Marriage Tips: When Your Spouse Has Depression

when your spouse has depression

Marriage has many ups and downs, including the challenges associated with depression. You want to show your love and support for your spouse, but seeing a loved one deal with depression may make you feel helpless. At Palm Springs Behavioral Health, we recognize the complexities involved and offer guidance on how to help your partner get through this difficult time while also taking care of yourself.

Understanding Depression in Your Partner

Depression is more than a bad day or a brief period of sadness. It’s a disability that affects every aspect of life. If your spouse lives with depression, you might find yourself grappling with questions about how their complex emotional state will impact your relationship.

It’s crucial to recognize that depression is a unique experience for everyone. Misconceptions, such as the belief that depression is just a phase or a result of laziness, can be harmful. Educating yourself about depression is a vital first step. It will help you understand the biological basis of this illness and the efficacy of available treatments.

Supporting Your Spouse

Depression can make people feel hopeless, guilty, and unworthy. Here’s how you can stand by your partner with understanding and compassion.

  1. Validate their feelings: Acknowledge and validate your partner’s experiences and emotions. Understanding and empathy go a long way in providing comfort.
  2. Encourage professional help: Gently inspire them to seek therapy or medical attention. Offer to help them find a therapist or accompany them to appointments, if they’re comfortable with it.
  3. Communicate openly: Maintain open and honest communication. Let your partner know that they are not alone and that you are there to support them.
  4. Create a supportive environment: Make your home a safe and stress-free environment. Remove triggers such as alcohol or drugs and ensure your partner cannot access firearms or anything else they might use to self-harm.
  5. Learn about depression: The more you know about depression, the better equipped you’ll be to dispel any preconceived, ableist ideas about your spouse’s mental health and understand what they are going through.
  6. Be patient: Recovery from depression doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with your spouse and understand that healing is a process.

Taking Care of Yourself

Supporting a spouse with depression can be emotionally taxing. It’s essential to look after your mental and physical health so you have the resources to be present for your partner.

  • Set boundaries: Setting boundaries to protect your well-being is one of the best things you can do to look after yourself. It doesn’t mean you’re not supportive.
  • Seek help for yourself: Consider joining a support group for spouses of people with depression. Talking to others in similar situations can provide comfort and advice.
  • Practice self-care: Ensure you are getting enough rest, eating well, and taking time for yourself. Self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary.
  • Stay active: Maintain your hobbies and interests. They can be a source of joy and relaxation during challenging times.

A Shared Path to Emotional Wellness

Depression can undoubtedly affect your relationship, but it doesn’t have to define it. You can start overcoming these challenges by working together, understanding each other’s needs, and seeking help when necessary. Remember, you are in this together, and your marriage can emerge stronger with therapy.

At Palm Springs Behavioral Health, we provide holistic depression help for people and their loved ones. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.