When Someone You Love Is Depressed
Did you know: Depression is the leading cause of disability for the age group 15-45 according to the Center for Disease Control?
8 million ambulatory care visits each year have major depressive disorder as the primary diagnosis according to the CDC?
50% Americans with major depression do not seek treatment for mental illness from the National Institute of Mental Health’s Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys
Depression is a terrible disease, stealing the vitality of lives, and destroying relationships.
What is it like for the one who is not depressed? You have been plunged into a world of confusion.Your loved one may seem sad; they may sit and stare off in space. Interest is gone; such as, sports, sex, work. An overwhelming fatigue may set in. There may be problems eating and sleeping.
You are frustrated and don’t know what to do. They have disconnected and you don’t know why. (They may not understand either.) It seems you are doing all the weight of the relationship.
You may feel guilty.
It feels like depression has destroyed your relationship.
What to do?
First, know you did not cause their depression. Their depression is not your fault. Depression is an illness effects one physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Learn all you can about the disease.
Depression aggravates the weaknesses of relationships.
Adopt a mindset that you are in this “depression battle” together. Loneliness is a symptom of depression. Assure them of your presence and support in every way possible.
You can encourage your loved one to do things they are up to doing. Taking walks together. Enjoying a funny movie together may be a possibility.
Reach out to others who are understanding. Support groups help deal with depression.
Take care of yourself. Forty percent of those living with depressed family need to have psychological intervention themselves. Depression is a risk for the whole family.
As high as 40% of partners need psychological intervention because of their loved ones depression.(Understanding Depression 2nd edition, Paul Robbins p.132) If you think you need assistance in coping, develop your own support system including a physician, therapist, and a close nonjudgmental friend.
Guard your boundaries of energy and time. Act normally. Boundless positivity does not help, neither does acting depressed. Keep focused on your dreams. You need to spend time with friends. If you deplete yourself there is nothing to offer your loved one.
Be Patient. Don’t over-expect. Depression may not have a short recovery time.
Stay healthy, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Here are Bible promises for you and your loved one.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10
“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”Psalm 40:1-3
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33