unpredicted. You can help your partner tremendously by being emphatic; this does not necessarily mean you should have the same perspective over things. However, you should try to put yourself in his/her shoes; do not take things personally and use empathy to demonstrate your commitment to the relationship.
According to a study published in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, the support offered by the partner is essential for the recovery from postpartum depression. Knowing that you are in a supporting, loving relationship has a wealth of benefits for the general health as well.
2. Give your partner the space he/she needs
When you suffer from a mental health problem, such as depression, you are bound to have bad days. These are the days in which you find it difficult to get out of bed, when everything seems worse and when you consider yourself guilty for even the smallest problem. When your partner is going through such issues, sometimes, the best you can do is give him/her the space he/she needs. Let him/her know that you are there, but do not try to suffocate your partner; depression is not something that can be solved in an instant and there are certain days in which space is vital as air.
Emotional support is vital for a person who suffers from depression, especially during “bad days”. It is enough for the person in question to know that he/she is loved and that you are willing to give him/her the much-needed space. The connection between emotional support and depression has been presented in various studies, including one published in The Journal of Psychology.
3. Work out a plan together
Once you have figured out that your partner might suffer from depression, it is time to have the talk. You need to figure out the best ways to tackle the problem, before it becomes worse. While you might be tempted to opt for depression treatment, such as medication, you should be aware that there are plenty of other possibilities available. Any decision should be taken as a couple; if you want to defeat depression and get back to a regular life, you need to work out a plan together. This will also bring you closer together, allowing you to re-discover intimacy and its significance with regard to mental health.
The treatment options for those who have been diagnosed with depression and associated conditions, such as anxiety, have made the subject of various studies. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, physical exercise is one of the most efficient ways to tackle depression. Other recommended methods include a change in the diet (more fresh fruits and vegetables), an increase in outdoor activities and psychological counseling. Medication should be reserved as a last option, due to the potential side-effects.
4. Talk to your partner
Relationships are difficult when there are no additional problems to worry about. With depression, you might experience a lot of resentment and anger; as you do not want your partner to get worse, you will hide those feelings and blow up at the wrong moment. It is important to communicate openly with your partner and tell him/her about your feelings, without making it seem like he/she should feel guilty. Keep in mind that your partner is going through a serious issue and you need to avoid using trigger phrases, such as “get over it”, “you have let me down” or “what about me”.
If your partner suffers from depression, you might benefit from what is known as emotion-focused therapy. This can help you tackle the problem together, without further damaging your relationship. This type of therapy has been presented in detail in a study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy.
Depression is an insidious problem and one that gets diagnosed too late. If you have noticed that your partner has lost interest in otherwise pleasant activities, with mood swings being more and more common, be sure to talk to him/her. Partner support can help a person recover from depression and get back to his/her regular life. Encourage your partner to seek out help as well, drawing up a plan of battle together. And, remember, depression does not go away in an instant and it might take a long period of time, before things can get back to normal.