Couple chattingWorld Health Organization

How to cope when your partner has depression

JoEllen Notte

This week (13-19 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, so it feels like a good time to talk about depression.

I suffer from depression myself and I know how tough it can be. But I want to talk to the partners - the people living with the people who are living with depression. I know it’s not easy for you, either.

Depression can cause people to shut down and withdraw, which can feel like rejection.

It can make them say and do things that you just don't understand. And it’s painful, wanting to help but feeling like you can't.

I spent three years talking to more than 200 people about their experiences with love, sex, and depression for my book, The Monster Under The Bed. Some of them haven’t been able to keep their relationships together. But a lot of them have thrived, and they’ve done it by following remarkably similar strategies. These are their tips.

For information and support on mental health, take a look at the BBC's Action Line pages.

Originally published on 7 April 2017.