How To Reach Out For Depression Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.
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Come Up With An Action Plan
Depression is not a flat line. You may notice that your partner has some good days and some bad days. It may be helpful to make an action plan for how to respond to particularly trying times, like how youll both rearrange the schedule or communicate with each other.
You may even want to consider a code word. If your partner has a hard time being vulnerable, a code word can let you know that its time to take those extra measures. Not only that, but it will also remind you to be extra patient with them and yourself.
What To Do If Your Friend Has Suicidal Thoughts
If you are concerned your friend may harm themselves,dont dismiss your gut. Instead:
- Pay attentionto anything said about suicide, other forms of self-harm or a world thatdoesnt include them.
- Keep the lines of communication openso they know they can talk to you when they have these feelings.
- Encourage themto get professional help.
That help may include outpatient therapy and psychotropic medications prescribed by their primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 911 or take your friend to the nearest emergency department.
Remember: Your friends situation is not hopeless. Like other illnesses, depression can be treated with the right medical help and the support of friends like you.
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Offer To Help With Tasks
If you live together, sit down as a couple and figure out how you can work together to get both of your needs met. If something they usually take care of feels like too much right now, you may want to ask them what would feel more intuitive at this time.
For example, maybe they can swap out laundry for paying bills online for the month. Or, instead of doing the dishes, they can water the plants. If you are up for it, you may even offer to take on a little more than usual for a few days.
If its accessible for you as a couple, you could find out what things you can automate. For example, grocery delivery services may waive a delivery fee if you place an order large enough for a weeks worth of food. Going to the grocery store will be one less thing for both of you to do.
If you dont live together, you may also find a way to help your partner with their chores. You could also come up with ways to check on them while taking care of specific tasks.
For example, you may explore the possibility of cooking a few dishes for them so they have some lunches ready for the week.
Warning Signs Of Suicide
People with depression may be at risk of suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than half of those who die by suicide have major depression.
Partners of those with depression should be aware of the warning signs of suicide so that they can take swift action if necessary. Warning signs include:
- talking about death or suicide
- having a suicide plan
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Saying Nothing At All Can Be A Gift
Sometimes silence really is golden and one of the best things you can do is just showing up and being present. What might feel like a small, meaningless gesture to you most likely feels like an intimate, caring gesture to your loved one in need.
Dont Trivialize What Theyre Feeling
Even if you donât understand what weâre going through, telling us that that the reason for our anxiety is âsillyâ or âstupidâ is one of the worst things you can do. Most of us know that our fears are irrational or exaggerated, but that doesnât stop us from feeling them. Just as you expect others to sympathize with you when youâre sad or happy, we feel better when you try to understand our anxiety rather than trivializing it. Of course, thatâs not to say you should tell us that weâre correct in being terrified, but making us feel crazier than we already do is only going to make our anxiety worse.
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Ill Be Strong When You Cant Be Depression In A Relationship
How can you deal with the dark shadow of depression in a relationship? What are the challenges you have to face? It is normal for a depression to have a strong impact on life. A lot of things are bound to change with the illness. If the person you love suffers from depression, both partners
It is normal for a depression to have a strong impact on life. A lot of things are bound to change with the illness. If the person you love suffers from depression, both partners are affected in different ways. Seeing a loved one in pain takes a lot from you. Relatives or partners often feel lost between wanting to be there for the other person and dealing with their own difficulties. In between wanting to help and feeling responsible.
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For people struggling with depression, its important to have compassion and to take action to overcome this state, including seeking professional help. Remember that the negative thoughts you are experiencing are likely being driven by depression, not by a person. Depression can lead to the ultimate negative outcome of death, so please consider calling National Hotline if your significant other is experiencing thoughts of self-harm. SAMHSAs National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
There are many types of treatment that have proven to be effective for depression, but two are the most effective: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy .
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . CBT is problem-focused and action-oriented meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to depression and the therapists role is to assist the patients in finding and practicing effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder and limit adverse outcomes.
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They May Deny The Problem
A depressed spouse may deny that they have any problem at all, Ben-David says.
âMany people with depression or mental health issues donât want to be âfixed.â They may just want to be heard. If in the process of listening to your partner, if you hear things that are too hurtful for you to handle, then turn to a professional for help,â he says. âYour spouse may not identify their behaviors as depression. If theyâre acting out with sex, drinking, drugs, or food, they may say, âI need this. It eases my stress.ââ
Encourage your spouse to get help and a diagnosis from a mental health professional. They can start with talk therapy and, if they need it, prescription medication, Barber says. Make an appointment with a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or family doctor for a diagnosis, and begin therapy.
âPsychotherapy plus medication has shown to work better for depression than just medication. Medication without talking is not going to help,â says Barber, who adds that medication may be more appropriate to treat people with severe depression.
Some couples choose to have therapy together, especially if depression has led to sexual issues in the marriage, such as an affair, Ben-David says. Your depressed partner may prefer to do solo therapy. If theyâre struggling with addiction, they need to treat that before tackling their depression, he says.
Dont Try To Fix Whats Wrong
My wife is a troubleshooter. Shes an engagement manager for a healthcare company. She manages people and relationships and is good at it. No, shes brilliant. So when I let her know I was suffering from depression and needed help her first instinct was to fix what was wrong.
