“Swoon” Show Notes: Episode #72 – Paint it Black: When Your Partner is Depressed

Jeff Guenther, MS, LPC on Jul 26, 2020 in Swoon

If you've never experienced depression it can be really hard to understand what your partner is going through when they do. Today Julie and Gina will walk you through how to respond to your partner and support them when depression pays a visit.

This episode covers:

  • Clarifying the myths about depression.
  • What depression feels like if you've never had it.
  • How to support a partner who is really struggling.
  • How to predict when depression might get activated.
  • How depression can negatively impact a relationship.

      Memorable Quotes

      "Depression usually visits like an uninvited unexpected guest."

      "Treating depression is more like minimizing negative impacts and creating support structures than it is about clearing all symptoms once and for all forever."

      "Depression is incredibly common. If you don't experience depression someone you know does. And you don't always know who does."

      "Depression feels like 'meh.' Not always like 'I need to end my life.' It certainly can be extreme, but definitely not always."

      "Depression is different than being sad or in grief. They are similar, related, and can occur at the same time. But they are not the same."

      "The ways depression is debilitating or interruptive is different from person to person."

      "Depression tells us we don't deserve a good partnership."

      "Empathy is feeling with someone, not feeling for them."

      "You don't need to also become depressed, but you do need to understand what your partner is going through. You don't move into their vantage point and set up house, but you want to see the world from their view."

      "Depression isn't a character defect, it's something I experience. It's not all of me."

      "The impact of depression on our relationship is very different if the person experiencing depression is getting support."

        Resources from the Podcast

        Modern Love

        Empathy by Brene Brown

        Inside Out moment of empathy

        Hyperbole and a Half, Adventures in Depression

        Hyperbole and a Half, Depression Part 2

        Love More Fight Less, Communication Workbook for All Couples, Gina Senarighi

        Action Steps

        Ask your partner about their depression:

        • What is it like when the clouds set in? What's it like when they part?
        • How will I know when it gets bad or worse? What will you tell me? What is the worst?
        • What other supports do you rely on to get through your depression?
        • What will signal me if you need more help?

        Create a list of supports that work for your partner when you're in a depression-free moment, or work with your/their therapist to create a wellness list for tough moments.

        Get support

        Looking for coaching? Connect with Gina

        Looking for a therapist in Oregon? Connect with Julie

        Looking for other therapeutic support? Check out TherapyDen

        Your Swoon hosts

        Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
        Connect with Gina

        Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
        Connect with Julie

        Jeff Guenther is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR.

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