By Jennifer Kelly
It is easier to say that, “I am having a fever” than to say “My heart is broken;” such is the dilemma of mental pain. It’s of course less dramatic than physical pain but leaves a big scar in the lives of people. As hard as it is to survive with depression, it is equally hard to combat your own helplessness when you see your spouse/partner falling prey to depression. You feel a fierce desire to help them but end up becoming confused, frustrated, and helpless. Thus overcoming depression is a challenge not only for the sufferer but for those who are standing on the sideline with their partner, keeping a motivated face, and giving encouragement to them.
Depression can harm any relationship as a depressed person feels isolated along with diverse mood swings from discouragement, helplessness, sadness and sometimes persistent anger. For any depressed person, social withdrawal, blaming others, losing interest in almost everything, and anger outbursts are common signs. Such people are no longer interested in finding joy, and in the worst case scenario, this can lead to suicidal tendencies as well.
Know about the illness
Depression is a hidden illness which might not be very expressive as a physical pain. Every person has different reasons for being depressed. While some are stressing over their work-life, others may be facing hardships in their relationships or studies. Thus it is not a static illness, and even depressed people may have a few good days in a row, but any sudden emotional trigger can make them feel low. Depression can lead to anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbance, change in appetite, anger outbursts, trouble in decision making, etc. So while looking for a treatment to cure depression, the first step is to become aware of the disease.
Give moral support
A person suffering from depression often tends to look for mental support. So if you want to help your partner, then show up. You might not have all the answers to their query but by merely sitting down and listening to them while holding their hand, assures your partner that you are there for them. Motivation and encouragement work wonders. You need to convince your partner that no matter what may come; you will never leave their side and make them feel less important.
Motivate them to go for treatment
In our society, people are often too shy to open up about mental illness rather than physical illnesses. Many times the symptoms of depression often go unnoticed until it becomes severe. Even your partner might be unaware of becoming a prey to it, but if you have noticed a considerable change in their behavioral pattern, then share it with them. Show them that you are concerned about their health and are willing to help. Encourage them to make appointments and talk about the possible treatment options such as medication, lifestyle change, psychotherapy or even a men’s support group.
Make a supportive home environment
A natural treatment for depression can begin at home by making small lifestyle changes, which can create a big difference in the overall treatment process.
Encourage your partner to eat healthy food, andr plan and cook healthy meals together at home.
Work out with your partner daily as exercise can help in boosting the mind. Plan a bicycle competition or weight loss challenge to encourage them to exercise.
It is necessary to get the proper treatment to cure depression and so stick with them during their course of treatment. Psychotherapy can cause emotional exhaustion, and so during this phase, they will need mental support from loved ones.
Break the monotony of doing chores, having a meal, and other activities, and plan every day as something new. A cyclical routine of doing work can escalate stress levels amongst depressed people, so it is essential to create a low stress or stress-free environment.
Depressed people tend to avoid social interaction, so it is necessary to make plans with your partner if they’re able to – go for a movie, dinner, or a weekend trip and help them socialize again at their own pace.
Depression can make a person feel low about themselves; as such, you need to encourage them by reminding them about their strengths and reinforce positivity in their minds in ways that don’t seem contrived or condescending.
Ponder on small goals
A severely depressed person might even find waking up from the bed to be monotonous. So you need to help them focus on small goals. Encourage them to try a new recipe which is streaming on YouTube or help them search for a new job by first updating their resume, writing a cover letter, etc. Take turns and get involved in doing the chores, which will further encourage your partner to get involved in it.
Be aware of the warning signs of suicide
A suicidal tendency may lurk in the minds of the severely depressed people. Pay attention to whether your partner talks of ending their life, giving away their belongings, saying goodbye, or having any personality change. All this indicates an immediate necessity for medical assistance.
Depression can and does improve with proper treatment, but it requires immense patience and understanding to overcome it.
About the Author:
Jennifer is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.