How to help a partner who has depression
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave loved ones feeling helpless and afraid. The mood in major depression is often described as sad, hopeless, discouraged, or feeling down, but it can also include persistent anger. Angry outbursts and blaming others is common.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: To the Wife Who Has Anxiety and Depression, From Your Husband
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Support a Loved One Struggling With Mental IllnessContent:
- Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
- Supporting a partner with depression
- How to help someone with depression
- 9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression
- How to Deal with a Depressed Spouse
- When Depressed Husbands Refuse Help
- 15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
To the outside world, Emme lived a charmed life. She was a successful model, creative director of her own clothing line, a television host, lecturer, and mother of a beautiful baby girl. Phillip Aronson, the wonderful man she married, found himself in a downward spiral of depression, even attempting suicide at one point to escape his pain.
Phil was always an energetic partner, excited to go to work each morning either to the showroom to check on the latest graphic designs for the Emme line or to attend meetings about some new project.
He was a caring and loving father. I never felt more alone. However, many experts feel these statistics are simply wrong. Depressed women on the other hand may blame themselves, but then they ask their doctor for help. The consequences of untreated depression are serious and sometimes fatal.
Depression also puts men at a high risk for suicide; they are four times more likely to take their lives than women. When husbands have depression, it can tear apart their marriage and family. Wives may take over and hope the problem will go away, or on the opposite end, withdraw, feeling betrayed and angry. More often, they alternate back and forth between these behaviors and emotions. Fifty percent of wives caring for a depressed husband will develop depression themselves. The good news is that depression is highly treatable.
Once diagnosed, most people who get help report substantial relief. Dealing with a depressed husband who is in denial is not easy. But, by not addressing the issue, your husband continues to be ill or get worse, even suicidal, and you lose out as well. Depression makes men feel like they are worthless and hopeless. They can either confront the man with his depression — which may further shame him — or else collude with him in minimizing it, a course that offers no hope for relief.
You have to insist on good health in your family. It serves no one any good to back off; go to the mat on this issue. It affects your husband and marriage, and absolutely your children. Totten was able to help her father get diagnosed and treated for depression; but only after tragically losing her brother to suicide over fifteen years ago because he was never diagnosed.
I agreed with him and was able to get him to the doctor under this pretense. With a resistant spouse, Totten believes women need to take a similar tack. Explain what the symptoms are. Then, make the appointment for him. Go with him. If he resists, ask him to do it just for you, to make you feel better.
They think depression is a sign of weakness, or someone with it is mentally defective. She points out even though men may willingly go to talk therapy, sometimes they are unwilling to take any sort of medication because of a possible loss of libido.
Men with depression are suffering from a medical condition, not a weakness of character. It is important to recognize their limitations. Steve Lappen, a writer and support group leader, who has himself been treated for bipolar disorder manic depression , recommends that husbands watch the Real Stories of Depression online video from the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH. The video shows men that depression is a treatable medical condition, not a sign of weakness and gives permission to men to ask for help.
Reaching out is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Ultimately, their family doctor reached out to them. It was at the end of a family session with the doctor that Seth stepped in and asked to spend time on what was going on with Phil.
It was almost like an intervention. You are clearly depressed. This was the beginning of Phil facing his depression through a combination of talk therapy and medication.
But this was not yet the happy ending. She offers concrete suggestions to other wives: learn everything you can about the illness; get a clear, medicine container to keep track of daily dosages when it is too overwhelming for your husband, make a chart listing his moods. She also suggests telling well-meaning friends and family to keep their private feelings about therapy and medication to themselves.
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Supporting a partner with depression
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity.
Back to Mental health and wellbeing. Feeling down or depressed from time to time is normal. But if these feelings last 2 weeks or more, or start to affect everyday life, this can be a sign of depression. Depression can develop slowly.
How to help someone with depression
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself. A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner's doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet. You can start with the following reputable sources:. There are many myths about depression.
9 Tips for Helping a Partner with Depression
When you're in a relationship, whatever your partner deals with, you deal with. And vice versa. So if your partner is depressed , it's imperative that you know how to handle it in a healthy, helpful, and supportive way — for the sake of each partner's mental health. Watching your partner go through something difficult like depression can be tough on you both of you.
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss.
How to Deal with a Depressed Spouse
I suffer from depression myself and I know how tough it can be. But I want to talk to the partners - the people living with the people who are living with depression. It can make them say and do things that you just don't understand. I spent three years talking to more than people about their experiences with love, sex, and depression for my book, The Monster Under The Bed.
It can be hard to be in a relationship with someone with depression. Also, depression can make someone more irritable, angry, or withdrawn. The symptoms of depression may lead to more arguments, frustration, or feelings of alienation. Although depression can be challenging, most people want to do what they can to help. If your partner has depression, here are some ways you can help her through it and maybe even strengthen your relationship in the process. First and foremost, be patient.
When Depressed Husbands Refuse Help
Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community. Don't let stigma stop you from reaching out. Relationship boundaries - identify what is acceptable and not. Communicate this openly so everyone understands. Coping tools - this could be exercise, meditation, reading a book, meeting friends, etc. They are important for your mental health. Knowledge is power - research to understand about depression.
To the outside world, Emme lived a charmed life. She was a successful model, creative director of her own clothing line, a television host, lecturer, and mother of a beautiful baby girl. Phillip Aronson, the wonderful man she married, found himself in a downward spiral of depression, even attempting suicide at one point to escape his pain. Phil was always an energetic partner, excited to go to work each morning either to the showroom to check on the latest graphic designs for the Emme line or to attend meetings about some new project.
15 Ways To Support A Partner With Depression That Are Actually Helpful
When your spouse has depression , you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad. They might seem hopeless and have a hard time getting out of bed.
When one spouse has depression, it can put a strain on a marriage. Living with a depressed partner who is often unhappy, critical and negative isn't easy, and at the same time, it may also be hard to persuade a husband or wife to get help. Jay Baer, a psychiatrist and director of ambulatory services in the department of psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Home Mental Health Depression. Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This illness erodes emotional and sexual intimacy and suffuses a relationship with pessimism and resentment, anger and isolation, she explains.