When a partner is suffering with postnatal depression, it is natural to feel somewhat helpless, anxious and to a certain extent isolated. You absolutely want to help in every way you can, but given the fact that you don’t fully understand the condition and nor are you experiencing the same symptoms, it can be extremely difficult to know what to do.
According to the experts at www.davidgoodlad.co.uk, seeking professional counselling at the earliest possible opportunity is of paramount importance. Nevertheless, there is also a great deal that can be done on a day to day basis to help a partner with postnatal depression deal with things and make a strong, fast and full recovery. The most important thing to remember at all times is that their recovery will happen, but in the meantime, you will need to exercise plenty of patience, proactivity and understanding.
What follows is a quick introduction to just a few tips from the experts on how to successfully and effectively help a partner dealing with postnatal depression:
1 – Seek Help
First and foremost, the importance of ensuring that professional assistance be sought from an experienced, sympathetic and capable professional simply cannot be overstated. Postnatal depression can make new mums feel as if they are the only people in the world that are suffering what can often be a devastating array of symptoms. This is of course far from the reality of things, but it often takes a few helpful words from the professionals to help women understand that they are not alone in their plight.
2 – Be Patient and Understanding
It can be extremely frustrating to see loved ones suffering with a bout of crippling depression that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Unfortunately, this kind of frustration can breed counterproductive habits and approaches when it comes to caring for them. What you must remember at all times is that postnatal depression is an illness – as in a real illness just like any other illness out there. As such, expecting your partner to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pull their socks up’ and suddenly make a miraculous recovery is unrealistic and could be harmful to the recovery process.
3 – Accept Your Limitations
It can also be extremely frustrating to acknowledge the fact that you are essentially highly limited with regard to how much help you can offer – you cannot simply ‘cure’ her depression overnight. Instead, the very best thing you can do is be as supportive and understanding as possible, listening to her thoughts and feelings and being there for her at all times. Do not waste your time chasing miracle solutions that do not exist – it will not help either of you.
4 – Don’t Take Over
There will undoubtedly be days when your partner barely feels like getting out of bed and you’ll probably find yourself having to take care of most essential duties. However, what you should absolutely not do is fall into the trap of instinctively taking over absolutely every duty and giving your partner no responsibilities and nothing to do. The reason being that while this may appear on the surface to be an act of kindness, you make inadvertently made her feel as if she is in fact completely and redundant and useless. If there is something she wants to do or something she wants to help with, encourage this.
5 – Bring in Support
In the first weeks in particular, your partner may not wish to be left alone and doing so could potentially make things worse. If this is the case, do whatever it takes to ensure that there is someone close to her with her at all times. Get in touch with close family members and friends, to see who can offer their support.
6 – Encourage Outings
The comfort of your own home has the potential to become your own personal prison when suffering postnatal depression. And sooner or later, you may find it difficult not to associate various things around the home with feelings of upset and anguish. As such, it is important to encourage your partner to go out as much as possible and remain active – ideally with you, but with anyone else if not.
7 – Don’t Make Her Feel Worse
Last but not least, there is the likelihood that you will find it difficult to cope sometimes whilst both caring for your partner and taking care of your usual duties and responsibilities. Nevertheless, the very last thing you want to do is to give your partner the impression that their current situation is bringing you down, harming you or in any way affecting your life. It can be difficult to hide your true thoughts and emotions when pushed to your limits, but making her feel any worse at such a sensitive juncture thing will not breed positive results.