Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What To Do If Wife Is Depressed

Husband/wife Depression Symptoms 6 Signs Your Spouse Is Depressed

What to Do When Your Spouse Is Struggling With Depression

In our article on How to help a man with depression, we also highlighted signs and symptoms of depression in men. It would therefore be a useful read if your husband is going through a depressive episode.

Generally, if your spouse is depressed, you see it in the following symptoms displayed by them:

Discipline Is Crucial For Your Depressed Wife

Depression tends to make a person lose their sense of self in a way that they let go of themselves completely. They stop taking care of themselves. If youre living with a depressed wife, you would have noticed that she spends most of her time sitting, sleeping or even staring into nothingness. As the depressive state grows, this inaction begins to eat into a persons ability to carry on with day-to-day routine tasks.

One way to help your depressed partner is to create discipline around her routine. For instance, ensuring that she brushes her teeth when she wakes up, eats breakfast, bathes, listens to music and so on, can go a long way in preventing her condition from escalating. Remember to be gentle, patient and calm while you convince her to follow her daily routine.

In your bid to help her, take care to not push her beyond her capabilities. Its important to remember that the abilities of a person in a depressive state are very different from those who are not dealing with such mental health issues. She may get tired very quickly, which can impede her ability to carry on with even the most basic tasks.

Things To Do When Your Spouse Is Feeling Depressed

When your spouse is feeling depressed it can feel like the world is ending. Watching your loved one suffer and feeling helpless in the face of it is one of the worst feelings in the world.

Fortunately, when your spouse is feeling depressed, there are things that you can do to support them through it. Almost more importantly, there are things that you definitely shouldnt do to help your person manage and get through their depression.

Here are 5 of things you can do and 5 things you shouldnt do.

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My Wife Is Depressed What To Do

Dear X,

So good that you write!

Because many people tend to mistakenly believe that when one person in a relationship suffers from depression, then its only that person who needs help.

However when one person in the relationship changes, one way or the other, then the rest of the family reacts to it.

In your case it sounds like youve hit a very unfortunate behavioral pattern.

Id advise you to have an honest talk with your darling wife about how much you love her but that youre no longer able to live with her hostile behavior and thoughts about you and that you together have to come up with a solution, that its not only her problem.

Seek Diagnoses And Treatment

How To Help Wife With Depression

If you suspect your spouse may be depressed, the most important action you can take is to help him or her get proper diagnosis and treatment. That can be difficult, though, since one of the factors of depression is hopelessness depressed people tend to believe nothing will help. Thats why its important that you be persistent.

You can begin with listening to your spouse and showing empathy. You can indicate that youve noticed a change in behavior and are concerned for your partners happiness and well-being. You can also say that you wonder if depression may be the cause.

It doesnt matter whether you begin with a counselor or your family doctor. Either one can help in the diagnosis and refer you to the other for additional treatment.

Also Check: I Want To Come Out Of Depression

How To Help Spouse With Depression Tackle Her Anxiety

Feeling anxious is one of the most common signs of depression. Since depression begets inaction, a persons to-do list can keep growing and spiraling out of control. As these tasks pile up, they trigger anxiety over how and when they will be finished, whether someone can help her finish them or if she will be able to do them all on her own.

When you see her in that state, you will probably look for ways to cheer up your depressed wife. However, going from being anxious to cheerful is not an easy transition. You cannot drive that instant shift, no matter how hard you try. Instead, focus on helping her feel the full extent of her anxiety. Remind her to stay in the moment and not go into flashbacks that can further aggravate the anxious feelings.

When a depressed person feels anxious, the only way for them to emerge out of it is to sit through and process their feelings without fear and panic. They must acknowledge and accept what theyre going through and handle it in a calm manner. Getting this across to your angry and depressed wife, who is caught in the throes of anxiety, may not be easy. But, with gentle nudges and soft reminders, you can get there.

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Dealing With A Depressed Spouse

Still not sure how to deal with a depressed spouse?

When it comes to living with a depressed spouse, weve got you covered. For professional support for self-care, weve got everything you need to get your loved ones back on their feet again.

Want to learn more about online counselling?

If so, ask us about how we can help treat your spouse with depression today!

Hours of Operation

Remember To Take Care Of Yourself

What To Do When Your Wife Is Depressed And Anxious

It can be very stressful coping with another person’s depression. It’s OK to take some time out for yourself. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, you’ll both be better off if you carve out time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit with habits like:

  • Spend time in nature
  • Stay socially connected

Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. Certainly, this decision should be weighed carefully , but you may need to walk away if you or your children’s emotional or physical well-being or safety is at risk.

