How to Help Your Spouse with Depression

Your spouse can you help defeat depression

“When a spouse is depressed, a marriage can become depressed”…

When a spouse suffers from depression, the associated emotions and feelings can be difficult to grasp and to comprehend from the other partner’s perspective, which can cause emotions to spiral out of control and put additional strain on a marriage.

As specialists in depression counselling in Melbourne, our counsellors and psychologists often find that when someone is depressed they display very few positive emotions as they usually tend to retreat from everything and everyone.

Basic everyday activities seem overwhelming and intolerable for them to engage with.

Chronic depression is much more than having an underlying feeling of sadness and may cause more intensive cognitive symptoms, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed all the time, decisions or concentrating become difficult, and constant feeling of hopelessness.

Some spouses can be naïve when their partner is showing signs of depression and may say and do things such as bullying their partner “to just get on with it” or badger their partner to “suck it up”.

Partners can display limited tolerance to the situation and want to only focus on their own needs and can become dismissive and centre any discussions about themselves and the daily difficulties they’re facing.

Some partners may feel responsible for their spouse’s depression.

Spouses must understand that depression requires a proper diagnosis and depression counselling treatment.

Many partners believe “they know their partner best”, so they’re in the best position to cheer up their depressed partner, or as their relationship is “rock solid”, you alone can cure your partner’s depression.

Our depressing counselling services psychologists know it isn’t easy for a partner.

Your biggest challenge is to be supportive and endeavour to persuade a husband, wife or partner to seek help.

Understanding depression with a depression counselling Melbourne CBD psychologist is an option to consider for spouses who live with a depressed partner.

When a partner is often unhappy, critical and negative, these negative emotions can affect the spouse who can also become bogged down with the burden of guilt and the responsibility to “try and fix the problem”.

Partners/Spouses, often themselves become susceptible to stress, anxiety and possibly could even become depressed.

Depression Treatment

Treatment for depression comes in the form of depression counselling, medication or a combination of both. If your spouse is depressed, the first step to recovery is for them to see their doctor.

Be Supportive

Being supportive while your spouse is depressed can be hard and challenging in its own right, but having or being a supportive partner does help the recovery process.

Depressed people are not always forthcoming about their feelings. They may be irritable and not want to talk – many will withdraw into their own space to seek solace.

If you’re able, try to engage with them about specific behaviours. Discuss their lack of interest in any normal activities. Let them know that you want to work with them and professional counselling services Melbourne are available and should be considered.

Being supportive, however, does not mean permitting your partner to be “carte blanche”.

Even though ‘depressed’, your partner should also be responsible for their own well-being and actions.

You must try and treat your spouse like an equal rather than an ’ill person’.

When your spouse is depressed it is important to look after your own well-being and mental health. Therefore it’s important for you to maintain your social relationships and activities.

Counselling for depression, and marriage counselling is extremely helpful for those suffering from depression. If your spouse will not attend counselling sessions, consider making an appointment by yourself.

Our experienced Melbourne CBD psychologist will listen to you and advise you on the best way to deal with your partner’s depression. Your mental health is also important to consider as is your spouses.

About the editor, Amelia Cambrell

About the editor, Amelia Cambrell

Amelia Cambrell, Psychologist & Counsellor, BA; BSc (Hons); M Psych (Counselling); Dip Clin Hypnotherapy, is a senior psychologist at Counselling in Melbourne and with 15-years of experience in the mental health space is driven to seek client outcomes.

Find out more about Amelia Cambrell

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