Knowhow-Now Article

When A Spouse Has Depression

Depression affects not only the patient, but also the family. The spouse of a depressed patient must be very tolerant. They must be very patient and they must be very loving.

Take Time For Yourself

Tip: Don't stop going to normal social activities. It is understandable that your depressed mood makes you want to skip all those normal outings and activities.

As the spouse of someone with depression, it's very important to take some time for yourself. Get away from the stress and relax a little. Grab a trusted friend and go to coffee once a week. Go for a daily walk. Spend some quiet time with your favorite book. How ever you spend this time, make it you time and make sure that the depressed spouse isn't along.

Stay Current

Tip: Eliminate the words "depression" and "depressive" from your vocabulary. Depression is a very serious affliction, but if you use those words, they can make you feel worse.

Stay up to date and current on your spouses medications. Is your spouse taking the medications? If you spouse has been known to pretend to take them learn to count pills and double check. You can also tell by behavior. If your spouse seems off, consult with their doctor about the possibility that they may be off their medications or on the wrong medications.

Support Network

Tip: The causes of depression are vast, and you must, if you have any hope of getting better, work to figure out why you personally have the blues. Once you are able to better understand what is causing you to have these feelings, you should be able to handle the hard moments much better.

Set up a support network for yourself. This network could be, the family doctor, a pastor, a few trusted friends, a support group or your own family. When things are tough ask for help. Don't be afraid to tell family what is going on. If they truly care, and most do, they'll want to help you.

Educate Family

Tip: Although music can help in your battle with depression, exercise caution when choosing what to listen to. Keep away from any type of music that makes you sad or pensive.

Teach children and other family what to do in a crisis. If there is a crisis situation, have a plan in place for children. It could be a friends house, a family members house or simply to hide out in their room until the crisis has passed.

Be Patient

Tip: If you suffer from depression, it is important to refrain from drinking diet soda, and other foods that utilize artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners reduce the amount of serotonin secreted and can worsen existing depression symptoms, including headaches and insomnia.

Your spouse doesn't like feeling out of control. Be patient and loving. Redirect whenever possible. Recognize symptoms before they happen and redirecting them to other feelings is often more simple.

Have A Plan

Tip: Therapeutic counseling can help with depression. Medication and therapy combined is the best way to treat depression right now.

When your loved one is doing well, sit down and discuss things openly. Your loved one won't be able to understand during an episode of depression and you'll be wasting your breath. If you work out a plan prior to an incident you'll be able to work together and focus on healing and not damaging your relationship.

Keep Doctor Appointments

Help your loved one make it to all of their doctor appointments and go with them as part of their support network. Be supportive and encouraging to them.

Keep A Journal

Tip: Try changing your mental repeating messages if you have depression. Instead of thinking negative thoughts all the time, flip them around into more positive thoughts, even if they don't seem right at first.

Journaling is a great way to track your own concerns. Journaling will help you to share with the doctor about "bad days" and "good days". Journaling will help you to remember those good days on a bad day when you're struggling.

It's important to remember that you're not alone in your struggle to help your spouse. Many others are struggling with the same issues that you are. Don't ever be afraid to take time away, get help, call the doctor or your pastor. You can't do this alone and neither can your depressed spouse.

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