Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How To Support A Depressed Spouse

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Things To Tell Your Partner

How to Support a Depressed Spouse

Change the following sentences to something that sounds more natural to you. You could write them down on sticky notes or cards and leave them in unexpected places.

Im here for you. I can see how youre struggling, but I suspect I dont know the half of it.

Youre ill, right now. Know that Im not judging you. Youre safe with me.

I love you. It doesnt matter how you look, dress or behave right now I know its that depression thats directing operations. I wont stop loving you.

I might feel lonely and empty inside of you, but know that well get through this together.

You will recover. This wont last .

I will stand by you when youre ready to tackle whatever led up to your feeling so depressed.

Ask Them What They Need From You

To show further understanding and support, ask the person what they need. They may need:

  • reminders to take medication
  • company when visiting the doctor or attending therapy
  • home-cooked meals
  • encouragement to socialize or exercise
  • a hug or a hand to hold
  • to be left alone sometimes

Helpful questions to ask include:

  • What can I do to help?
  • Would it be helpful if I ?

Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

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What To Do When You’re Not Okay

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Dont Get Bogged Down In Stigma Or Angry Feelings

What to Do when Your Spouse Is Depressed

Its easy to get bogged down in stigma or angry feelings when taking care of yourself. But its imperative to remember that taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. Here are some tips for staying positive and keeping your self-care routine on track:

  • Acknowledge your feelings, but dont dwell on them.
  • Dont compare yourself to others. Everyone has a unique journey.
  • Find an activity or hobby that brings you joy and stick with it.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate your accomplishments.

Also Check: How To Tell If Someone Is Hiding Depression

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Create A Supportive Environment At Home

Keep in mind your spouses depression is no ones fault. You will not be able to fix everything. That said, your support will go a long way towards helping your spouse get through their difficult days and nights.

Making lifestyle changes at home can make a big difference. Depression can sap your spouses energy, ruin their sleep, and affect their appetite. These factors may make it hard for your spouse to make healthy choices. Heres how you can help.

  • Exercise daily together. Plan something simple such as a daily bike ride or walk. Regular exercise can help boost your spouses mood.
  • Maintain a daily routine at home. This makes your spouse to feel more in command of their life. Create a daily schedule and focus on small goals each day.
  • Help your spouse stick to their treatment. Drive with them to appointments and sit in the waiting room with them. Therapy can be emotionally tiring, and your support will help.
  • Put a focus on eating healthier. Get your spouse involved with planning and cooking dinners whenever possible. This inspire you both to make better eating choices.
  • Make plans with your spouse. People suffering from depression tend to avoid social interaction, so set aside time for a weekly date night. Start with small plans to help your spouse socialize. Rent a movie, go hiking, or play a board game or two.

Why Your Kids Misbehave And What To Do About It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. Youve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

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Things To Say To Your Depressed Partner

Change the following sentences to something that sounds more natural to you. You could write them down on sticky notes or cards and leave them in unexpected places.

  • Im here for you. I can see how youre struggling, but I suspect I dont know half of it.
  • Youre ill right now. Know that Im not judging you youre safe with me.
  • I love you. It doesnt matter how you look, dress or feel right now I know its that depression directing operations. I wont stop loving you.
  • Well get through this together.
  • You will recover, even if you dont feel like that right now. This too will pass.

Be Receptive To Your Spouse

How to Support a Depressed Partner in a Meaningful Way (Without EXHAUSTING Yourself!)

Make yourself a strong source of encouragement for your spouse. Let them talk about what theyre feeling, acting, or thinking. Listen to them without passing judgment and let them get everything out in the open.

Your spouse may say something that calls their love for you into question, so keep that in mind. Significant marriage decisions should be deferred until the depressive episode passes.

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Learn The Reasons For The Depression Of Your Depressed Partner

The signs that the spouse is depressed: Sometimes, the partners symptoms are not visible, but you need to stay positive in this tough time and not make it such a big deal as it might affect your health.

You could see that theyre behaving more sulkily, eating or drinking differently, or distancing themselves.

They could try to stay away from you. Some people devote themselves to solitary pursuits, hobbies, or even obsessive actions like automobile purchases or extravagant spending.

Suddenly, your spouse could begin to:

  • often cry or appear quite furious
  • lack of enthusiasm or energy for activities
  • lose attention or concentration
  • Sleep less or more seldom, consume more alcohol than usual, or take drugs.
  • become bored with sex

The most important thing one could do for your spouse is frequently to turn up. You may think that the best approach to be supportive is to locate the finest therapy available in your region, join support groups, or speak to other individuals dealing with depression to find out what works, but this isnt always the case.

