How to still be a good partner when you’re depressed

depressed good partnerDepression is serious and sad and debilitating. It can overwhelm you and make you feel like nothing’s possible. But, as hard as it is to remember, something is always possible. It may not be the best-case scenario, but it’s something. When you’re depressed, you won’t be the best girlfriend, husband, boyfriend or wife to your bae. But, you can take a few key steps to still be a good one. Here’s what you should do.

Get help

To get better, depression needs attention and care from professionals. There are really no two ways about that. Take care of yourself by seeking out a licensed specialist who can help you get back to a better version of yourself. Seeking help doesn’t mean you’re weak or crazy. It means you have a problem that you need a professional to guide you out of. I recently had a heart-to-heart with one of my friends who’s going through a rough time and having some very dark thoughts. I asked her if she’d ever considered therapy and she told me that therapy felt self-indulgent. I was shocked. Is going to a doctor when you break your arm self-indulgent? No! Is taking care of yourself so you can be a better person—a better partner, a better employee, a better citizen of the world—self-indulgent? No! It’s absolutely not. You do your best when you’re your best. And everyone in your life benefits from that. So, if you can’t stomach taking care of yourself for yourself, then how about taking care of yourself for everyone else? Do everyone a favor and get the help you need.

Be open

Talk to your partner about what’s going on. Explaining the situation and sharing any past experiences with depression could go a long way in helping your boo understand what’s going on. Also, letting your partner in on how you’re feeling will prevent them from thinking that they’re the cause of your unhappiness. It’s easy to perceive a loved one’s depression as a direct result of something you did or said. Sharing your story and your current status will prevent them from taking the blame themselves. Also, letting them into your treatment plan could help you stick to it. There’s no such thing as too much love and support. So, be open with what you need, where you are and how you’re feeling. Your partner will appreciate it.

Be reasonable

Be reasonable with your expectations of yourself as a person and partner. You’re depressed. So, you’re not the best version of yourself right now. There are no two ways about that. Don’t beat yourself for that. Try to use that energy to focus on your treatment plan and getting rest. If you spend less time evaluating yourself and more time healing, you’re going to feel better about everything.

Know that I’m sending everyone struggling with depression big hugs and support right now. Depression has touched nearly everyone’s life. Really hoping you get the treatment you need and your relationship can withstand this storm.