Keep these 5 things in mind if you’re dating someone with depression

Dating someone with depression requires you to understand the nature of the mental illness. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
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Grace Bains Updated: 17 Aug 2020, 19:59 pm IST
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Mental health issues can affect anyone, and our loved ones could be one of them. We’re living in an age where depression is an extremely prevalent mental health issue. And if someone you love is struggling with it, it is important that you step up to be their support system. In fact, as a romantic partner, you can work with them to ensure that they don’t feel alone when faced with a battle against depression.

To understand about things that you should take care of when you’re dating someone with depression, we talked to Dr. Bhavna Barmi, a renowned clinical psychologist from Delhi NCR. According to her, “Dating someone with depression can lead to a lot of understanding and introspection into one’s mind. Remember that knowing about depression and how it affects one is the first as well as the most critical information you can possess. It is through understanding, that you can adopt ways to help them and yourself.”

Here are a few tips she suggests for those who are dating someone battling depression:

  1. Your partner’s mental health matters but so does yours
    “Learn to balance between taking care of your partner and maintaining your own mental health. Know when to take a step back and care for your own self as well”, advises Dr. Barmi.
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Learn to balance between taking care of both of your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  1. Be compassionate
    According to Dr. Barmi, “You have to remember that they are going through an illness. Not all of their thoughts and perspectives will be rational or realistic. There might be a lot of self-esteem or confidence issues. Help uplift them through evidence of positivity and unconditional love.”
  2. Focus on what’s positive
    At times you might witness a lack of excitement from your partner’s end and you might get used to experiencing such negative emotions. Dr. Barmi emphasizes on the fact that it is vital to remind yourself of the reasons why being strong for the both of you might be beneficial in the long run.
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It’s important to focus on the brighter side. Image Courtesy: GIPHY
  1. Communicate using a new language
    It is all about developing new communication systems to help soothe your partner and allowing both of you to express yourselves.

“Understand the habits and traits of your partner when they are down or distressed. Figure out how to deal with that situation through communication, either physical or verbal. Simply telling them to not be sad is not going to help. Instead, discuss why they feel down, how can you help, or maybe just hold them close and play a soothing tune, if they like. This can be your own language to deal with the depressive concerns of your partner,” Dr. Barmi says.

  1. Discuss their thoughts
    Dr. Barmi warns, “Sometimes, depression makes one feel invalidated. A sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness might take over. It can lead to them being extremely self-critical or having unrealistic expectations.” 

As a solution, she suggests discussing it in a calm manner, and not expressing strong emotions of anger or irritation. Talking through these expectations and bringing a sense of control to them is crucial. You must be able to convey to them that they deserve all the good things that they have received.

Most of all, make sure your partner never feels alone in their fight with depression.

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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