You might have noticed that recently I’ve been banging on about the challenges I face living with mental health problems. It’s something that’s close to my heart and definitely something that I think we should all be talking about more. Out in the blogging community it’s getting a fair bit of coverage but we need to keep that going. What isn’t covered all that often, is what impact depression (and other mental illnesses) have on those around us.
So, for a slightly different approach to today’s post, someone very close to me has written this. It’s all about what it’s like living with someone who has depression (me). It’s written completely from their point of view and I was only allowed to read it once it was finished (which was a nice surprise). Anyway, that’s enough from me for now…
I’m not going to lie and say this is easy because it isn’t. There are many challenges when it comes to living with someone who has depression, but thankfully I have learnt some tips to help.
Now, while this is not recommended to be used all the time for obvious health reasons, it works. When your significant other is having an especially bad day, having some of their favourite sweets hidden away is a way of showing that you care and lifting their mood even if just a little. Thankfully for me there is an off licence right across the road so I can dash over if we’re out!
It’s not just sweets either, anything that you know they like and will let them know you were thinking about them.
2. A Thick Skin!
Depression is a horrendous illness that drains people physically and mentally. Imagine being in pain every waking moment and you can understand why they may snap at you or say something they don’t mean. I always try to not let these comments effect me. If I feel the need I bring it up when they’re feeling better and discuss if there was any truth behind it. Unfortunately there will be times when they say hurtful things but just remember it is purely the depression talking. Chances are when the cloud lifts they’ll tell you how much they love you and supportive you have been and that they regret what they said.
3. The Beauty of a Smile.
You will never truly realise the beauty of a smile until they’re in the midst of a bad spell and you finally get them to smile. You see that little glint in their eye and it restores your hope that you will both get through this together. Hold onto that image when the tears return. There is truly no better feeling than when your love feels the weight of depression crushing down upon them, and you manage to make them smile and laugh. Even if it is only brief, know that it will have meant even more to them than it did to you!
4. Get Ready for Housework!
Depression is incredibly exhausting and can cause physical pain. This can make it impossible to get out of bed or off the sofa. Something as simple as washing up becomes an Everest of a task. Don’t complain, just smile and do it. No one likes washing up, but trust me it’s much easier for you to do it than them. Plus being in a clean and tidy home can help with depression. If you ever feel like you’re slaving away, just remember they’re fighting a much harder fight than you are. It’s truly amazing how lifting a small weight like chores off someone can help them.
5. Pillow forts!
If all else fails make a pillow fort. Genuinely. Now. They’re awesome! It may seem stupid, childish, useless and a whole load of other negative words. But everyone did this when they were young. So when you’re inside with your partner it will bring back happy memories of sharing ghost stories as a kid under a sheet. Play the moment by ear and be prepared to go full out, crazy silly. Or be quiet and contemplative depending on their mood. This can either be somewhere to giggle and tickle each other or just a safe place to hide from the world.
Pro Tip: This is great when combined with Tip 1!!
While living with someone who has depression can be very hard, when you love that person it is 100% worth it. And while it is incredibly painful to watch them go through so much pain. It is one of the most incredible things you can do in your life. To be there for them, and support them as they fight it.