While its acceptable if you may not have all the solutions, how much you can do is sit and listen. You may be there, provide hugs, and hold your partners hand. You can answer with words of encouragement:

  • Tell me how much I can help, please.
  • You matter to me, I said.
  • I am always there for you.
  • Around each other, we will get over this.
  • Signs Your Partner Is Dealing With Depression

    Looking for early signs of depression in your partner canfeel like a game of Wheres Waldo? subtle clues are often hidden in the backgroundnoise of the daily grind.

    Thats where proximity comesinto play. You see this person on a daily, if not hourly basis, so you have to beaware of small changes that take place over time, Dr. Borland explains. Theseare things that youll recognize and say, Hmm, that seems out of character.

    Signs of depression in yourpartner might include changes in:

    • Communication:Are they pulling away from you? Or do they seem more on edge?
    • Substance use:Have they increased their alcohol intake? Are they experimenting with illicitsubstances?
    • Mood:Are they more irritable than normal? Are they crying a lot?
    • Sleep:Are they sleeping more, or less, than usual?

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    Embracing Your Role As A Spouse

    As a spouse, you have three roles to playa friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. Youll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

    Dont Stop Doing The Things You Love

    Supporting a Spouse Through Depression Part 2

    When your partner cant get out of bed or come to social engagements with you, there can be anger and frustration. Jayne Hardy, founder of the Blurt Foundation, which helps those affected by depression, says the feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and unworthiness depressed people may have mean they often place loved ones on a pedestal. She says their skewed perspective means they can struggle to see what they have to offer you.

    On more than one occasion, Rob said to me: I feel like Im ruining your life. I stopped doing the things I loved and, because I stayed at home with him, it made him feel guilty that I was missing out.

    Read Also: How Many People Are Diagnosed With Depression

    How To Strengthen Your Relationship

    To make your relationship the best it can be, Dr. Borland recommends attending couples counseling and doing small activities together regularly, whether thats cooking a meal, seeing a movie or tackling a neglected DIY project

    Depression is like a leaky basement. So work on repairingthe cracks and other damage to your foundation to prevent irreparable harm. Youcan strengthen and protect yourrelationship even in the face of depression.

    Help A Depressed Spouse By Being Supportive

    A supportive spouse can help let in the light. Learn everything you can about depression. Share your observations without being critical. Be encouraging without trivializing the seriousness of this disease. Supportive spouses dont say, Snap out of it! If people could snap out of it, no one would be depressed. And since depressed people commonly do not know why theyre depressed, avoid asking for an explanation or saying, What have you got to be depressed about?

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    The Signs Of A Depressed Spouse

    When your spouse struggles with depression, it can affect every part of your life all at once. You can all too easily get swept up in their mood swings and their unexplainable suffering. You may begin to feel like youre along for their extreme ride.

    The following are some of the more common symptoms of depression to look for in your spouse. Its important to remember everyones experience is different. You may be the one person best able to see changes in your spouses habits, moods, and thought patterns.

    Loss of Enjoyment or Interest in Normal Activities

    People who suffer from depression can lose interest in the things they once enjoyed. These include hobbies, their social life, or even their sex life. Your spouse may feel like they dont identify with who they once were.

    A person can withdraw under the weight of their depression. Theyll do anything possible to avoid social interactions and responsibilities.

    Mood Swings, Agitation, or General Anxiety

    Depression can cause mood swings that arent related to the challenges of a given situation. These personality changes can represent the most extreme of emotions. One can go from feeling empty and numb to aggressive and angry in a matter of minutes. Its important to observe your spouses shifts in mood over the course of days or weeks. Compare this to how youve known them to be in the past.

    Chronic Feelings of Hopelessness or Sadness

    Changes in Appetite, Including Weight Loss or Gain

    Disturbance in Normal Sleep Patterns

    Strengthen Your Support Network

    How To Help Your Spouse With Depression

    If your spouse has depression, they may not be able to support you in the same capacity as they used to. They may want to, but some of the symptoms they live with may make it challenging for them at the moment.

    You may find it helpful to find people outside of your relationship, such as close friends and family, who can be there for you if youre facing challenges of your own.

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    Learn As Much As You Can

    First of all, dealing with a depressed wife or depressed husband is extremely difficult. While depression and marriage often go hand in hand, it can still be hard to spot the signs when your partner appears perfectly normal.

