Saturday, May 25, 2024

How To Help A Depressed Spouse

Understand And Validate Their Feelings

How to Help a Spouse With Depression

It is important to listen to the person with depression and express empathy, which is the ability to understand and share someone elses feelings. One way to demonstrate empathy is to reflect what the person says.

For example, if they say, I just feel like things will never get better, their partner can reflect that by saying, It sounds as though you are not hopeful about the future.

Continually trying to cheer the person up is not helpful as this invalidates their condition and their feelings. Phrases such as tomorrow will be better or try to cheer up do not take into account the nature of the illness.

How Do I Deal With A Depressed Husband

If your husband is suffering from depression, it can be challenging for you. Depression can cause your husband to withdraw from you emotionally, making it hard to connect with him. However, it is essential to support your husband during this difficult time and seek professional help if necessary. Here are some tips on how to deal with a depressed husband:1. Communicate with your husband. It is essential to keep the lines of communication open with your husband, even if he seems withdrawn. Try to talk to him about how he feels and encourage him to share his thoughts and feelings with you.2. Be patient and understanding. Depression can be complicated to deal with, and it can take time for your husband to start feeling better. It is essential to be a patient and to understand him during this time.3. Seek professional help. If your husbands depression is severe, it may be necessary to seek professional help. This can provide him with the support and treatment he needs to recover from depression.

What Kind Of Help Does My Spouse Need

Depression can be helped. The support of Church members, family, and friends is invaluable. However, because so many causes exist, a variety of treatments are often necessary as well. Your spouse will probably require medical treatment, psychological counseling, or a combination of the two.

If there is a history of depression in your spouseâs family, or if your spouse experiences extreme mood swings , medical treatment should be considered. Several types of antidepressant medications have proven helpful and can be obtained through medical consultation. These forms of medication do not typically produce dependencies and can be life-saving drugs to some people. However, allow two weeks before expecting to see any positive effects.

While biological depressions respond best to medication, the majority of mood disorders do not appear to be biologically based. They are best helped by counseling and by the assistance of family, friends, and neighbors. Often, a depressed person holds mental attitudes and beliefs that lead to expectations of catastrophe. For example, if your spouse believes that he or she is walking through a mine field and could be killed at any moment, being told that there really are no mines does not lessen his or her anxiety level.

Often, the right counselor, along with concerned family and friends, can help your spouse to see life differently and to abandon self-defeating expectations of perfection that lead to a sense of imminent disaster.

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Signs Your Spouse Is Depressed

Depression is a severe mental illness that affects many people. If youre worried about your spouse, some telltale signs can give you clues about their well-being.

Understanding these symptoms and knowing what to do if you notice them can help you care for your spouse and get them the help they need. Here are some of the most common warning signs of depression in spouses:

Help Them Stay Physically Active/fit

How to Help Your Spouse With Depression: 11 Steps (with ...

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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What Are Some Comforting Words

Some comforting words can be Everything will be alright or Im here for you. Other words of comfort may include Youre not alone or I understand. Sometimes, simply providing a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear can be comforting. Whatever words of comfort you choose, make sure that they are genuine and come from the heart.

Encourage Your Spouse To See A Doctor

Many physical maladies have symptoms that mimic depression. Depression is also a side effect of some medications, for example, beta-blockers, pain medications and anxiety medications. Thats why seeing a family GP is important.

In addition, many people are more comfortable talking to their regular doctor about depression, especially initially, rather than going to a mental health specialist. If needed, the team approach of a physician and mental health specialist working together can be an optimal collaboration.

No matter who your spouse sees first, its important that you both trust the professional and that you choose someone who can follow up with you and your spouse on a regular basis. Some episodes of depression occur only once, but its not uncommon to have a recurrence.

When you talk with a health specialist, be sure to mention any family members with mental health issues. Its common for there to be a family history. And remember, there are effective treatment options for depression.

