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I'm dating someone with depression and anxiety. What to do?

120 Answers
Last Updated: 01/04/2021 at 8:46pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Dominecaa White, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Emotional challenges take a toll on who we are and can limit us from being our best. My desire is to help all clients experience freedom from emotional bondage.

Top Rated Answers
anaisabel
June 23rd, 2016 11:15am
The first thing you have to realise is that anxiety and depression are mental ilness so they might think they don´t deserve to be loved. Be patient. Show your partner he/she deserves love. Is not your job to fix them, you just have to offer support when she/he’s going through a difficult time.
PinkKeen
June 24th, 2016 2:47pm
I have dealt with this personally and would recommend talking to them about their problems and fight alongside them.
Anonymous
June 24th, 2016 7:04pm
Be there for her. Make her feel that she's important. Don't do things that will make her think/feel that you're tired of her.
Anonymous
June 24th, 2016 8:02pm
Just be their ear and listen to what they are feeling or what their mind is anxious about. Most times people just want someone to listen to about their worries. Be positive and patient
Dontworryigetitdude
June 24th, 2016 9:46pm
The thing lots of people want while they have depression and anxiety is for people to understand. Try to understand what's going on in their life. Talk to them and don't dismiss them being off.
BalancED
June 25th, 2016 4:04am
I think that the best thing you can do is to ask questions, which you've already started doing! Being willing to learn and understand can be very comforting when somebody is struggling.
Anonymous
June 25th, 2016 4:52am
You have to be understanding and encouraging. Never ever talk down on them for what they go through. It's not their fault.
SimplyBeing
June 25th, 2016 5:02am
I am glad you are reaching out for support when you face a challenge in a relationship. You are taking the first and most important step in living with a person with depression and anxiety, getting support. You are also taking another important step, approaching your partner as a person with depression rather than saying they are "depressed." We are wonderful and complex. We are never a single thing even when that thing is a huge challenge. The next steps depend on if your partner is ready to deal with their challenges. If they aren't you can help them by being authentic and expressing your concern while making sure you are caring for yourself and managing your feelings about their struggles. You can model self care and daily steps toward a positive mindset. Work on a gratitude journal and start a daily practice of meditation. Enhance your social connections so both of you can access support when you need it. Another step I have found useful is to become active in supporting your community. Find a charity or social project and volunteer some time. The positive feelings that come out of that kind of work are long lasting. If they are ready to address the issues either personally or with professional help none of your efforts toward self care are wasted. They are still a model of how to live a more fulfilling life. There are a thousand steps toward recovery but the most important one is the first step you take each day.
serenity1738
June 26th, 2016 6:27pm
Check up on them everyone and then. Just show them that you care about them. Someone caused them to be like that and its up to you to show them that you want better for them
PurpleGoddess
June 29th, 2016 11:15am
You just have to be there and let them know that what they are feeling is real, and that you are there to support them in whatever why that you can. Show them that you care, try and get them out the house to do things or just let them vent and talk about it.
BeautifulSunshine86
June 29th, 2016 6:08pm
Be patient, and always offer your support and love. That's the best thing to do. It's going to get challenging, and even a little frustrating. But by being patient and being there for them no matter what, you can help them progress in getting better!
Anonymous
July 2nd, 2016 5:54pm
Care for them and show it. Don't leave them and say that they are too messed up. Explain all your feelings always so they don't start to think the worst.
Danielle806
July 3rd, 2016 10:30am
I would make sure you tell them every morning how beautiful they are and how much you care for them whenever your out in public with them hold there hand if they are panicking take them outside or to the bathroom and if your with people tell them you two need to talk alone for a min and then sit them down and try to calm them down
KayyRose
July 3rd, 2016 7:24pm
Support them and love them unconditionally. They're constantly going through a lot of difficult situations and a hand to hold might just be what they need. Don't abandon them when they need you and if you think they need different professional help or medication, sit down with them and talk about it with them. They will appreciate it a lot.
ProactivePapaya00
July 3rd, 2016 9:58pm
Listen to them. That's literally it. A person with depression and/or anxiety is no different than anyone else. Don't treat them like they're different. Talk to them and listen to their worries, they need it. Most people suffering from depression and/or anxiety have so many uncontrollable thoughts yet no one to tell. Make them feel heard. And instead of treating them like they have special needs, just treat them with a little bit more extra care. As if you're caring for a young child, listen to them and take care of them, but don't treat them like they're sick. :)
comfortingCandy91
July 3rd, 2016 11:39pm
Try to ask them what their triggers are so you can understand them better and what to be on the look out for if they suddenly feel anxious or low, also ask them what they find helpful so if/when they are like that around you, you can try to help them by doing the things they find comforting. Also know, its not down to you to fix them, it can't be fixed but you can help them and they can try to help themselves. Just try to be patient and understanding, even if they can't show it, they will appreciate it so much x
WorkInProgress11
October 11th, 2016 1:45pm
You just need to be there for them and remind them that you care and want to support them. There's nothing you can really do to "fix" them, but it's helpful to know that someone is beside you and cares about what you're going through. Even if you can't understand exactly what they're feeling, showing them that you're willing to listen is a huge help.
