Loving Someone With Depression and Anxiety

In the interest of raising mental health awareness, I decided to write a blog that is deeply personal to me and my family. I’ve been putting off writing it, dismissing the idea of laying it all out there.

I’m not into big public displays of emotion. It’s not my style but I do feel this is important.

I love someone who suffers from depression and anxiety. I’m not going to go into details because it’s not my story to tell. What I would like to do is offer my own story and what’s it’s like loving someone who finds it hard to love themselves.

It can be really difficult. When he was at his lowest, I also felt at my lowest. I blamed myself. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I make him happy? I must need to try harder.

I realise now, it’s nothing that I do or don’t do. It just…is.

After admitting to his struggles and finally seeking help, his low days are fewer and farther between, for which we are both thankful. He has found cognitive behavioural therapy so helpful, along with medication. Therapy is also an option which can be so beneficial (check out thrivetalk.com for more information.)

Despite the improvement, the bad days can still come. I know him so well. I know immediately when he is battling with something. His need to clean when he is anxious. The subtle changes in his body language. How he buries himself away when things become too much.

His struggle is my struggle. We’re a team. If I can help in any way I will. Sometimes it’s trying to remove outside stresses. It’s reminding him to eat regularly as we’ve noticed that has an effect. It’s giving him “quiet time” when he’s working through something, which can be tricky with three young kids in the house!

Sometimes he needs tough love. But sometimes just good old regular love is enough.

He needs reassurance. He needs to know that even when he was at his lowest, I was there.

Do the difficulties make me love him any less? God no. It makes me love him more. He’s strong. He’s a survivor.

His bravery in seeking help despite worrying about the stigma associated with it, is inspiring.

I’ve found the most important thing is to listen.  To be there when he needs to let it all out. But also to give him space when he needs it.

I can’t imagine how terrible it must be to live with depression and anxiety every day. When every day is a battle. It’s heartbreaking to watch someone you love battle their demons.

Would it be easier loving someone without depression and anxiety. Possibly. Would my life be as fulfilled and full of love? Definitely not.

As I’ve said to him in the past, with three young kids in the house, it can be like a war zone at times. But there’s nobody else I’d rather go to battle with.

This is a collaborative post

39 comments

  1. This was a great post and I appreciate the perspective. It isn’t often that you see the issue from the other side. As someone who struggles greatly with depression and anxiety I wonder what it is like from my husband’s point of view. Although, I never really ask…how do you ask something like that? Sometimes I think he is just indifferent to it, like I am the way I am and there is nothing he can do about it.

  2. It is well, he is lucky to have someone like you who cares and understands. May God continue to give you the grace to be that woman for him in difficult times.

  3. This is such a lovely and personal post, it must be so hard loving someone with depression and anxiety I know I sometimes wonder how my other half puts up with me and my mental health.

  4. This is such a helpful article! I think we all know someone closely or from a distance that has these struggles, if not ourselves. Thank you for sharing. 🙏💕

  5. My mother in law has depression that comes and goes. I have noticed how she does even better when she is surrounded by her grandchildren…seeing her smile with them around is like nothing else! Thank you for sharing this with us ❤️

  6. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for the past 12 years and I’m amazed at how much my husband as been able to support and love me during the highs and lows. I think having someone that you can trust and support helps so much even when you don’t realise it at the time. It must be hard for you as well to see your loved one down. x

  7. I commend you for staying in a relationship with someone who suffers with anxiety & depression. Everyone needs someone who loves then and who they want to love. And it appears that you both feel the same way. I imagine some days you’re giving a lot. But when your partner is also able to give to you, it balances out. Ebbs and flows are what makes relationships interesting. Weathering a storm together makes you stronger 🙂

  8. The end of this post made me smile. I also love someone who suffers from depression (and OCD as opposed to anxiety) and I was always worried it was me who was causing his low moods and would struggle with what were the right things to do. As it turns out, all he needed was someone to listen. It’s so simple yet we’re all so quick to blame ourselves and find ways to make it all better but really, just being there and being present is more often or not the best thing we can do for our other half.

  9. This was so beautifully written and thank you so much for sharing your story from your point of view. I have a close family member who suffers from depression and anxiety, it can be challenging sometimes but I love them so much and try to help as much as I can.

