Introduction

When your partner is depressed, you may feel confused, lonely, and hurt as you see them go through this difficult time. But this is not a unique problem as a 2017 report shows that the number of Americans living with depression is 17. 3million. But the good news is that depression has a cure. Most patients recover fully with the help of psychiatrists in Louisville KY. However, this does not mean that the support of a close relative is not important. Even while seeking the help of a therapist Louisville KY residents should know how to lend support to depressed partners. Here are tips on how you can help your partner who is diagnosed with depression.

Learn about depression

Having in-depth knowledge about depression puts you in a better position to respond to changes in their feelings, how they act, ad feel. If your partner has been exhibiting depression symptoms for more than two weeks, they may be diagnosed with the condition.

There are many possible causes of depression, and they range from a major life event, for example, a death or loss of a job, to genetic predisposition.

The following are some of the depression symptoms:

  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or down
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Trouble with concentration
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies they used to like.
  • They no longer feel interested in sex
  • Angry outbursts or crying spells
  • Talking about suicide or self-harm

The symptoms may come and go or may last for longer. Also, your partner may not experience all the above symptoms or the same severe. People experience different reactions to depression.

Another thing to note is that depression comes in several forms. These include persistent depressive disorder which is harder to detect because it seldom interferes with the normal routines of a person. Other types of depression, for example, postpartum depression, tend to be associated with life changes. Talk to your primary health physician or therapist Louisville KY to learn how to handle them.

Keep it in perspective

It may feel challenging to live with someone who is depressed. But you need to remember that depression is more than simple blues. Also, nobody chooses to have depression. It is a disease.

Do not think that your partner is not putting effort to feel better. It takes more than willpower for your partner to get rid of their depression. You can think of it as a person with a broken arm who cannot put it right back together with sheer willpower. They would most likely have already done so if they could.

Understand that your partner isn’t trying to be lazy when they cannot keep up with house tasks. Depressed individuals are exhausted by even very simple tasks, meaning they tend to be choosy about the tasks they take on.

To understand depression, you may liken it to a bucket. The bucket your partner has now is smaller than what they typically use. It is not the wrong bucket for carrying less water. Rather, it is what is available at the moment. This bucket may be more suitable for smaller jobs and may require refilling more often.

Ask how you can help

Even as the patient is on treatment from psychiatrists in Louisville KY, your support is still key. Some people love a shoulder massage when they are feeling down, and others don’t.

It is not good to assume what someone wants or doesn’t want. The best thing is to ask the partner directly. Below are some of the questions to help you:


  • What would you like to have now?
  • How are you feeling today?
  • What activities interested you when you felt this way the last time?
  • What is the best way I can support you now?
  • Do you want to be alone today, or would you be better off hanging out with someone today?

It is important to be open-minded to the answers your partner will give you and not try to convince them otherwise.

Be a good listener

Depression affects cognitive functioning, like decision-making and concentration. Some people also find it difficult to express their feelings in words.

If you suspect that your partner wants to talk, be available and offer a listening ear.

Make sure you validate your partner’s experience by reflecting on what you’ve heard.

If your loved one presents a problem and they are not sure about fixing it, find out from them what they hope to achieve from the conversation.

Ask them if they are seeking your advice or want to vent. In most cases, depression patients just want a person to listen to them, without trying to correct anything.

When they decide to open up how they are feeling to you, reassure them of your love and that you are always there for them.

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People living with depression typically feel guilty about the burden they put on other people. They will feel greatly relieved to learn you are there for them.

Find outdoor activities to do together

With depression, those minor things we often take for granted, like getting out of the house, are very important. It helps when you are there to give them a bit of encouragement.

You could suggest fun outdoor activities to do with your partner. Nature can do the world of good to depressed individuals by relieving stress and improving their mood. Getting active also stimulates the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters. And when it comes to choosing activities, you don’t have to think very hard. Try a simple activity like strolling around the neighborhood or biking on a trail. Another excellent idea is going for a swim, especially if your partner agrees to it.

You may also want to think of more laid-back activities, like going out to a concert, enjoying a picnic, or venturing out on a camping trip can do wonders.

Conclusion

Living with a depressed partner calls for a lot of tolerance and patience. Of most importance is to remember that they didn’t choose to be depressed. Understand that it is a medical condition, just like malaria or other diseases. And while you can seek help from any of the top psychiatrists in Louisville KY, this can never and should never replace the support you give them. Always be there for them, provide a listening ear, and be their pillar in these difficult moments.

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