Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Help A Girl Who Is Depressed

You Can Move Forward In The Face Of Your Depression

When Your Girlfriend Is Depressed

Some people believe that having depression makes them weak or broken. The truth is that every day they get out of bed, go to work, or move forward while living with depression is proof of their ability to keep going.

Depression can feel like a weight on your chest. For some people, it can be a disability.

However, every day that someone keeps going while theyre living with depression is proof they can keep going.

Just Feel Sad With Her

Just feel sad with her. Depressed people are told constantly that its all in their head and their problems are all imagined and not really serious. It would probably be really nice to have one person take her seriously. Instead of telling her that all her problems are minor and can be easily solved, just acknowledge them and empathize with her.avanross

The Importance Of Accepting And Sharing Your Feelings

It can be hard to open up about how youre feelingespecially when youre feeling depressed, ashamed, or worthless. Its important to remember that many people struggle with feelings like these at one time or anotherit doesnt mean that youre weak, fundamentally flawed, or no good. Accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone you trust will help you feel less alone.

Even though it may not feel like it at the moment, people do love and care about you. If you can muster the courage to talk about your depression, it canand willbe resolved. Some people think that talking about sad feelings will make them worse, but the opposite is almost always true. It is very helpful to share your worries with someone who will listen and care about what you say. They dont need to be able to fix you they just need to be good listeners.

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How To Help Your Depressed Girlfriend

Heres how to help your depressed girlfriend without making it worse or killing your relationship.

Ive been dating my girlfriend for almost a year. She is 25 and has had depression much of her life.

She tells me she is hopeless, wants to die, and is not sure how much longer she can go on like this. She sees a therapist and psychiatrist regularly.

When I ask, shell tell me that it wasnt this dark when we started dating. She can recognize how the recent events may have impacted her emotionally as well. I get confused and frustrated when she says things like there is no hope and its not going to ever get better because shell also tell me that it wasnt like this a few months ago.

Is it normal for someone who has severe depression to not be able to acknowledge and recognize that she wasnt feeling this hopeless not that long ago?

Is there anything I can do to help her see past those blinders?

I have hope for her and I want her to be able to see that there is hope since she didnt always feel like this. I am aware thats not my job and that I cant make her see anything.

I would also appreciate any other feedback on how I can support her. Ive been working on acknowledging her feelings when she says things like I dont want to bother youYoud be better off without me and other things that are 100% not true from my perspective.

First, Im not a licensed medical professional and this is not medical advice.

This attitude will cause you heartache to no end.

So Why Do I Mention Jealousy

CBD for Anxiety

If you happen to spend time with your depressed girlfriend around other people, she might laugh, seem to have fun and act completely normal.

This mask can be one of the most confusing things about being in a relationship with a depressed person.

One minute, they can barely get out of bed and hours later, they have rallied and are yucking it up with Bob at happy hour after work.

You might think to yourself:

Why can she laugh with Bob and Jane but not me?

Shes still going to work, so why cant she go to the football game with me on Saturday?

She was super sweet to her dog, so why the hell cant she show me any affection any more?

Its enough to make you wonder if youre seriously being taken advantage of, completely unloved, insane or all of the above.

You might wonder why she is taking it out on you, when everyone else seems to get to see her good side.

This mask is one way that depressed people manage to keep their life from completely falling apart as they navigate and manage whats happening with them internally.

The people closest to them might intuitively know something is completely off , but Susan at work doesnt need to.

And it really, really sucks to wear the mask of depression.

It also sucks to feel even more minimized in your relationship and like youre being petty over your girlfriends friendly interactions with the cashier at the grocery store or in the happy hour smiley selfies she took with her coworkers and put all over social media.

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Your Depressed Girlfriend Isnt Withholding Affection From You Because She Doesnt Want To Give Shes Most Likely Withholding Because There Isnt Anything To Give

The reality is that depressed people in the middle of an episode generally arent super fun to hang out with. They arent very affectionate. They dont empathize well. They may catastrophize and have severe and negative opinions about everything.

Often self-care is incredibly difficult, so wearing a clean shirt or showering might be a real triumph.

Im not being casual or exaggerating here. Thats the reality of coping with clinical depression in a relationship.

