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Helping ‘Your Man’ Deal With Depression

I looked forward to a relaxing time with my partner over the weekend but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Imagine planning quality hours of sleep, movies and drinks much later with that special someone, then BOOM! All of a sudden everything goes wrong. Suddenly, you’re witnessing major mood swings and serious signs of depression from your partner -something you’ve never noticed him to have. It occurred to me as much as we feel women are the most fragile and most likely to fall into depression, the male side suffer (in silence) that same thing.  Often times, like I always say, in that all-rosy-relationship we feel nothing can possibly go wrong; the sweet can’t turn sour but that’s a lie… As long as we remain mortals, we are bound to have mood swings or terrible split seconds that turn a very good day sour.

When a partner is depressed, it can put a strain on a relationship or marriage. Living with a depressed partner who is often unhappy, critical and negative isn’t easy as well and it can be difficult helping him/her out of it. If proper care isn’t taken, the helper often gets dragged into the same predicament.

Depression – feelings of severe despondency and dejection –  varies greatly in severity, but it has many behavioral impacts that can profoundly affect all significant relationships.

Helping your depressed spouse shouldn’t seem so difficult anymore with these few tips –

Help your spouse get a proper diagnosis and treatment which could come in form of therapy. The illness might prevent a depressed person from recognizing they need help or seeking it out, so it’s often the non-depressed spouse who will express concern and suggest an action plan.

You could persuade him by saying, “I love you but I hate watching you suffer. Depression is a common problem and you shouldn’t be ashamed of having it, so let’s fight this together and get back the ever-happy you”

Show Receptivity. Encourage a depressed spouse to talk about the way he is feeling, thinking or acting, and listen without passing judgment. If someone is in a bad depression, you might hear things that could freak you out. For example, a depressed spouse might question their love for their partner or interest in staying together. DON’T make decisions about your marriage or relationship until after a depressive episode.

Try to stay on the same team. Team up to tackle depression rather than allowing it to drive your relationship or marriage apart. Actively work to help your spouse get better, whether it’s taking a daily walk together or providing a ride to a doctor’s therapy session or ensuring that medication is taken.

Don’t get stuck on angry feelings. Dealing with a partner’s depression can provoke anger and resentment, especially if he is often making excuses for social absences e.g All plans made to attend the launch of a restaurant across the street and at the last minute, probably after the perfect ‘facebeat’, he changes his mind; or if some household responsibilities might need to temporarily shift.

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Be patient with your spouse and also the treatment process.  There may be trial and error moments during therapy but the good news is that doctors can often help people with depression feel better and function better with a combination of medication and talk therapy,. With time and treatment, depression can lift.

Give family appropriate information.  Depression not only affects a marriage, but it also impacts the entire family. In a situation where kids are involved, it’s advisable to inform them appropriately in order for them not to have a total conclusion to whatever your spouse, their father, says during one of his depressive episodes.

Kids can often sense when something is wrong so don’t let it linger; in a sensitive and honest way, talk about the illness with kids so they don’t feel afraid or worried

In the meantime, the non-depressed spouse might need to turn to a trusted friend or therapist for emotional support when feeling overwhelmed or aggravated.

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