How Your Partner Might Respond To Your Depression
Telling your partner that you struggle with depression can be very difficult. Depression can be a topic that some people don’t want to touch. In fact, some people are even under the impression that if you suffer from depression that you cannot have a relationship. That simply isn’t true considering that depression affects millions of adult Americans. If the amount of people in this country who suffered from depression couldn’t be in relationships, that would be a lot of single individuals. The numbers just don’t add up. And they shouldn’t because a close, loving relationship can be a very good thing for someone suffering from depression. But, if we can be honest, it can also be very hard on their partner. For some individuals, being with a depressed person is too much to handle. Then, you have some amazing people who are willing to cope with it. Here is how your partner might react if you tell him you’re depressed.
He may not take it seriously at first
Your partner may not really believe you at first. He might think that sometimes you get a little sad, and that you’re mislabeling that as depression. He might even say something like “We all get a little depressed sometimes” not realizing the severity of the situation.
He could go into doctor mode
Your partner might hop on his laptop and research every medication out there. He doesn’t realize that you already did this, and you’ve either tried them all or have very good reasons not to try the ones you haven’t.
He may ask the typical questions
He could, with the best intentions, ask you the old hack questions like “Do you see friends enough?” and “Are you happy with your job?” He can think that maybe just some outside factor is making you depressed, rather than a chemical imbalance.
He may try to send you to therapy
If you aren’t already in therapy, he may try to send you. It can be scary for your partner to think he’ll have to try to help you on his own.
He may take it personally
Your partner might worry you’re depressed because of him—he may believe that if you were in the right relationship you wouldn’t be depressed. He doesn’t realize that you were depressed long before he came around and that, in fact, your depression is better now that he’s here.
He may obsess about your diet
Everyone becomes a nutritionist these days when you tell them you’re depressed. They become certain it’s just the gluten or sugar in your diet that’s making you depressed.
When depression hits, he’ll be shocked
When you do have a bout of depression in front of your partner, he’ll be shocked. He’ll learn that this is real, and much more serious than he understands. He could be a little afraid once he sees how much he really doesn’t understand this.
He’ll stay with you as long as possible
At first, he’ll try to be a hero, and stay by your side every moment you’re depressed. Even when you say you want to be alone, he’ll think you don’t mean it, and he’ll stay with you anyways.
But sometimes, he’ll need a break
Eventually, your partner will learn that if he’s going to take care of you, he needs to take care of himself, and he’ll pull himself out of the depression dome that is your apartment to be with friends. He’ll also see that when you say you want to be alone, sometimes you mean it.
He’ll try to find an answer and a solution
When you are depressed, your partner will go into fix-it mode. He’ll try to get to the bottom of what triggered it, and offer every solution in the world to fix it. Your favorite movie? A trip to the park? Having a friend over?
He may become frustrated
Your partner is only human and sometimes, he’ll just become fed up. Sometimes he’ll feel like you aren’t trying hard enough to overcome your depression.
He may become depressed
Being around someone who is depressed can make us depressed. Depression is infectious. You may sometimes see that your partner is down, because he’s spent too much time with you.
When things are good, he’ll know why he stays
When you come out of your depression and have good days, your partner will know why he stays with you. Don’t worry.
He’ll need a support system
Your depression affects your partner too and you need to acknowledge that. He may need to talk to friends, join a support group, or even see a therapist to learn how to deal with your depression.