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  • I'm 23 years old
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Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives.

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The support of family and friends can play an important role in the treatment of mental health conditions. Depression is a condition that affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. Depression can take its toll on relationships and may cause loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, or fearful. In this article, we explore ways in which people can support a partner with depression in their journey toward recovery. Asking about symptoms also shows the person that their partner is interested in their feelings and experiences.

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Avoid asking questions that seem judgmental or place blame on the person with depression. They may already be blaming themselves for their symptoms, and they need support instead of further judgment. Becoming educated about depression can make it easier to support those with the condition.

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Learning about the symptoms often helps people recognize them in their loved ones. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they may vary over time. However, the American Psychiatric Association state that symptoms need to last for at least 2 weeks before a doctor can diagnose depression. Symptoms of depression can include :. One way to demonstrate empathy is to reflect what the person says. Continually trying to cheer the person up is not helpful as this invalidates their condition and their feelings.

Depression can cause a person to lose their motivation, which can be a barrier to seeking treatment.

Get informed.

However, according to the National Institute of Mental Healthmost people with depression need treatment to recover. Those supporting someone with depression can play an important role in their recovery by encouraging them to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. Another way to encourage treatment is to make an appointment on behalf of the person with depression, but only if they make this request.

It can also be helpful to accompany them to appointments. While recovery from depression is possible, it can be challenging at times. To support a partner during the recovery process:. It may also be helpful to attend a support group for family members of those with a mental health condition.

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Couples may also benefit from couples therapy or family-based counseling. This risk is particularly high in cases where a man is supporting a woman with depression. Those looking after someone with a mental health condition also need to take care of their own mental health.

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They can do this by:. Professional treatment is an important part of the recovery process. The first step is often to see a doctor who can recommend medication, psychotherapy, or both. For particularly severe depressive symptoms or in life-threatening situations, call or go to the nearest emergency department. People with depression may be at risk of suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Preventionmore than half of those who die by suicide have major depression.

Partners of those with depression should be aware of the warning s of suicide so that they can take swift action if necessary. Warning s include:. If a person suspects that someone is at immediate risk of suicide, they should seek emergency assistance. Supporting a partner with depression, both emotionally and practically, can help them go through the recovery process. While it can be rewarding, caring for someone with a mental health condition is also challenging.

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Caregivers should practice regular self-care to look after their own mental well-being. Long-term, it can also affect their body in ways that may be serious.

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In this article…. Fatigue is a symptom of depression, and it can also make depression worse. Learn about the link between depression fatigue and diet, sleep, exercise…. People with depression can experience a variety of symptoms, some of which may be harder to recognize than others. Hidden symptoms of depression can…. What is the difference between sadness and depression?

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Learn how to recognize the two and find out when medical help may be needed. Sadness does not….

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Doctors often prescribe medications and counseling, but diet can also make a difference. How to support a partner with depression. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Questions to ask about symptoms Questions to avoid Ways to support a partner Professional support Summary Many people find themselves supporting a partner with depression at some point in their lives.

Listen and share time.

Questions to ask about symptoms. Share on Pinterest The support of family and friends is important in the treatment of mental health disorders. Questions to avoid. Ways to support a partner.

Partners spotlight

Share on Pinterest A person can support their partner by accompanying them to their therapy sessions. Share on Pinterest When a person is supporting a partner with depression, it is essential to make time to enjoy hobbies and other activities. How and when to get professional support. Warning s of suicide. Depression Mental Health.

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