When depression knocks your partner down – it’s a test of true love.

All those promises that a man and a woman make to each other before marriage, means nothing when one of the partner suffers a personal setback or a major illness and the other isn’t able to provide the support when needed the most.

While there are many minor setbacks that couples face, they  somehow manage to resolve them together, however,  there is one illness, which is not understood by the vast majority of the population in the world, including the partner until it affects them.

I can only wish you never have to go through such a devastating experience. However, you may want to read this article for your own awareness or if you know a friend / relative / acquaintance whose partner suffers from depression.

The easiest thing to do for the other partner is to walk out of a relationship, as most people do. The hardest and the true test of their love is to be there, hold their partner’s hand, show them the light until they comes out of this dark world.

And be prepared for a long and tiring journey that will leave some scars on you too.

Why is depression not taken seriously ?

The seriousness of this illness has been diluted by the general public these days who loosely use the term ‘depressed’ even when they fail in exams, did not get selected for their dream job or any minor setbacks in life. We all have our ups and downs. That is not depression. They are just feeling sad. Sadness is a healthy emotion. Depression is not the same as sadness. People with depression lack any emotion.

There are no visible symptoms from depression. They look normal for most people. They go about doing their work like a normal person. However, there are subtle symptoms one can watch out for.

What are the early symptoms you can watch out, when you suspect someone you love suffers from depression ?

They disconnect from their social circle, their friends and relatives.

They can’t give a proper smile and you can’t force them to smile.

They hate sound in any form. Hence, they prefer not to even talk to people and prefer to live in isolation. They avoid picking up phone calls too.

They will also miss paying bills on time.

They are seen lying on bed all day  over the weekend or whenever they are at home. Waking up in the morning is the toughest challenge for them.

Negative thoughts rule their mind. Examples of negative thoughts are ‘If they are driving, thoughts of an accident’. While on flight ‘they imagine an air crash’.  If they are holding a baby ‘the baby could get hurt or fall off from their hands.’  Not many will tell you, they also get bad thoughts of death of their loved ones too.

They can’t concentrate at work. This affects their performance at work as they struggle to meet deadlines.  Any negative feedback from supervisor just aggravates their depression.

They will often have anger outbursts. It has got nothing to do with you. The anger is within, with themselves – for letting this happen to them. They feel miserable about themselves and prefer to vent it out to their loved ones.

The worst thing is constant suicidal thoughts. They feel worthless and that they are a burden to their family and loved ones.

What actually causes depression ?

It is difficult to pin point a particular reason. Usually, when someone suffers depression, if it coincides with any other setback like job loss or break up, then people usually think it is because of the job loss or break up. The fact is that job loss or break up could be a result of prolonged depression that affects job performance and marital relationship which the person who suffers is not aware of.

There are various other reasons too that could result in depression :

  • Job related stress over a long period. The effects of working in a toxic workplace and a jerk boss on mental health of individuals is now being recognized. A natural choice would be to quit. However, the tough economic climate makes it difficult to move on for most people.
  • Living in cold countries where sunshine is rare also might cause one form of depression. It is called SAD ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) that recurs on a seasonal basis.
  • A traumatic past – childhood abuse or workplace bullying over a long period of time can also cause depression.

How can you help your loved one suffering from depression ?

The person suffering from depression is a mentally strong person and hence unlikely to visit a doctor. Visiting a doctor is considered a weakness by them (especially men).

In such case, it becomes the responsibility of the partner to ensure they are either convinced that depression is curable and they need medication or prepare for a long battle along with the person who suffers from depression.

The partner needs to ensure that s/he is sensitive about what they say to them. Insensitive remarks like ‘Just snap out of it’ or ‘Just go out and watch a movie’ or  ‘What is your problem ? I have mine too’ will only worsen the condition.

One must remember that the person who suffers from depression have their own problems too and on top of that there is this depression that does not let them think rationally or solve the problem.

Few kind words won’t hurt.  Phrases like ‘You will be fine.’ ‘I liked what you did yesterday’. These are words you should be saying anyway, however, they are more important you say those words when they suffer from depression.

What are the natural remedies for depression ?

Exercise or long walks help a lot. They need a lot of exposure to sunlight. Writing all positive thoughts helps a lot.

However, the best remedy is for the partner to just let them vent it out. They need a patient hearing – about their work, the pressure, their dreams or what they have planned for both of you.

It is unfortunate that in our current materialistic world, nobody has the time to hear out anyone.

Sometimes people around can also aggravate depression, especially those insensitive jerks who have no control over their tongue.

Friends and relatives must also understand that their presence is not required only for birthday parties, wedding reception and funeral. When someone is alive and they need you, it is their duty to inquire about them often.

