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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5840
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My partner says she is suffering from depression. She withdrew

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My partner says she is suffering from depression. She withdrew from me when we found out we were pregnant. She says she has doubts about our future based on some difficulties in understanding some non verbal communications we had. She has suffered from this before.

She is considering an abortion as well as other options.

We met today and she was extremely affectionate and told me how much she loves me and misses me. She responded to my assertion that her doubts could never be tested unless we find away to try before its too late to make a decision on the baby.

I fear she will now go away and sink back into the depressed state. I dont know how to support her as she withdraws herself and will send lots of email but she says seeing me clouds her judgement as she cant separate her feelings for me and her worries.

I need some advice on how to help her, whilst keeping myself upbeat.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things in terms of taking care of your partner. She is struggling with depression which is not easy to cope with, for the person suffering from it and for those loved ones around them.

If your partner has not tried therapy or had an evaluation at least, that might be a good first option. At this point, knowing what kind of depression she has will help you both know what treatments will work and how you can help her at home.

Given that she is pregnant, that could be affecting her hormones and therefore the level of her depression. Women who are pregnant can experience mood issues due to the change in their hormonal levels. So she may want to check in with her doctor to see if there is anything that can be done for her. You can not only suggest this option, but be there for her if she does explore it.

You can also learn more about depression and help her in that way. The more you know, the more tools you will have to address what she feels. You can also help yourself because knowing what to look for and how to respond to her needs helps you reduce your stress. Here are some resources to help:

It also helps to adjust your response to your partner to what she needs. So if she seems happy and wants to be with you, then just being there helps her. But if she feels down, you can encourage her by making yourself available to talk or just sit with her. If she withdrawals, then make contact as much as you can. For example, if you walk by her, touch her lightly on the arm and look at her. Let her know you are there. You don't even need to talk to do that.

Also, try to make her life a little easier during this time. Make dinner for her or bring her a favorite flower. Go with her to appointments or on errands. Simple things that let her know you care. Unfortunately, depression can only be addressed with therapy and medications, but support often makes a world of difference in helping the person cope.

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi unfortunately we dont live together - we were meant to be moving in a few weeks ago. So I cant make dinner for her etc. I can reach out but if she doesnt asnwer the phone or email etc, do I just back off and let her come to me again? Or is there something else I can do.

Thank you for the additional information.

If she won't answer the phone, then just leaving a message is all you can do. And being sure she is ok. So if you do not hear from her in a few days, you may want to go see her. You can try to contact her at least once a day or every other day, which is fine. But if you feel she is not interested, backing off for a few days is ok to do. The key here is making sure you are availble but without being over protective.

But otherwise, all you can do is be available for her. She has to decide how to handle her depression and how willing she is to accept help from you or anyone else.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you