Saturday, June 15, 2024

How To Help Your Husband With Depression

How To Manage Depression

How To Help Your Spouse With Depression

The first step in managing a mental health disorder is to truly understand the illness. Understanding the symptoms and agreeing to treatment will help you or your loved one find the road to recovery. In order to manage high-functioning depression, a tailored treatment plan is necessary to address all unique symptoms an individual has. During treatment, you can take a break from everyday life, focus on healing and understanding the causes of your depression. To help your spouse keep their depression at bay encourage ongoing care and regular therapy after active treatment has stopped.

Love In Every Season: Understanding The Four Stages Of A Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether youre single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Be Aware Of Your Depressed Husbands Physical Health

In How to Help a Depressed Boyfriend, I encourage readers to learn all they can about depression in men. Depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain or a hormonal imbalance its not necessarily caused by a difficult life or recent tragedy. A depressed husband might be dealing with SAD or the lack of certain nutrients in his diet. To help with your husbands depression, dont just think about emotional causes and consequences of depression. His lifestyle and way of handling problems might be a factor, and thus might be a way to help your depressed husband cope with his feelings.

I welcome your thoughts on these ways to cope with depression in your marriage. I cant offer advice or counseling, but it might help to admit my husband is depressed and share how it affects you.

My prayer for all women dealing with depression in marriage is for strength, peace, and faith. May love conquer the depressed feelings felt by husbands, and may joy reign forevermore.

Read Also: What Medication Is Given For Depression

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.

See Depression As An Intruder In Your Marriage

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

Like any other illness, depression is an outside forcean unwelcome visitor wreaking havoc with your spouses health, your marriage, and your home life. Seeing it this way can allow both of you to talk about its effects without blame or shame. Once we started talking about it as a third partyas the depressionwe could express our frustrations constructively, Scott-Lowe says. If Dennis was really doubting his worth, I could say, Thats just the depression talking. Its not you. When youre not depressed, you dont think this way. Its feeding you lies.’

This shift in thinking can clear the air. It was a relief for me, Lowe says. I felt Emily was walking on eggshells sometimes, not wanting to tell me how she was feeling. Depression was the elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about, and I felt even guiltier. Seeing it as the intruder was an accurate perspective. It helped me see why I felt the way I did and let me accept reassurance because it acknowledges whats going on instead of denying it.

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What Can I Do To Help My Spouse

Depression takes a toll on marriage. The more constructively and lovingly you approach the situation, the better your spouse can recover. A recent study showed that when people close to the patient show hostility and criticism, recovery is slow. You can help your spouse improve significantly by taking the following action.

  • If your spouse is severely depressed for more than two weeks, help him or her to find professional help. This is critical if self-destructive tendencies indicate a risk of suicide.

  • Help your spouse to understand his or her mistaken, self-defeating beliefs and see the world more realistically. Listen sincerely. Your spouse must feel safe in opening up to you before you can discover any misguided beliefs.

  • Be patient and understanding of your spouseâs fears and anxieties. Refrain from judging. What may seem easy to you may seem monumental or life-threatening to your spouse.

  • Encourage your spouse to become involved with the Churchâs network of caring people. Church members and leaders can help with physical tasks, can listen with empathy, can help in overcoming irrational guilt, and can encourage participation in exercise programs and other helpful activities.

  • Utilize Church programs that could help your spouse: personal and financial counseling, employment and domestic skills training, and religious counseling to overcome the effects of sin, when that is applicable. Overcome your pride and allow people to help your spouseâand you.

  • Know The Warning Signs Of Suicide

    The risk of suicide is always elevated during major depressive disorder. Its important to know the red flags and get immediate medical assistance:

    • Talking about suicide
    • Getting a means to attempt suicide, such as purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills
    • Extreme mood swings very high one day and deeply discouraged the next
    • Social withdrawal
    • Preoccupied with thoughts of death
    • Noticeable changes in normal daily routines
    • Feeling overwhelmed with hopelessness
    • Engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior, including drug or alcohol abuse or reckless driving
    • Giving away belongings

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    Put Your Thoughts On The Witness Stand

    Once you identify the destructive thoughts patterns that contribute to your depression, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:

    • Whats the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?
    • What would I tell a friend who had this thought?
    • Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?
    • How might I look at this situation if I didnt have depression?

