Many people love unconditionally and are willing to accept their partner’s flaws. If you’re in a relationship and love your partner deeply, you may be willing to stay, for better or for worse. But when is your commitment to stay with a person who’s struggling no longer supportive to them?
If your partner is dealing with depression or anxiety, you’ve probably asked yourself this before. You’ve probably also wanted to give up. After all, you are only human and can only handle so much. Consider the following ideas to support your partner’s — and your — mental health.
Seek Counseling Together
Living with someone who’s struggling can also affect you. You may choose to seek treatment, such as neurocounseling, together or individually. This form of therapy trains a person’s brain for a better outcome. It’s especially effective in people suffering from depression.
Studies have found that undergoing brain training reduced depressive symptoms by 60 percent in participants. Another study revealed that individuals suffering from major depressive disorder who were treated with six hour-long weekly sessions of interpersonal psychotherapy experienced fewer symptoms. There were also marked changes to the brain, visible in neurological scans.
Regardless of the approach you choose, getting help may be needed. It will help your loved one navigate their anxiety and depression and help you find the strength, wisdom, and perspective you need to continue to be of support.
Do Good as a Couple
Finding healthy activities you can do as a couple isn’t always easy if you date someone with anxiety. They may be reluctant to leave home or try new things. Convincing them to join a gym with you or get out more often can be next to impossible. And finding fun things to do during the social distancing requirements is challenging. It’s time to get creative.
Doing charitable activities as a couple may be a good option. It may be hard to convince your partner that leaving the house is good for them, but they may be more willing to do so for a cause. There are a variety of charitable organizations that need volunteers. Helping others may bring your boyfriend or girlfriend out of their shell and help lift their spirits when they focus on someone else and their difficulties.
The key to volunteering with someone who suffers from depression or anxiety is to find a cause that is uplifting. A dispiriting situation such as working with young or terminally ill cancer patients, for example, could send your other half into a downward spiral. Consider the following ideas of how you can do good together:
- Spend Sundays volunteering at the local animal shelter. Animals are very therapeutic and just what the doctor ordered.
- Cook and serve dinners on Friday nights at the local soup kitchen before you head out for sushi and a movie.
- Volunteer in a literacy program to read to kids or teach adults how to read.
- Find an environmental cause you’re both passionate about and join their team of activists.
- Do a craft together for a cause. If you both love to sew, consider making facemasks for hospital staff or making baby blankets for charities in need of baby gear.
- Indirectly contribute to a good cause by fundraising or hosting small events and donating the money to charitable organizations.
The reasons someone suffers from anxiety is sometimes difficult for others to understand. Communicating to relate to your partner better may require you to develop a new language. You may have to learn to tune into subtle cues about their behavior to gauge their feelings.
The efforts you put in have its rewards: you may get to know them better than they think they know themselves. For many people suffering from depression or anxiety disorder, they often don’t understand why they’re experiencing what they feel and can only work through their thoughts and fears when they speak with others.
Can a Happy Couple Suffer From Anxiety or Depression?
There are many things that happy couples do and don’t do. It may be too easy to compare your new relationship to others. But doing so isn’t productive. First of all, when you look at a couple, what you see on the surface may not be the reality of the situation. Instead of comparing your relationship to others, focus on finding your happiness as a couple.
To answer the question of whether a happy couple can suffer from anxiety or depression, the answer is yes. It may not always be a happy situation, but no relationship is perfect. If you can take the time to appreciate each other and find unique ways to enjoy your time as a couple, you can find your unique version of happiness. Willingness to understand and communicate is key. Regardless of whether one or both of you struggle with anxiety, relating can make all the difference.