Depression is tough. Having a depressed spouse is also hard and can prove to be a difficult and arduous road to travel. That journey can become a balancing act like walking on a tightrope (except it’s your marriage, not a circus act).
Depression can create communication barriers in that the depressed person may become extremely self-critical and more depressed when their spouse tries to talk about what is frustrating them. On the surface, the depressed person may appear to agree with their partner’s irritation, but rather than channeling their energy towards finding a solution; they often direct the power of frustration—negative energy—towards themselves which causes even more depression!
I have treated many couples that have struggled with one of the two being depressed. These couples have become emotionally drained! Depression in a marriage—or relationship—presents unique problems that the average couple will not experience nor understand.
For instance, a spouse with a history of suicide may have depressive episodes that are scary and, at times, keep their partner in a state of fear and anxiety. It seems unlikely that a person would want to share this type intimate issue with anyone. This type of concern can be a massive weight to carry.
If you or your spouse is currently battling depression, seek professional help immediately! Contact an expert depression therapist or licensed professional counselor in your area who has a proven track record of treating mental afflictions and solving marital issues.
Here are four tips for those suffering or those who have a partner suffering from depression:
Ask for help. You cannot (and should not) healthily carry this on your own. Without the proper approach, you may end up wasting a lot of time and energy trying to “cure” it in the wrong way. A person who struggles with depression will only fight their depression so many times before they give up and lose hope.
Acknowledge that depression is there. Don’t call it something else, don’t say, “It’s just who (s)he is.” No one wins by pretending.
Understand who/what the real culprit is—beliefs in your (or your partner’s) mind. It’s not something you did, or they did. Depression is a combination of many things. Don’t feel guilty and don’t make your partner feel guilty; it’s not your fault, and it’s not their fault.
If your spouse does not go to counseling, then you should seek help for yourself.