Helping a depressed spouse can be very difficult because that person might actively reject your help or not believe that he or she needs assistance. It can put a strain on your marriage because he or she might not be very pleasant to be around. Here are some tips for helping your depressed spouse.
1. Keep Yourself Healthy
The only thing that you can do is make sure that you don't fall into a depression as well. This can happen far too easily and will make helping your spouse out of his or her depression almost impossible. To keep yourself healthy, make sure that you are keeping your body healthy by maintaining your healthy eating and exercising habits. Also make sure that you take the time to do things that you love, such as hang out with friends, go hiking, or work on personal projects. If you feel bad about leaving your spouse, who will likely not want to go outside, simply make sure that you invite him or her. You can't do anything to make your spouse go outside and you are doing more good by keeping yourself mentally healthy.
2. Get Your Spouse a Proper Diagnosis
If you suspect that your spouse has depression, anxiety, or some other mental illness, then you are going to need to make sure that you get your spouse a proper diagnosis, rather than simply reading the symptoms off the Internet and matching them to your spouse's behavior. Encourage your spouse to go to a doctor who will be able to confirm a diagnosis that you might suspect. If you need to, make sure that you have openings in your schedule to go to the doctor with your spouse in order to provide support. Doing this will show that you care and truly only want your spouse to get better.
3. Listen to Your Spouse
Even though it might feel frustrating or repetitive, being willing to listen to your spouse talk about his or her feelings can be enormously helpful to your spouse. It might feel as though he or she is drowning in emotion and being able to convey these emotions to someone else is a way to reduce their drowning effect, allowing them to get a gasp of air and continue to function. Make time each day to listen to your spouse talk about how he or she feels and try to keep to that time, rather than be deluged with emotion all the time. This will help you remain healthy while assisting your spouse.
For more information, talk to a mental health counselor like those at the Lincoln Psychiatric Group.Share