If you suspect your spouse is suffering from depression, the first step is to pay close attention to the clues in order to get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should look out for and what to do if you notice these signs and symptoms in your partner.
Depression: the signs to recognize in a depressed spouse.
When your spouse suffers from depression, it is also you and your couple who are affected
Depression can also lead the relationship to harbor pessimism and bitterness, anger and isolation.
Depression can indeed affect anyone, even the most jovial and happy person. If this happens to your spouse, you may be overwhelmed with household chores that your partner can’t complete. Also, you might feel irritated by the other person’s negative state of mind. You might also feel guilty for his illness or feel isolated by not knowing who to confide in that there is depression in your home. It is also difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to keep hope that the good mood will one day return.
Pay attention to these phrases and words that can signal depression.
If there is depression in your relationship, it is necessary to act as much for you as for your partner.
The wait only increases the chances that you will end up breaking up. Couples in which one person has depression are nine times more likely to break up. Trying to fight or understand this disease alone only increases your risk.
A spouse who has lived with a depressed partner for a long time is also more likely to become depressed themselves if they do not seek help. Logically, the longer we wait before seeking treatment, the more difficult it is to get out of depression. The risk of sinking into other serious problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, violence and even suicidal thoughts is also higher. By taking matters into your own hands, the chances are good that things will improve.
Make sure you know these 10 Depression Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.
Remember that you are not alone in dealing with depression.
In a survey conducted by Reader’s Digest, 42% of respondents named depression as a major challenge in their marital relationship. It is not surprising that most confided that this disease had a negative effect on their lives.
On the other hand, some 25% mentioned that depression had a positive impact on their relationship. “Getting diagnosed and being cared for makes all the difference,” says Emily Scott-Lowe, Ph.D. and associate professor of social work at Pepperdine University. The doctor leads, with her husband Dennis Lowe, workshops on depression in the couple across the United States. However, by being taken care of, we increase our chances of recovery by 80 to 90%. Everyone gets relief.”
Avoid these habits that increase the risk of suffering from depression.
Depression is not a choice or a temporary period of depression.
It is as serious and devastating as diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. A spouse with depression cannot just snap their fingers out of it. Depression is characterized by faulty connections in the brain in areas that affect mood, thoughts, sleep, appetite and energy levels.
Genetics is usually a big factor that causes depression. That said, several factors can also trigger the disease: prolonged stress, significant financial problems, a great loss or significant changes in your life, the birth of a child, the death of a parent or a medical condition or taking certain medications. For example, taking birth control pills as a teenager increases the risk of depression.
Even marriage can increase the risk of depression. About one in ten brides experience “postnuptial depression” in the months following the ceremony. Researchers have also found that up to half of unhappily married spouses are depressed, although they disagree on the trigger (is it the difficult marriage that causes the depression or the depression that makes the difficult marriage?)
If you think your partner has depression, the first thing you should do is pay close attention to the signs and help your partner get diagnosed and treated.
Habits can change during depression.
Depression can set in very slowly and very subtly in a person. “First people look for all sorts of other explanations like a new baby or a tougher time at work. It is explained as being a phase, underlines Emily Scott-Lowe. It may take a long time to notice the cycle or to be ready to accept that it may be depression.”
Often it is the spouse who is not depressed who will take matters into their own hands. The disease often causes those affected to not realize it on their own. They may feel too lethargic or give up quickly and think they can manage on their own.
If you notice that your spouse is not behaving as usual or that he or she is thinking or feeling in an unusual way, ask yourself if it could be depression. But don’t stop your questions there. Depression could be the reason your partner works very late, drinks more, starts using drugs, or ventures into dangerous activities. The signs can also differ depending on the gender of the person who suffers from depression.
What if your child is affected? Here are the signs of childhood depression every parent should be aware of.