How to Help a Partner Struggling With Chronic Depression

Chronic depression robs a person of their joy, and leaves them with little motivation to have a healthy and productive lifestyle.  If the condition is not treated, it can lead to trouble within your relationship, as the non-depressed partner will feel stressed that they can’t help. 


If your partner is struggling with depression, don’t ditch them just because times get tough.  Work through the anxiety and sadness by staying by their side and utilizing a few techniques.  Here are a few tips to help you out.

Different Person, Different Depression


First, do not assume you know everything about your partner’s depression, because this general condition can manifest itself differently with different people.  Educate yourself about general depressive symptoms and then pay attention to your partner’s symptoms, moods and feelings.  Learn about the major misconceptions of depression, which sometimes make a bad situation worse. 

Understand That Your partner Doesn’t Want to be Depressed


Eliminate all frustration you may have by understanding that your partner in no way wants to be depressed, and can be desperate for your help and support for strength.  If you react towards them with anger, accusations or frustration, you will only make them feel worse and become even more depressed that you do not understand them.

Enlist the Help of Understanding Friends


Next, try to get help from family and friends.  You may even find comfort in talking with a support group for depression, in person or online, and talking about your experiences.  Be patient and remind yourself that a depressed person’s social skills are broken; they sometimes cannot control their depression, bipolar fits or mood swings.  You must toughen up and not take things personally so you can be a rock in the relationship.

Encourage Open Communication


Always support your partner and encourage them to confide in you and communicate feelings of depression.  Your household responsibilities may increase on a day to day basis, but always take the time out to relax and enjoy a day off every once in a while. 


Seek Professional Treatment Where Appropriate


Most importantly, make sure your spouse seeks professional treatment for depression.  You must keep them on track, taking medication and working with the doctor’s therapy program.


Knowing about depression and understanding the issues you face is only the first half of the battle.  Mastering communication with your significant other is the next step.  It’s so much easier to live with depression when you and your partner reach out to others for help, and stick together as a team. 

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