He Never Makes Me Feel Bad About Canceling Plans And Just Goes With The Flow
As a wife with depression, my husband is incredibly supportive. One of the best things he does is tells me that its not my fault and theres nothing wrong with me when Im apologizing to him for being this way. He never makes me feel bad about canceling plans and just goes with the flow. He also does sweet little things, like he bought a journal and he writes in it every two to three days to tell me little silly things, or hell leave me a note.
We were watching Mr. Robot and I was in a downer mood, and the next day he showed up with a Qwerty for me.
Silly little things matter so, so much.msblckyeliner
The Clinical Psychologist Says
In my practice, I work with people who struggle with depression. Its not unusual for clients to feel apprehensive about beginning therapy, which is a reasonable response to a new situation. Once they begin the therapeutic process, when they feel nurtured, supported and safe, the apprehension disappears and the healing begins.
Talking About Your Experiences
If you have not experienced depression yourself, do not say things like, I know how you feel, or I have been through this. Despite the right intentions, you may end up doing more harm than good. She may feel less understood or feel like you are trivializing her depression. Try to validate her experiences and feelings and reassure her by saying, I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you, but know that you do not have to go through this alone.
In this blog guide, we found out how to deal with a depressed girlfriend and found out what not to do when your girlfriend is depressed.
The healing process of depression can be complicated, but it can help solidify your companionship. Communicate, clarify, and respond compassionately. A nurturing relationship is one in which you respect and honor each others needs.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
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Know That Things Might Not Always Go As Planned
Depression can make it tough to do even the things you really want to do, and your partner may not always feel up to following through with plans.
Its understandable to feel disappointed when they spend your long-awaited vacation scrolling through their phone while you see the sights. You might feel hurt when they spend your birthday asleep or cant make it to dinner with your parents, again.
Perhaps youve even noticed theyve lost interest in things you usually do togetherdiscussing your day, preparing meals, or having sex. You might feel rejected and begin to believe they dont care about you.
This disinterest, known as anhedonia, happens commonly with depression. Treatment can help renew their interest and energy, but in the meantime, offer compassion instead of criticism by validating their feelings.
- Instead of: You never want to spend time with me anymore.
- Try: Im sorry you cant make it to the movies tonight. I understand you dont have the energy when you feel so low. How would you feel about ordering some takeout and watching a movie at home?
Even if you wonder what your friends think when you regularly show up to hangouts alone, avoid saying anything your partner hasnt given you permission to share. A simple, They couldnt make it may not satisfy anyones curiosity but that doesnt matter. What does matter is honoring the trust theyve placed in you.
and patterns of negative thinking.
Your partner might say things like:
How To Help Your Depressed Girlfriend
Heres how to help your depressed girlfriend without making it worse or killing your relationship.
Ive been dating my girlfriend for almost a year. She is 25 and has had depression much of her life.
She tells me she is hopeless, wants to die, and is not sure how much longer she can go on like this. She sees a therapist and psychiatrist regularly.
When I ask, shell tell me that it wasnt this dark when we started dating. She can recognize how the recent events may have impacted her emotionally as well. I get confused and frustrated when she says things like there is no hope and its not going to ever get better because shell also tell me that it wasnt like this a few months ago.
Is it normal for someone who has severe depression to not be able to acknowledge and recognize that she wasnt feeling this hopeless not that long ago?
Is there anything I can do to help her see past those blinders?
I have hope for her and I want her to be able to see that there is hope since she didnt always feel like this. I am aware thats not my job and that I cant make her see anything.
I would also appreciate any other feedback on how I can support her. Ive been working on acknowledging her feelings when she says things like I dont want to bother youYoud be better off without me and other things that are 100% not true from my perspective.
First, Im not a licensed medical professional and this is not medical advice.
This attitude will cause you heartache to no end.
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Why Does My Girlfriend Push Me Away When Shes Sad
Its not that she doesnt want me around. I think its the opposite: she wants to be with me but doesnt feel like she deserves my support at this moment in time.
