Dating someone with depression is not easy. But it does not have to be too hard either. All you need is some patience and understanding to make things work with a partner who is depressed. The right strategies and tips can help make things simple for you. Continue reading to further understand depression and how you can date someone dealing with the condition.
In This Article
What Depression Can Feel Like
Depression is a mood disorder in which a person feels sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life for more than two weeks, with these feelings interfering with their daily activities. Depression may be triggered by an event like the death of a loved one or loss of employment. It may also occur without an identifiable cause and persist for months or years. The symptoms vary from person to person. It may include extended periods of sadness, irritability, anxiety, changes in sleep and appetite patterns, and difficulty concentrating.
The causes of depression are unknown, but genetics and a history of mental illness may play a role in developing it. Many people who suffer from depression often stay this way as they are afraid they will be labeled “crazy” or have their support fall away. Depression can feel isolating to some as they think no one understands how they feel. This leads many to stay silent about their condition, though this is never the solution.
Dating someone who has depression can be challenging. Understanding what you are getting into can help – hence, educate yourself. This way, you will understand your partner better and know what support they need from you. Remember that this person is more than their depression. They are worthy of love, support, and understanding. Remember that no one is perfect, so do not expect perfection from your partner. It is essential to know the signs of depression so you can spot them when they are happening and offer the right kind of support.
Listed below are 10 important tips for dating someone with depression. Check them out to offer the right kind of support to your partner.
10 Tips For Dating Someone With Depression
One of the most challenging things about dating someone with depression is that it is tough to tell if your partner is going through a difficult time until it gets bad. They seem carefree and happy on the surface, but all the while a sense of loneliness slowly creeps in as they deal with their depressive thoughts. Only people who have experienced depression know what it is like to be in that place. So if you can’t relate, there is a chance that you may not recognize the warning signs of a depressive episode until the symptoms are very obvious. This is why dating someone with depression can be stressful sometimes, especially for those who do not have personal experience with the illness.
Here are some tips on how you can make it easy for your partner and yourself to cope with such a situation:
1. Offer Validation
Listen to your partner when they are in a depressive episode and validate their feelings by saying “I’m here for you” or “How can I help?” Be patient and understanding when your partner is in a depressive episode. They do not want to be that person. Instead, they want to be happy and love life like everyone else. Although people with depression would like to snap out of it at a moment’s notice, they simply cannot. They may need help from you to feel better. You can offer this help in the form of kind words, compassion, and understanding that they are not in control of what is happening to them.
Ela Kaimo, a blogger, shares her experience of navigating depression, detailing its impact on her past relationships, sharing insights gained, and explaining how she manages and seeks help from her current partner when she feels low. She writes, “But I know better now than to give in to my self-defeating instincts. When I feel that way, I remind myself — and ask him to remind me, too — that I am so much more than my sadness (i).”
2. Be Proactive
Be prepared with things to do if your partner in a depressive state is resistant to getting out of bed. You can do some outdoor activities together or do something you both enjoy. Try to find fun activities that you can do together so that your partner knows they have something to look forward to and feel loved and supported.
3. Get Timely Help
Don’t ignore the fact that depression is a serious condition. It is okay to ask, “Do you want me to go with you when you see your doctor?” Recognize that not all depressive episodes are the same, so be patient with how your partner expresses their depression. If your partner in a depressive episode expresses the desire to hurt themself, get help immediately by going to the emergency room or consulting a mental health professional. Do not play psychiatrist or try to diagnose your partner’s depression.
4. Keep It Simple
Be prepared with what you will do if your partner in a depressive episode tries to push you away with anger and irritability. Remember that this is not about you. Do not take the symptoms of depression personally, so try not to be defensive or get angry.
5. Show Your Support
A study shows that support from partners can help alleviate symptoms of depression, lower stress, and improve mental health (1). So, be there emotionally for your partner even when they are not going through a depressive episode. Many people with depression also have low self-esteem, so complimenting your partner often can make a difference in how they feel about themselves. Remember that no one is perfect and that your partner is more than their depression.
6. Communicate Clearly
Always practice good communication skills when dealing with your partner. For example, be clear about what you are willing to do and how much support you can offer. Listen to your partner – pay attention and be there for them without any judgment. Do not expect your partner to be like they were before they developed depression. Recovering from depression can be difficult and time-consuming. Understand that the things you once liked about your partner may have changed because their mood has changed after recovering, which is out of their control.
It is essential to listen actively to your partner by paying attention to all the communication channels. This is because each of them is a sign that shows emotions and needs. Avoiding any sort of judgment is crucial, too. Judging gets you nowhere and only builds useless walls in the relationship.
7. Find External Support
Find someone else to talk to your partner if they say they do not want your help or are lashing out at you. Acknowledge your struggles and work through them. This is an excellent time to recruit the support of your friends and family.
8. Ignore The Noise
Try not to buy into the common misconceptions about depression, such as everyone who is depressed is always in a bad mood. No one can be happy all of the time. Believing otherwise can make you lose hope in your partner’s recovery. Instead, respect your partner’s condition and educate yourself. This will help you avoid arguments and keep the focus on your partner. Remind them of what is good in the world, in the future, and themselves.
9. Don’t Blame Yourself
Recognize that the way depression makes your partner feel is not your fault, and you cannot cure their depression. But with support and love, you can help them manage it in a healthy manner. Help them get professional help and don’t give up hope.
10. Take Care Of Yourself Too
Eating well, getting some exercise, and doing things you enjoy will help you stay healthy and make your relationship stronger. Give yourself credit for what you do to help your partner. Remember that supporting them in their time of need is the greatest act of love, even if it does not always feel like it. Finally, do not isolate yourself, as this will make things worse for both of you, especially if neither of you has anyone else to talk to. You and your partner should practice self-care so that they can feel good and you can support them better.
It is important to understand depression as much as possible to have a healthier relationship. Although you can never completely understand what your partner is going through, the more you know about the illness, the better equipped you will be to help them out. One way to learn about depression is by understanding how it affects relationships in general. Depression changes every individual in different ways, so there is no singular way to deal with it.
Dating someone with depression can be difficult. There are many aspects of dating someone who is depressed that you may not have considered before entering the relationship. If your partner has recently come out about their diagnosis or seems to be struggling more than usual, it is essential for them to get help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. It may take some time before things feel normal again but remember that no one recovers at the same pace, so don’t try to rush anything! Your support will make all the difference in helping them overcome depression. The most important thing you can do is be there for your partner during the good and the bad times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can depressed people be in happy relationships?
Depression may take a toll on your relationship. A person can develop depression even if they are in a happy relationship. But, a good relationship may help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
How does depression affect your love life?
Depression may create issues in your relationship when it becomes hard to focus on your partner and their feelings. If your partner is not supportive and understanding, then it may lead to arguments and an unhappy relationship.
Should you date someone on antidepressants?
Yes. You can date someone even if you are on antidepressants or other similar medication.
Do antidepressants make you fall out of love?
Antidepressants may tone down your emotions, but they do not make you fall out of love.
- Dating someone who is undergoing depression can be tough and stressful.
- However, understanding their signs and following the right strategy can help support them.
- Keep them immersed in some outdoor activity or fun games to divert their mind from a barrage of negative thoughts.
- Never invalidate their feelings, instead communicate clearly and find out if they need any professional help.
Feeling overwhelmed by dating someone with anxiety or depression? Check out our 10 tips to help you navigate the situation. Get the help you need today!
Personal Experience: Source
i. Dating with Depression: My Experience with Romantic Relationships
Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.
- The role of partner support among women with depressive symptoms