“For better, for worse, in sickness and in health” is just one of the promises that you and your spouse have said to each other when you got married but no one would expect the worst that can happen.
When your spouse is showing signs of depression, it’s just expected that you will do everything in your power to help the person you married. Awareness is one of the keys in helping your depressed spouse.
Without knowledge and understanding about this illness, you won’t be able to help your spouse.
One should understand that depression is an illness and not just a weakness that the person is showing. Some people mock a person who shows signs of depression not knowing that this isn’t drama or attention seeking. It’s an illness that no one wants.
Depression can greatly impact not just your marriage but also your family. That is why it’s better to understand what depression is and how we can actually help.
Depression is defined as a dramatic shift in brain chemistry which in turn can alter moods, sleep, energy levels, appetite and even sleep. Depression just doesn’t happen, it is beingtriggered by many factorsincluding but is not limited to severe stress, tragic loss, parenthood, marriage, health conditions and of course financial problems.
Remember, you just can’t tell your depressed spouse to fight the feeling and move on. It’s never that easy.
Before being able to help a depressed spouse, you have to first understand how the signs show. One of the most common misconceptions about depression is that it’s showing every day and you’ll easily see it but it’s not like that.
Most people who are depressed can also have their happy days and this can even last for a few days only to bounce back to the darkness of depression.
Depression is so common but we don’t find enough information about it and with our busy lifestyle, we would often oversee how a loved one is already showing signs of depression. This is the reason why it’s often called an invisible illness.
Be vigilant about the following signs:
Constant feelings of sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, or hopelessness
The first thing to know when you have the question, “How to help your depressed spouse or how to help your depressed partner?”, is that when helping a depressed spouse is to know that the problem exists. Don’t shrug it off like it’s nothing because a depressed spouse will affect the whole family.
So, how to help a partner with depression?
Accept the reality and start helping your spouse through the following:
1. Be there
Your presence is already a huge step towards recovery.
Well, being there even if your spouse pushes you away is one thing that they need.Be there to listen even if the issues that your spouse have are just the same — don’t get tired.
Remember your wedding vows and expect lots of sacrifices. Don’t try to avoid your partner, instead be there when needed.
We all have to admit that the process of how to help your depressed spouse is hard.
Oftentimes coupled with stress from taking care of your children, being the head of the house now that your partner is unstable and caring for your spouse can put your patience to the test. If your spouse has depression, you have to endure and give more.
People who suffer from depression need to feel loved and cared for. When you are living with a depressed spouse, don’t be afraid to ask questions similar to “Is there anything that I can do to make you feel better?”
To help your spouse with depression, reassure your spouse that you love them and don’t get tired of doing it. Don’t forget the power of touch and hugs because it can do wonders.
When you have done all you can and you’ve exhausted all efforts and there aren’t any visible changes or if you slowly see that your spouse is now exhibiting signs of suicide, then it’s time to ask for help.
Lack of willingness to get better is one of the toughest issues to address and a professional can help you with this. Sometimes, it’s best to have someone help you with this ordeal.
What is the best thing you can do for a depressed spouse?
One of the scariest parts of having depression is that the person is more susceptible to suicide.
Some who don’t understand this illness may disregard the signs that a person is already thinking about suicide and that’s one of the reasons why today, more and more people succeed in committing suicide.
Many things can be done to help a depressed spouse, but the best thing you can do is listen to them and be there for them. Try to understand what they are feeling and try to be supportive.
Depression is often caused by negative thinking, so support your depressed partner by trying to talk positively and remind them of the good things in their life. Ask them how you can help them as they get through it, and listen when they tell you.
If you wonder, “how to help your depressed spouse?” know that helping your depressed spouse should come from your heart and not just because it is your obligation.
That way, your patience is a lot longer and your heart will show the way on how you can help your spouse get through this hard challenge. Slowly, both of you can work together to bring back the light of happiness in your spouse.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.