7 Important Ways To Support Your Man When He's Struggling With Depression

Photo: getty
How To Love And Support Someone Dealing With Depression & Mental Illness

If your husband is dealing with depression, you know how hard it can be to watch him struggle while feeling helpless as to how you can make anything better.

When someone you love has a mental illness that impacts their life it affects more than just them — it affects your relationship and connection with your spouse, as well as how he thinks, feels, and acts.

RELATED: 7 Ways Depressed People Love Differently

Being in a relationship with a person who suffers from depression can be challenging, especially in the middle of a depressed episode. Your partner might seem always distant because they feel they're a burden.

Other common symptoms of depression in men are hopelessness, sadness, feeling down, and anger. This can really affect you and your relationship.

You may sometimes feel confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, rejected, and somewhat responsible for your partner’s depression. It is indeed hard figuring out how to love and support a partner suffering from depression, but it's not impossible to help get them through a dark phase.

Here are 7 simple but important things you can do to deal with depression in your relationship while showing your partner all the love and support he needs.

1. Educate yourself about depression.

Do some research on depression. You should know what it is, how it works, and the nature of your partner’s specific depression.

The more you know about it, the more you'll be prepared to handle whatever will come up because of his situation.

Also, you can build a healthy and supportive relationship by understanding how depression affects him and what you can do to ease his troubles.

2. Try to always be patient.

You should be more understanding of whatever your partner is going through. There will be some good days and bad days in his mood, and as difficult as it may get, try not to blame him when he's struggling.

This is the nature of depression.

You may feel hurt or worry that he's losing interest in the essential elements of your relationship, but you shouldn't take it personally.

A depressed person needs patience and compassion from their loved ones. Showing your partner that you're patient is one way of letting him know that you'll always be there no matter how long it would take for him to recover.

RELATED: 10 Important Things To Know When Dating Someone Who Has A Mental Illness

3. Go to treatments or therapy together.

Express your concerns to your partner by encouraging him to go to treatments. You may also make and prepare appointments for his therapy and accompany him. This will motivate him to get the help he needs.

However, encouraging your partner to seek therapy can be a tricky situation. He might get offended and be against the idea.

You'll need to show him that you don't judge him for what he's going through. Use "I" statements when speaking to him about his mental health, like "I feel like therapy might help you feel better," or "I'm worried about you and I'd like you to get help."

Any way you choose to approach it, assure him that you'll support him through the entire process. Offer to go with him to the therapy until he's comfortable going on his own.

One of the best steps to help your partner with depression is through seeking therapy. You need to be more open to him about this suggestion. It's up to him to make his decision, but whatever it will be, assure him that you'll be there for him.

4. Follow through with your actions.

A person who has depression often doesn’t want to talk about their condition. They tend to withdraw and isolate themselves. But when your partner needs to talk, you should be there for him and give your full attention.

It's important for a depressed person to feel they're being supported, and for you to listen to what they're sharing with compassion. Sometimes being a good listener is more important than giving advice.

5. Give them time or space if they ask for it.

As much as possible, you don't want to leave someone with depression by himself. You want to be there for them every time to show support. But there will be “bad days” and your partner may ask to be left alone.

So let it be. Don't get offended and take it personally if they turn down your offer to go out and do something together. Respect your partner’s request to have some time alone, and give him the space he needs for whatever emotion he's feeling.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Sometimes it's a good idea to offer someone space. Giving him some time alone could help him process his thoughts and feelings and recharge as well.

6. Show him affection and care.

Continue showing him love and affection. Sometimes, a depressed person feels that they're a burden to their loved ones. Thus, they feel guilty about themselves.

Show affection by hugging them or holding their hand, gestures that may improve their mood. They may not respond to your physical affection through words, but what's important is that you make them feel special and loved.

7. Take care of yourself.

Do not forget to take care of yourself, even if you're helping your partner go through his challenges.

It can be quite draining to help your partner deal with his depression. You can’t control their well-being, but you can control yours. If you feel that you're already drained supporting your partner’s needs, take a break and recharge.

You need to be healthy and strong physically, mentally, and emotionally for your partner. He might also be more motivated and inspired when he sees how much you take care of yourself despite helping him with his depression.

Being depressed is a lonely experience. The fact that you're doing an effort to learn more about depression and ways to help your partner already shows that you're taking steps to help him recover.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You're doing your best, and it's up to him to take action.

Depression is treatable, but you'll need to be patient and make him feel that you're always there to support him no matter what.

RELATED: My Depression Was A Dealbreaker For Him

Esther Bilbao helps mentor women to have better relationships, health, and personal development. For more information on how she can help you create a better life for yourself, visit her website for a 30-day all-access pass for lessons from expert instructors.