17 Things People With Depression Need From Their Significant Other
Depression can be incredibly isolating. It might tell you to shut the rest of the world out. It might tell you that you aren’t worthy or deserving. And it often tries to keep you to itself, leaving you confused about where to turn for relief from its debilitating grasp.
That’s why it can be so hard to tell your significant other what you need — because sometimes you’re not even sure yourself. This can be frustrating for even the most well-intentioned partner, who may not know what to do or say when depression strikes the person they love.
That is why we asked people in our Mighty mental health community who struggle with depression to tell us one thing they need from their significant other.
Here is what they had to say:
1. “Understanding. Understanding that sometimes I’m going to have a bad day for no real reason and that I don’t know why. Most times there isn’t even a cause, its just my mental health. On those days just remind me you care. Don’t force me to explain what’s going on, don’t try to fix a problem that isn’t there — just be there for me if and when I want to talk. If I don’t, don’t make me feel guilty about it.” — Amanda C.
2. “Unconditional love. I might stay in bed all day because it’s impossible to get up. Please still love me on those days. I might need to be left alone or I might need you by my side at all times to feel safe. Please still love me on those days. Please don’t take offense when I get angry for no reason or cry uncontrollably. I need you to still love me. And no matter how many times I ask you, please still answer that you still love me. I need to be validated — especially when I feel so vulnerable.” — Jenna Mae S.
3. “To be left to my own devices when I need space, and support and cups of tea when I can’t help myself.” — Trish L.
4. “Patience. Understanding… When you’re dealing with a constant storm in your head, the last thing you need is to hear trivial nonsense yammered on about, at nauseam, for hours.” — Dave A.
5. “To know I struggle. And it’s a real illness that I battle chronically. Some days I’m awesome. Other days I am really low. It’s a chronic wave that I surf throughout life.” — Bobbie M.
6. “Supportive comments and lots of hugs and patience.” — Vicky B.
7. “Affection and understanding. Just them being there holding me can keep me together better than any words ever could. If I tell them I’m having a ‘bad me day’ and all they do is come up to me, wrap me in my blanket and hold me for hours while we watch a movie — that can do wonders.” — Katherine B.
8. “To take care of the kids when I can’t.” — Nyssa M.
9. “My wife is awesome. She understands that she cannot fix me, she cannot heal me. I know it’s hard for her but she gives me my space. She doesn’t smother me, but lets me know that she’s there for me. She stays calm so that I don’t have a negative reaction to her. Most of all, she prays for me. She loves me unconditionally with support and mercy.” — David S.
10. “Reassurance. I need to be told it’s going to be OK and you aren’t going to leave me. I need to be told that you aren’t going to find someone better — someone who doesn’t have depression. Because I know there are ‘better’ people out there and I don’t want to lose him.” — Devon B.
11. “To know it isn’t their fault.” — Kyra B.
12. “Lots of help. Because of my lack of energy, there are so many things I don’t get done. And patience and understanding that I didn’t choose this, and that I’m doing the best I can.” — Lillie S.
13. “Understand that you can’t fix me, you can’t make it go away. And don’t get angry when you can’t fix it or make it go away. This is just how I am and I can’t help it. Just love me through it.” — Elizabeth C.
14. “Validation. For them to thank me when I do something around the house. It’s hard for me to do things like clean. A simple thank you would make it all worth it.” — Elizabeth C.
15. “Definitely a hug. Lots and lots of hugs. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball in bed and not move, and I just need someone to hold me during those times.” — Jessica B.
16. “Just don’t give up on me please. There are days, if not weeks, when I’ve given up on myself. I just need to know that you care. I may push you away in my own attempt to help myself in that moment, but please don’t leave. I need to know you’ll come back. I need to know I’m worth coming back to. I just need you to love me when I can’t love myself.” — Jaden S.
17. “Listen to my rants about how depressed I am even if it’s silly. And hug me when I’m sad.” — Selina M.
What do you need?
Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure.