Recognizing Depression In Your Partner

Depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people around the world. While it can be difficult to deal with on a personal level, it can be even more challenging when it affects your partner. Recognizing depression in your partner is the first step towards getting them the help they need to overcome it.

What is Depression?

Depression is a condition that affects a person’s mood, thoughts, and general well-being. It can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair, and can affect a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Depression is a common mental illness that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as life events, history of trauma, genetics, or chemical imbalances in the brain.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Withdrawal from social activities and/or friends and family
  • Changes in appetite, including weight gain or loss
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches

Recognizing Depression in Your Partner

Depression can be difficult to recognize in your partner, especially if they are trying to hide it from you or themselves. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Changes in mood: If your partner is experiencing sudden mood swings, such as going from happy to sad in a short period of time, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Loss of interest: If your partner is no longer interested in activities that they once enjoyed, such as hobbies or socializing, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Withdrawal: If your partner is withdrawing from social activities, family and friends, or is spending more time alone than usual, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits: If your partner is sleeping more or less than usual, or is eating more or less than usual, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Physical symptoms: If your partner is experiencing unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches, it could be a sign of depression.

How to Help Your Partner

The first step in helping your partner is to talk to them about what you have noticed and express your concern. Let them know that you are there for them and that you want to support them in any way possible. Encourage them to seek professional help from a mental health expert, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

It is important to understand that depression is a serious illness and requires professional treatment. While you can offer support and be there for your partner, you cannot cure their depression on your own. Encourage your partner to seek out a therapist or a support group, and offer to help them find one if needed. You can also help by offering to attend therapy sessions with them or by helping them to schedule appointments and follow through with treatment.

Additionally, there are some things you can do to help your partner on a daily basis:

  • Encourage them to exercise: Physical activity can help boost mood and decrease symptoms of depression.
  • Be patient and understanding: Depression can be a long and difficult journey, so it is important to be patient and understanding with your partner.
  • Encourage healthy habits: Help your partner establish healthy habits, such as a good sleep schedule and a healthy diet.
  • Offer emotional support: Let your partner know that you are there for them and that you care about their well-being.


Recognizing depression in your partner can be challenging, but it is the first step in getting them the help they need. It is important to be supportive and understanding, and to encourage your partner to seek professional help. By working together as a team, you can help your partner overcome depression and reclaim their happiness and well-being.


FAQ #1: What are the signs of depression in a partner?

Depression can manifest in different ways, but some common signs to look out for include a loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, low mood or irritability, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions. If you notice any of these symptoms in your partner, it’s important to encourage them to seek professional help.

FAQ #2: Can depression impact a relationship?

Yes, depression can have a significant impact on a relationship. It may affect the way your partner communicates with you, reduce their libido or sexual interest, or cause them to withdraw from activities or social interactions. You may also find it challenging to provide the support your partner needs while coping with your own reactions to their illness. However, with open communication, support, and professional treatment, it is possible to navigate these challenges together and build a stronger relationship.

FAQ #3: How can I support my partner with depression?

Supporting a partner with depression can involve listening to them attentively, expressing empathy, and encouraging them to seek professional treatment. You can offer practical help, such as accompanying them to appointments, and help your partner to implement healthy lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough rest. It’s also important to take care of yourself and seek support when needed so you can be better able to support your partner.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

2. American Psychological Association. (2021). Recognizing signs of depression in your partner.

3. Hirschfeld, R. M. A., & Russ, M. J. (2017). Recognizing and treating depression in your partner. Harvard Health Blog.