    Sometimes, depression isnt always as blatant as lying in bed crying all day. Although this can be confusing, you have to consider that your partner doesnt have as much control over their own mood as you may think they have.

    To scratch the surface, start by conducting some research about different mood disorders online. Even though it is hard, this is the best way to begin understanding your partners moods.

    Avert The Evil Circle

    Feeling wounded and estranged is simple if your depressed spouse decides to withdraw from you or frequently snaps at you and responds with comparable actions.

    This can lead to a vicious cycle and cause the depressed spouse to become even more isolated, resentful, and reclusive.

    You must understand that living with depression is challenging and that your partner isnt acting maliciously.

    There is depression. You want to be furious back when someone is often upset with you! Just keep in mind that depression is not contagious. This can be cured and cant go on forever. Self-blame is simple to come by.

    However, most marriages do endure this.

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    Help Them Stay Physically Active/fit

    Exercise is known to help with depression because it releases feel-good hormones that would help in reducing depressive feelings. You can make it easy for them by joining them in the exercise. If they are not generally an exercise person, start them out small. Ask them to come along for a short walk in the park or just your neighborhood.

    Getting them up and going would not only help them stay physically fit, but it would also help them not spend too much time thinking a lot. You can read our helpful article on How to get motivated to exercise when depressed to find out about helpful ways you can motivate them to get moving on staying physically active even if they may feel depressed.

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    How To Help A Depressed Spouse

    How to support a partner with depression

    Dougs grin was as big as the state of Texas. He was always laughing and reaching out to hold Shelly, saying he was the luckiest man on the planet to be married to her. He had great dreams for them. Giant, grandiose dreams.

    But he also struggled with some pretty low lows. A back injury saddled him with chronic pain. It seemed to Shelly that the pain medicines numbed Dougs mind and made him not care about much of anything. Shelly was wounded and worried. She thought Doug was pushing her away, and she didnt know how to make things right again.

    How did things get to this point? she thought. Is my husband depressed? Where did the smiles and the laughter go? This is not what I signed up for.

    Depression is an unwelcome guest that can intrude on any marriage. So many things can trigger it life circumstances, chemical imbalances, undiagnosed medical conditions, a traumatic life-threatening event, spiritual struggles, broken dreams and broken promises. Anything on that list has the potential to set off a downward spiral of ever-worsening negative thoughts that can overwhelm even the most resilient person.

    Read Also: What To Do When Severely Depressed

    Where Can I Get Help

    If you worry about your partners behavior, or if you sense that your depressed spouse is going through a hard time, then it could help to know that life can get better, with help.

    Oftentimes, a drug and alcohol addiction can make a mental health condition worse. If this is the case, then we, at Brookdale, can help. We are a luxury treatment facility dedicated to treating each client with the deepest level of dignity, respect, and compassion.

    Alongside combating an addiction, we understand that co-occurring mental health disorders can make addiction much harder to deal with, and vice versa. Therefore, we offer different types of therapy and holistic techniques, incorporating behavioral enhancement, healthy activities, education, and support in everything we do.

    If you are ready to combat your addiction, alongside treating your mental health, then contact us at 701-8133, or email us: info@brookdalerecovery.com and start your journey to a better life, today.

    CDC Resources

    They Could Downplay The Issue Hence Encouraging The Treatment Process

    A sad spouse could downplay their issues.

    Most people who struggle with mental illness or depression dont want to be cured. Perhaps all they want is to be heard. Speak to a wellness professional for assistance if you hear things that are too upsetting for you to manage while listening to your spouse.

    Your partner might not recognize depression in their actions. They can claim, I need this, if they act inappropriately with food, sex, alcohol, or drugs. It lessens my anxiety.

    Motivate your partner to visit a mental health expert for assistance and a diagnosis. If necessary, patients can begin with talk therapy before moving on to prescription medicine.

    Some married couples decide to go to counseling jointly, particularly when depression has resulted in sex problems in the marriage, such as infidelity.

    Your depressed companion could favor individual therapy. Before addressing their depression, they should treat their dependency if they are experiencing it.

    Just do the foregoing steps to encourage your spouse to get a diagnosis:

    • Describe the symptoms you have seen.
    • Describe your worry.
    • Talk about what youve discovered about depression.
    • Discuss various forms of treatment, such as counselling, medications, and dietary modifications.

    Read Also: How To Support Someone With An Eating Disorder

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