If your partner is depressed, it’s only natural that they crave some attention so it becomes your responsibility to show more love to that person and this is the finding of a research too. Sometimes, when your partner is depressed, they may push you away, be harsh and tend to prefer loneliness and while it would be tempting to pull back, you have to stick it out for your loved one and help them get through their phase of depression.
A researcher involved in the study also mentioned that if the partner makes efforts to help reduce the stress, it can actually prevent the depressed individual from falling into worsening mental health problems and it can also go a long way in keeping the relationship healthy. So while there could be a lot of stress involved, which could take its toll on mental and physical health, the more support you offer to your partner, the better he/she will be able to cope with it.
When we go through stress, and particularly high levels of it, we become very vulnerable and this is precisely why offering support during that time can be so impactful and meaningful. For a study, couples with various levels of depression, mutual support and self-esteem were surveyed and the results conveyed that the support offering to a partner when he/she is undergoing stress was significantly linked to future feelings of depression and self-worth. For instance, if a man offered support to his depressed wife, it can boost his self-esteem too. When you help your partner through their difficult time, it makes you feel better about yourself. On the other hand, when a depressed woman gains support from her husband, it can lead to reduced future depression and an increased level of self-esteem.
Additionally, the study also pointed out that women with higher self-esteem and men with less symptoms of depression gained more support from their partners during times of stress. A person who has a better mental health state to start with will have the capacity to reach out for support when needed and are also more capable of managing their stress and they might not be likely to benefit the most from their partner’s help. But giving support to a partner who really needs it can be the hardest. The reason for this is that when someone is depressed and has low self-worth, they may lash out at you and that could, in turn, make you feel helpless and depressed too.
This is where lending an invisible hand can be really helpful. In the face of any negative reaction from your depressed partner, offer ‘invisible support’. This includes small but meaningful gestures that your partner may not even be aware of. Some examples of this include handling a sink loaded with dirty dishes that your partner has not even seen yet. The point is to offer support without drawing attention to it.
Some other ways in which you can support your partner who is going through depression is by lending an empathetic ear to him/her whenever they express themselves. You can also offer to take up tasks that are normally not your’s, such as driving the kids to school and planning the meals. Doing so can ease some pressure off your partner, make him/her feel loved and valued and slowly but steadily ease them out of their depression.