Supporting your partner through their struggles can often be challenging. It can lead to unwanted consequences if we do not know what to do during those moments. With couples therapy, identifying ways to work through anxiety and depression can be done as a team. We want to help you and your partner work through these situations with some guidance in this article.
Identifying depression in your partner
The first thing you need to be on the lookout for is immediate changes. For example, suppose your partner is known to be physically active but is now getting easily lethargic and sleeps more. In that case, that can be an alerting sign.
For some people who are going through depression, they can express it in anger instead of sadness. Suppose your partner, who is known to be easy-going, is now getting easily irritated and upset. In that case, this is a change to be aware of.
People who go through depression often do not acknowledge the emotional changes. However, one of the critical things we constantly look out for during therapy sessions is the loss of interest in activities or things that used to excite them.
Such warning signs may occur in certain phases of our life. However, the difference in depression is the intensity and frequency of such signals. Anybody can have one to a couple of sad or bad days because of something that happened at work or at home. However, if such emotions occur consistently for more than two weeks, that warrants immediate attention.
Identifying anxiety in your partner
Similarly, most will notice a change in their partner. Anxiety is when one feels anxious, afraid, or threatened about something that might not be happening or true. If you cannot sleep well due to being worried about the lack of money to pay your bills, that is not anxiety but just being stressed.
However, if you cannot sleep well despite being financially stable but fear that something might happen one day, that then is anxiety. Our brain is a brilliant, complex organ but often does not identify the difference between reality and fantasy.
Your support is paramount
A healthy relationship means working as a team in all situations. Anxiety and depression must be observed as a situation that you will need to live with as a team. It will, in one way or another, affect the family system. If an inevitable divide exists, it might be a good time to consult professional advice on how to work on the relationship. Providing vital support means “I am with you all the way, just like how you will be with me if I were in your shoes.”
Avoid being defensive, especially when you meet situations beyond your control. Communication is essential; how we approach the topic of talking it out is even more critical. The critical point to note is softened conversation starters. For example, “I have noticed that you are worried about something and are not sleeping well. Do you want to talk about it?” or “I have noticed that just the other day you were crying over a particular commercial despite seeing it many times. Do you want to tell me if something is bothering you?”
Couples Therapy: Supporting you and your partner through anxiety and depression
During couple therapy, both you and your partner are equipped with the necessary skills and strategies to work through such difficult moments. The key points being raised and taught to couples are:
- Listening to one another
- Trusting one another
- Noting of signals
- Handling panic attacks
Couples therapy teaches the couple to note that depression and anxiety are not attached to one person but require both parties’ effort. When the caretaker of the depressed partner starts to realise that it is less about themselves but instead being in tune with their partner’s emotion, the journey of recovery can take place.
Depression and anxiety are challenging moments for any marriage. We can learn how to work through those moments during therapy sessions, but the essential yet most basic thing we can offer as a partner is our support. It is about “I am here with you. You have survived through your struggles. You will be ok.” Supporting without the need to preach – practise that constantly.
Never be afraid to seek help as a couple. Remember, it is a team effort, not an individual one. If you require professional advice and help to deal with anxiety and depression in your marriage, A Space Between can help you with that.
With unique and aesthetically pleasing designed therapy rooms, we offer a wide range of services that include not only couple therapy but also family therapy session and private counselling. For more information on the therapists we work with and the services they provide, contact us today!
No matter what you’re facing, perhaps our website can offer up some solace or comfort. Know that you’re not alone, and that there is help available. This can be hard to keep in mind if you haven’t quite found the right support system. While it’s definitely not easy to find the right fit—whether you’re looking for a support group or a mental health provider—with diligence, it’s totally possible.
If you are a therapist, life coach or counsellor looking to join our growing community, head over to book a tour once you have learnt about the plans we offer. At A Space Between, there is a ready league of providers you can network with. With professionals from various backgrounds and therapy practices, there are bound to be the ones you can connect with. Private practice does not have to be lonely.