Since affection comes from the feeling center of a person that depression takes offline, youre wishing for something that she cant do right now.

Thats why being upset by what your depressed girlfriend CANT do is only going to cause problems between you.

If you want this relationship, this is what it costs right now. You can accept that or you can leave her.

Abandon The Concept Of Helping With Your Girlfriends Depression

Youll automatically feel safer to her because instead of spewing out positivity or ideas, youll just be there.

Being there might be how to help your depressed girlfriend and all she really wants or needs from you right now.

That ability to just be there and empathize can be the difference between a depressed person cutting off their entire support system and at least keeping someone around who actually gets it or at least doesnt make the feeling of hopelessness worse.

Dont underestimate how precious it might be for her if you would just stay in your own lane and be present with her.

Depression is lonely enough on its own without a troop of well-wishers who continually suggest that if you would just do something different, you would feel better.

Clinical depression is just not that simple.

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For people struggling with depression, its important to have compassion and to take action to overcome this state, including seeking professional help. Remember that the negative thoughts you are experiencing are likely being driven by depression, not by a person. Depression can lead to the ultimate negative outcome of death, so please consider calling National Hotline if your significant other is experiencing thoughts of self-harm. SAMHSAs National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

There are many types of treatment that have proven to be effective for depression, but two are the most effective: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy .

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . CBT is problem-focused and action-oriented meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to depression and the therapists role is to assist the patients in finding and practicing effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder and limit adverse outcomes.

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What To Do If Your Friend Has Suicidal Thoughts

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If you are concerned your friend may harm themselves,dont dismiss your gut. Instead:

  • Pay attentionto anything said about suicide, other forms of self-harm or a world thatdoesnt include them.
  • Keep the lines of communication openso they know they can talk to you when they have these feelings.
  • Encourage themto get professional help.

That help may include outpatient therapy and psychotropic medications prescribed by their primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 911 or take your friend to the nearest emergency department.

Remember: Your friends situation is not hopeless. Like other illnesses, depression can be treated with the right medical help and the support of friends like you.

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Take The Time To Learn About Depression On Your Own

In these cases, a team effort is most useful, explains relationship and sex therapist Andrew Aaron, marriage counselor at Help for Passion. A caring will learn about depression, adds Aaron, in order to more compassionately understand and listen to their partners experiences.

And as for what the nonprofessionals said:

Take Their Feelings Seriously

If someone is living with a mental health concern, it isnt possible for them just to snap out of it, cheer up or forget about it. Acknowledge that what’s happening must be difficult to handle don’t tell them that their feelings are weird or unfounded.

Try not to approach your friend like theyre a patient or someone who needs to be fixed…this might make them feel embarrassed and belittled, and can make them close themselves off to you. Anzelmo

If youre not sure how to help someone with depression or anxiety, ask them. You could also offer them some options and let them choose what suits them best. For example, you could offer to listen and let them express their thoughts, or just to hang out, without serious conversation.

Try to be caring, compassionate and curious, and let them know that they matter to you and you are taking them seriously.

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Dont Take Things Personally

Pretend youre at a movie. You dont take whatever happens at the movie personally do you? You dont prepare for a real zombie apocalypse after watching Brad Pitt kill zombies in WWZ, right?

Use this same mindset with your depressed person.

Prepare mentally for her to potentially push you away, withdraw from your relationship and dump you.

Dont be afraid of this or try to talk her out of it when it happens.

Dont make any dramatic declarations about your love for her if she goes this route.

Dont put any pressure on her at all for any reason.

Depression Affects Each Woman Differently

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Not every woman who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some women experience only a few symptoms. Others have many. The severity and frequency of symptoms, and how long they last, will vary depending on the individual and the severity of the illness.

Where Can I Learn More About Depression in Women?

The following agencies have additional information on depression in women.

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Shore Up Your Boundaries

I realize I just told you to avoid taking things your depressed girlfriend says personally. Detaching from her whims and moods will really help you.

However, if your depressed girlfriend starts lashing out at you, dont allow it.

Even though youll be using the thicker skin youre growing, that doesnt mean you should passively ignore it when she is actually mean to you.

