We know that one in four people experience depression, but partners don’t always realise what’s happening, according to Caroline Carr, author of mypartnerisdepressed.com, who has personal experience of anxiety and living with a depressed partner.
During Depression Awareness Week, the best-selling author, hypnotherapist and life coach, with practices in Harley Street London, and Dorset, highlights the importance of becoming sensitive to the symptoms of mental illness.
“Unless you know the signs to look out for, you may have no idea that your partner is becoming depressed. You might excuse any changes in behaviour that you notice, and put them down to something else, such as work being particularly stressful, or ‘time of the month’,” says Carr.
“Yet potentially they could indicate that your partner feels as though their life is spiralling out of control as they sink into depression.”
She points out that changes in behaviour can be very subtle: “You may question whether or not there is anything actually wrong – especially if you have been together for some time. If you are in a new relationship, you may think that any unusual behaviour is an idiosyncrasy, and just part of that person’s personality."
Look out if these symptoms last more than a few weeks, suggests Carr