When I would break down in front of her, her first question was always whats wrong? The truth is that most of the time the answer is, I dont know. I may perceive some problem in my life or I may be stressed to the point where symptoms have been exacerbated, but usually I was sad because I was sad.
For me, attempts to fix what is wrong are particularly frustrating because I cant describe whats wrong. If I could, it wouldnt fix how Im feeling. I will discuss better alternatives below. Of course the urge to fix whats wrong for someone you love is strong. But I think youll save yourself and your loved one a lot of stress and frustration if you table this.
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Find Outdoor Activities To Do Together
When it comes to depression, sometimes the little things we take for granted are a win, like the ability to get out of the house. It can be helpful when someone is there to provide a little encouragement.
You may want to suggest doing some fun outdoor activities with your partner. Being in contact with nature may help reduce stress levels and improve mood. Physical activity can also promote the release of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain.
It can be something simple, like taking a walk around the block or a short bike ride on a trail. If your partner is up for it, you could also go for a swim, try rollerblading together, or take an outdoor yoga class.
You can also do something more laid-back, like go to an outdoor concert, take a camping trip, or have a picnic in the park.
Sometimes they may not be up for an activity. Remember, this is not about you, so try not to take it personally. Be prepared to continue on with some plans by yourself or adapt your ideas to what they need that day.
Perhaps bring a good book, take a journal, or find a good podcast to listen to while you sit next to them. If they prefer to be by themselves, they might need you to accept this without trying to convince them otherwise.
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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Be Aware Of Episodes Or Moods
Every day, there is a potential for creating new relationships that can turn into a deep relationship.
For people with bipolar disorder, stressors come in many forms and can bring with them changes in mood. It can be easy for them to feel unheard. By listening and truly caring, you can share the burden your loved one is carrying.
Often, the person living with bipolar disorder doesnt recognize that anything is different. They may not notice their lack of interest in things they typically enjoy, how a fog has seemed to have taken their smile, their pressured or rapid speech, or their grandiose plans.
If you notice the symptoms that precede an episode, remember that it isnt helpful to label your partner. Try not to point fingers.
Instead, if you recognize the signs of depression or mania in your loved one, refer back to the episode plan you two created together to keep them out of harm.
During an episode, be sure to let them know that you love them. Remind them you are simply following the directive you two created when they were feeling better.
The Depression Coming Out Conversation
Whether you ask or deduce it after months of dating, there will be a point when your partner discloses they deal with depression. Its a crucial moment in the relationship, so be sensitive and do not judge. Thank him for trusting you with this information he has most likely not shared with many people. See it as the beginning of a discussion you can resurface occasionally.
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Ask Them How They’d Like To Be Helped
“Too often we assume what another person needs based on how we would like support,”Dr. Jessica, a licensed psychologist, tells Bustle.
If you like to be cuddled, for example, you might think your partner likes to be cuddled, too.
But since everyone’s different, it’s important to figure out what they actually prefer, she says. Talk about it, and honor what they need.
In It Together: How You Can Help A Significant Other With Their Mental Health
My boyfriend suffers from depression and ADHD. Some days are really good however, others can be tough, not just for him, but for me, too. I thought that since Id taken a few psychology classes in college and read about some specifics related to depression online, I was prepared and could handle whatever his situation threw our way. I was so wrong! Not only are his mental health challenges causing major issues between us, but Im worried its affecting my own mental health as well. I want to help him and our relationship, but I dont even know where to begin. What should I do?
You dont have to follow pop culture to know that Kayne West and Kim Kardashian are always making headlines. Recently, theyve been in the news for something far more serious than fashion, music, and Kaynes presidential aspirations. The rappers battle with bipolar disorder has been a hot topic due to some bizarre tweets and statements. Because of this, its caused many to take a deeper look at his wife, Kim.
How is she handling this? What is she doing to support him? What about their four children? While Rice Psychology Group hasnt followed this story closely enough to know the answers to these questions, we do understand that being the spouse or significant other of someone living with a mental illness often brings its own set of challenges.
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When A Depressed Partner Falls Out Of Love
John Folk-Williams has lived with major depressive disorder since boyhood and finally achieved full recovery just a few years ago. As a survivor of…Read More
Depression can have a devastating effect on close relationships. Sometimes depressed people blame themselves for their pain, sometimes they blame their partners.
Its baffling and shocking to see them turn into cold and blaming strangers. After years of affection and intimacy, how can they suddenly declare that they dont feel love, even worse, that they have never loved their partners at all?
Depressed partners may refuse to face the inner pain thats wrecking their lives. Rather than seek treatment, they come to believe that its the existing relationship that is ruining them. Their answer is often to leave and find happiness elsewhere.
The specific effects of depression will differ in every relationship, but this is the problem I hear about most often and the one I lived with.
What exactly is the inner pain that cant be faced and dealt with? Reciting the usual list of depression symptoms and the effects they can have on everyday life only gets you so far. General lists dont capture the experience.
Talking about inner pain suggests despair or other unbearable hurt that demands an explanation and must be escaped as quickly as possible. Since depression is a condition that can vary from day to day, that active side of pain can be the driving motive.