How to Help Your Partner Cope with Depression.

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How to Help Your Partner Cope with Depression

By Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar

This is not about any person, and yet it is about all of us! We see around us all kinds of people, broken and unable to catch the balls life throws at them, and also those who choose to get out of the game. We have all come across such people, and sometimes even been one of them. We know the signs and yet, we are afraid to do anything to save ourselves from the heartache.

I have a friend whose wife decided to get out of the game and he is spending his life blaming himself. He says he saw the signs, and did nothing about it. I know for a fact that he tried to help her as best as he could. He spoke to her, took her on holidays, tried to amuse her with expensive trinkets and did everything he could to cheer her up. But in the end, she gave up.

The first truth about these situations is that these people were not weak. They were just unable to cope. And those of us who get left behind spend our lives thinking, “If only.”

So here’s a way to be strong, for them and for us. If you see someone who is unable to cope, instead of chiding, get them help. Much as we would like to be the ones who pull our loved ones out of depression, we are not qualified to do this. Sometimes a person just needs that uninvolved ear…one that has no opinion, no reaction and no agenda except to help. And someone who is not bogged down by what is happening to this person we love. They need to seek the help of a medical professional.

To most people seeking this kind of help is a sign of weakness. It says, “I don’t have the strength to deal with this.”  The other question is, “what will people say?”  The same people who are unable or unwilling to help. And then of course, “why should I go to a psychiatrist? I’m not mad!” Most times, families too are unwilling to take this step though they see the person withering away. And then, they live with regret.

If you see signs of depression or angst which refuse to go away in yourself or in another person, get help. Don’t be one of those people who gossip about it. Don’t think of yourself as weak or helpless and worry about the world at large. There is no shame in getting professional help. It is medical science after all, and we do run to a doctor
for things as small as a cold. Then why not do it for something that could potentially be life or at least happiness threatening?

When we see this, or meet a person who wants and seeks help, the thing to remember is that it is not weakness. It takes a lot of strength to take this step to sort out your life. So go for it and raise a toast to mental health, ours and those we love.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

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