Do You Have Any Tips For Dads On Coping If Your Partner Has Depression
My advice is to ask questions and check for any changes in behaviour, like whether your partner seems to be withdrawing from friends and family.
You need to take on more responsibility or enlist help if you cant, particularly in the first year when theres a lot of change, exhaustion and stress.
Let your partner focus on recovering and resting so she doesnt have too much on her plate. Make sure she gets enough sleep.
“Its important that youre as helpful and supportive as possible”
If your partner is breastfeeding, she could think about the option of expressing some milk so you can do some of the feeds.
Help around the house, be at home as much as you can, take the pressure off at weekends.
If you dont see things improving, speak to other specialists as there could be something else triggering the PND.
And remember, doctors can sometimes be wrong.
- Names have been changed due to the personal nature of this story
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Encourage Them To Seek Professional Support
As much as you may want to support them in all aspects, remember, you are not your partners therapist. Its important to know your limits and how to encourage seeking out the support of a professional.
Its a good idea to try a gentle approach. You may try something like, I think youre doing a great job handling this I know its not easy. I want to see if were doing everything we can to get through this. What do you think about working with a therapist, to give us more tools to work with?
You might want to suggest couples counseling, especially if the symptoms of depression are affecting your communication or sex life. If your partner would prefer to go alone, let them know that you think thats a great idea too.
If your partner is not ready for a therapist, you may suggest a support group or scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician.
Its a good idea to reassure your partner of your motive you want to see them as happy and healthy as possible.
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Understanding The Root Of Your Child’s Misbehavior
Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their childs behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your childs temperament based on his birth order.
Remember To Help Yourself As Well
Caring for a partner with depression can be emotionally draining. Its important to practice self-care and increase your own support during this time. It is extremely important for partners of those with a depression to take care of themselves. These tips will help you cope:
- Dont give up your own life and interests. Engage in your outside interests and hobbies for a break from the stresses of your daily life.
- Maintain a support system. Having friends and family to confide in ways your partner cannot is important for your overall emotion well being.
- Seek professional help for yourself, if needed. The recovery process can be stressful for partners of those struggling with mental health illnesses. Your well-being is just as important as your partners. If you need someone to talk to, or if you think you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression, contact your doctor or consider visiting a mental health professional or joining a community group.
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How You Can Help A Depressed Husband Wife Loved One Or Friend
1. Be alert to signs and symptoms of depression. Everyone with depression presents a bit differently. But generally, most individuals who are depressed exhibit mood or personality changes. Some may be sad, or discouraged, or ambivalent, or even angry. Youre also likely to see changes in appetite or weight , and often some form of sleep disturbance . Depressed individuals often lack energy and motivation, and find it difficult to manage everyday tasks because they now feel overwhelming . They often show a lack of interest in people or things that they previously cared about. Sometimes they experience difficulty concentrating or difficulty making decisions. Sadly, many also believe that life for them and for those they love would be better if they were no longer there, and contemplate suicide . If you notice several of these symptoms, and they have lasted more than a couple of weeks, or have come and gone and returned, depression is a strong likelihood.
3. Understand and help explain that depression is a medical condition just like diabetes or heart disease. Many who struggle with depression feel ashamed, embarrassed and guilty. Unfortunately, society has stigmatized mental health disorders, largely out of a lack of understanding, but that has made it more challenging for those afflicted to willingly acknowledge their condition or seek help.
Above all, know that God sees. He cares, and He has not and will not leave you to fight this battle alone.
How To Deal With Depression And Anxiety In Your Wife
It is extremely important for partners of those with an anxiety disorder to take care of themselves. These tips will help you cope: Dont give up your own life and interests. Maintain a support system. Set boundaries. Seek professional help for yourself, if necessary.
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Remind Them That Youre A Team
Another important aspect of helping a partner with depression is to remind them that they arent alone. Oftentimes, people with depression may feel isolated or burdensome, which is why its important to not only remind your partner that youre a team but to show them as well. Express things like, Were in this together. Youre not going to scare me away. You wont push me away. Even after 20 years of marriage, these are all things they may worry about. From mood swings to simple disinterest, depression can take a serious toll on a marriage. But marriage itself is a team sport, so its important to always stick with your partner and remind them that youll always be there for the team.
What To Do If A Spouse Is Depressed
If theres depression in your marriage, its time to actfor your partner and yourself, Walfish says. Waiting increases the chances that your relationship wont last couples where one or both partners are depressed are significantly more likely to divorce than couples who arent depressed, according to a study published in BMC Public Health. And trying to fight or make peace with this often misunderstood illness on your own raises risks for both of you. The longer a non-depressed spouse lives with a depressed partner, the higher his or her own risks for depression, the researchers found. The deeper a depressed spouse sinks, the tougher it may be to finally treat the depressionand the greater the risk for alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide, according to the Department of Health and Human Services . The stakes are high, but the odds are that things will improve.
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Live Your Own Life Too
Spouses of people with depression shouldnt feel like they have to give up their own life just because someone in the family is dealing with this condition. You can still go out and do things that you enjoy, such as going on a date night or joining an exercise class togetherexcept doing these activities when your spouse isnt feeling well might not be much fun for either of you so even if it means spending time alone while they rest at home, remember that theres nothing wrong with giving yourself some me time once in a while.
How To Support A Depressed Partner While Maintaining Your Own Mental Health
Looking after someone with chronic depression can be hard, as Poorna Bell discovered when her husband became ill. The first rule, she says, is to look after yourself
There is no lightning-bolt moment when you realise you are losing your sense of self just an absence. When you are caring for someone you love, your wants and needs are supplanted by theirs, because what you want, more than anything, is for them to be well. Looking after a partner with mental health problems in my case, my husband Rob, who had chronic depression is complicated.
