Depression is a major mental disorder that can throw life out of gear, not just for the people suffering from it, but their family members as well. Seeing your life partner crumble in front of your very eyes can be heart-wrenching. Frightened, frustrated and confused, the loved ones of a patient can get sucked into the depressive vortex. They feel helpless or even responsible for triggering the condition. Unfortunately, this often causes a complete breakdown of relationships.
What many don’t realize is that instead of being a passive spectator, they can actually play active roles in helping their partners overcome depression. In fact, psychologists opine that a supportive and loving spouse plays an important role in getting on the road to recovery. Do you have a spouse battling the throes of depression? Here are some ways you can help.
It is difficult for a healthy person to fully grasp what their loved one suffering from depression is going through. In fact it is far easier to ask them to “snap out of it” and expect them to fight it out themselves. But depression, like diabetes or a fractured leg, is a medical condition that needs medical intervention and should be treated as such.
Sometimes, even the patients themselves don’t realize that they are suffering from depression. Identifying the signs is therefore crucial and a partner can help in this. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Sleeping too less or too much
- Eating too less or too much followed by weight changes
- Disinterest in activities that used to give happiness before
- Feeling tired all the time
- Getting emotional – angry outbursts, guilt pangs, becoming tearful or feeling frustrated and irritated – without due reason
- Lack of self-esteem, feeling empty and hopeless often accompanied by suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Trouble making decisions, concentration issues and forgetfulness
- Aches, pains and other ailments that don’t seem to have an apparent reason
Be their anchor
People suffering from depression can be emotionally demanding. Their responses may seem irrational to their non-depressed partners. Even when you are trying your best to help they may respond by pushing you away. Do not take their responses personally. Instead, be aware when to give them their personal space and show love and support without being smothering. Thinking back on how they were before falling prey to depression will help separate the person from the illness. Though it may be quite trying at times, be patient. Being a loving and supportive presence that your partner can count on will go a long way in helping with the healing process.
Create a positive environment
There is no quick-fix solution to overcoming depression therapists long beach. But by creating a supportive home environment, you and your partner can bond better and together, you can travel hand-in-hand towards a better life. A few ways to do this are:
- Encourage the treatment process – By helping your partner with the doctor’s appointments and medication, discussing the available treatment options with them, listening to their concerns and sharing with them the symptoms and changes that you have noticed, you can share the load of making important treatment choices.
- Support a healthy lifestyle change – Regular exercise, healthy diet, and regular sleep schedule will help recovery. Making these changes together will help your partner stay on track.
- Create a safe space – Provide your partner with a low-stress environment where they can recuperate. Depressive patients tend to go on guilt trips and be their harshest critics. You can help arrest this downward spiral by reassuring them, talking about their strengths and showing them how far they have progressed.