    As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. In the process, youll develop a more balanced perspective and help to relieve your depression.

    Admit That You Cannot Cure Your Partners Depression


    Your spouse needs your love, support, and concern, but these important qualities cant reverse depression any more than they can control blood sugar, ease arthritis pain, or clear out clogged arteries. Just as you wouldnt rely on love alone to cure a medical conditionor withdraw love because it didntdont expect that your feelings or attention will be able to alter your spouses off-kilter brain chemistry. Use your love to get help and to remind your partner of his or her intrinsic worth during this challenging time, Walfish advises.

    Also Check: Online Support Groups For Teenage Depression

    I Gave Birth But My Husband Developed Postpartum Depression

    Many men struggle with mental health after becoming fathers. But stigma and societal norms keep them from getting help.

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    By Kim Hooper

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I took a parent prep class in which they talked at length about the signs of maternal postpartum depression. My husband took detailed notes. After all, I had a history of depression and occasionally fell down dark, deep rabbit holes from which only medication and therapy could pull me out.

    My husband, on the other hand, is the epitome of stable. When his parents died in our first few years of knowing each other, I required more comforting than he did. If I had taken bets on who between us would suffer depression following the birth of our daughter, every single one of our loved ones would have bet on me. And I wouldnt have blamed them.

    But it wasnt me.

    Id never thought about the possibility of men struggling with depression after the birth of a child. At the time I was focused on the well-being of our daughter, as well as my own physical and mental health. But men do struggle also.

    As many as one in six men can experience high levels of anxiety in the postpartum period, and about 10 percent of new dads experience postpartum depression. In the 3- to 6-month postpartum period, that rate climbs to 25 percent.

    Try To Stay On The Same Team

    “The enemy is the illness, and not the spouse with depression,” Baer told LiveScience. Team up to tackle depression rather than allowing it to drive a marriage apart. Actively work to help your spouse get better, whether it’s taking a daily walk together, providing a ride to a doctor’s appointment or ensuring that medication is taken.

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    Be Patient And Compassionate

    Its understandable that you might lose your patience with your husband over his depression.But do your best to remain compassionate. If he can get back on his mental feet, hell have a better shot at being the husband you need him to be.

    If youre losing your patience, or your compassion is waning, talk to a friend or family member who can encourage you. Keep an eye on the big picture so that you can do what you can to support your husband so that your home life can improve as well.

    Dr. Chapman reminds wives of depressed husbands that you can choose to remain positive, despite the negative situation. Your husband needs you. Depressed people often dont have the ability to see their way out of their depression on their own.

    Be Alert For Relapses

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

    About 85 percent of people who suffer a bout of major depression will have a relapse within a decadeand half will have a recurrence within a year, according to a study published in International Journal of Neuropharmacology. The researchers recommended a maintenance dose of antidepressants and/or therapy to prevent a relapse. Both spouses should also stay alert for signs that the illness is returning, Walfish adds.

    Caring for a depressed spouse can be lonely, overwhelming, and emotionally draining, she says. You may blame yourself, feel helpless, grow pessimistic, lose your sense of humor, and even consider leaving. Its easy for the non-depressed spouse to become angry and frustrated with an irritable, lethargic mate whos pessimistic and critical, who cant unload the dishwasher, or who cant get the kids ready for bed anymorelet alone make love, ask how youre doing, or acknowledge that youve been holding things together for weeks, months, or years.

    This starts a cycle that burns you out and doesnt help your partner at all, Scott-Lowe notes. I did this with DennisI would become extremely angry with him. Then I would feel really guilty and try to make up for it by taking on more and more around the house. Then I would get angry all over again. This wasnt helping Dennis, of course, and it was wearing me out emotionally and physically.

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    Accept That There Will Be Bad Days

    People with depression have good days and bad days. To deal with the bad days:

    • expect that they will happen
    • understand that this is a normal part of depression
    • do not withdraw love or support during these times
    • take some time out and do something enjoyable, either alone or with others
    • remember that not every day will be like this there will be good days too

    Here Are 5 Ways To Help Your Husband Through Depression

    1. Learn to set clear boundaries.

    You don’t want to be your partner’s only support, although it’s important to be understanding of your partner. This does not mean your partner can take advantage of you. It’s important that you have your own space.