Like many people, Rob and I were not raised in a society that acknowledged, let alone spoke about, depression. The silence and stigma shaped how he dealt with his illness: indeed, he struggled with the very idea of being ill. He told me fairly early on in our relationship that he had depression, but I had no idea what this entailed the scale, the scope, the fact that a chronic illness like this can recur every year and linger for months.
I didnt know what questions to ask. And Rob struggled to articulate how bad it was. He wanted to be normal so he expended a lot of energy trying to pretend he was OK when he wasnt. In 2015, Rob took his life. The reasons are complex, but I believe it was a mix of depression and an addiction to the opiates he used to self-medicate.
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Check For Underlying Conditions
Dozens of health conditionsincluding heart disease, diabetes, lupus, viral infections, and chronic paincan trigger the same symptoms as depression, Walfish notes. So can scores of prescription medications, including some birth-control pills and drugs that treat acne, herpes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancer. Your family doctor can rule out underlying causes and decide whether or not its really depression.
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Dont Try To Fix It Its Not Yours To Fix
Sound familiar? This is very similar to my first piece of advice if your wife is having an episode, and thats because this fact forms the foundation of how you help your wife through PPD.
This “Fixer” mindset will be your Achilles’ heel.
Im a fixer by nature, so this was a HUGE struggle for me. If I see a problem, I want to fix it. And if I cant fix it, that means Im doing a bad job.
The thing is, your job right now is not to FIX your wifes postpartum depression.
Why? Because its not yours to fix. You cant fix it.
Your job is to support your wife, love her, encourage her, forgive her All of that. But not to fix her. You just cant be the one to do that.
This fixer mindset will be your Achilles heel. It certainly was for me.
Trust me, I tried many, many times to fix my wife’s postpartum depression for her, in many different ways. It only made things worse.
Your wife can and will find her way out of postpartum depression. But only she can do it. You cant do it for her.
My Husband Is One Of You
Youre straining to understand. To empathize. And juggle all the balls. To explain to your kids that mommy still loves them, she just needs to sleep today.
You get frustrated, angry, annoyed. But are you allowed to show those emotions? Do they matter? Do you matter?
You see, my husband is one of you. Im a wife struggling with depression.
There have been days I couldnt get out of bed. A few weeks ago, I had a panic attack during church, and my husband had to take me home. He left our kids in the hands of good friends until he could pick them up.
At home, I went right to bed. My safe place. My comfort zone.
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Dealing With A Depressed Wife When She Isnt Getting Better
Wondering how to deal with a depressed wife can feel hopeless at times. You may be doing everything in your power to help, and she may be ticking all the right boxes in terms of seeking help, but perhaps she still isnt improving. Part of knowing how to deal with your depressed wife is accepting that some people don’t get better right away. This is not your wife’s fault it is just the nature of the illness.
There are several reasons why your wife may not be getting better despite ongoing depression treatment:
She is not ready to seek help for depression
Often, people don’t start to recover from depression until they are ready to seek help. This happens when people agree to treatment to appease others, rather than actually wanting to feel better.
It can be hard to imagine why someone might not want to get better from depression, and most people do. However, there are many complex reasons why your wife might not be ready to seek help just yet, so don’t try to force it. Instead, encourage an open and honest dialogue where she can share her concerns about treatment so that you can work to overcome them as a couple .
She hasnt found the right depression treatment yet
Be patient while she is going through this process and encourage her not to rely on one method of treatment. Experts claim that, aside from medical and therapeutic options, there are many vital components to treating depression. Sleep, nutrition, stress-reduction, social support and exercise all play a part.
Be Alert To Small Changes
Depression can come on slowly, almost imperceptibly. You look for all types of other explanationswe just had a new baby, its a tough time at work, its a phase, Scott-Lowe notes. It can take a while to see the pattern or to be ready to accept that depression might be the cause.
Often its up to the non-depressed spouse to take the lead, Walfish says. The illness itself often prevents depressed people from recognizing that somethings wrong or seeking help. They may feel too lethargic or withdrawn or may think they can fix it alone.
If you notice that your spouse isnt acting, feeling, or thinking as he or she normally does, ask yourself if it could be depression, but dont stop there. Depression may be the reason your spouse is working extremely long hours, drinking too much, using recreational drugs, or looking for thrills in risky activities. It can also look different in men and women, she adds.
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How To Help Your Wife With Postpartum Depression
My wife had postpartum depression, and it was the first time in my marriage that I really felt like a problem was out of my league.
I went through so much painful trial and error until we finally saw a counselor who had experience with PPD. Only then was I confident that I was helping my wife survive PPD to the best of my ability.
I’d like to help you skip all the hard lessons… Instead, I’m going to teach you everything I wish I’d known from the beginning. This post is divided up into two main parts:
- 1During an episode — When your wife is having a really bad day , what should you do? What is the ‘right’ way to handle it?
- 2Big picture advice — This is where you’ll be learning the things you should be doing all the time as long as your wife has postpartum depression.
It Can Be Challenging To Know How To Help A Depressed Spouse Or Friend
Yet I often hear from individuals that they know their husband, wife, or friend is depressed and they dont know what to do to help. I understand. Ive had friends go through other major life trials, and because I havent walked through those valleys, I cant relate from a personal experience, yet I want to help.
When you love someone who is depressed, it can be confusing, difficult, and challenging for both of you to navigate. First let me say, Im so sorry for your spouse or loved one, and for you, that depression has entered the tapestry of your life. I know from my personal experience that its so very hard!
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The Spiritual Battle For Your Marriage
God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy Gods beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemys lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that theyre not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.