Depression is very common mental illness. It is more common than we think. It has a serious effect on how one feels, the way they think and the way they act. There are more than 10 million cases of depression per year, and I am talking only about India.
Someone suffering through depression may feel sad, may feel numb, may lose interest in regular activities which all this can lead to emotional and physical problems. At times someone suffering through depression may seem just fine on the outside, but a storm of emotions is what they feel on the inside. It not only gets tough for the person who is suffering the load but also for the people around them, especially the spouse.
What Does Depression Looks Like?
Depression has many forms, and at times the ones suffering from it are really good at masking it. Some may seem numb, some may seem very happy, and some act aloof. Depression has many faces. But is you know someone, you may notice a change in the behavior:
- They may feel sad or have depressive moods.
- They often tend to lose interest in the activities they enjoyed earlier. Sometimes it is as simple as they may not feel like taking a bath, working, or going for a walk.
- Too much sleep or trouble sleeping,
- They may experience anxiety, guilt, general discontent, hopelessness, being numb and sadness.
- Agitation, excessive crying, irritability, & social isolation.
- Excessive hunger or loss of appetite.
- Lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or increase in purposeless physical activity.
- Suicidal Ideations.
Imagine someone going through all of it, and not confiding in anyone. It happens quite often, it may seem like they are a burden on people around them, which is not true but this is just one-way depression messes up with your head.
This behavior definitely affects people around the ones in suffering, and especially one’s partner. If your partner is suffering from depression, you may feel like they have loss interesting in you. They may often snap at you, fight with you for no reason, have sudden mood swings, or portray an image of themselves where they do not need your care. But the truth is they need your care the most, they may not say it out loud feeling like they don’t want to be a burden.
Tips For Dating Someone with Depression
Understand that Depression is Complicated:
Understand that there are many faces of depression. One may have severe mood swings, and may seem aloof. It is not because they think you will not be able to support them, but they don’t feel like indulging in anything. Instead, try to understand the root cause by talking to them. Whether it is chronic depression, if they are going through a stressful period, or had gone through a traumatic experience recently.
Tell Them You are Available to Talk
People from depression often don’t talk with the fear of being judged or feeling like they are being judged. Make it very clear to your partner that you are available to talk, and will not judge them at all. Let them know that even if you are not available at a particular time in the day, you will reach out to them as soon as you can and that they are not disrupting your life. These things are not implied, especially to someone who is suffering from the demons of their mind.
Arguing With Your Partner
If your partner is suffering from depression, you may have noticed that they have become more sensitive than before. It is okay to argue, but be careful not to make any sarcastic comments. Even a small fight may seem catastrophic to your partner, so it is best to talk it out patiently with your partner. Ensure that it can be fixed, and you are willing to work on whatever the problem is. If you wish to make them understand their mistake, do it patiently than shouting.
Understand You Are Not A Therapist
It may be really tough to watch someone you love in pain. You do need to show your support and care, but make sure you do not pressurize them or yourself into situations either of you is not comfortable with. It is not a short term phase, so remember you can not fix them. Instead, you need to show your partner that you accept them just the way they are by just listening.
It Is Not About You
You need to be very patient and positive. At times your partner may fight with your, snap at you, or act aloof. Understand it is not about you. Focus on the positive things they still do and say. Empathize, communicate and understand it is not about you.
Lookout For Warning Signs
You may give them their space but understand that it can be deadly. Know when to intervene. If you feel your partner is hurting themselves physically or emotionally, step in and take a stand. If your partner seems hopeless and expresses that other people are better off without them, take the signs seriously. Make sure you talk to them about it, ensure things and reach out for help outside if needed.
Do Not Forget Self Care
Dealing with someone suffering from depression can be exhausting. Remember you need to talk care of yourself. Take care of your own mental and physical health, as it is a slippery slope. Share your life with them, and give your partner to support you. This will make your partner feel accomplished, & you will feel empowered. Know when to take a step back, and reach out from help needed.
Dealing with someone who is suffering from depression can be very tricky, but at the same time, it is lucky you found them at all.