Loving someone with mental illness is one of the most challenging experiences a person can have. — Seth Meyers Psy.D.
If your spouse has depression, it is highly likely that you are in for an emotional ride that will be very difficult to handle. You will feel helpless and you will also feel like breaking, but it is important to keep your cool while you work on yourself and your relationship. Remember, you married your spouse “for better or for worse”. You need to remember that.
Anyway, here are 10 ways that will help you in this challenging ride.
Take care of yourself.
While it is very important to be supportive to your partner, you won’t be able to do so if you can’t take care of yourself. Your partner may feel like a stranger and you may want to dwell on the past when everything was good and depression-free. Make sure not to forget of your own needs – you have to relax and maybe get some fresh air, out of the house, especially when things get “dark”.
Confide in your friends and build a support group that will help you tide over the stress. Living with a partner who suffers depression will be incredibly stressful. You must also consider individual counseling for yourself.
It’s not your fault.
Don’t blame yourself for your spouse’s mental health issue and remember that the cause of the problem is his or her depression. You won’t be able to stop this from happening and you can’t fix something that you have no control over. The worse thing is that depression has multiple causes and no one can pinpoint the real cure to it. The remedies are always general in nature.
Learn more about depression.
Knowledge is always helpful in battling depression. Try to recognize the different moods that your partner exhibits and research thoroughly about. Just make sure not to jump to conclusions and if possible, consult with a mental help professional for deeper understanding.
My point is that antidepressants appear to be helpful in severe cases but they are probably useless and potentially harmful when they are incorrectly prescribed. — Shawn T. Smith Psy.D.
Offer love and support without trying to be demanding.
Remain to be helpful, but make sure not to be demanding to your spouse. Suggesting coping details every now and then will be useful. Just don’t push and insist on things if your spouse is not capable and ready. It might have the opposite effect on him or her.
Your spouse’s depression can control you both – fight it.
Don’t get caught up in depression. There is a high chance that you will be affected and can develop your own mental health condition because of your strained relationship. Remain strong for you and your spouse, emotionally and physically.
Break the cycle.
Make sure to look closely at the reactions of your spouse. Observe which words and situations trigger him or her the most.If you know that this particular topic will put your spouse on the depression bus, avoid talking about it.
There will be times when you fail to do what’s best. It’s alright. Forgive yourself for that. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can.
Live in the present and accept the fact that what you have now is the relationship.It is possible that it will never be the same again. Move past it and let go of excess baggage.
There are many ways to use your brain to change the brain. Learning various methods and putting them into place starts a process that is the first step to lifelong change. — Margaret Wehrenberg Psy.D.
If your partner tells you something awful, don’t take it personally. You are not the problem here and there is a chance that your partner is simply saying those words out of hopelessness. Be understanding, for your sake.