  10. You should be really proud of yourself for speaking out about how it feels to love someone who suffers with mental health. I too was in a long term relationship with a very depressive person – that relationship definitely wasn’t right for either of us, but I have wondered how life with children with him might have been.
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

  11. Really enjoyed reading your article. Just want to say as someone battling with my mental health, having your support, just you there on side will be a huge help. It’s so lonely when you feel like no one could care less. All the best to you and your family. Xx

  12. People often forget about the people who are there for those with depression or anxiety. I’ve had depression on and off for years, and it’s my wife who’s had to deal with a lot of it. She’s a real hero for me!

  13. Thank you so much for this, it is beautifully written. I can relate to much of what you say because my 17 year old battles with anxiety and depression and it turns out, has done since childhood. Sadly she never told anyone, just learnt some very unhealthy coping mechanisms that worsened in the teenage years. It’s definitely a struggle to support her some days, especially as being a teenager she doesn’t want us to fuss but when she’s been at her absolute worst, she’s had no choice. It’s hard to watch a loved one suffer but as you said, I have utmost respect for her and admire her ‘fight’ so much. Love to you all. xx

  14. Beautifully written. I think with something like depression which does shut you off from the world, it can be so difficult for a partner to go through, and can really take it’s toll on your relationship. It’s so important to find ways to stay connected, and for you to still feel like your own feelings are valid, but it sounds like the two of you are a great team. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  15. Oh you have spoken right to my heart today. I have been on both sides of this scenario – as the one battling depression, and now suddenly I find myself the one caring for someone else who has anxiety. I have been beating myself up so much – I felt like, because I had experience of mental health issues, I should have been able to prevent it from happening to those around me. So your line which says “I realise now, it’s nothing that I do or don’t do. It just…is.” is just what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you. Be strong – it sounds like you are doing an amazing job – I know that the most important thing to someone battling mental health problems is knowing that someone out there loves them with unwavering, unconditional love #dreamteam

  16. Having seemed to have developed some anxiety during my second pregnancy, it’s really interesting to read this as I often wonder how hard it has been for my husband to cope with my change in moods these past 9 months. As a couple we’ve been fortunate to not have encountered depression in our lives, but something definitely changed for me when I got pregnant and therefore changed for him too. He’s been fantastic and like you say, just supports me when I need it and leaves me when I need that space. Well done for speaking out on such a difficult topic. #dreamteam

  17. This is such a moving post and quite a difficult read if I’m honest, in terms of reading what you are going through as a norm each day. You sound so strong and I’m sure that strength will be rubbing off on your loved one. What a fab team. Thanks for joining us for the #DreamTeam xx

  18. I have been on both sides of this, my sister had PND and my father has Anxiety which at one point about 6 years ago lead to depression. My best friend committed suicide after becoming depressed so I guess when I write all that down I realise I have had a lot of it around me. 4 years ago I became depressed, I have anxiety but have always coped ok, but 4 years ago I could barely see through the fog, still I am a fighter and I got through it, yes my anxiety is still a factor and in many ways always will be, it was hard to explain to my husband that it wasn’t about me being unhappy with him, the kids, the house or anything like that. It is an illness that grips you and I was so angry at myself as I had very reason to be happy and yet I couldn’t be. I felt trapped in a dense fog and like I was swimming against the strongest current. I think it is so hard for people watching their loved ones suffering and wishing they could somehow fix things or if they do something nice thinking tings will get better, but it is not anything about you, it is the illness. You are amazing and you are lucky to have such a strong team in your family. Thank you for writing this and I am so glad you shared it on #mg

  19. This is such a beautiful post. As I child I saw how my dad supported my mum who suffers from depression and social anxiety and now as an adult I am the one who suffers from similar mental health issues. My husband is my rock. I call him my human security blanket because he does make me feel safer when he’s around. The people who love and support those of us with depression are often quite amazing selfless strong people. You rock
    #MG

  20. Salute your amazing spirit. I have suffered depression and I probably only know partially what it is for the partner/spouse/family to deal with. Dealing with a depressed person requires immense empathy, love, acceptance and patience. And that doesn’t come easy each time.
    God bless you loads.

  21. What a beautiful and honest post! I too live with someone with depression and anxiety and you have nailed it. Empathy and listening skills are a must, and over time, I have learned not to try to ‘fix’ everything. I cannot. Thank your for your candor and validation. #mg xoxo

Have your say! Leave a comment below