There is no point telling the world they should have known earlier once the person suffering from depression ends his/her life.

Today it is them. Tomorrow it could be you.

I always believed that ‘Karma is a bitch and she comes back to haunt you’.  If you are kind and help people suffering from depression, you accumulate good karma too and God will bless you someday in future.

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

– Stephen Fry

Image to depict depression
Image by Sudhir Suvarna

46 thoughts on “When depression knocks your partner down – it’s a test of true love.

  1. It is important to be aware about your loved ones especially when they go down in depression path…Help them , support them in all best possible ways for them to get back to life

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great write up again! I love that you give examples of how to be supportive as a partner–a huge part of a person’s support system. Do you think it differs culturally in marriages how a partner may respond or not respond to a depressed spouse?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess Gabriela…it depends on individuals and awareness of the partner. Most people want their partner to be behaving as they wish..Depression causes behavior change which most people can’t understand. Hence, this post to spread awareness.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Communication is definitely a huge factor!! We need to listen carefully and talk things through patiently to support one another through ordeals like depression. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know how hard it is to live with someone with depression and it’s so difficult. It really takes an understanding person to realise that it is an illness like any other and requires compassion even when you sometimes don’t feel compassionate. I feel it’s becoming more prolific in the public awareness that it’s not a taboo to suffer from it. I think the problem comes when people just live with it and don’t ask for help.


  5. This is a great post. From someone who has suffered bouts of depression, I thank you for writing this. Depression is hard for everyone to understand and it sneaks up and swallow you whole and you just wait to come back into the light. You are so right that it is difficult on family members as well. I am very fortunate to have a spouse who is patient and understanding. Thanks for sharing this with me! Kim


    1. You are really lucky, Kim. Not many are and it makes it hard and hence I want to share with the spouse of people who are going through this illness which, sometimes even the person suffering from it is unaware of what s/he is going through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t be. I am in my worst in the mornings, if I manage to wake up early and then I think of a positive blog idea- that makes me feel better.
        Sometimes – you need just that one person to hear you out during such bouts and all you need to hear is that you will be fine.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In my case, Kim – there is lot of anger. This accumulated from working in a toxic workplace for more than 2 years. This changed my life. The anger is coming out now.


  6. Very wise and sage words. It is so easy to slip into a depression these days especially if you are in an unhappy situation which seems to get worse rather than better and you feel trapped with no way out. You speak of the workplace which is an excellent example as we need the income to afford our home and pay our bills however the job is literally killing us. We want to quit but can’t, we are so bogged down by it that we even have difficulties looking for a new job which just adds to the frustration and depression. At that point we do need a partner or friend to step in and help us, guide us, hold our hand, reach out and not dismiss what we are feeling but rather lift us up and show us the way out! Please continue your very important work here, there are many who need your encouragement that it can be better!


    1. Yes….the problem is rumination. People ruminate about how they have been treated at work, which adds to the misery. The solution is to write it out to turn negative into positive thoughts. Works for a while, but in the end you need the partner to understand. Hence, I wrote that post to share with partners whose spouse have suffered from depression. Many have reached out to me on Quora – a Question answer forum and most people are confused about their partners sudden change in behavior.
      I feel it is important to save a relationship because no other illness causes much distress between couples than this depression.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope it helps people. I would have liked to share it with the partner/spouse of people who suffer from depression. Unfortunately, many do not want to understand more about depression and hence people who suffer do not know whom to approach.
      I can only hear them out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hearing us out is all we want. And of course, I’m always willing to hear people out, even when it is the very last thing I want to do at that point. There was only one person that I needed a break from, but even when my mind was prepared, I always let her finish. (In other news, she is hanging in there as far as I know.)


  7. This is definitely food for thought. As psychologists, we are taught to take depression very seriously. Depression is also long term. Anything less than six months of prolonged sadness is not considered depression. However, support of family and friends goes a very long way. If we learn to look at the bright side of things, it is possible that one might not suffer from severe depression.


    1. Yes…saying from my experience. I am not Deepika Padukone so found it difficult to spread the word. There is another battle I am fighting and that is of workplace bullying. I have written another post on that subject. The fight is on.


  8. If only … if only … someone had told me that there was nothing wrong with me, but only that I had a problem called depression that could be overcome, I wouldn’t be today sitting in the ruins of my own life, having fun playing with the pieces.

    Great write up, Sudhir. You truly are amazing.

    I am too tough to cry now, but I can still feel the tears welling up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Scribbles and commented:
    For a long time, I have been thinking of dedicating a section of my blog to articles on depression. My intention is to create awareness on depression and thereby help those suffering from it. Since I have problems starting, I decided to reblog Sudhir Suvarna’s excellent article on depression, one of the most enlightening I have ever read.

    Liked by 1 person

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