Aim To Encourage Instead Of Giving Advice
Treatment helps improve depression symptoms for many people, so you might think its best to urge them to see a therapist. But saying things like, You should go to therapy or You need help may only make them feel worse.
Heres the thing about depression: It can make even simple tasks seem insurmountable. A quick internet search might seem easy to you, but someone in a depression fog might feel overwhelmed by just the thought.
Instead, try, Have you thought about talking to someone? If they seem open to the idea, make the process less daunting by offering to help them find a therapist, schedule an appointment, and go with them to their first sessions.
If theyre already in therapy, remember treatment can take time, and not all approaches work for everyone. Its always fine to ask how things are going, but avoid pressuring them to try other approaches.
Pushing lifestyle changes generally doesnt help, either. Avoid saying:
- You should exercise more.
- Going outside to get some sun will make you feel better.
- If you ate healthier foods, your mood would improve.
Instead, encourage them to do something with you:
- Im feeling a little restless. Lets go for a walk together.
- The weather is great today! Why dont we eat lunch outside?
Donts: Six Actions To Avoid
When Someone You Love Has Depression
Depression builds walls around people and between people. When someone you love has been dragged inside those walls, there can be a distance between you both that feels relentless. You miss them, but theyre right there beside you, except that theyre kind of not. Not in the way you both want to be anyway.
The symptoms of depression exist on a spectrum. All of them are normal human experiences, but in depression theyre intensified. Not everyone who has depression will have a formal diagnosis, so knowing what to watch out for can help to make sense of the changes you might notice.
Depression looks like a withdrawal. It feels that way too. Its a withdrawal from everything that is enriching and life-giving. Depression sucks the life out of life. Thats how it feels. When depression bites, everything becomes hard. Life starts to hurt. Those who are bitten stop looking forward to things. They stop engaging and they stop enjoying things, even the things they used to love. They can feel hard to reach, and sometimes they can be angry or appear as though they dont care. That isnt because they want to withdraw from you or push you away, they dont, although it can feel that way.
Here are some ways to fight for them, beside them and for the times the fight has to be theirs, behind them:
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Six Tips To Help Support Your Girlfriend With Depression
Despite everything, there are a few things you can do to support your partner through this challenging period of their life. Showing them that you care and are actively taking steps to help them will help your girlfriend feel like shes not in it alone.
Backed by your support and understanding, shell be more likely to seek treatment and take steps towards recovery.
What Is Online Therapy
Online therapy is a form of on the internet counseling that enables people to speak with therapists or therapists online. This kind of therapy can be used by anybody in any nation.
There are many advantages to on-line treatment. It is convenient for people that do not have time for in person sessions or live too far away from a workplace. Second, online therapy likewise allows people to speak with a specialist anonymously over the internet, which may be extra comfortable than chatting face-to-face with a person they know face to face.
Some downsides of online treatment are that it is not constantly simple to tell if somebody is truly that they state they are. It can be hard to see body language.
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Modern Morals: My Girlfriend Is Depressed And Dependent On Me
Modern Morals: Can I break up with her?
There are ways to get your girlfriend help but self-care is also important
Question: My girlfriend and I met a few months before the pandemic and we moved in together during the first lockdown.
The first few months were great, but then her mood changed quite drastically. She started spending a lot of time in bed sleeping in in the morning and then going for long naps in the afternoon and she has no motivation to do any of the stuff we used to enjoy.
At first, I thought it was a lockdown funk, but she has since told me she has suffered from depression on and off for most of her adult life.
I thought her mood would lift when restrictions eased, but its actually getting worse. She relies on me to do all the cooking and cleaning. Plus, she refuses to see a GP because she says she has tried everything and nothing works.
Im really unhappy and Im beginning to feel like her mood is contagious. I want out, but is it wrong to leave a sick person when theyre at their lowest?
Answer: This sounds like an emotionally draining situation. On one hand, you feel a duty of care to your partner who, by the sounds of it, is in a very dark place. On the other hand, you have to prioritise your own mental health and self-care needs.
I shared your dilemma with mental health expert Dr Harry Barry, who notes that your situation is not uncommon.
However, for whatever reason, your girlfriend was reluctant to share this information with you.
Talking To Her With Compassion
Also Check: What To Do Or Say To Someone Who Is Depressed
Understanding Why A Partner Self
Its important to remember that people self-harm for different reasons. It could be a long-term coping strategy, or an intense reaction to distress or depression, says Louise.
If your partner tells you that theyre self-harming, its best not to push them for details that they might not be comfortable sharing they might not even fully understand why they do it or how serious it is if youre the first person theyve spoken to about it. If you can, try to:
- Find out what makes them want to hurt themselves
- Help them work out what they could do instead as a distraction or an alternative
My girlfriend knows I self-harmed, but we dont talk about it she has a more serious history of it than I do, says Leanne, 19. I dont feel we share a romanticised bond of two tortured souls against the world. As she reminds me, I will never know where shes coming from because I dont have a guidebook on human emotion. I feel close to her because I love her. And that has nothing to do with the scars on her body.
Becoming A Burden/bringing Everyone Down
For a partner to be authentic to themselves, they wouldnt be chiming in all cherry to every conversation or activity. Most likely, they would be hesitant and worried about what they should say or do.
Alternatively, telling people that theyre down and unmotivated might be what is happening, but the responsibility for the party that he/she is telling might not be appropriate. They might try to fix things or be too positive. Or worse, they may be unsupportive and dismissive, causing the partner with depression to feel like theyre causing trouble and that everyone would be better off without them.
