Talking to your partner about your depression can be intimidating because you have no control over how another person will respond. Will your partner regard you with disdain, judge you or perhaps end the relationship? No matter how you think your partner will react, if you are experiencing depressive symptoms, you must come clean tell your significant other.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have a healthy relationship when half of a couple suffers from mental illness. An essential part of mental health is connection, which can improve symptoms. Telling your partner how they can support your treatment can be a major part of your healing.
But how do you address depression with your partner? Try these four tips:
- Make sure your partner is ready for a serious discussion. Start by sharing you have something difficult you need to share. Make sure you don’t have this talk when you’re angry or stressed.
- Be honest about your depression. Be open about what you’ve been experiencing. Don’t sugarcoat the issue or try to downplay your symptoms. The more honest you are, the better they’ll be able to support you. Most partners will be understanding. However, if your partner does not understand, it may be helpful to meet with friends or a counselor to discuss the issues and work through them together.
- Discuss your treatment. Let your partner know how you are managing your depression. Be as specific as possible. If you aren’t receiving therapy, be upfront about that, too. Left unchecked, depression can get worse.
- Share information about your illness. Depression can change over time, so emotional support is crucial. Let your partner know what he or she can do to help you. Share resources with them so they can learn more about depression.
Depression can be difficult. Don’t try to go it alone.