Doug agreed to go with Shelly to see their family doctor. After a thorough evaluation and a consultation with a psychiatrist, Doug was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His current depression was a part of that condition, formerly known as manic depression. He started taking a mood stabiliser. Both he and Shelly were encouraged by having a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

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Respect Your Own Needs

If your spouse has depression, you still deserve everyday nicetiesa neat house, regular meals, a calm family environmentas well as friendships, a social life, and time to pursue meaningful interests, Walfish says. As much as possible, pursue these things. Its easy to spend your time dealing with your spouses needs and issues. But dont sacrifice your own joys and goals needlessly. As we noted, you are susceptible to depression too. Pursuing your personal pleasures will not only help prevent that but also better prepare you for aiding your spouse.

Finding A Good Specialist

How to Support a Depressed Spouse

Several specialists are available, but locating the best one can be difficult. This is why some individuals count on internet sites and applications that match them with a specialist.

The main objective of these platforms is to provide individuals with a listing of specialists that they can select from based upon their place, qualifications, as well as location.

While these systems might be useful for some people, they could not supply the top quality solutions that a specialist would certainly offer personally.

Online-Therapy is a secure, budget friendly, as well as fully-licensed platform for individuals dealing with anxiety, clinical depression, and other psychological health problems. Online-Therapy is the best choice for individuals who dont have time to go through the procedure of locating a specialist. Online-Therapys network of therapists are vetted, and all our job is based on evidence-based strategies. Online-Therapy is passionate concerning our job, as well as Online-Therapy is here to assist you locate your way back to normal life.

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Triggers For Depression In Men

Theres no single cause of depression in men. Biological, psychological, and social factors all play a part, as do lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills.

While any man can suffer from depression, there are some risk factors that make a man more vulnerable, such as:

  • Loneliness and lack of social support
  • Inability to effectively deal with stress
  • A history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Aging in isolation, with few social outlets

Depression and erectile dysfunction

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is not only a trigger of depression in men, it can also be a side effect of many antidepressant medications.

  • Men with sexual function problems are almost twice as likely to be depressed as those without.
  • Depression increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Many men are reluctant to acknowledge sexual problems, thinking its a reflection on their manhood rather than a treatable problem caused by depression.

They May Become More Sullen And Withdrawn Than Usual

Maybe they used to be the life of the party and always upbeat and cheerful. Now they are very withdrawn, always in their shell and melancholic and looking sullen. For the man, he could maybe walk around with a slouch and a scowl on his face. They do not want to be disturbed and nearly bite off anyones head who wants to draw them into a conversation.

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Things To Tell Your 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 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.

Dont Get Bogged Down In Stigma Or Angry Feelings

8 Tips for Dealing with a Depressed Spouse

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.

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Dont Take It Personally

There is the person you fell in love with, who makes you laugh until it hurts and then there are the bad days, when you are dealing with a stranger who wont let you in. Depression can magnify or alter emotions, says Dr Kousoulis. A person can have emotional highs and lows in equal degrees, so it is important not to take changes personally.

This can be easier said than done. I found my own coping mechanisms therapy, exercise and lowering my expectations of what I needed and wanted from Rob when he was feeling bad. I knew that somewhere inside this person was my husband, so from time to time, Id leave him postcards telling him how much I loved him. He didnt react in an effusive way but I know it got through because he kept every one in a memory box.

Above all, hold on to your love. You wont always feel as though you are making any progress, says Hardy. You, too, may feel helpless at times. But your patience, kindness and understanding make such a difference.

Chase The Rainbow, Poorna Bells memoir about life with her husband, is published by Simon & Schuster.

The Samaritans helpline is 116 123.

In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14.

How To Help A Partner With Depression

If you suspect your partner is dealing with depression,Dr. Borland recommends these five action items:

1. Encourage your partner to seek professional help

Depression is treatable. So rather than ignoring theproblem or trying to fix it yourselves, enlist the help of a primary caredoctor or psychiatrist.