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Questions To Figure Out The Impact Of Their Symptoms
These arent questions to diagnose whether or not your partner has depression, anxiety, bipolar, or related disorders. Thats something for you both to find out with the help of a mental health professional.
Instead, these questions are designed to help you determine if your partners symptoms are getting the upper hand:
- Are you sleeping more or less than you normally do?
- Are you eating more or less than you normally do?
- Are you tasting your food when you eat?
- Do you feel tired no matter how much you sleep?
- Are you capable of enjoying things right now?
- Is it hard for you to do personal grooming?
- Are you having thoughts of your own death?
Karen reminds us that theres a difference between simply feeling down and experiencing symptoms of clinical depression. These questions help determine which is happening.
Julie says that, as a partner, you probably already know the answer to these questions, but asking them helps your partner feel respected and gives them agency.
Are Online Therapists Qualified Helping My Girlfriend With Depression
Online therapy is not a brand-new principle. It has actually been around for rather some time currently, and also many people prefer this kind of treatment to conventional therapy.
The spreading of on-line therapists has resulted in the question, Are these specialists qualified?
Some people believe that therapy must be performed in person. On the other hand, others believe it can be done over the phone or through video chat.
Treatment is an extremely individual experience, and it is best to fulfill in person with your therapist. But sometimes, this isnt feasible, so some on-line therapists offer quality services. Helping My Girlfriend With Depression
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Theyre Not Lazy Theyre Depressed
One of the common misconceptions of depressed people is that they are lazy. This comes from the fact that they can often be messy and unproductive when they are in depressive stages. In fact, this is a direct symptom of depression. It is not that they are lazy, it is that they are exhausted, both mentally and physically. Depression takes a toll on the mind, often leaving its victims too drained to do the things they would normally do in life, making it hard to even get out of bed.
My Depressed Partner Blames Me For Everything Should I Put Up With It
Does your depressed partner blame you for everything? If so, you may be wondering if you should put up with it to try to help your partner and preserve the relationship or whether you should leave to protect your emotional health. While the symptoms of depression are nobody’s fault, that doesn’t mean you should put up with unpleasant or abusive behavior. Your mental and emotional health should be your number one priority, however much you love your partner. Setting boundaries is easier said than done, so heres what you should do if your depressed partner blames you for everything.
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What Are The Disadvantages Of Online Therapy
Online treatment has been shown effective for individuals who are not comfortable with in-person treatment. Furthermore, online treatment can be a much more affordable, reliable, and available option to standard in-person therapy.
Some threats of online treatment must be taken into consideration prior to choosing whether or not to utilize it. The danger of discretion breaches is higher with online therapists because they frequently make use of video conversation or message conversation as their major kind of communication. There is likewise the risk of creating an undesirable reliance on your therapist if you are not cautious regarding just how much time you spend speaking with them online. Helping My Girlfriend With Depression
What Do I Do When My Girlfriend Is Depressed Confused And Needs Her Space
- Xper 5+1 y I think she’ll come around. But just as much as she needs her space she needs a shoulder to cry on. I really feel like you just need her to know your there. That any time she’s hurting you’ll take her in your arms and just hold her. Sometimes that’s all it takes. She really cares about you so don’t think she’s leaving you. She just doesn’t want to hurt you. In times like these she needs to learn how to stand on her own two feet. But always be there for her. I think she needs condolence. She doesn’t understand what’s going on. She needs something more than just you. That sounds harsh but she needs. . . . something to believe in. A reason why this happened. It’s not something you can give her and it’s not something she can just find. She needs React
- blueyedgrll | 76 opinions shared on Guy’s Behavior topic.Xper 6+1 y I would just give her the space she asks for. Let her be the one to contact you. That’s not to say you can’t give her a hello or how are you? to let her know that you are still there and still care for her. Just don’t be pushy or too needy. What you are doing sounds good. She’s still being faithful and it seems like she’s looking out for your best interest too. All you have to do is when she’s ready be there for her. React
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He Never Makes Me Feel Bad About Canceling Plans And Just Goes With The Flow
As a wife with depression, my husband is incredibly supportive. One of the best things he does is tells me that its not my fault and theres nothing wrong with me when Im apologizing to him for being this way. He never makes me feel bad about canceling plans and just goes with the flow. He also does sweet little things, like he bought a journal and he writes in it every two to three days to tell me little silly things, or hell leave me a note.
We were watching Mr. Robot and I was in a downer mood, and the next day he showed up with a Qwerty for me.
Silly little things matter so, so much.msblckyeliner
Questions To Help Support And Collaborate
It can be tempting to just do things for your partner when theyre in a depressive state, because one symptom of depression is lack of motivation. But Julie Fast warns that this may be a mistake, leading instead to increasing their sense of helplessness and dependency.
Karen and Julie suggest these questions to help your partner find their own way through their symptoms, with you there by their side:
- What helped the last time you were depressed like this?
- What do we need to do as a team to get through this rotten downswing?
- Whats the best way for me to help you?
- How are you doing with your medications? Are you feeling any difference?
- Who can we call to help us get through this tough time?
- What do you need from me?
- What changes can help you feel better right now?
Both experts also emphasized the use of collaborative language to help your partner feel supported. Avoid placing blame or full responsibility on your partner, but also avoid taking on all agency or responsibility for yourself.
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