My Partner’s Depressed: What Can I Do to Help?

Reader’s Digest, Best Health – Elizabeth Wiener and Lisa Brookman

The clinical psychologist says…
In my practice, I work with people who struggle with depression. It’s not unusual for clients to feel apprehensive about beginning therapy, which is a reasonable response to a new situation. Once they begin the therapeutic process, when they feel nurtured, supported and safe, the apprehension disappears and the healing begins.

Seeking professional help
Encourage your partner to visit a medical doctor to discuss his symptoms and rule out any underlying conditions. If your partner has a trusting relationship with his doctor, he might be more receptive to accepting a referral for a therapist.

Finding the right therapist
Depression can often be accompanied by feelings of shame and embarrassment. Helping your partner find the right therapist is the key to building a trusting, open and therapeutic relationship. Interview potential therapists, ask questions and become informed about their approach to find the best fit.

Consider getting support for yourself
A therapist can give you tools to help you cope. A support group can also be a safe and informative environment for you to express your concerns and meet others who may be struggling with the same issues.

-Lisa Brookman, a clinical psychotherapist

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