How to Help Your Partner Through the Darkness of Depression
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Post-Partum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder after a traumatic birth. Subsequently, I developed depression after too many medication switches. It was unbearable.
My husband was amazing and helped me get through the roughest days. Therapy and finding the right medication was the cure. However, his support was paramount.
He never judged me, scolded me, or told me to “get over it”. He was very empathetic and compassionate. Even though I’m sure there were days he didn’t feel like being my hero, he was.
In traditional marriage vows, they say “in sickness or in health”. He took this very seriously while also holding me accountable when I was being unreasonable.
It is the hardest thing in the world to see someone you love struggle and hurt and not be able to fix them.
There will be light at the end of this tunnel. You cannot fix your partner but there are a few things you can do to make this difficult time easier for them.
Encourage them to get help ASAP
When you notice your spouse exhibiting the signs of depression, talk to them about it. Privately discuss the changes you’ve noticed and provide examples.
Be compassionate and non-judgemental in your approach. You do not want your partner to feel attacked.
Let them know most people experience depression and that many people seek help for it. This help can be in the form of therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
When they go to their first therapy session or doctor appointment, ask your partner if they want you to come with them for support. You can even sit in the waiting room and wait for them. Asking for help from a professional is draining and emotional and your presence will mean a lot to them.
Make sure they are looking after themselves
Keep an eye on your partner’s habits. If you notice they’re not eating, offer to make something for them. Ensure they are taking a lunch to work with them.