If your girlfriend is depressed and is pushing you away, its likely because she feels bad about herself or has some other concern that makes her feel unworthy of your love and support. This is all about her issues, nothing to do with you!
Why does she want to be alone if she feels so bad then? When negative feelings overcome depressed people, theyll often retreat into themselves in an attempt to block out whats bothering them and calm down.
They might also start tuning out or checking out of conversations. I found this post about why people check out when theyre feeling down to help understand whats going on in my girlfriends head right now.
The important thing to realize here is that depressed people arent usually doing these things because theyre mad at you or dont want to see you theyre doing it because they feel bad about themselves and are trying to cope with the feeling. Being alone is their way of coping.
When depressed people are surrounded by people, especially people they love, Ive found that it can be hard for the person suffering to access those negative feelings. Its easy to fall into denial in these situations and tell ourselves that people arent angry or upset with us.
Help Them Stay Physically Active/fit
Exercise is known to help with depression because it releases feel-good hormones that would help in reducing depressive feelings. You can make it easy for them by joining them in the exercise. If they are not generally an exercise person, start them out small. Ask them to come along for a short walk in the park or just your neighborhood.
Getting them up and going would not only help them stay physically fit, but it would also help them not spend too much time thinking a lot. You can read our helpful article on How to get motivated to exercise when depressed to find out about helpful ways you can motivate them to get moving on staying physically active even if they may feel depressed.
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She May Start To Display Erratic Mood Swings
While a man may mask his emotions, a woman is the opposite. She would become more emotional when she is going through depression. She may have more temper tantrums than usual. Her moods may change all too often than usual one minute she is very happy and the next she is bawling and crying her eyes out. Where you see this happening, rather than get upset, see it as a silent cry for help. She is likely going through stress and depression.
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.
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How To Help Girlfriend With Depression
Seeing your partner battle depression isnt easy. You want to help them and do all you can to make them feel better, but how? You worry that one wrong word might trigger them or that theyll push your support away.
You might feel frustrated and sad, especially as you hate seeing them suffer from their mental health and wish they would get treatment. Its totally normal to feel this way, especially if your partner has been dealing with depression for a long time. Living with mental illness brings up a host of challenges and emotions, so youve got to learn how to support your girlfriend in the best way possible.
Read more: Depression Treatment
In todays blog post, well be taking a closer look at depression and how you can help your girlfriend during this difficult time.
The More You Chase A Depressed Person The More They Will Withdraw From You
And, your misguided persistence about keeping the relationship going at all costs will eventually make her feel pressured and force her to make unilateral decisions about your relationship that you dont want her to make right now in this state of mind.
You might be thinking, Of course I would be offended and hurt by a breakup.
And, I completely understand. During normal times, a breakup is the height of personal rejection.
During a normal breakup someone is essentially saying,
You know this amazing, vulnerable, loving relationship we share? Remember all the sex, love, affection and great times when we ate pizza in the rain together? How about our shared love of garden gnomes? Remember that? Id rather do that with ANYONE else except you. No thanks.
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Shore Up Your Boundaries
I realize I just told you to avoid taking things your depressed girlfriend says personally. Detaching from her whims and moods will really help you.
However, if your depressed girlfriend starts lashing out at you, dont allow it.
Even though youll be using the thicker skin youre growing, that doesnt mean you should passively ignore it when she is actually mean to you.
Sometimes people in relationships with depressed people avoid confronting their partner and enacting consequences because they are afraid that whatever they say will cause more shame and guilt, thereby making the depression worse.
This is a mistake for several reasons.
First, by not explaining your boundaries and feelings around her unacceptable behavior, youre training her that its okay with you.
No one knows where your line IS when they have no idea you actually have one. Same with all your relationships even those with non-depressed people.
Second, since her ability to genuinely empathize with you might be disconnected or temporarily out of service right now she might have a serious and REAL blind spot around whether her behavior is hurtful or abusive that simply wouldnt be there if she wasnt mentally ill.
