Depression is a common mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts in a negative manner.
Some symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and/or irritability; a loss of interest in activities once loved; concentration issues; disturbed sleep; and changes in eating habits.
It is important for individuals who are experiencing depression to understand why they are feeling how they are – whether or not there is a particular reason - so they can take the steps required to heal (e.g., speaking to someone about their loss, joining a support group, seeking a counsellor, finding the appropriate medication, spending time with family).
You can help with this by asking the right questions and encouraging your partner to talk about his/her feelings!
Talking about your feelings can help shed some light on what is actually going on.
You may find that your partner does not realize he/she is making you feel this way.
Still, it is important to do so, as it can hurt your partner to learn that you did not share something of importance with him/her.
You can, however, offer your support and empathy by being accepting of your partner’s mental illness, learning more about it, and listening to your partner’s feelings.
If you do find yourself taking on the role of a therapist, it may be time to reassess your relationship dynamic.
Perhaps you can encourage your partner to see a qualified therapist for treatment.
Warning your partner that you have some bad news, but that all will still be okay, can also help. If not, please let me know when you are ready to hear this news, and we can talk about it then.” It is possible to experience secondary trauma when hearing of others’ experiences.
You can also ask your partner when he/she is ready to hear this news. For example, you can say something like the following: “Hey, I have some slightly bad news. One study looked at couples in which at least one partner had a history of childhood abuse and found that couples with a history of abuse had higher individual stress symptoms.
As such, dating someone with depression is not easy; it is difficult to see our loved ones suffer without always being able to help them.