Around 450 million adults around the world suffer from a mental illness which is affecting their day-to-day life. Whether it’s disturbing their career success or relationships, it always puts the struggle on the individuals who are dealing with it, but even more on the people who are around them.
Depression is the most common mental illness in our current modern times. The saddest part about it is that people who are not suffering from it sometimes tend to glorify and romanticize about it. As if it is somehow “beautiful” to be damaged, thinking that someone will magically pop out of nowhere, cure the afflicted person’s sorrows, and lift their pains away. This is not the case with depression and neither with any other mental illness.
Talking to someone who suffers from depression can often seem at first a bewildering experience. Constantly hearing about your partner’s negative thoughts about themselves, their false belief that they have accomplished nothing in their life and that everything is either black or white can make you feel utterly helpless and also very confused as to why or what could make them feel so miserable about themselves.
Before we move on with our advices on how to best deal with someone that suffers from clinical depression, we have to explain what this illness is and its symptoms.
According to the Mayo Clinic, clinical depression tends to have a spectrum of intensity, ranging from mild periods of sadness to severe episodes, known as major depressive disorder.
The symptoms of the ailment include: apathy, loss of appetite, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in most daily activities, feelings of worthlessness and despair.
Depression is commonly treated by a licensed psychiatrist with prescribed medication aimed at correcting the chemical imbalance that is present in the patient’s brain.
Trying to change your dating partner’s perception about their life will prove to be a useless and exhausting cause. Depression is often chronicle, and unfortunately, you will never be able to cure and comfort them, no matter how hard you try to, because they will never be able to see themselves outside their negative bubble from your point of view.
Constantly attempting to challenge your dating partner to see how wrong he or she is will prove to widen even more the distance between you and even spark unnecessary arguments.
Here is our advice for when you’re dating someone who suffers from a form of depression:
1. Maintain an equilibrium
Like everything in life, the principle of balance also applies in relationships. When you’re dating someone, you will weigh the needs of your partner as well as yours.
With someone who suffers from depression, you will have to be aware of their needs more carefully, because their needs will often tend to overwhelm yours.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be less supportive of them or show less care towards them, but that you need to be careful not to forget about your own needs and neglect yourself in favor of the other’s wants.
Acknowledge what needs have to be met, you won’t be able to do everything by yourself.
2. Always be supportive
No matter how hard your dating partners feel their ailment’s mental pain, you always have to show your care and attention towards them.
Accept them how they are and stop trying to alter their view on themselves.
Be curious and show interest in them when they’re feeling at their worst. It is essential to be sympathetic towards them and empathically engaged, without trying to alter their point of view.
3. Always see the bright side
Things may occasionally tend to escalate to somewhat difficult levels with people who suffer from depression, but you always have to keep reminding yourself of the positive aspects of the person that you are interacting with.
Constantly reminding yourself of the other’s positive attributes is essential when you see that your social interactions with them might be going towards an unpleasant direction.
You will learn that the only way to help your partner’s ailment is to offer them the most compassion and care that you can, without trying to change their take on life and the world around them.
Accept your partner as they are, let them embrace their negativity, but in the same time try to connect and foster a loving and close connection to them. If you focus more on developing more patience and conversational skills, you can connect with your dating partners even when they are in their climax of struggling with their inner selves.