Depression is a mental health condition associated with symptoms such as persistent sadness and loss of interest in previously joyful things. People may experience these symptoms to different degrees, which can make this disorder hard to identify. To receive a diagnosis of depression, a person must experience these symptoms for two weeks or more.
Unfortunately, for many who suffer from depression the symptoms can persist for years. Depression is thought to potentially be caused by a few different factors. Changes in levels of neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and serotonin, can create a chemical imbalance that contributes to depression.
Hormonal changes, such as those associated with pregnancy or menopause, can also lead to symptoms of depression. If you have had depression in the past or have family members who suffer from depression, you may also be at higher risk to suffer from depression. Some environmental factors can also contribute to depression.
These include having a chronic medical condition or experiencing something traumatic. Depression can be a hard disorder to empathize with and understand. We all have times when we may feel down or tired, and it is easy to think a person will eventually feel better or get over it.
Unfortunately, people dealing with depression cannot just move on.
Here are some symptoms that your loved one may be struggling with depression:. Treatment for depression includes lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. By incorporating these different treatment methods, people with depression can effectively manage their symptoms and potentially treat their condition.
There are many things that can be done at home to help a person manage their symptoms and improve their mental health. Exercising can help reduce symptoms and improve energy levels. Socializing with friends and family can help prevent people from feeling alone and focusing on their negative symptoms. It is also important to be educated about depression. Working with a mental health professional can also help people manage their symptoms of depression. There are different types of therapy that can be used to treat depression. During these sessions, people can learn to manage their stress and anxiety and work through potential contributors to their symptoms.
There are many medications that can be prescribed to help someone manage their depression. Medications can be extremely effective in minimizing symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, these medications take one to two months to reach their full effect and the waiting period can be frustrating for those who are suffering.
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Medication regimens can change as a person tries to find the medication that works best for them. The good news is if one class of medications does not work well for someone or the side effects are not tolerated, there are many options to choose from. Sometimes recognizing depression can be one of the most challenging parts of dating someone with this condition. If your partner has been diagnosed, or if they have received a diagnosis in the past, they are likely more aware of the signs and symptoms and what treatment options they have.
They may have been working through their condition for a while and already be receiving appropriate treatment. If this is a new diagnosis, they may be trying to determine which medications work best for them and how to incorporate lifestyle changes into their routine. Either way, receiving a diagnosis can help your partner cope with their disorder. If you are dating someone and are concerned they might be showing signs or symptoms of depression, it is important to communicate your concerns.
Be honest with your partner about your thoughts. Make sure you express your concern for them and your support.
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If you are concerned for their safety, you may need to reach out to professionals or emergency services. In some cases, your partner may not agree with your concerns and be resistant to seek help or treatment. In these cases, try to get other friends or family involved in the conversation.
If they still refuse to seek help and you feel their mental and emotional health is impacting your relationship, do not be afraid to evaluate your relationship and consider a break-up. Again, if you are concerned that your partner might cause themselves harm, reach out to professionals or emergency services for help. Depression can bring a lot of challenges to an otherwise healthy relationship. Dating someone with depression can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated.
Discounting their feelings by automatically attributing them to depression only serves to hinder honest conversation and emotional connection. It is heartbreaking to see someone you care about in pain, and your natural reaction is probably to try to make it all okay.
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But depression is not cured by love or kindness. The truth is that there are no quick fixes for depression. However, there are many things you can do to support someone struggling with depression. Figuring out what those things are requires open communication. Ask them what they need from you to make them feel supported. Ask them what their triggers are, what they do to cope, and what part they want you to play in their coping strategies.
What helps them may be very different than what helps someone else and honoring their individual needs is important, even when what they need is to not have you do anything at all. Allow the person you are dating to have their feelings. I feel sad because XYZ happened. Being open and understanding about these issues is vital to nurturing your relationship. After all, your bad day at work seems like nothing compared to mental illness.
You cannot turn it off because your partner is depressed, nor should you have to. Make sure you have your own supports in place that give you space to express yourself, such as friends, family, and support groups.
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Find a healthy way to get the stress out. Recognize the hard work your partner is doing and be their biggest cheerleader as they seek the help they need to heal.
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Tell them you are proud of them for going to treatment and respect their limits when it comes to talking about what they are doing in therapy. Some people will be very open about what they are learning and discovering, while others prefer to keep it private. Whether or not you feel comfortable bringing this up will, of course, largely depend on your level of intimacy; telling someone to seek residential treatment on the second date, for example, may not elicit the best reaction. But if you have built a strong foundation of trust, respect, and care, suggesting they take their treatment to a higher level of intensity could be the best gift you could give them.
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