According to the Archives of General Psychiatry, 14.8 million Americans struggle with major depressive disorder. This affects approximately 20 percent of the population. The possibility of being in a relationship with someone with depression is quite possible. You might not even realize that they battle with it.
There are many things to remember if you are with someone like this. First of all, it is not your fault, and it will never be your fault. You were not the cause of this illness. Depression can come in a variety of ways. Commonly, it comes when too many hardships pile on top of each other. There is a trigger and once it is pulled, there is no easy way to reverse it. It takes time, healing and reassurance.
It is not your responsibility to bring them out of their low. Putting that pressure on yourself will burden you until you snap. It may be possible to help them out of a low a few times, but you won’t always be the superhero. Some days, you should just be there. Sit with them. Don’t fill the deafening silence. Simply be there.
Remind them that they are loved. Tell them why you chose them. Yes, depression is a hard illness to deal with, but it doesn’t define the relationship. Remember why you began this journey and continue to remind them. Depression eats at your thoughts, twisting them into lies. Words of affirmation can help straighten their thoughts.
Patience is the most important element. There will be a time when they emerge from the darkness and begin to smile again. That one smile will give both of you courage to continue on your journey.