    If you don’t set clear boundaries for yourself, you’ll harm your own mental health. This can lead to physical issues, as well.

    Encourage your partner to reach out to support groups or to seek help from a therapist. Just because your partner is depressed, doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold.

    2. You aren’t responsible for your partner’s depression.

    It’s not your responsibility to pull your partner out of depression. Your partner will need to take that step.

    Your partner may want to blame you for the depression. This isn’t the case.

    You can be supportive and help him through the process. But you can’t do this alone. Your partner does need professional help.

    3. Make self-care a priority in your life.

    Don’t put yourself last in the relationship. This will cause you to feel resentful.

    Be kind to yourself. This starts with your own internal thought process. Have a few positive affirmations that you say daily. You can write them down and put them on your nightstand. Listen to good music, take long baths, go for walks, and get fresh air.

    4. Learn to talk about your partner’s depression.

    When you’re willing to listen to your depressed partner, this can go a long way in the relationship.

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    Understanding Whats Beyond Your Control

    Its possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who has depression. Remember that depression is a treatable condition, says Beurkens. It is very possible for couples to weather this and to come out on the other side.

    Its important to keep in mind, though, that their recovery and progress arent up to you. You can support them but you may not be able to make decisions for them, such as getting professional help or taking care of themselves.

    Letting go of the expectation that you can make them happy again can help you both find practical ways to navigate depression.

    Find A Mental Health Counselor For The Two Of You

    How To Help Your Husband / Wife With Depression | Marriage Advice Nicola Beer

    Depression affects both of youand your whole family. The Lowes suggest finding a therapist or counselor who has worked with depression in couples. You may have issues to deal with individually as the depressed person, and the two of you may have issues to deal with that stem from coping with depression, Lowe says. We found it very helpful to have a counselor we could see together at times and separately at other times.

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    How To Help When Your Spouse Is Depressed

    Tim and Sandra sit close together on their porch swing, holding hands. Its hard to believe that less than a year ago, theyd discussed selling their house, splitting their possessions and sharing custody of their three children. The couple explains that a common but treatable illness nearly destroyed their strong 12-year marriage.

    I remember the day it started, Tim says. I walked into the kitchen one morning and Sandy was just sitting on the floor. She was still in her bathrobe, and her eyes were swollen from crying.

    When Tim asked what was wrong, Sandra told him she honestly didnt know. Their lives were good. They werent struggling financially or having problems with the kids. She knew there was no reason to cry, yet the tears returned every morning from then on. Her concentration began to slip as well, leading to mistakes that almost cost her a job she loved. Finally, Tim insisted she see a doctor.

    I sure didnt like the diagnosis, Sandra explains, shaking her head. I expected him to give me vitamins or tell me not to work so hard. I never anticipated what he would actually suggest.

    Over the next few months, Sandra tried to bury her secret but her sorrow was too pervasive to hide. Their frightened children began asking what was wrong with Mom.

    And the more angry he got, the more hed withdraw from me, Sandra adds. Then Id feel guilty and withdraw even more. We just kept drifting further apart.

    Try Home Remedies First

    Look at the basics of his life: does he need more sleep? Is he exercising? Is he drinking alcohol excessively? If hes open to changing in these areas, help him make the adjustments. Schedule an appointment with his doctor to have his physical condition assessed just in case there is a physical reason for his depression.

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    He May Suddenly Bury Himself In Work

    Maybe he was not a workaholic before, and suddenly he has to be at work all the time. You should pay closer attention. Men generally turn to work as a way to distract attention from the depression they are going through. They reckon that if they are very busy working no one would notice that they are struggling with depression. And this is because it is not easy for men to speak about their feelings. Even for the man who is generally a workaholic, when they are going through depression, their work schedule becomes double what it usually is.

    If you, therefore, suspect that your husband might be going through depression, pay attention to his work pattern and see if it has changed exponentially.

    Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life

    How to help your partner to deal with depression

    Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

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