Depression and anxiety are very difficult to deal with both for the person who is directly affected and for the people who love them. If you had a partner who had anxiety and/or depression, you would know this very well.
Sometimes I just wanted to find some magical switch that could at least temporarily make her feel better and take a break from the struggle.
However, if your girlfriend or wife is struggling with anxiety and/or depression, you should know that, very often, that magical switch is you.
Here are 11 things you need to know when your partner is suffering from these debilitating burdens.
1. You’re not her therapist – you are her partner
And this means a lot to her. Don’t get fooled to play her therapist or doctor, because you can’t do it. She wants to see a partner in you, not medical staff. Comfort her, hold her, be there for her – let her know that you are there when things get tough.
2. Be supportive of her healing strategies
She may be undergoing treatment, but that shouldn’t exclude your interest in it. Ask her regularly what she has discovered in her healing process and how the treatment is going; trust her choices and let her follow her instinct.
3. Introduce the optimism she is lacking
It will be normal for her to be pessimistic for just about anything, so don’t join her there. Listen attentively and introduce the bright side of the things she is being pessimistic about.
Make sure she also looks at the positive side of things and never underestimate the power of planting a seed of positivity in her mind.
4. She needs you to tell her how much you love her
When struggling with the burden of anxiety and/or depression, one starts losing touch with their self-esteem and self-awareness.
While you can’t do a lot to put these strengths in her, you can always play your part in them and let her know that she is with someone who is crazy about her. You can never love someone too much.
5. Be mindful of her triggers and don’t set them off
When you are with someone for a longer period, you stop noticing what little things make them quietly lose their mind.
However, when you have someone who is fighting on a front against depression and anxiety, these little bombs are the least they need. Follow her body language and notice if she seems tense or upset – and avoid doing those things when she does.
6. Share your feelings – gently and honestly
You need to be honest with her about how you’re feeling, what your fears and frustrations are, whether you have any revelations, ideas, solutions, and finally – your dreams.
Don’t think twice before drifting away in a fantasy that involves you two together and make sure you take her with you in that fantasy. Be open, honest, and most importantly, gentle.
7. Set clear and direct boundaries between other women and yourself
It’s not that you are intending to do anything, and you may find her jealousy confusing and unfounded – but that’s because her assumptions are based on fear, not facts.
And don’t try to convince her otherwise. You have no idea what’s running through her head and you would never like that same burden to fall on you.
The least you can do is make her understand that you don’t need any other woman than her in your life for whatever reason. Only stay in touch with those who truly respect and honor your relationship and love her as much as you do.
8. Surround yourselves with loving and supportive people
Sometimes, having the wrong kind of friends is the worst influence on your mind. In cases of depression and anxiety? It’s even worse than the worst.
What you need is some positive influence that comes from positive and loving people. She needs to see that the world is filled with beautiful people, with beautiful thoughts, and beautiful deeds. In fact, we all do.
If her therapist can help her mind, you can help her soul. Never forget that.
Source: Elephant Journal