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Take Care Of Yourself

If your partner refuses to seek help, you should treat the illness the same way you would an alcohol or drug problem and step up the intervention. You may need to go so far as to threaten to move out if your partner doesnt get help. Thats especially appropriate if you have children, since research has shown that one of the most significant factors in raising mentally healthy children is to have mentally healthy parents. Often, that understanding alone can compel a spouse to get help.

Another important step along the way is to take care of yourself. Be sure to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthfully. If you detect you may be suffering some symptoms of depression yourself, follow the same advice you would offer your spouse: seek help from your family physician or a counselor.

You may also benefit from reading some good self-help books. Feeling Good by David Burns is particularly helpful. It focuses on changing thought processes and patterns that accompany depression, such as avoiding all-or-nothing thinking, perfectionism, taking things too personally, dwelling on negative things from the past and overgeneralizing.

Prognosis for depressed spouse is promising

The prognosis for depression is good, once its diagnosed. Though it can take three to six months to achieve significant improvement, 80 to 90 percent of cases can be effectively treated, usually with a combination of medication and counseling.

Tip : Eat A Healthy Diet To Improve How You Feel

What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel.

Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.

Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones.

Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost.The best sources are fatty fish , seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.

Try foods rich in mood-enhancing nutrients, such as bananas and spinach .

Avoid deficiencies in B vitamins which can trigger depression. Eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.

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Understand That Depression Is Usually An Episodic Illness

When a spouse has depression, that person goes through bad periods and good ones. There is sometimes a role for couples therapy, Baer said. “You may have work to do as a couple to improve your relationship, but this should be done at a separate time, when your spouse is feeling better,” he said.

In the meantime, the non-depressed spouse might need to turn to a trusted friend or therapist for emotional support when feeling overwhelmed or aggravated.

What Your Wifes Depression Is Doing To You

8 Tips for Dealing with a Depressed Spouse

If your wife is depressed you are most likely struggling with how to help her or make it go away. But one thing that gets overlooked by the partners of someone depressed is how to take care of themselves as well.

Many husbands take their wifes depression personally, assuming they have somehow caused it. It can be an easy thing to do, especially if your wife has lost interest in the things you used to enjoy together, is no longer affectionate and happy, or doesnt want to be intimate anymore. Husbands can mistake these things for disinterest in the marriage or feel that their wife has fallen out of love with them.

Other men may begin to feel exhausted by their wifes depression. Her lack of enthusiasm or participation in the normal family or social responsibilities can make things difficult. You may feel like the weight of managing both your lives and your family falls on your shoulders. This can put strain on a marriage and leave a husband feeling lonely, stressed, and potentially facing a depression of his own. Indeed, it has been shown that spouses with a depressed partner are more likely to experience depression themselves.

And if the depression goes on untreated for a long time the alienation that a husband may feel can make them feel trapped in a loveless, sexless, unhappy marriage. These feelings can make a marriage vulnerable to other problems like emotional affairs, cheating, or eventual separation or divorce.

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Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking

Do you feel like youre powerless or weak? That bad things happen and theres not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.

When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic. When you really examine them they dont hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up.

You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by telling yourself to just think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it. Rather, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.

Coping With 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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Find A Support System For Yourself

This is a lot of work for one person, and you are doing some serious heavy-lifting by supporting a depressed partner in a relationship.

What about when you need to vent?

What about when you need someone to be your soft landing place and during a period of time when your partner just CANNOT do it?

How do you stop that from filling you with frustration and resentment?

Make sure you have your own support network. Hopefully your partner has a therapist, and you may want to consider one for yourself. Or maybe you have a really strong network of family and/or friends you can talk to. Maybe theres just one person in your life who really gets it, or who doesnt understand it at all but with whom you can shut off you brain and do something else entirely.

Make sure youre getting support too, because you need it, you deserve it, and no matter how much your partner may want to provide it for you, depression can make it near-impossible for them to do so at times.

Overall, when it comes to navigating depression in relationships together, think about what will make you each stronger. These ideas are all about standing in solidarity with your partner, validating them when they feel vulnerable, and ensuring support for yourself.

In short, I know you BOTH can do this.

This article was originally published on YourTango republished with the kindest permission.

Understand And Validate Their Feelings

My wife is depressed- how can I help?

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.

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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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Strengthen Your Support Network

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.

Tip : Exercise For Greater Mental And Physical Health

Does Depression Cause Divorce?

When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone working out. But exercise is a powerful depression fighterand one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. It also helps prevent relapse once youre well.

To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This doesnt have to be all at once-and its okay to start small. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.

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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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