Can You Actually Help A Loved One With Their Depression?

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Living with a loved one in a relationship of any kind when they are struggling with depression can leave you feeling as hopeless and helpless as their depression is making them feel. Trying to support, love, and encourage someone dear when they are experiencing inconsolable side effects is exhausting. You can only do so much to support them. Unfortunately, you alone will never be able to cure or get rid of their depression.

Taking on such a responsibility is inherently irresponsible. Currently, there is no cure for depression. There are many treatments, therapies, and activities which can help reduce the effects of depression. Despite your best efforts, greatest ideas, and unconditional devotion- you won’t be the miracle cure.

You can, however, be a miracle to your loved one’s life. Practicing self-care while also caring for your loved one is critically important to maintaining balance and energy in your life. The things you can do to help your partner are equally as important for you to do as well. Medical Daily lists these three activities as science-backed mood-boosters for relationships where depression plays a part.

Getting Outside

Even if all you can manage in a day is to stand on a balcony or outside your front door with your face toward the sun, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Science has proven there is a wealth of benefits from spending time outside. Sunshine gives us Vitamin D which is an essential for boosting and regulating mood.

Try taking a 20 minute walk together. If you live near a park, a nature reserve, or any kind of natural area with greenery or water (like a lake, ocean, river, creek, pond) your body will feel different. Being in nature and getting outside changes your brain chemistry, helping you both to feel more relaxed, grounded, and inspired.

Getting Moving

Exercise is one of the most highly recommended evidence based practices for reducing symptoms of depression. Depression can often cause fatigue, exhaustion, and lethargy in addition to a lack of motivation to do anything at all. All we really need is about 20 minutes of exercise a day to make an impact.

Try taking a yoga class together. You’ll get the physical movement you need, as well as all the mental health benefits of yoga which is also proven to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Getting Grateful

Gratitude is a practice everyone could use to put their time into a little more often. Depression can make everything seem bland and uninteresting. Gratitude is a spiritual and an emotional state that has been proven to change the way you look at the world over time. Start by spending time with each other each day naming a few things you’re grateful for. You’ll find your list keeps growing!

Depression does not have to be the end of a relationship. Instead, it can be a beautiful beginning. If you or a loved one are struggling to cope with depression, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today. We offer residential treatment for depression and any co-occurring disorders like substance abuse.  877.762.3707.