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4 Tips for Supporting a Significant Other Through Depression

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I’ll admit, dating someone with depression can get tough and confusing and frustrating. But trust me, as someone with depression, actually having depression can be a lot worse. Sometimes you may feel helpless or like you’re a bad significant other or that you may not know what to do. Here are some tips for what to do when you’re significant other is depressed.

1. Comfort them.

This seems so obvious, so let me get in depth. If your significant other is in a mood and you have asked them a thousand times what’s wrong but they still don’t answer you, do not get frustrated — just comfort them. Even if you can’t be there physically, comforting words will do just fine. Hug them, tell them you love them and that you care about them. Let them know you’re there for them. Sometimes, just holding them and not speaking will do more than enough.

2. Talk to them about what they need.

On a good day, ask them what they need. Ask them what they want you to do while they’re feeling depressed. Discussing this before hand or for future reference can do a lot. When they’re in their moods, they won’t say the right answer or might not even respond, so this discussion before hand can do you a world of good.

3. Make sure they’re cared for.

By this I mean, make sure they have water. Crying so much can cause dehydration and drinking water may help them calm down. Also, if they have specific medication they take while they are depressed, make sure they take it. Little gestures like this can make someone feel better, and it can show you care.

4. Don’t get frustrated.

Sometimes it can get very frustrating and confusing. One minute your loved one can be good and laughing and the next, they can be crying and a mess. Understand this is the reality of depression sometimes. One little thing or one thought can trigger someone sometimes. No one is the same, but most people don’t like to say what’s wrong when they’re depressed. If you ask what’s wrong and they say nothing or they’re fine although something is clearly wrong, that can be frustrating. Odds are, they’re probably frustrated with themselves too. Even if you do get a little frustrated or confused or angry, don’t show it. Showing it will make it all worse. Always remember it’s not their fault and they’re trying their best.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Unsplash photo via Toa Heftiba

Originally published: October 27, 2017
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