Dating Someone with Depression
Dating someone with depression can be tough. Your loved one might not always feel their best and may even isolate and retreat from the world and your relationship. But if you genuinely care for the person and want them to find happiness, understanding what they’re going through is key.
Here are some tips for dating someone with depression.
Tips For Dating Someone with Depression
- Learn about depression
Depression is not just feeling really ‘down and out’ or sad for an extended period. Depression is a medical condition and can be as debilitating as any other physical illness. If you want to support your partner in their battle with depression, the first step is to learn how depression affects the body and brain. Do your research, seek help and avoid making assumptions.
- Be patient
It can take a long time for depression to get better. Coping with depression doesn’t happen overnight, but acceptance and patience will eventually lead to improvements.
- Encourage help
Support your loved one by encouraging them to seek help. Your partner may require therapy or medication, or both. Keep a supportive and positive mindset, even if they are showing no signs of improvement. It’s not your responsibility to heal your loved one, but you should be there to support them during this challenging time.
- Know when to step back
It’s easy to become a fixer when you want to help your loved one. You might even be tempted to step in and take over their life completely. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is just let them have their space and time alone. Again, this is where the need for patience is ever most important.
- Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions
When your loved one suffers from depression, they may go through a rollercoaster of emotions. They might be angry or sad one day, and another day seem like their previous, non-depressed self. Of course, this is normal—but you should be careful not to take their mood fluctuations personally, and if you’re not sure how to help them deal with their emotions, simply ask!
- Don’t push too hard
Depression can make it hard to enjoy everyday activities. Your loved one might not be up for going out or making plans. Don’t push them too hard, but at the same time, don’t let them give up either. Offer suggestions like inviting a friend for a coffee, doing errands at the store, or even offering a comfy couch for them to decompress. Remember, be mindful of what your loved one needs and, most importantly, doesn’t need.
- Understand what doesn’t help
When your partner is depressed, there are things you shouldn’t say or do. Avoid statements that directly or indirectly blame your partner for how they feel. Trying to make them feel guilty or ashamed about their depression will only make your loved one feel more isolated. Be gentle with your partner and don’t judge them for their illness.
- Find ways to connect
Find ways to spend time with your loved one that doesn’t involve talking about depression. Watch movies or read books, go for a walk, cook a meal or do yoga together. Anything that helps bring you closer as a couple will help you both get through this difficult time.
- Seek your own therapy
It’s good to be a source of support for your loved one. However, it’s also important to be aware you may also need help. If you feel you’re reaching your limit, consider talking to a therapist yourself. Therapy will provide you with a much-needed outlet to discuss your emotions while also offering tools to help both you and your loved one during this challenging time.
- Take care of yourself
You are not the cause of a loved one’s depression, and you cannot make it go away by yourself. However, you can help your partner by taking care of yourself and resting in the knowledge that you have done everything you can to help. Be kind to yourself and focus on your own self-care and needs. Remember, you can’t help another person with an empty cup.
Dating and Depression
Dating someone with depression can be a challenge, but if the two of you are willing to work together, you can overcome that challenge and have a healthy relationship. Just be patient and supportive, and allow your loved one to take their own time getting better.
If you’re concerned about someone suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to make an appointment or ask for help. Washington Psychological Wellness is here to help.
Contact us now for a complimentary 15-minute initial consultation to learn how therapy can help treat depression.