10 Tips for Staying Sane When Your Partner is Depressed

10 Tips for Staying Sane When Your Partner is Depressed


If you’re involved with someone who’s depressed,
you’ve probably seen quite a few articles and videos that tell you how to be supportive
of your partner. And yes, these are a great idea, as the person
who is depressed is, plain and simple, in hell. However, you have to think about yourself
too. Having a partner who’s depressed can be frustrating
and lonely. The person you normally look to for emotional
support is, to a great extent, not really there anymore. I’ve been in two relationships with a partner
who’s depressed. In one case, the guy denied that he was depressed
at all. The other man admitted that he was depressed,
but refused to get help. I ended up walking away from both relationships. It was apparent that nothing was going to
change, and I had to move on for my own emotional and mental health. If you are in a better position than that,
with someone who seems like they’re open to treatment, you may decide to give the situation
some time. In the meantime, however, you have to protect
your own mental health. I’m going to give you some suggestions to
help keep your partner’s depression from becoming your own. Hi, I’m Deborah Gray, creator of Wing of Madness
Depression Guide. As always, if this video is helpful, please
consider giving it a like, and also consider subscribing if you’re interested in seeing
more videos about living with depression. My number one suggestion is, don’t take your
partner’s behavior personally, and don’t take it to heart. If your partner’s rejecting you emotionally
or sexually, or withdrawing, it’s not due to something you’ve done or not done. Being depressed is almost like being possessed. The depression is the thing that’s in the
driver’s seat, and when you’re depressed, sad and angry, you tend to lash out at those
people who love you. On the other hand, if your partner is saying
or doing hurtful things, you have a right to insist that that behavior stop. You don’t need to be a punching bag. Number tw – educate yourself about depression
– its causes, the different types, the symptoms, and of course the possible treatments. If this is the first time that either of you
have had to deal with depression up close, this is really important. And, of course, it’s up to you, as the person
who still has got it all together, to do the research. Three is – be realistic about how much you
can help your partner. You cannot cure depression. You can’t buy something, say something or
do something that will make the depression go away. You can be supportive and understanding, which
will be greatly appreciated by the person who’s depressed. But other than getting your partner to a doctor,
there’s nothing that you can do to make this go away. Number four is – ask for help from family
and friends. If your partner was physically ill, you probably
wouldn’t hesitate to ask – and people probably would offer before you even have to ask. But when your partner’s depressed, it may
not occur to others (unless they’ve been in your shoes) that the situation is similar
to a physical illness; that you are likely taking on a greater share of the chores and
the childcare. Number five – along those lines, you’re your
partner’s caregiver, especially if he or she is profoundly depressed. Remember that caregivers need time off. You need to get away from the situation occasionally
and do something just for yourself. Also, look into resources (both online and
in the real world) for caregivers, as these can be really helpful. You’ll learn a lot of good hints and tips
on how to deal with the situation. Six is – keep in mind that depression is “contagious.” That may sound silly, but it’s very common
for family members of someone with depression to develop it themselves. Keep an eye out for any signs of depression
in you or other family members, and get to a doctor if it becomes apparent that treatment
is called for. Seven is – find a therapist – for you. Chances are that your partner should definitely
be in therapy, and you might want to go to couples counseling jointly, but you need someone
objective who is also on your side. The therapist can help you develop coping
strategies, and also help you determine the answer to the question in the next tip. And that is – what your is “line in the sand”? Are you staying with your partner no matter
what? What if your partner refuses to get help,
ultimately? Bear in mind that this decision is for you
alone. Using it as a threat or ultimatum with the
depressed person, as in “If you don’t get treatment I’m leaving” is not necessarily
going to help the situation at all – unless you really mean it. Nine is – take care of yourself physically. You need to eat well and exercise – to get
rid of stress. Remember that you may have a constant low
level of stress without being aware of it. Not only is the situation itself stressful,
but chances are that you don’t want to unload your frustrations about work or school or
anything else on your partner. Either you don’t want to stress them out,
or you’ve found that they just can’t cope with your problems. And finally, read one of the books I’ve listed
below in the description. They contain practical strategies for maintaining
your relationship and your sanity when you’re involved with someone who’s depressed. Thanks for watching, and if this video has
been helpful, please, um, consider leaving also a comment if you had any advice for people
who have partners who are depressed. See you next time. Books When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to
Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Laura Epstein Rosen, Ph.D. and Xavier Francisco
Amador, Ph.D. How to Live With a Mentally Ill Person: A
Handbook of Day-to-Day Strategies by Christine Adamec
The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope with Mental Illness by David Karp

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