Depression can be hard to talk about. It helps to work onassertive communication. Share your feelings and concerns without playing theblame game. Start sentences with I statements that focus on your feelings,such as, I noticed, or, Im worried. Talk openly about symptoms youve seenand how you want to help.

2. Work as a team

If talk therapy is part of your partners treatment, join their first few sessions or more. Your partner may also want you to participate in meetings about medications.

Being depressed can be scary, Dr. Borland relates. Your spouse will benefit from all the support you can offer.

3. Practice self-care

Maintain your own health and well-being. You may alsobenefit from your own outpatient therapy. This is not you being selfish itsmaking sure that you have enough in your tank to help your partner and family,Dr. Borland reassures. You need to carve out time for yourself without feelingguilty.

4. Dont take it personally

Depression isnt anyones fault. Give your partner a senseof security and support even when theyre acting out. This takes patience andcommitment but its worth the effort.

5. Educate yourself

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Know That The Odds Are In Your Favor

Up to 80 percent of people report seeing an improvement within four to six weeks of starting treatment, according to statistics from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Usually, the road back is relatively simple: antidepressants, counseling, or a combination of the two, they report. That said, recovery may take time and patience, Walfish says. There may be an initial trial-and-error period while you try various antidepressants or see whether various therapy techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal counseling, are helpful. The results are worth it.

Realize That Christians Have Depression


One of the biggest misperceptions is thinking that depression cant happen to us. Dealing with this problem is particularly troubling for Christians. We somehow suppose that being a Christian means that we cant be depressed. And if we are depressed, that might mean were not real Christians. After all, arent Christians supposed to be joyful?

If we think being depressed is incompatible with our faith, were apt to deny any feelings of depression. But denial only gives depression an opportunity to gain a stronger foothold. None of us are immune to the brokenness of this world.

Consider that depression could be a possibility for what your spouse is experiencing.

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Talking To A Man About Depression

Many men dont exhibit typical depressive symptoms such as a despondent mood, so you may want to avoid using the word depression and try describing his behavior as stressed or overly tired. It could help him to open up.

Point out how his behavior has changed, without being critical. For example, You always seem get stomach pains before work, or You havent played racquetball for months.

Suggest a general check-up with a physician. He may be less resistant to seeing a family doctor than a mental health specialist at first. The doctor can rule out medical causes of depression and then make a referral.

Offer to accompany him on the first visit with a doctor or mental health specialist. Some men are resistant to talking about their feelings, so try to remove roadblocks to him seeking help.

Encourage him to make a list of symptoms to discuss. Help him focus on his feelings as well as physical ailments, and to be honest about his use of alcohol and drugs.

How to support a man with depression

Engage him in conversation and listen without judgement. Dont disparage any of the feelings he expresses, but do point out realities and offer hope.

Take any remarks about suicide seriously. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or find a suicide helpline in another country at Befrienders Worldwide.

Invite him for social activities, whether its simply a walk together or lunch with friends. If your invitation is refused, keep trying.

How To Help Your Spouse With Depression Your Action Plan

  • Read my article on how to stop constant arguing for the best tips on how to have a challenging conversation.
  • Read my article How to be an emotionally supportive spouse.
  • Go for a walk together if you can walking and talking is for many men easier or create a pleasant, undisturbed ambience at home for a quiet conversation.
  • Be clear about how you feel without blaming them and turn any complaints or worries into a wish. State what youre noticing , be open about how youre feeling and ask for cooperation.
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    Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. Hell share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of lifes toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

    Coping With A Depressed Spouse

    Depression in a Relationship: 5 Ways to Help a Depressed Spouse

    Depression can put a heavy strain on your marriage. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. It can feel difficult to live with a spouse whos unhappy, critical, or negative. Adding to your frustration may be your spouses reluctance or refusal to get help.

    As much as you want to help your spouse, youll also need to be able to cope with their depression yourself. This lets you combat the illness as a team. Here are some simple ways you can learn to cope.

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