It can be difficult to help a partner who is suffering from depression. It is important to know what your partner is experiencing and offer the help that you are able to give them. Mood swings and depression are two different conditions, although both can occur to women going through menopause. Hormonal changes during menopause can directly cause mood swings. Symptoms of mood swings are irritability, anxiety, sadness, aggressiveness, and trouble concentrating.
Although menopause does not directly cause depression, many menopausal women get depression when they have never had it before, and menopause can impact mental health. Depression is when a person has persistent feelings of low mood, sadness, and hopelessness. This article focuses on helping a spouse with depression.
Steps to Deal with Your Partner's Depression
Learn about it
Websites provided by government organizations or nonprofits are usually the most reliable. Reading about menopause and depression on the websites provided by the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health are good places to start. You can also check out books on mental health and women's health at your local library.
Keep up your lifestyle
Do not give up your own hobbies and interests trying to take care of your partner constantly, this will not benefit either of you in the long run. However, you can help create and maintain a support system of family and friends for your partner. You can also invite your partner to exercise with you and cook healthy meals for the two of you.
Show love and be positive
Ensuring that your partner knows that they are loved is important for their overall well-being and can be vital in helping someone with depression. It's important to recognize when your partner makes smalls steps of progress to get better. Try to talk to your partner in a way where you ask open-ended questions in a nonjudgmental way so that they can feel comfortable opening up to you.
Allow her space
If your partner is depressed there may be times when they do not feel like going out or socializing, they cannot be happy, or they need to be alone. While it can be frustrating and painful to see your partner suffer like that, you need to give them time and space so they can recover and work out their problems.
Provide resources to help your partner
You cannot, and should not, force your partner to go to therapy. However, you can provide the resources and do the legwork so that seeing a therapist is easily accessible to your partner. Be supportive even if they are not ready to see a therapist.
Depression is a serious mental illness and it may take time for your partner to get better and for treatments to work. However, being a supportive and loving partner who helps there partner have a caring support system and access to the professional help that they need can help your partner recover.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2015). Spouse or Partner. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/helping-others/spouse-or-partner