According to the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people, of all ages worldwide, suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability in the world and is a major factor when it comes to the burden of diseases on a global scale. Although there are ways to deal with depression, through medication and therapy, there isn’t exactly a cure, and depression, if not treated, can lead to suicide, causing roughly one million of them every year. As someone who suffers from depression, I’m well aware of the struggle.
Having had to sit across from a table from my parents at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City after my suicide attempt in 2005, and see the look of heartbreak in their eyes, although I couldn’t comprehend what I done to them at the time, still highly medicated in a haze of complete desperation, I would later realize the devastation it caused them. It’s not easy to watch someone you love suffer and be completely unable to save them from the despair they feel. You can offer support, be there for them, and help them find the necessary treatments to at least make them be able to function, but you can’t “fix” them.
When you’re dealing with a depressed partner, it can't always be easy to detect right away. Just because someone takes to their bed all day on a Sunday, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in the throes of depression; maybe they just need a day to themselves ― or are hungover. But if your partner is depressed, it’s important to inform yourself of the signs so you can do your best to support them and get them feeling good again, whether that means therapy, medication, or just taking a break from their life. If you love someone, you don’t want them to suffer, especially alone. Here are seven signs that your partner is depressed and you need to help them through it.
1. Loss Of Interest In Things They Once Enjoyed
Nothing says your partner is most likely depressed like watching them retreat from things they used to love or, when forced to do those things, they no longer enjoy them. It’s one thing to be in a funk for a couple days, because it happens to everyone, but when those lack of interests extend into longer than two weeks, then something is up.
2. Their Energy Is Just Non-Existenct
Of course no everyone, even the most active people in the world, want to leap out of bed every morning and go for a run, but when your partner's energy is so low that they don’t even want to drag themselves to the shower or change out of those same pajamas they've been in for days, then it’s a sign.
3. Their Job And Relationships Are Suffering
When you’re depressed, even mildly so, everything comes to second to that pain. You don’t care about your job or even maintaining a relationship because your will and motivation to put in the effort is just gone. If you can see that everything in your partner’s life is suffering because they’ve just stopped caring, then you know it’s far more than a phase; it’s something that needs to be addressed.
4. They Don’t Want To Eat And Can’t Sleep
While these two things definitely fall into the “things they once enjoyed,” category, they also fall into the category for things that are necessary to stay healthy. But when depression hits, the will to stay healthy immediately gets subtracted from the equation. You can put a pepperoni pizza in front of them and they’ll walk away. Changes in eating and sleeping are “classic symptoms” of depression.
5. They Don’t Want To Have Sex
When a person is suffering so deeply, how can they be expected to want to be intimate with their partner? Depression affects all corners of one’s life, and their sex life isn’t exempt.
6. They’re Self-Medicating
Even someone who isn’t a drinker will often turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with the pain inside. If drinking and alcohol aren’t their things, they may be self-medicating with Xanax or other prescription drugs. While regulated drugs that require a prescription can help, drugs like Xanax are highly addictive and, in the long run, create more problems than solutions.
7. They’re Consistently Down On Themselves
Depression makes you feel like utter sh*t. You can no longer see your self-worth, you’re hopeless, and the light at the end of the tunnel just doesn’t exist. If your partner is constantly negative and down on themselves, then it’s time to bring in a professional.
Whether you choose to reach out to a therapist or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, you have to do something. Those with depression rarely help themselves, so as someone who loves them, it may be your turn to step in.
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