Many of us have gone through short spells of depression before, but if left unchecked, it can become dangerous. As a loving partner, it’s important that you’re able to tell if your partner may be going through depression. It’s up to them to go through with treatment, but if you still believe in the relationship, you should be supportive while they do. Here are 11 signs to be on the lookout for.
Their weight changes.
Everyone goes through weight fluctuation in their lives, but if they’ve suddenly gained more than a few pounds or lost an alarming amount without actively trying, they could be depressed. Depression and obesity have been linked through science. It’s also common for food to bring people a great source of comfort.
They haven’t showered in a long time.
Proper hygiene should be part of your daily schedule, but sometimes depression leaves you too fatigued to grab a shower or take care of yourself. As their partner, you should point it out gently, as it’s unhealthy and may affect them at work. However, it’s important to realize that it’s a big sign that it’s more than just laziness at play.
Nothing seems to make them happy anymore.
They’re constantly grumpy and even news that would have cheered them up, like their favorite team winning a game or a slight promotion at work, is unappreciated. Healthline reports that mood changes and lack of interest or enjoyment are two telltale signs that someone is going through a depressive period.
They’re giving away some of their most prized possessions.
You might chalk this up to your partner being kind to others, but it’s also a big sign that they have plans to end their life. They want their things to be passed onto someone who appreciates them. This kind of behavior requires an intervention immediately. When it comes to mental health, you don’t want to stall in getting help.
They’re drinking a lot more.
You’ve noticed that their daily beer is suddenly four daily mixed drinks — at a minimum. There’s nothing wrong with drinking responsibly, but a sudden escalation in alcohol consumption might indicate that they’re trying to numb their emotions and handle the pain. If they continue on like this, their pattern may quickly become problematic, or dangerous to the people around them.
They have chronic pain.
Sometimes when we’re feeling down, our bodies reflect that. Mayo Clinic states that depression and pain often go hand-in-hand. Sometimes we feel pain when we’re depressed. Other times, we’re depressed since we have pain. If your partner keeps complaining about lower back pain or aching shoulders and has a tough time getting out of bed, it could be their mental health that needs attention.
They can’t stop feeling guilty.
Moments of their life just replay in their mind, getting slightly worse each time. Your partner just has a hard time letting go of small incidents or minor exchanges in which they may have hurt someone’s feelings or let someone down. These things happen sometimes, but if your boyfriend or girlfriend starts to build these small moments to make themselves feel like the worst person on earth, they need to talk to someone about it.
They start having anxiety attacks.
Anxiety and depression often happen at the same time. Anxiety can bring on a rapid heartbeat and a feeling of dread and cause someone to be fearful of even leaving the house. With those types of thoughts inhabiting your partner’s brain, it makes sense for them to feel gloomy and unmotivated.
You’ve heard multiple times about how they don’t think they deserve you.
In their head, they don’t. Their self-esteem has plummeted and they can’t believe you’re staying around. In fact, they may assume on a daily basis that you’ll break up with them. They may have even tried to break up with you to rip the band-aid off and do it first. If you truly do love them, show your partner that you still have faith in them and know this is a hurdle the two of you will navigate together.
They’ve been isolating themselves.
It’s one thing to enjoy a little time alone. It’s another to cancel plans or go into hiding in the basement for days on end. When you’re depressed, you don’t necessarily want to be around other people. If your once-social significant other starts to avoid their friends and family, it’s a big sign you’ll want to pay attention to.
They’ve talked about suicide.
Healthline reports that in 2013, more than 42,000 people died from suicide. Any talk of it should be taken seriously, even if you feel as if taking action may weaken your relationship. Call 911, keep your loved one occupied and make sure that there are no weapons around. If your partner confides in you and says they’re having suicidal thoughts, take action in getting them the help they need. Make sure they know about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline, at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It’s free of charge and can end up saving their life.
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