Sometimes people in relationships with depressed people avoid confronting their partner and enacting consequences because they are afraid that whatever they say will cause more shame and guilt, thereby making the depression worse.

This is a mistake for several reasons.

First, by not explaining your boundaries and feelings around her unacceptable behavior, youre training her that its okay with you.

No one knows where your line IS when they have no idea you actually have one. Same with all your relationships even those with non-depressed people.

Second, since her ability to genuinely empathize with you might be disconnected or temporarily out of service right now she might have a serious and REAL blind spot around whether her behavior is hurtful or abusive that simply wouldnt be there if she wasnt mentally ill.

This doesnt mean you should accept her abuse, quite the contrary.

Instead, not confronting a depressed person is like not warning your friend about the giant piece of spinach in her teeth at the debutante ball.

Be mindful of when and how you choose to confront her.

Dont Make Her Feel Bad If She Doesnt Accomplish Anything In A Day

JUST BE THERE. Is she crying? Hold her. She doesnt want to get out of bed? Bring her snacks. She doesnt want to bathe? Have a bath together! Doesnt want to get dressed? Wash her favorite pajamas so she has something clean to put on.

As a woman who struggles with severe depression, the most amazing thing a person can do for you is to just support you and NOT try to fix it. Dont try to make her exercise. Dont make her feel bad if she doesnt accomplish anything in a day. Dont make her talk about it if she doesnt want to. Dont try to force her to be happy. She already feels so badly about herself and all those things. Just be there for her.spicybrushetta

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Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression

If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.

Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.

  • Exercise. Take a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk every day. Or you can dance, stretch, or do yoga. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But get yourself to do it anyway. If you need a push, ask a friend to do it with you. Getting any activity started helps boost your mood. Keep it going.
  • Eat healthy foods. Some people with depression don’t feel much like eating. Some may overeat. But what you eat can affect your mood and energy. So with depression, you need to be sure to eat right. For most people, that means plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit simple carbs and foods with added sugar. Don’t go for too long without eating. Even if you don’t feel hungry, eat something light and healthy.
  • Don’t dwell on problems. It can feel good to talk through a problem with a caring friend. But depression can lead people to complain, blame, and rehash problems too much. It can keep you focused on what’s wrong. It’s OK to air your thoughts and feelings with people who care. But don’t let problems be all you talk about. Talk about good things too. This can help your mood become more positive.
  • Dont Leave Them Along

    10 Tips for Staying Sane When Your Partner is Depressed

    When your loved one is depressed, they may often say one thing but mean another. Distancing, or self-isolating is a common symptom of depression. Distancing is a self-destructing path, where the person pushes others away for one of many reasons.

    This can be because they are afraid to hurt those around them, they are afraid of being hurt by others, they feel they arent good enough for others, they are embarrassed of their mental state, or any number of other reasons.

    When your partner says they want to be left alone, chances are they dont. This is often times a cry for help.

    Be there for them. Assure them that its okay to not be okay, but that you will be there with them through it, to help them pull through. Dont try to make them talk if they dont want to. Dont ask questions, because chances are they wont want to answer them. Bring them food, put on a movie, and just be there.

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    Provide Support During Recovery

    While recovery from depression is possible, it can be challenging at times. To support a partner during the recovery process:

    • help them keep track of their appointments and medications
    • do some physical activity together most days
    • plan and prepare healthful meals together
    • try to reduce stressors in the home
    • make goals small and achievable
    • encourage them to socialize with others
    • plan fun activities together
    • point out the persons progress on their journey to recovery
    • avoid forcing treatment on the person

    Let them know that they are not alone by saying things such as:

    • I am here for you.
    • We will deal with this together.

    It may also be helpful to attend a support group for family members of those with a mental health condition. Couples may also benefit from couples therapy or family-based counseling.

    Learn About Depression On Your Own

    Imagine having to educate each person in your life about a mental or physical health condition youre experiencing explaining it over and over again. Sounds exhausting, right?

    You can talk with your friend about their specific symptoms or how theyre feeling, but avoid asking them to tell you about depression in general terms.

    Read up on the symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatments on your own.

    While people experience depression differently, being familiar with the general symptoms and terminology can help you have more in-depth conversations with your friend.

    These articles are a good starting point:

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