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30 Things People With Depression Want Their Significant Others to Know

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When your significant other is depressed, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do. Maybe a joke you used to tell doesn’t evoke the same smile. Or things you and your partner used to do together don’t have the same appeal anymore. It’s like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t pull them out of it.

But depression is a complicated and sometimes chronic illness — and while you can’t love it away, you can be with your partner through it. To learn more, we asked people in our community who live with depression to tell us one thing they want their partners to know.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Your listening ear, comforting hugs, incredible patience and unconditional love mean the world to me. You don’t need to fix it — just being there for me is enough.” — Amy Goddard

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2. “Don’t give up on me! I may look like a big, burly, manly man. But I still need to be reassured, I still need/want affection.” — Steve Lee

3. “I don’t want advice. I’m pretty much an expert on my depression. I just need someone to listen to me when I need to talk, to validate my feelings and to support me when I need it.” — Melanie Faith

4. “When I stop talking or reaching out for you, that’s when I need you the most.” — Jenelle Slater

5. “I don’t need you to save me, but please be patient while I try to save myself.
I’ll be back, I promise.” — Jazmyn Wade Scheib

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6. “I love you with all my heart and soul. You’re the reason I keep going.” — Mike Cherney

7. “Sometimes I need to cry or vent out frustrations of the day, week, month, year, century. Be there and listen; don’t judge because depression often makes the little things seem like mountains.” — Megan Altorfer

8. “It’s OK for you to be happy, even if I can’t be.” — Melissa Deeann Allen

9. “Even though I push you away I want you chose to me forever.” — Kaitlynn Vitaleg

10. “I need you to be an active part of my recovery. We’ve talked about signs that are evident in my behavior when I’m entering a severe episode of depression. Talk to me gently about what you observe. Most of the time I don’t see the decline coming or know that it’s happened. I need your love and support to help fight the depression.” — Heather Christianson

11. “Just because I feel sad doesn’t mean you don’t make me happy.” — Nikki Delon

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12. “Every day I struggle to hold back the depression demons; It’s a fight to survive sometimes. Breathing and blinking are all I can do some days. I’m being crushed by the weight of the entire universe on my shoulders. Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for being the rock to stand on. Thank you for not writing me off. I’m glad you’re in my life.” — Jamie Briggs

13. “It’s not your fault. Because of my depression, I have days I am sad, numb, very quiet, tense, tired. And none of these feelings are caused by something you did. It’s the illness. Please don’t ever blame yourself for my depression.” — Borderline Heart

14.If I don’t want to be intimate, it’s not you. It’s the medication or maybe the depression itself. But not you.” — Audrey Colegrove

15. “You’re the brightest light on my darkest days. And even on the days when things are too dark for me to smile, or leave the house, or pick up the phone… I’m so, so grateful to have you.” –Lyss Trayers

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16. “I love it when you ask me what I need, but the truth is, sometimes even I don’t know what I need.” — Éirinn Colleen

17. “You always know when to push me to get up and get going, and when to just lay down and be in the tough moments with me.” — Bridget Zimmer

18. “You may think I’m being lazy at times, but there are days I just don’t want to do anything. On those days, nothing you can say or do is going to get me moving. Give me those days from time to time. But if you see me doing that day after day, talk to me. Sometimes I need someone to help me realize I’m falling again.” — Risa Bledsoe

19. “On my bad days, I’m sorry I’m difficult to be around. I appreciate all you do to try to help me. I know my depression is stubborn, but I promise I’m trying. I’m sorry if my bad days come at an inopportune time, I don’t plan it that way. I still love you.” — Alyse Ruriani

20. “You help snap me back into reality when my depression tries keep me from seeing the good in life.” — Nicole Campbell

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21. “You probably will feel helpless. There will be days you can’t really help me. No matter what you do, the depression has caught me in its claws and I just can’t escape. But there are also times you can help me. A hug, a cup of tea, going for walk, a cuddle, watching a film together, preparing food for me. It’s often the simple things that help. Ask if you can do anything to help me through the day.” — Borderline Heart

22.I will always love you even if during the my darkest days it doesn’t seem that way. Just know that I’m still there under that horrible mask that is depression.” — Shannon Trevino

23. “Seeing my depression is hurting you tends to drive me deeper into the pit.” — Mackenzie Parrott

24.I know how irrational I can be. I know I don’t believe you when you repeatedly tell me I’m beautiful and that you’ll always be here for me. But please, never stop telling me. I love you for loving me, even when I can’t love myself.” — Kelsey Nelson

25. “I may not be perfect, but I still can love with my whole heart, even when I don’t know how to show it.” — Holly Worthley

26. “Sometimes I just need space. Don’t take it personally.” — Jenna Humphries

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27. “Don’t be upset with me because you’re unable to fix everything. You can help, but this is a battle that is ultimately up to me. Just hold my hand.” — Samantha Leffel

28.Thank you for never judging me, for always being there. When the demons are out you know them from me. I never thought I would be able to let my guard down, but I can with you. You remind me of my own strength when I’ve forgotten and just want to give up. I don’t know what I did to deserve someone like you, but I’m sure as hell glad I did.” — Ellie Amos

29. “Even when I hate life, the world and myself, I still adore you with every cell in my body. I couldn’t do this without you cheering me on, picking me up, holding my hand, stroking my hair and showing me what truly unconditional love looks like.” —Jennifer Liebmann

30.You save me every day.” — Rob Pitman


*Answers have been edited and shortened. 

Originally published: March 2, 2016
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