Depression is a mental illness that requires treatment just like any other medical condition. If your spouse is suffering from depression, there are things that you can do to help. Helping your spouse get treatment, supporting your spouse during treatment, and taking good care of yourself are all important ways that you can help your spouse recover from depression. Keep reading to learn more about how to help your spouse with depression.
Recognize the symptoms of depression in your spouse. You may suspect that your spouse is depressed by the way he or she is acting. If you are unsure, there are several common signs of depression that may help you to determine if something is wrong:
Persistent sad feelings
Loss of interest in hobbies, friends and/or sex
Excessive fatigue or feeling slowed down in thinking, speaking, or movement
Increased or decreased appetite
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Trouble concentrating and making decisions
Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
Weight loss or gain
Aches pains or digestive problems
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
Encourage your spouse or partner to seek help if they haven't already. Your spouse's depression may be so debilitating that it makes him/her unable to ask for help. He or she may also be embarrassed about their condition. If you suspect your spouse has depression, encourage them to talk to a therapist
Educate yourself. Understanding depression, its effects, and treatment will allow you to better understand your spouse and help him or her to make informed decisions. Ask questions, read books and visit reliable websites about the diagnosis and treatment of depression. There are many organizations that provide resources for people suffering from depression
Encourage your spouse to open up to you. Talking openly about depression as a real illness with real consequences often brings relief to people with depression, since it demonstrates that someone cares and is willing to help. It is important for your partner to get professional help, but your partner may also benefit from talking to you about their feelings.
Listen when your spouse wants to talk. Demonstrating that you are hearing your spouse and understanding his or her point of view is another important aspect of supporting them through recovery. Allow your spouse to tell you about his or her feelings and make sure that you allow your spouse to fully express themselves
Don’t pressure your spouse into sharing. Just let them know that you are willing to listen when they are ready and give them time.
Be attentive as you listen to your spouse. Nod and react appropriately to let them know that you are listening.
Try echoing what your spouse has just said now and then during the conversation to let them know that you are paying attention.
Avoid getting defensive, trying to take over the conversation, or ending sentences for them. Be patient even though it might be hard sometimes.
Continue to make your spouse feel heard by saying things like, “I see,” “Go on,” and “Yes.
Participate in your spouse's or partner's recovery. While you may not understand the reasons for your spouse's depression, it is important that you support him or her during the treatment process. You may have some idea of what you can do to help your spouse, but if you are not sure you could also ask. Some ways that you could help your spouse include.
Taking over some of your spouse’s usual responsibilities. This may mean taking over some of the tasks your spouse or partner used to be responsible for, such as paying bills, talking to people who knock at the front door, dealing with neighborhood disputes, etc. Ask your partner what you could do to help if you are not sure. Keep in mind that you won’t be taking over your spouse’s responsibilities forever, just until he or she recovers. You can also enlist the help of friends and family.
Making sure your spouse is taking care of his or her physical needs. Make sure that your spouse is eating well, getting moderate exercise, sleeping well, and taking his or her medications.
Encourage your spouse or partner to do the things they used to enjoy and to try new things that might help with their recovery. Ask them to go to the movies with you or to go on walks with you. If they refuse the first few times, just be patient and keep asking. Just don't push too hard, since he or she may not be able to cope with too many activities at once
Plan fun things to do. Your spouse might feel more comfortable just spending time at home with you and your family, but you should plan fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. It's good for everyone in a family to have things to look forward to. These will be beneficial for not only your spouse or partner with depression but also for you and for any kids, as a change in environment will give you all a break
Look after yourself. It's easy to forget about your own needs when your spouse is in pain, but if you're unable to function properly, then you won't be able to help. In fact, feelings of depression can influence the mood of your entire family. That's why you should be sure to take good care of yourself while you are helping your spouse deal with depression.
Get enough sleep, eat well, keep exercising, and keep in touch with family and friends for emotional support.
Set aside some alone time to step away from the situation.
Consider getting therapy or joining a support group since this may help you cope better with your spouse's depression
You'll also need to deal with the impacts of your spouse's or partner's depression on your kids; seek advice from your doctor and other health professionals in charge of caring for your kids' well-being. #Depression #spouse #supporting #Therapy