This doesnt mean you should accept her abuse, quite the contrary.
Instead, not confronting a depressed person is like not warning your friend about the giant piece of spinach in her teeth at the debutante ball.
Be mindful of when and how you choose to confront her.
When My So Has A Rough Day Sometimes It Draws Me From My Cocoon To Try To Make Him Feel Better
Mature individuals understand that nondepressed folks have bad days sometimes. Bad days are part of being a person.
Ive been dealing with depression. When my S.O. has a rough day, sometimes it draws me from my cocoon to try to make him feel better. Its pretty easy for me to tell if hes had a rough day, so hiding it would just make the atmosphere uncomfortable and make me feel like he is somehow coddling me. I love him so much, I hate seeing him down, so even if I havent managed to bathe or change my clothes cause I just dont wanna, cant, I will still try to do SOMETHING to make him feel better, and it just might make me feel better along the way.
Silly little things matter so, so much.
I think a good way to let your S.O. know youre having a bad day but you are still there for her is something like this: Hey, sweetie/punkin/boo, Ive had a rough day. Knowing youre my girl/coming home to you makes me feel better though. Lets go to bed early. Haha. I sleep more when Im depressed, and my S.O. likes to sleep a lot anyhow.thiskitchenisbitchin
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Questions To Help Support And Collaborate
It can be tempting to just do things for your partner when theyre in a depressive state, because one symptom of depression is lack of motivation. But Julie Fast warns that this may be a mistake, leading instead to increasing their sense of helplessness and dependency.
Karen and Julie suggest these questions to help your partner find their own way through their symptoms, with you there by their side:
- What helped the last time you were depressed like this?
- What do we need to do as a team to get through this rotten downswing?
- Whats the best way for me to help you?
- How are you doing with your medications? Are you feeling any difference?
- Who can we call to help us get through this tough time?
- What do you need from me?
- What changes can help you feel better right now?
Both experts also emphasized the use of collaborative language to help your partner feel supported. Avoid placing blame or full responsibility on your partner, but also avoid taking on all agency or responsibility for yourself.
A Depressed Person Is Not Hiding Any Genuine Happiness From You While Giving It To Everyone Else
What she has shared with you IS the real story, while other people are not seeing the whole picture. You are not crazy. She IS different around other people and shes doing it for survival.
Dont attack how she gets through her day, because its not an effortless thing for her at all.
Every bit of that performance takes a TON of her energy. No one wishes it was different more than she does.
Remember, dont take her depression personally. If you want to explode over how youre getting the short end of the stick here, I dont blame you.
However, I would recommend venting your jealousy and frustration to your therapist, coach and/or very trusted friends you can rely upon to remain objective.
Sharing this jealousy with your girlfriend will NOT bring her closer to you in fact, she might push you even further away because now its clear how much her thoughtless behavior is hurting you.
Right now, she most likely cant respond to your jealousy with genuine reassurance depression clouds the empathy behind that normal, human response to a partner in pain.
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Remember To Take Care Of Yourself
It can be very stressful coping with another person’s depression. It’s OK to take some time out for yourself. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, you’ll both be better off if you carve out time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit with habits like:
- Spend time in nature
- Stay socially connected
Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. Certainly, this decision should be weighed carefully , but you may need to walk away if you or your children’s emotional or physical well-being or safety is at risk.
When A Clinically Depressed Person Breaks Up With You This Is One Of The Rare Times When Its Not You Its Me Is The 100% Pure Gospel Truth
Im NOT saying that if your depressed girlfriend breaks up with you that you should stick around like a jilted puppy dog and keep sending her encouraging messages as heartbroken lovers often attempt to do.
Not at all. In fact, DO NOT STAY IN TOUCH if she breaks up with you.
The concept of not taking it personally doesnt mean you put up with crap, Im simply encouraging you to detach and avoid letting her confusing statements about your relationship hurt your feelings.
Your boundaries what youre willing to put up with in a healthy relationship should remain.
Speaking of which:
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