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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and lots of questions. For instance, you might wonder:

  • What does depression feel like for my partner?
  • What can I do to help support them?
  • How can I take care of myself?
  • Will their symptoms impact our relationship and, if so, how can we navigate any issues together?

All of these questions are normal and it’s understandable that you’d want to support your loved one to the best of your ability.

While your questions are valid, it’s also important to understand that every person’s experience with depression is unique so here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself.

Learn More About Depression

You can support your loved one by learning everything you can about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner’s doctor for some sources that provide the facts about depression, or do your own search.

Start with these reputable sources:

Understand What Depression Really Means

There are many myths about depression. For example, depression is not simply the result of laziness or weakness. Your partner’s pain may not “just be in their head.” Depression doesn’t need a reason. If you are unfamiliar with depression, challenge preconceived thoughts, ideas, and stigma by educating yourself.

Suicide is also a very real risk of depression, so it’s important to keep your loved one’s environment safe (such as removing any alcohol, drugs, or guns) and to take it seriously if your loved one is feeling suicidal.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 is available for support and assistance from trained counselors. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

To learn more about depression, and caring for a loved one with depression, read more of this article at Verywell Mind.

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