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Partner with depression

I am not sure if I am looking for information in the girt place, but I'm looking for help on how to help my partner with his depression. I myself struggle with anxiety and I'm finding it really hard. I don't know what is best to do to help and support him. He spends most off his time in bed, he doesn't have motivation to do e things he needs to, he tells me he just wants be to happy but doesn't think he ever will, he has told me before that if he wasn't scared of death he would have ended it all along time ago. I just don't know what do to do he'll him and make it easier for him, he is waiting to start some counselling workshops and he admits he had a problem and has seen a doctor and we are waiting to start couple counselling. Just wondered if there was any advice out there about what I can do? Or ways too help me cope?

8 Replies

keep making him cups of tea every hr or so to let him no you care. Take time out and do things you enjoy



This sounds like a really tough situation for you both.

I wish I could offer some 'words of wisdom' some 'this is what you should do', but I have nothing special to say, except really that the best thing you can do in my opinion is to just be there for him.

Letting him know that you're not judging him, not thinking of him as lazy, that you understand how hard it is. Listening. Accepting.Caring. Being patient.

As for how to help you cope, I think it is very important to recognise the impact that this will also be having on you. What can you do to look after yourself? What helps keep you well?



Hi, Sorry to hear you are both having such a rough time. Here's what I find useful from my partner and the good news is it's not huge/expensive/demanding stuff:

His just being there - not in my face all the time, but just being around.

Hugs were very important to me.

Little treats to show he cared and wanted to support - no huge expensive things (it doesn't have to be), just things like getting me my favourite choccie bar, making me coffee.

Telling me he loves me, wants to support me. Asking me what he can do to support. When it was difficult to talk to me, he'd sometimes leave me notes telling me he loves me and will be there for me.

I lost interst in things I used to do, so we started doing things together more - again, not huge things, just things like the food shopping (shorter trips to the supermarket rather than a massive weekly shop helped), choosing the food together to make for meals, going for a walk, watching a film together.

Whether any of this is useful for you and your partner, only you know of course. I hope it is.

It's great that you've come to this site to research how you can help your partner - that says a lot for you. Depression is a dreadful thing, but he is very lucky to have you. As Amanda says in previous reponse though, do take care of yourself too. Hopefully there's support mechanisms for you too. There's always this site. I've found the forum members here so supportive. The samaritans are also a great help.

I hope the couples counselling and counselling workshops help you both. Take each day at a time.

Take care.

Sue xx


"When it was difficult to talk to me, he'd sometimes leave me notes telling me he loves me and will be there for me"

Sue that is lovely :) what a wonderful partner you have :) i hope one day ill be luckey enough to find a caring soul like that.

Some very good advice there!



Thank you so much for your replays, it really helps me to read these and know that my being there is what he needs. I see how debilitating depression is and know from my own anxiety problems that it really is an illness, i think a lot of people don't understand that. I don't have anyone close to me that I can talk to as they do not understand my partner, they see me being sad and I guess they have my best interests at heart but that means they don't have great sympathy for my partner. I don't think they understand that he can not help feeling the way he does and his coping techniques.when he shuts me off and pushes me away its really sets off my anxiety, but I'm working hard with the help of medication to understand that when he does this it is not a reflection on me but a symptom of what he is going through. I know what a truely amazing person he is and I have so so much love for him, I wish he could see I himself what I do, he thinks he does not deserve to be loved but I know he deserves so so much. He told me last night that he wished he could smash the bottle he was holding over his head but he can't even do that as he is scared of dying. It hurts so muchh to hear that, he just wants to be happy and I wish he could be. I really have so much admiration for him and who he is, I would do anything I could to show him that. . . . He is a beautiful person and deserves to be happy.

Sue, thank you for your advice. . . Now that spring has hopefully arrived I hope we can get out of the house together just to go for a walk, bike ride, or fishing which he loves. Thank you for pointing out that sharing small everyday things can make a difference.

Amanda, for keeping me well I guess my medication and a fantastic doctor helps, I also have a spotless house. . . I tend to clean when things get tough. I was recently made redundant and am trying to focus on starting my own business so keeping busy with that. But the best thing of all to keep me well is hugs from my daughter and sending time with her, as they say every cloud had a silver lining... My recent redundancy has meant I can give her a lot more time than I did before.

I'm very glad I came here, the advise given has made me feel positive that being there for him is what I need to do. Thank you x x x



A few things.

I spoke with my Mother, whom, along with my Father, have been instrumental in keeping me alive for the last couple of years.

They've been under a hell of a lot of stress as a result of my illness - they're both way past retirement age and I've pretty well wrecked their retirement.

But. my Mother said the following:

MIND will help, offer excellent advice.

Family Carers - there is a website - I don't know the URL, but I guess Google will help - again, my Mother says excellent help.

Also, see your GP. This is a VERY stressful thing to deal with and your health may well suffer. She will be able to assist you in the short term and will be able to refer you to local help agencies.

From my point of view, it is impossible for the person you are looking after to be expected to behave in a 'rational' way.

You will probably be subjected to some fairly unpleasant moments with your partner.

If you can, and it isn't easy, try and remember that it is the illness and not your partner that is talking or shouting at you.

Easy to say, hard as hell to do.

Keep coming to this forum, people will help if they can and will at the very least, allow you to 'vent' to other people who will know EXACTLY how you feel and will empathise.

You're very brave to be doing this.

Best of luck and please accept my best wishes,


1 like

All the advise given here is lovely, its nice to no that people care so much for people who are depressed. I got all the support from my family and friends but not from my ex partner unfortunatly. Maybe things would have been alot different if i had done. Its really good to know that there ARE caring relationships out there.

Jane, please keep posting here. The support i have recieved on here has been amazing. Everyone always has time for you :)

Good luck and let us know how you get on



Be there in the little things seems to be the general advice and I don't think I can do any more than say it again.

Sounds like you have ways of managing your own anxiety which is probably one of the biggest things you can do.

There's a book called something like 'how depression survived' which, amongst other things looks at how depression works in less city-ised cultures - where the group doesn't general marginalise but supports as it is a way of working through problems and coming out the other end more understanding and often a person who is more in tune with their environment. It's a slow and painful process and I think that may be part of why it feels as if others are turning away from us as it doesn't fit with a society that has become so much about the instant.

Often you find support in the areas that you least expect it.

One day at a time and hoping Spring does give an extra boost ... but don't give up if things seem to be sliding back, because you can't always carry on going up hill all the time ... and we do all make mistakes but to date I'm not aware of any that have really meant the end of the world.


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