Dating Someone with Depression – How to Deal with the Situation
If you’ve just met a date and soon discover that your partner is going on and off with his or her mood, what can you do? When dating someone with depression, all the attention tends to go to the one experiencing depression. But, is that the best way to handle the situation?
No doubts, your depressed partner needs support. But, it’s also important that your own needs are not ignored in order to bring balance to the relationship. Keep reading to find helpful tips on how you can deal with depression in your relationship.
Start by Identifying Symptoms of Depression
Sometimes, depression can be mistaken for other moods such as ‘merely feeling down’. However, depression is more serious and may surface in different ways depending on the individual. But generally, some of the symptoms that possibly point to depression in your partner would include the following;
- Feelings and talks of pessimism and hopelessness
- Consistent and frequent feelings of sadness, emptiness and anxiety
- Loss of interest in stuffs and activities that previously mattered to the fellow
- feelings of helplessness, worthlessness and guilt
- Always moody and rarely comes off the moody state
- Loss of appetite, changes in eating habits and weight loss
- Irritability and restlessness
Also, you should consider how long the symptoms have been there. For your partner’s depression symptoms to be serious, he or she must have experienced not less than five symptoms in a two-week duration.
Also, loss of pleasure or interest and “depressed mood” must be among those symptoms. That’s not all, your partner’s depression may be serious if it is already affecting his or her ability to function properly – whether in the relationship or in other spheres of life.
Learn to Support Your Partner
If the symptoms you’ve observed have proven beyond doubt that your date is suffering depression, you should learn to offer support when dating someone with depression. How can you accomplish that?
- Pay attention rather than judge: Instead of being judgmental about his or her behavior, be compassionate and pay attention to her needs so that you can offer the right support.
- Don’t worsen the person’s situation. Brenda said she was often frustrated by Mark’s constant ‘dark moods’ and would yell at him saying “you’ve got to snap out of this and be a man!”
But then, she saw it wasn’t producing any result and decided to change her approach to Mark’s condition. So, she would rather say, “Mark, look at the positive side of life and you will feel better”. According to Brenda, “it worked like magic in helping mark deal with his depressive condition!”
Adopt Some Habits of Kind Acts
Another way you can support a date with depression is to express some acts of kindness towards him or her. It doesn’t have to be something massive. Some little acts of kindness shown out of sincere love and care can go a long way in making your partner feel better.
These little acts of kindness would make him or her not to feel all alone. The person will also come to realize that if she can focus on the loving relationship, the issues that are causing her depression will greatly diminish. So, do not ignore simple acts of kindness or love such as;
- Sending loving and encouraging messages every now and then
- leaving off short but sweet notes for him or her
- Bringing up topics and activities that he or she enjoys
- Putting your arms around your partner all the time, especially when walking together
- Get his or her favorite stuffs – it could be snacks, flower, and other simple stuffs
Learn to Reassure the Person of Your Love and Care
Don’t just assume that your partner knows you love him or her. Yes, he or she may know, but the depressive state will often present negativities to the fellow, including negative thoughts about the relationship. So, you should learn to constantly reassure your date of your love, care and support. Let him or her know you’re in it together.
John is dating Lisa who suffers depression. John said that he learnt the secret of reassuring Lisa of his love and care, which has become a great tool in helping her depressed state. According to John, “I got quite busy with work and as a result forgot to call Lisa up two days in a row during lunch to let her know how much I love and care for her.
When I finally got a freer schedule the third day and called her up, she responded too coldly. Without wasting any further time, I told her how much she meant to me and that I’m coming over right away to see her after work.”
Immediately, Lisa responded lively, “I love you too. You don’t know how much I’ve been dying to hear those words these past two days! I thought you’ve abandoned me and ran off with another girl who is better than me…”
Indeed, reassuring your partner with depression of your love consistently can work better than any anti-depressant you can think of. Don’t assume he or she knows you care. Don’t be tired of voicing your love out.
Take Care of Yourself Too
Dating someone with depression can be quite challenging and hard on the other person. So, you need to learn to take care of yourself as well. Also, you need to be healthy, optimistic and at your best in order to offer meaningful support to your partner who is depressed.
There are many ways you can take care of yourself;
- Stay positive and optimistic. When your partner perceives your positive outlook to life regardless of circumstances, he or she can borrow a leaf from you and learn to be optimistic.
- Sleep well, eat well and stay healthy. You cannot afford to break down health-wise and even emotionally. You need to stay strong while offering support to your partner.
- You should also have a life – visit friends and family, embark on healthy social activities and your favorite hobbies, even when he or she is not willing to tag along.
Finally, remember to always prioritize safety while dating someone with depression or just any one.