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When Your Partner Struggles With Depression: Recognizing and Dealing With Depressive Symptoms

When Your Partner Struggles With DepreRecognizing Depressive SymptomsEveryone’s entitled to a bad mood or a stressed out week here and there. But when you are intimate with someone who struggles with low moods, it can be hard to know when that line has been crossed and “just stress” is actually a diagnosable clinical depression. Understanding the difference between situational moodiness and serious depression can be subtle. How can you know when to suggest your loved one schedule that visit to the doctor, and what can you do to be supportive?

Depression is an illness. Just like any other illness, depression can be mild, moderate or severe and has a set of consistent symptoms that vary a little from person to person. These symptoms include:

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Bad moods last a day or two. Talking it out, dealing with the issue at hand and enjoying a pleasant distraction can usually set someone back on track if it’s just stress and everyday life that is getting them down. When a true depressive illness is taking hold, none of these sensible and well-intentioned efforts help much.

How can you help someone who is truly struggling with a depressive illness?

Depression is a serious but treatable illness, and a loving, committed partner is a significant protective factor. Remember to take good care of yourself as you stay present and support your partner through this challenging episode.

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