Knowing your partner has depression cannot be as easy as it sounds. That is why a neighbor is still shocked at the tragic event that happened a few months ago when her husband of 15 years committed suicide.
The news of Mr. John (not real name) hanging himself took everybody by surprise because up to the moment of his suicide, there was no sign he was about to do something like that.
How do you explain a family man with two lovely kids and a decent job killing himself without leaving behind a note to explain himself. That was how a life got snuffed out because his wife ignored all signs of a depressed person.
What caused the depression is something we would never know. But prior to the fateful day, the classic signs of a depressed person were already clear for all to see. Unfortunately the wife did not know about these signs.
So, here is how to know if your partner has depression. The signs can also be applied for a close friend, family member or colleague at the office.
Your Partner has depression if they seem unusually happy
There is this false myth that depressed people go around with sad faces spoiling other people’s day. That is patently false.
If your partner has depression, chances are they would become suddenly upbeat and happy for no reason you can put your finger on.
Showing happiness is one way depressed people use to cope with the feelings inside them. Though it is more likely the upbeat mood is an attempt to hide the depression from you.
It likely your partner has depression if they are constantly tired
Depressed people constantly look and act exhausted and tired for no reason at all.
You can put it down to the fact they are constantly battling with what is eating them up on the inside. Since the battle is never-ending, they tend to be tired even while doing nothing at all.
The fact they have to constantly put up an act to cover their depression can easily drain them of their energy or the will to go on.
They become short-tempered
Mood swings can happen to anybody and can’t be caused by anything from depression to just having a bad day at the office.
For the depressed person, been irritable can come on suddenly for inexplicable reasons. You could be watching a movie together only to have your partner snarl at you for asking a perfectly normal question about the movie.
Fact is, they lashed out unconsciously because you interrupted something they were unsuccessfully trying to figure out. Their mind was not on the movie.
Sudden irritability can manifest in many different ways and different settings too. If you are left constantly scratching your head in surprise at their behavior, then it is likely your partner has depression and is trying to hide it from you.
Reduced ability to show Empathy
One of the classic sign to know if your partner has depression is in the way they react to people, things and events.
What used to excite them is just waved off as if it is of no consequence.
For instance they might struggle to show any enthusiasm for the upcoming football match involving their favourite team. They would even forget the date and time of the game because they don’t care anymore.
To depressed people, nothing in this world gives them any sort of joy again.
Strange or new dietary habits
While your depressed partner now doesn’t enjoy whatever activity which used to get them excited, the substitute for that is to pick up strange habits.
One common strange habit depressed people manifest is in the sort of meals they start eating.
If before now you could predict what they’d loved to eat at any time, what you now have is a person who doesn’t care what they eat and how much they eat.
Don’t be surprised to see them just nibbling at their favorite food with disinterest.
Conversely, they are likely to start gorging on all sorts of foods without giving a thought to how their health is affected. In this case they just eat to cope with their depressed state.
They become more dependent on you
Due mainly to all the above signs, depressed people find it difficult to do their day to day activities with any sort of enthusiasm.
This might be termed laziness by insensitive people. Berating a depressed person about not been up to it in doing their chores would only make matters worse.
As the partner of a depressed person, you’d notice they depend on your more often to complete tasks for them; things they usually did without any problem.
A situation like this is most times misdiagnosed as a sickness. Unfortunately, the sickness is depression which can easily go undetected.
If you notice this state of affair (in addition to all the other signs), your partner has depression for sure and it is left for you to do something about it before it is too late.