A Guide to Supporting Your Partner With Depression
A Guide to Supporting Your Partner With Depression

Navigating the Depths: A Guide to Supporting Your Partner With Depression

Depression negatively affects the lives of millions of individuals around the world. But this common mental health concern doesn’t only affect the person suffering from it, but it can also cause difficulties in relationships. If you have a partner with depression, you probably understand. 

Dealing with depression in a spouse, partner, or significant other can be highly challenging. You want to support them, and you want them to feel better, but how?

There are several things you can do to support your partner with depression, and we’ll go through them for you. But before we do, here’s something essential you should understand: depression is not your partner’s fault. They are not “behaving this way” to irritate you or because they want attention. 

Depression is a diagnosable mental health condition with complex causes relating to genetics, biology, environmental factors, and more. They need your support and love, not your judgment! 

We Can Help

The Impact of Depression on Relationships

When your partner struggles with depression, it can lead to communication difficulties, reduced intimacy, and mood and behavior changes. Watching your partner deal with mental health challenges can make you feel helpless, frustrated, and even guilty. But again, it’s important to recognize that depression is an illness and not a reflection of your worth as a partner or spouse. 

The Impact of Depression on Relationships

Handling depression in a spouse or partner takes patience and understanding. It’s easy to feel pushed away when your partner is feeling deep in depression. Intimacy and a sense of connection can often bear the brunt of the adverse impacts of depression.

But there is hope! Implementing the following tips on how to support your partner with depression, you can work on rebuilding your relationship and connection and work with your spouse to get the help they need to feel more like themselves.

Recognizing Depression in Your Spouse or Partner

If your spouse or partner hasn’t received a depression diagnosis, that doesn’t mean they don’t have it. It’s essential to recognize the warning signs of depression in your spouse so you know when you need to step up your game and be more supportive of their emotional and mental health needs.

Some common depression symptoms include:

Helpful Ideas for Supporting Your Partner With Depression
  • appetite changes
  • weight changes
  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • withdrawing from others (including you)
  • turning down social events and get-togethers
  • no interest in doing things they used to love (including sex)
  • difficulty keeping up with tasks
  • low mood most of the time
  • crying spells
  • talk of dying or death

You know your partner well, so you should be able to recognize when something is “off.” It’s important not to shrug it off, either. Communication and honesty are paramount in a relationship. So, if you feel your partner isn’t quite themselves, talk to them about it so you can learn how to better support them and get them the help they need.

Helpful Ideas for Supporting Your Partner With Depression

Encourage open and honest communication.

As mentioned above, communication is critical. While your significant other may not want to talk about how they’re feeling, try to approach them gently and let them know you’re concerned about them. Create a safe space for your partner to express their feelings without judgment, ensuring it’s not during moments of high stress or when your partner feels overwhelmed. 

Listen to what they have to say.

Listen to what they have to say.

One of the most essential skills to master when supporting your partner with depression is active listening. This means you must give your full attention to them when they speak, avoid interrupting or offering solutions right away, and reflect their feelings back to them to show them you understand and empathize.

Validate their emotions. 

Maybe you don’t fully understand why they feel the way they do. (Depression is complex, afterall.) But it’s crucial to let your partner know their feelings are valid and you are there to support them. Avoid dismissing their emotions, which can make them feel worse.

Educate yourself.

You can’t effectively support your spouse or partner with depression if you know nothing about what they’re feeling. Learn about depression, its treatments, symptoms, and coping mechanisms. What you learn will help you better understand what your spouse or partner is going through, allowing you to provide better support.

Offer practical support.

Depression in a spouse or partner can make them feel overwhelmed about completing small tasks. Help them out with daily tasks like household chores, running errands, driving children around, or whatever may be on their to-do list. Small gestures can significantly affect your partner’s mood and overall well-being.

Encourage self-care activities.

Promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging your partner to engage in activities that promote well-being, like exercise, hobbies, and relaxation techniques. Consider joining them when you can!

Seek professional help for your partner (and yourself!)

One of the best things you can do for your partner is to help them find a high-quality mental health professional. Consider researching with them and attending their first appointment or any subsequent sessions when asked. (Remember to find a therapist to support you while you’re at it!)

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself, Too

While it is essential to support your partner with depression as much as possible, you also have to take care of yourself. Supporting a partner or spouse with depression can take a toll on your mental health. You must prioritize self-care to ensure you have the emotional and physical resources to be there for your loved one. 

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself, Too

Here are some things to remember when supporting a partner with depression: 

  • Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to protect your own well-being. It’s okay to take breaks and prioritize your own needs sometimes.
  • Seek support from others: It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re supporting a partner or spouse with depression. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your experiences and seek advice. When you connect with others who have been in similar situations, you can receive much-needed validation and guidance.
  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are doing your best. Remember that you cannot single-handedly cure your partner’s depression and that it is essential to take care of yourself, too.
  • Do things you enjoy: Ensure you dedicate time to activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Taking that time to care for yourself can go a long way in helping you support your loved one. 

Trust BOLD Health for High-Quality, Evidence-Based Depression Treatment in San Diego

Depression is not an easy illness to overcome on your own. Encourage your spouse or partner to come to BOLD Health to meet with our caring, compassionate, and experienced team so they can overcome the challenges holding them back from living the life they deserve.

BOLD Health

Through depression therapy in San Diego with BOLD Health, your partner or spouse can learn healthier coping mechanisms, discover the root of their depression, and learn how to overcome symptoms using various treatment methods. Not to mention, they’ll finally start feeling more like themselves, and your relationship can thrive again! 

Contact our team of experts to learn more about our options for depression treatment in San Diego, including:

  • individual therapy
  • group therapy
  • medication management
  • intensive outpatient program (IOP in San Diego)
  • ketamine treatment

You and your partner deserve to enjoy life together, and depression therapy in San Diego at BOLD Health can help. 

Contact Us Today!

Posted in