Depressed loved one

I am a smart, strong, joyful person; a friend to many, a wife to an amazing man and a mother to three beautiful and energetic kids. Life happened and I became suddenly ill. An illness that changed my life and loved ones forever. As a result, the able, go-getter and hyperactive me became idle. It didn’t take long before depression crippled me deep down the rabbit hole I could not attempt to escape from. Yes, the smart and strong person that survived the unthinkable as a teen is now a depressed loved one with… no motivation to fight this demon. I eventually did seek help thanks to my very supportive husband.

To my very supportive husband

You are indeed a man of your word, a man with incredible patience. I remember the days you would take me to the bathroom and give me a shower after you have worked long hours at work. You didn’t mind getting wet while giving me a shower because you knew long before my illness, I have always loved a warm bath. You would cook and care for our kids and make sure I was okay. Oh, dear husband, I see all your support and love every day, I appreciate everything you did and still do. You see, depression is not just a feeling of sadness and helplessness, it’s more complicated than that. It’s a chemical imbalance that is too complex to explain. Although it seems as if I don’t see and feel your love and support, dear husband it means the world to me to know that you are in my corner and that you got me. You see, depression is so complex that I, myself, don’t understand what is happening in my world sometimes. As a result, I get angry and frustrated with myself. But know that your love and support, and the love of our kids is the fire in me that keeps burning the numbness inside me.

depressed and desperate

 

To others supporting depressed loved ones

Know that you are doing the best you can to support your loved ones. We understand it’s not an easy task especially when everything you do does not seem to be helping. It’s not unusual to even blame yourself for your partner’s pain and sadness. Moreover, it’s in human’s nature to want to solve problems whether they created it or not. Know that you are appreciated and loved, even in our depression bubble, you are the light we see through.

Other ways to help your loved ones with depression

Learn about depression: depression is not an illness that someone can snap out it. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects a different part of the brain which in turn affect all aspect of life. People with depression can have few good days in a row and experience a significantly depressed mood once again. Depression isn’t always understood by loved ones and it’s understandable as it can be difficult for the depressed to express his feelings or thoughts. Symptoms can include the following: loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, anger outbursts, change of appetite, anxiety, sleep disturbance, feelings of sadness or hopelessness and so on.

Be present: we often focus on fixing things that we lose sight of what is important. You might think of finding the best treatment available, or a support group is what your partner needs. But, most often, all she needs is for you to show up. Yes, you don’t have all the answers, that is okay. All you need to do is just sit and listen. Be present, offer hugs, hold your partner’s hand, respond with encouraging statements such as “You are important to me”, “We will get through this together”.

SEO-Yoast- Depression

 

Supportive home environment: create a home environment where your partner feels supported and loved. Create a routine your partner can maintain to reduce stress, make plans together, exercise together, give positive reinforcement, and focus on healthy eating. Constant communication is key to helping one another go through this challenging period.

Focus on small goals: depression is overwhelming,  getting out of bed can feel like an impossible mission to accomplish. So setting a small goal can be very helpful in reducing stress. Getting into a bedtime routine can make a significant difference. For instance, for someone who’s having a hard time getting out of bed, taking a baby step approach is essential to his recovery. Focus on getting up, then a shower, then a healthy meal, and move to other activities that might motivate him to stay up.

 

Know the warning signs of suicide: it’s important to know the red flag and get help immediately. Help is available, you just need to ask. Some of the signs include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Talking about suicide
  • Preoccupied with the thought of death
  • Hopelessness
  • Engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior
  • Developing personality change
  • Saying goodbye
  • Changes in normal daily routine
  • Extreme mood change
  • Getting a means to take one’s life, buying a gun

It takes patience and love to care for a depressed person, but if you stay consistent with these tips, you will see progress in your partner. Taking care of a depressed partner can take a toll on your health, remember to practice self-care and create your own support group during this time.

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Author

Raina is a psychology student who understands the importance of caring for mental health. She blogs about depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, men and mental health and parenting kids with ADHD.

