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Suffering from depression is often confused with simply feeling a bit down. The difference is, we all get ‘depressed’ from time to time. Feeling down, whether it’s because our sports team has just been defeated, we’ve received poor exam results, or someone close to us has passed on, is an unavoidable aspect of life. Clinical depression is not the same.
People can suffer from a complex range of mental conditions, with depression and anxiety being amongst the most common. Anyone prone to these issues will face added impairments to enjoying a successful relationship. So what are five tips for dealing with depression or anxiety in the context of your love life?
Communication is everything
One of the biggest issues surrounding depression or anxiety when dating online or offline is the way the sufferer will internalize feelings. Perhaps they don’t want to unduly worry their partner, or they aren’t willing to admit to what might be perceived as weakness. It is so important to maintain open communication channels. They must never get the impression they are alone or are any sort of burden. So constantly encourage them to be open about their thoughts.
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Focus on the light at the tunnel’s end
When people are suffering from mental health issues, it can be difficult for them to see life beyond their immediate situation. This is why it is crucial for you to remain upbeat and positive. Rather than dwelling on the source of the difficulties, keep a clear eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t look upon depressive episodes as situations which are all-consuming. Try to view them as a difficult journey, but one which you can undertake together, with you offering unconditional support.
Look for professional advice
When either partner suffers from conditions like anxiety or depression, it can become an onerous responsibility for their other half to be seen as the sole source of respite. This is where it can be vital to seek advice from a third party. The days when mental health was stigmatized have long gone. There are now expensive support networks for people suffering from these conditions, so you should assist your partner in asking for professional advice, whether this means seeking medical treatment or counseling.
Participate in your partner’s situation
As the partner of someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression, you must empathize at all times. The worst thing you could do would be to show irritation. On the contrary, you should be supportive, never questioning their rationale or suggesting they are acting ridiculously. Actively participate in the seeking of a solution to their issues. This means offering to accompany your partner whenever there are doctor or hospital appointments. If they feel that couples counseling might be beneficial, then go along with this. If you are feeling a degree of reluctance about having to join them on any of these ventures, grin and bear it. None of this is about you.
Enjoy healthy routines together
There is a range of treatments available for anyone who is going through depression or anxiety. While a lot of these will involve clinical assessment, medication or hospital treatment, there are everyday routines which will often be recommended by professionals. Chief amongst these will be adopting a healthier lifestyle. This can be fun within your relationship, as you begin planning things like exciting nutritional meals to try for the first time. It would also be a good idea to enjoy exercise routines together. If your partner says they feel like going out for a long jog to clear away the mental cobwebs, then get your running shoes on, too.