Depression is a painful mental condition primarily because it has isolating effects, which means, hardly someone to share the pain with. It is hard to see your loved one struggling with happiness and you are not able to do anything to help them. While it is ok to be sad sometimes, depression is a very different and tough situation to handle- for both the patient and for people close to them.
Dealing with depressed people can be quite confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. You might end up feeling rejected, helpless or ignored. There are some people who begin to feel responsible for their partner’s depression in one way or the other. If you are one of them, let me tell you that you are the one who needs to handle the other at this time, as things are totally out of their control. In case you don't know how to help your partner to get out of depression, then we have come up with a 6 point guide for you.
Show Them Unconditional Love
Love has the power to heal everything. When your spouse is experiencing a low day, show them more love. It may feel more difficult to do this when they’re in a funk and taking it out on you, but it’s on these days that they need to experience love the most. No need to smother or hover, just show them love throughout the day in a language that truly speaks to them. What I mean by that is if they appreciate loving words over physical touch, use words. Show them the true essence of unconditional love. Even if they don’t reciprocate the love, they do feel it.
Support Them Even When They’re At Their Worst
Depression isn’t pretty. In fact, it can be downright ugly. This is why they need your support the most when they’re at their worst. As bad as things get, do not lighten up your support. Even if they’re trying their best to push you away (common for people with depression to do so), you must continue to support them. It’s so easy for people with depression to forget that they do have support around them, especially when they’re in a depressive state. During these times, you must remind them of your support.
Know When to Give Them Space
Sometimes your spouse will tell you they just want space, but what they mean is, “I need you.” Other times they will tell you they need space and they actually need space. It’s your job to interpret what they truly need, and you can do so by asking them questions and connecting to them emotionally. When your spouse tells you they want space, face them and connect physically (hold their hands or place your hand on their thigh) and clarify the statement by asking them if they truly want the space. By creating that physical connection, you’re showing them that you would willingly sit with them through this. If they truly need the space, this is when they will tell you.
Understand What They Truly Need
Talk to your spouse and ask them what they need. It’s honestly that simple, all you have to do is ask: “What do you need right now?” and then give them that. Create a mental list of the things that bring them joy and happiness and offer those things when they’re in a depressive state. Maybe it’s a marathon of their favorite show or movie set, or indulging in their favorite dessert, or cuddles on the couch. Understand what they truly need during these times and then lovingly offer it to them. TIP: You don’t always have to ask. You could always just show up with their favorite ice cream and say “This is for you.”
Hold The Space
Your spouse will experience those days where their moods are so low, they will completely lose their ability to communicate effectively. All you can do is hold the space. Energetically create a sacred space for them to feel safe to enter once they’re ready and hold that space for them. You can do so by telling them: “I can see that you’re having a really difficult day and I just want you to know that I am holding this space for you. I’m here for you in whatever capacity you need me.”
Create An Action Plan
This is the most important tip I have to share about this topic. Sit down with your spouse on a good day — a day where they’re feeling happy and calm. Open up a dialogue to co-create an action plan for their low days. How do they want to approach those days? What would they like to experience on those days? And what would help them shift through those days? As the spouse of someone with depression, it’s easy to unconsciously become an enabler by giving into their behavior or letting them slump around the house for days on end because it’s harder to confront them. Don’t let that happen! Co-create an action plan to inspire them to get through those days so they can shift into a happier state of mind.
That was all from me to you! Hope it helps you to create peace, love and health in your life.