26 Comments

  1. Hi Raina! I love your post! Loving someone with depression is indeed needs a lot of patience, understanding and so much care. Sometimes, they really don’t need anything to hear from you, but just being there and keep holding on with them with all your heart, listening to their depressed moods and understanding is what matters most. Sometimes, you really don’t need to do anything, no advices, but just to sit and listen to them, hold their hands, give them a genuine hug is truly a big help for them. You are blessed to have such a loving and very supportive husband with your condition! I admire people with depression because I believe they are born to be a fighter! keep on fighting and shining!

    Sending lots of love,

    Rosanna Lundberg ❤😘

    • Thank for visiting my blog and understanding. Without my faith, my husband’s support and love and my kids, I don’t know if I would be able to fight this silent killer. I appreciate the love.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. It is indeed important for persons to know how to support their loved ones in times of illness.

    • You are welcome! It can be difficult to know how to help your loved ones sometimes, especially if the illness is chronic.

  3. Your story sounds just like mine. I am sick for some time now and I could not ask for a more supportive husband, try my best to stay away from negative people. Depression will creep in when you feel helpless, I get my strength from the word of God. Keep the faith I trust and hope that you will get healing soon.

  4. Your story is so inspiring! You are such a brave lady and touch so many lives with your posts. I admire your courage and how you have found a system within your family to keep you together as a cohesive unit, with love and compassion! Keep sharing and God Bless!

    • Denise,

      I appreciate your kind words and support. I don’t know where I would be without my faith and family. Living with chronic illness can be depressing but with the support of your loved ones, you keep your head up and keep moving forward.

    • Kez,

      One can feel overwhelmed with everything, I found working on small goals is less stressful and productive.

  5. Thank you for sharing! It’s very difficult to share a story of mental health struggles because I find society are not as open to understanding mental health as they are physical health. It takes a lot of strength to open up about a fight with mental health disorders.

    • Nicole,

      I agree with it takes courage and strength to open up about one’s experience with mental illness. I believe talking about it is going to help reduce mental illness stigma.

  6. This is such a great post! I know many people who are unsure as to what to do or say with loved ones who suffer from depression. Great points here.

    • Melissa,

      Thank you, Melissa, yes it can be difficult to know what the right word is. When you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to say is how much you love them and why you appreciate them. The worse thing you can say to someone with depression is ” snap out of it” or dismiss their feelings.

  7. Depression pervades all aspects of life and is tough to tackle. Proud of you for teaching others about what it entails and sharing your own experiences Raina. First of all it is not always easy to recognize depression in its various forms. These are good tips to support someone going through it.

    • Vidya,

      Thanks for your kind words. It took me a while to accept my diagnosis and seek treatment, but I am glad I did. I hope, by reading about my experience with depression, others will have the courage to seek for professional help.

  8. Shoo, Raina, I learned so much from your post. I don’t naturally tend towards depression but my Dad battled depression his whole life and I think my husband might be depressed. You gave me so much food for thought. I don’t think I’m being as sensitive as I could be to his needs. Thank You for shedding some light on this difficult subject. Are you over your illness and your depression now?

    • Lauren,

      Mental illness is a difficult and sensitive subject to discuss, but if you notice signs of depression in your husband, I suggest you address your concerns to him. You want to do this when he is relaxed and in the mood to talk. Listen carefully to him, please use a non-judgemental voice and relax your body, keep eye contact throughout the conversation. Remind him of the important roles his plays in your family, suggest he seeks professional help and offer to go with him if he would allow you. I have an article on how to support men with depression if you would like to read it.

      As for my chronic illness, fibromyalgia, it’s not curable. I learned to manage it using a holistic approach. No, I still have depression, but over time, I’ve learned how depression affects me, what the signs are for a depressive episode, what the triggers are and have created my crisis toolbox to manage it. I also take medicines.

      Let me know if I can help.

  9. Depression is a hard thing to understand and to take care of. You post is very on point and everyone should read it because, unfortunately, you never know when this can happen to you or your loved one.

    • Karmen,

      I agree with you, everyone should educate themselves about mental illness. I never thought I could be depressed, but it happened.

  10. This is so sad to me having dealing with depression and anxiety for many years. I know the exact feeling. The best you can do is to be present yes and positive, kind words and jokes and laughter works wonders!❤

    • Leana,
      You couldn’t have said it any better, living in the present, self positive talk, kind words, jokes, and laughter do wonders for sure.

  11. Your post is excellent, it is hard to help people with depression

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