Depression is not only an enormous burden for the patient, but also for their close ones.

The closer you are to each other, the more you will feel the effects of the disease – including exhausting and hopeless resistance when trying to support or cheer up the person suffering. For this reason, it is very important that people with a partner suffering from depreszsion know exactly how to give the best possible support to their partner and themselves.

The first and most important step you can take as a relative, is to accept that you cannot eliminate the illness yourself and you should also accept that it has nothing to do with you or your behavior.

Depression is a disease that needs to be professionally diagnosed and treated. This means that if this step has not yet been taken, you should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible to plan how to proceed. This is also an important form of relief for you.

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It is important that you continue to take care of yourself and not just your partner as the treatment progresses. Otherwise you will notice that you will quickly feel hopeless, exhausted, angry or sad – and in this state support is also difficult. Therefore, make sure that you surround yourself with other people with whom you can laugh and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, while you are taking care of your sick partner.

Groups of relatives, with whom you can share your feelings, and work through the often frustrating experiences with your depressive partner, are also very helpful. They can give you concrete advice, you can recharge your batteries, and you will feel that you are not alone with your situation.

Finally, a very basic tip: of course it is enormously helpful to know as much as possible about the illness of depression and the effects and the therapy possibilities, etc. – this not only creates understanding for the partner, but also gives you concrete advice on how you can support your partner in the best possible way.

We therefore recommend the use of our edupression psychoeducation program.

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