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Friday, June 3, 2016

How To Manage A Relationship With Someone Who Suffers From Depression


If you've fallen for someone with a darker side, you may be asking what to do about it. I don't mean a closet psychopath or a killer or anything. I mean someone who suffers from depression. Someone who suffers from an emotional darkness. They may be overly needy, or they may be completely closed off. While it's not your job to fix your partner, you may still want to give your relationship a fighting chance. If that's your standing point, good for you. Too many people choose to walk away from relationships with those who are emotionally compromised. There's no doubt you're going to have a fight on your hands. Depression is brutal. But I've got some advice to help you fight while making your partner feel supported.

The most important thing is that you're understanding. If you're taking the time to look for a survival guide on dating depressing, there's a good chance you're already understanding. You're probably also looking up what causes depression. If you're not, you definitely should be. Take some time to learn more about the illness that is plaguing the person you love. This will give you a much better understanding of what actions to take.

You also need to be supportive, which is why learning about the illness is so important. You want to approach the depression with an unbiased opinion. You want to avoid being judgemental. Even if you have to fight yourself, don't get defensive about what your partner may think, feel, do or say. Try to keep in mind that it isn't you. You're not to blame for the way they feel. But they aren't to blame either. The monster living in their head and heart is to blame. Your partner will be harder on themselves than you can imagine. Especially if their feelings appear to be hurting you in any way. Try to take it easy, even if you're offended or upset. Approach your feelings, of course, but try and do it in a more gentle way. It's a little like dancing on eggshells. One thing you'll ideally want to avoid is "tough love". While it may seem necessary at some points, it isn't. You'll get a defensive or aggressive response that will ultimately solve nothing. But if you approach issues and concerns in a more gentle way, your partner will respond accordingly.

Your partner will really appreciate the effort you're putting into learning more about what makes them sick. Your partner will also appreciate the small gestures, like you providing an open and nonjudgemental ear.

There may be times you feel your partner is using their illness to their advantage. Some people have the tendency to do that. From not wanting to go out places to not wanting to address certain subjects. You'll want to address this if you feel it is a serious enough issue. But when you do, don't minimize their illness or their pain. Remember that it is technically a sickness. There are going to be aspects of your partner's life, and emotions, that they can't control. Even if they're trying to get control, it's quite a struggle. You need to avoid making comparisons, as well. Whether that's to other people or to your partner's past selves. This illness can cause your partner to seem like a different person sometimes. That's not by choice. Every case of depression is different and effects the person who is suffering in a totally unique way.

You aren't going to want to give your partner advice, either. While you may have the best intentions in mind and heart, your partner may take it the wrong way. They may feel like you're judging them or saying something is wrong with them. Most people who suffer from depression don't respond well to criticism. Try and be patient with your partner. Don't assume they want or need any sort of help. All you can do is reassure your partner that you're there for them, and will continue to be.

At the same time, I have to stress this: Don't kill yourself to make the relationship work. Some people can't handle the pressure in these kinds of relationships. If you truly can't handle the relationship, get out. It's as simple as that. You may want to be supportive and understanding, but, if it's wearing on you too much, it'll do you no good. You can't put your own mental health at risk. You still have to put your own well being first. If you feel like you're only being dragged into the darkness, find a way to see the light. Even if that means leaving your partner behind.