Loving Someone With Depression
According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 264 million individuals living with depression around the world. Because depression is common, you are likely to know someone who is living with this condition. Depression is different from typical fluctuations in mood and short-lived emotional responses to everyday challenges. Especially when long-lasting or with severe intensity, depression can become a serious health condition, affecting nearly all aspects of life. If there is a loved one in your life experiencing depression, there are a few things you can do to help them feel loved through their downswings, promoting a full and meaningful relationship for you both.
Listening can be one of the most effective ways to show your loved one that you care. If they’re willing to talk to you about how they’re feeling, listen without trying to correct them or give advice. You can make them aware that you care for them and want to be present in their life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. You can ask them questions about how they’re feeling and ways that you can show your support.
Depression can cause a variety of challenges that can create tension in relationships at times. In those moments, it’s okay to experience and acknowledge feelings of frustration and anger. It is also important to take a step back and examine how you can be helpful to your loved one, while also maintaining your sense of happiness and fulfillment. This can be difficult, but it is important to communicate your concerns and explain any boundaries you need to create within your relationship. If you can be patient and are willing to compromise, you will be more likely to find a solution that works for both of you.
Loving someone with depression is not always easy, but our team at Penn Foundation can support you and your loved one. If you notice signs of depression or are seeking support for someone you care about with depression, you can visit our Mental Health Services webpage for more information about our programs, resources, and other services.