Anonymous
November 8th, 2016 7:08am
Ask them how they feel right now. It will come to your knowledge if your presence makes them feel comfortable or making their anxiety even worse.
PeacefulWinds
February 13th, 2017 6:17am
Be supportive. Always be there for them. Don't judge everything they do, accept them for how they are, and let them know you're always there for them.
Anonymous
June 13th, 2017 1:47am
It can be really hard dating someone who sometimes sees the world or themselves in distorted ways. The most important thing is to accept this without being judgmental, and support it without trying to fix them. There isn't anything wrong with them, and make sure they know this. Also try not to be their therapist, and that they look into resources like that if you think they need them. Being someone's "therapist" while in a relationship can lead to unhealthy behavior, and make sure they are getting professional help if they need it.
VictoriaLucas
August 1st, 2017 11:51am
It can be very difficult to support someone who suffers from problems such as these, the best way to deal with this is to ensure that person feels loved and supported. You don't always have to know the answer to their problems, but just to have you there to listen and let them know they are not alone will provide endless amounts of help to that individual.
ProbablyLost
September 19th, 2017 1:29am
Recognize that how they feel isn't your fault. They had these issues long before you came along. Also respect their boundaries, and the limits they set for you helping them. Also understand that being in a relationship isn't a one stop fix it all for mental illness.
Jennifer164
January 8th, 2018 4:42pm
Try to show how much you care about him/her and how much you love him/her.Assure him/her that everything is going to be okay and at times hugs and cuddles help as well.Ask him/her what you can do do for making them feel secure and happy.Think about saying something because some words can be very hurtful to depressed people.If necessary ask him/her to meet a psychiatrist.
Anonymous
January 9th, 2018 12:50am
I personally recommend showing that you're there for them, especially when they try to push you away. Make sure they know that they will never be alone. And try to understand if they lash out at you.
Anonymous
January 29th, 2018 2:52am
Be gentle with them. It’s a learning experience for both of you. Listen to them, and help them feel loved. Try to practice listening, and try to only give advice when absolutely needed/asked for. Let them know they’re loved. Let them know you’ll be there for them. I’d personally look up how to handle these sorts of things so that they aren’t as scary when they happen. Just try and help them feel cared for. It may take time, but if you’re doing it right, they’ll start to open up.
forwards
February 6th, 2018 6:32am
Try to provide the person with as much support as you can, and aid them in overcoming their problems. However, it's important to recognise when the person needs professional help, and to assist them in getting that help if, and when, they need it.
caffeinie
January 1st, 2019 2:25pm
Tbh just support them through it. Always be there when they need you. Make sure they feel comfortable enough to share what they feel with you. Don't act bored if they repeat stuff again and again. Depression and anxiety are just not a phase. They're not in control of their actions or thoughts. Thoughts control them in that period of depression. And most importantly make them feel special. You don't need to do any thing extravagant for that. Even the smallest gestures and stuff mean a lot to them when it's coming from you. They notice each and everything you do even if they won't say it out loud. They do appreciate it. And also make then know that you care at all times.
naturalStrawberry348
July 16th, 2019 6:55pm
One of the most important things when dating anyone with a mental illness is to remember to be supportive. Not just when they are doing good. It is important to remember to be supportive when they are struggling, reminding them of the good qualities that they have. If the person is on medication, check in with them to see if they are taking their medication as prescribed. If they are in a particularly bad episode, perhaps take over the control of the medication and make sure they are taking it. Give them time every day to open up and be honest with you about how they are doing. Set up a journal system so that they can share their feelings without feeling judged. Most of all, love them for who they are, not what disease they may have.
CuringwithLove
April 13th, 2020 11:19pm
If you are dating someone because you love them, you can focus on what is essential and be their everlasting support, as long as you feel it's something you are willing to do. In case you feel willing, you can always ask yourself 'What would love do?'. In this case, it is obvious that love would always follow the path that feels right for you, which you can feel in your heart. If your heart is telling you to stay, love them, be there for them, because love cares, love makes sure others know they can count on it.
BunnyMesa
January 4th, 2021 8:46pm
If you are dating someone with a mental illness, it can be difficult because their emotions greatly impact them. However, it is important to remain patient with them and communicate with them to avoid misunderstandings and assumptions that could build up into something more harmful for the both of you. In my experience, I cannot emphasize more greatly how important communication is. Even in a relationship without mental illness involved, misunderstandings are still likely to happen, so be aware of subtle clues they may drop about their emotions or check up on them to make sure they are okay or if there is anything you can do to support them. Another factor to consider is that someone with depression and anxiety is already likely to be self-critical, so refrain from pointing fingers or putting them down for personal gain. More likely than not, they just want company and a listening ear.