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How to Tell Your Partner About Your Depression

How to Tell Your Partner About Your Depression

How to Tell Your Partner About Your Depression

Depression is a mental illness that negatively impacts one’s daily life. It can lead to self-isolation from your loved ones and important people in your life. Here we look at how to tell your partner about your depression.

Since depression symptoms are not visible, you may need to gather your courage and open up to your partner. After concluding that you have to open up to your partner, you need to learn and prepare what to say to them. Let them know what you are feeling and what you require to keep your relationship going as you find ways to recover.

Deciding to Tell Your Partner About Your Depression

Consider Your Motivation

If you have decided to open up to your partner, it’s because you have a good reason. What motivates you to tell them about your condition? Understanding why you want your partner to know you are depressed will help you know what to say and what not to say. Consider the following:

  • Are you opening up because you want support from your partner?
  • Is your relationship going to benefit after you have informed your partner that you are depressed?
  • Has your partner noticed something off that may have been caused by depression?

Figure Out if Your Partner Can Provide Support and Understanding

Most people with any mental illness are stigmatized in society. This might be because many people do not understand mental illness, nor do they know what they are supposed to do as far as help is concerned.

Before telling your partner about your depression, you need to understand whether they will offer support and understanding or if they are the kind to tell you to get over it. You may also need to prepare yourself for a negative reaction since not everyone can be willing to be with someone with a mental illness.

How Much Do You Want to Share with Your Partner?

Just because they are your partner does not mean that you have to tell them everything about the condition. Some information might scare them away, and of course, that’s not your intention. Plan ahead on what to tell them and limit the amount of information you want to disclose to them.

For instance, you limit the information depending on the stage you are in your relationship. If it’s a new relationship, you may want to share less information; if you have been together for quite a while, then you can disclose as much information as possible based on the personality of your partner.

Have a Support System

Though you might be in a serious relationship, you should understand that your partner might be among those who can’t understand depression with a snap. If they are not supportive and understanding, you may need someone who can support you in case of a negative response from your partner. It may be a parent, sibling, or therapist. Let them know that you are planning on telling your partner about the condition, and you might need their help if it does not turn out well.

Telling Your Partner About Your Depression – Figuring What To Say

Write Down What to Say Ahead of Time

Discussing your depression can be difficult. You may think that your partner will stop loving you after they’ve known about your condition. You may lack words to say in the middle of the discussion. To avoid this, you may need to write down the topics you want to cover.

If you think a letter will be much easier to read than talking, go ahead and write a letter. Write down what you want them to know, for example, “I am depressed,” followed by some symptoms. Write down what you feel, e.g., “I don’t want to be in other people’s company” or “Sometimes it’s hard for me to get out of the house.”

Practice What to Say

Nothing can be more challenging than explaining your depression. Especially since you are opening up to your partner, you may be emotional and lack words to describe the condition. Since you have already written down key points that you want your partner to know about, read them loud ahead of time. You may try this with your trusted loved one, and it will be much easier.

Understand More About Depression

Before opening up about your depression to your partner, you need to know more about it yourself. This will help you answer any question that your partner may ask as well as knowing about general symptoms of depression and how they can affect you. Gather some resources for your partner in case they would like to learn more about depression. Also, learn about how other couples are dealing with depression within their relationships.

Having a Constructive Conversation About Your Depression

Choose the Right Time

When telling your partner about your depression, make sure it’s at the right time. You do not want to tell them about your depression when they are busy watching their favorite T.V show or during meals. Choose a day that you are feeling a bit better and they are free. Ensure it’s in a conducive environment for such a discussion and at a quiet place. This will ensure that they are attentive to what you are saying.

How to Tell Your Partner About Your Depression? – Be Honest

Ensure that you are honest about your feelings to your partner. Let them know what you feel is different from mood swings or feeling down. Ensure that all the information is truthful.

Let Your Partner Know Your Needs

Once you have opened up to your partner, let them know what you need from them: love, patience, someone to talk to, or understanding. When your partner is aware of your needs, it becomes easier to find a way to make you feel much better.

Listen to What Your Partner has to Say

Once you have said all you wanted to say to your partner, listen to what they have to say. Do not interrupt, but rather listen respectfully and carefully. Remember that your partner might need some time to digest the news and do not negatively take their reactions. It might be difficult for them to know that their partner has a mental illness; therefore, you should be as calm as possible. After taking in the news, you may both find ways to start with your treatment if you have not yet started.

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