The first thing to remember is depression is an illness. If you’ve never experienced acute depression before, it will be an upward slog to find some kind of understanding. This isn’t something your partner can ‘just get over’, any more than they can ‘just get over’ the flu.
Depression doesn’t just affect the sufferer, but their family and friends, as it is exceptionally difficult to handle. You may feel frustrated at times and completely helpless, but there are things you can do to help your partner through it.
Pay Attention to Symptoms
If your partner is displaying signs of sadness for more than a fortnight, it’s likely they are depressed. Some other symptoms include:
- Lack of interest in friends/hobbies/sex
- Consistent tiredness
- Over-eating or under-eating
- Inability to make decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide
The last thing many people suffering with depression want to do is talk to a professional. Make sure you get them to a doctor though as depression is a condition just like any other and there are treatments available to make the symptoms easier to manage.
Talk of Suicide
Whatever you do, take this seriously and make sure your doctor takes these symptoms seriously too. If you feel as if you aren’t getting the right medical help, contact solicitors Huddersfield, as your partner’s life is at risk.
The more you know, the better you will be at helping your partner through depression. There are many books and online resources that contain information on depression and how to cope with it. You’ll be able to talk to your partner with a better level of understanding about their condition. If you take depression seriously and attempt to empathise, this emotional outreach can be a relief to your partner, whilst underestimating the severity of what you partner is going through can make their condition worse.
Listen openly to what your partner has to say, even if what you’re hearing is painful. Don’t be tempted to jump into the conversation and attempt to see things through your partner’s eyes.
Be a Beacon of Hope
Remind your partner of all the things they have to live for. Overload them with love every day to show them just how much you care (but not to the point of smothering). Tell them just how fantastic you think they are and praise them when they make positive steps forward. Try not to show your frustration, and if you do, explain that you are frustrated with the depression, not them.
Let your partner know that you let them off the hook when it comes to obligations. Your partner isn’t lazy or selfish, they are poorly! Anything little can seem like an insurmountable task for your partner.
It’s likely that your partner is feeling completely overwhelmed right now, so you need to take them through baby steps. Show them that things that seem completely impossible are in fact easy to handle and you are there to help them through it. If you can, get them out of the house for fun activities that you know they enjoy.
This blog post was written by blogger Jamie Knop on behalf of Lawyers4Patients.