On the Rocks: 3 Ways to Help a Spouse Suffering from Depression

woman having a couseling session

Depression is one of the last things you think can destroy a relationship. You’d expect unfaithfulness or long distance to create a rift, but how about a lonely, anxious spouse? The truth is plenty of marriages have turned bitter because of this problem.

While one spouse struggles with their health, the other is left overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, and ignored. If you’re the latter, take hope despite the helpless situation. Here are some ways to deal with the depression of your spouse:

Learn as much as you can

The first step towards helping your partner is to know exactly what you’re dealing with. So, get informed as much as you can. One important thing you should know about depression is that it’s not a ‘fixed’ illness. They would have their good days, and then they would go back to feeling lonely and losing interest again. This turbulent nature of the disease is often the reason people break up.

As early as now, anticipate the major changes this illness will bring to your relationship. You may have been experiencing it now. The key is to educate yourself constantly, so you can better exercise empathy towards your partner. The more you know, the better you become at battling this illness.

Help them get the help

Most sufferers have severe symptoms of the illness that it’s clear to them that they need help. For others, however, depression is more subtle and they might dismiss it as just another bad feeling, which will eventually pass. Do realize that the illness can’t be ‘cured’ by just by being willing to be happy and motivated. Professional support and treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in Westport, CT, psychologists explain, is needed to equip the sufferer with healthy ways of managing negative thoughts and emotions.

Tell your partner your concern about their health and what you’ve learned about depression. Let them know that you can help in some ways, including joining them in their doctor’s appointments when they’re ready.

Build a supportive home

It would be difficult for someone suffering from depression to make healthy choices. They would eat less, isolate themselves from people, or think about harming themselves. This is where you should be more proactive in letting them know that you’re there for them. You can do that by promoting healthy eating habits, as well as letting them be involved in preparing nutritious meals. Make it a priority to exercise together, so they could avoid isolation.

Depression causes suffering not just on the patients, but also on their relationships. Don’t let this disease break you and your family. Consult a doctor to address it immediately.