How to Help Your Spouse With Depression
It’s not easy loving someone with depression.
People with depression struggle with negative thoughts, are easily irritable, have a lot of mood swings, and exude a general feeling of hopelessness. If your partner is going through this, it can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted. Especially when you think back to the times they were happy, laughing, and so full of hope.
But with the right treatment and care, this will all pass.
As their lover and partner in crime, it’s your job to help them to the best of your ability. After all, this is the time they need you the most.
Here are some tips to help your spouse through depression.
Recognize and acknowledge their condition
Depression is a serious mental condition that is clinically diagnosed by doctors. It’s not something that can easily be treated. So don’t try to downplay their condition by saying things like “You just need to get out more” or “just take a vacation and you’ll be fine”. You may be coming from a place of support, but more often than not, you’ll only be making your partner feel worse.
Unless you’ve been through the same kind of depression your partner is going through, don’t try to pretend that you know what’s best.
Instead, just let them feel that you’re always there for them when they need you. They may not open up to you and tell you how they feel right away, but that’s ok. Assuring them that you’ll be there when they’re ready is more than enough support.
Take care of yourself first
Should you focus all of your time and energy on your spouse or partner who’s going through a stage of depression?
When you’re in this situation, it feels like you need to.
But the truth is, it’s more important that you take care of yourself first. If you begin to neglect your own health, you won’t be in a condition where you can help your partner through their depression. And worse, this might make them feel guilty and deepen their depression.
Instead of trying to do the noble or ‘right’ thing — do the smart thing. Which is to take care of your own mental and physical wellbeing. This is the only way you can take care of your spouse.
So how should you express your emotions without putting more burden on your spouse?
The best way is to play an active role during therapy sessions. Trained doctors and therapists are there to help you both.
Depression is not something that should be taken lightly. There are different levels of depression that require different methods of treatment. If you’re still unsure and feel that you need someone to talk to, feel free to connect and let’s discuss.