Category : Health
How to Support a Spouse Suffering from Depression
Depression is a disease that many people around the world suffer from. However, there isn’t always a great deal of awareness of the disease, how it affects people, and how to support those battling with it. If you know someone who has had depression, you are likely aware of how challenging it can be to understand what they’re going through as well as be there for them. Sometimes if you don’t have enough knowledge or use the wrong approaches, you can make matters worse instead of better. It is, therefore, important to know the most effective ways to offer support. If you have a spouse who is presently battling with the disease, this article hopes to help you by discussing ways that you can support them in their fight to overcome depression.
Before you can help your spouse overcome or at least learn to manage their depression, you first need to understand what it is, what the causes are and the best approaches to managing it. Depression is a common and serious medical illness that affects the way you think and feel irrespective of what people may say. Often, there are misconceptions regarding depression, and people liken it to having a bad day because they don’t understand that it’s a serious condition. You could also make the mistake of accusing your partner of having a mood swing or seeking attention if you don’t have an understanding of what depression is all about. By doing this, it could have a negative effect and cause your partner to feel misunderstood as well as shut you out.
Depression isn’t something that people just snap out of, and like any other medical illness, it can take time as well as treatment for them to get better. However, there are numerous resources online you can utilize that will give you a deeper insight into the disease. Once you understand what it is, there’s a greater chance that you’ll be more empathetic and better able to sympathize with as well as support your partner.
Devise an Action Plan
When living with and supporting someone with depression, you will have days when it becomes overbearing for you to manage. For this reason, it is important that you and your partner work together to devise an action plan that will help you both stay afloat on difficult days. The sole purpose of this action plan should be to help you get a better understanding regarding what your spouse needs on low days and how you can help, so you both don’t end up frustrated. It is also important as it is a way to actively work on helping your partner emerge from their depression through intentional and positive actions on low days. This could mean finding ways to inspire them instead of allowing them to wallow in their sadness. You should also remember to be flexible as it’s likely that every low day won’t go according to plan, Just know that it requires an ongoing effort as you’re both working towards a shared goal of recovery.
Be There for Them
Being there for your spouse can mean so many things, but what you decide to do to show your support is dependent on your spouse’s needs. You may need to be there for them by simply letting them know that you’re available to talk whenever they’re up for it, showing them love consistently irrespective of their behavior, and in extreme cases suggesting they get help. The good news about depression is that it is treatable, so your spouse doesn’t have to suffer in silence. If left untreated, however, it could lead to substance abuse and in extreme cases, suicide. If you have noticed that your spouse seems to be struggling with an addiction as a result of depression, you could consider suggesting an Arkansas inpatient drug rehab facility as a way of getting them help. If they don’t seem to be struggling with any form of addiction, hopefully, it won’t get to that point if they get the support and help that they need.
It isn’t easy trying to help a partner who is depressed. It can take a toll on you mentally, physically, and emotionally when you have to watch someone you love suffering, and you feel like there’s little you can do to help. You should know, however, that it’s a process and every kiss, hug, listening ear, and shoulder you offer counts. Nothing you do is in vain as the very act of love and patience that you perform for your partner contributes to their recovery.