When your married to someone who suffers from depression it can be a long and hard road. Dealing with the negativity and unhappiness can put a very serious strain on any relationship. Depression affects more than solely a person’s happiness; it has an effect on their thoughts, sex drive, mood, appetite, sleep and their energy levels. It’s no wonder that when one person is battling with all of these factors that it makes life harder for the other person in the relationship as well. While depression can destroy marriages it can also have the opposite effect and bring the couple even closer together. Here are a few tips for handling depression in your marriage that will make it easier for you to come out together and on top.
Remember That You’re Teammates
Instead of letting the illness tear the two of you apart it’s important that you remember that you’re on the same team. Depression is the enemy, not your husband or wife. As the spouse it’s your job to actively work to make sure your partner gets better. Take walks together, drive them to the doctor, or take whatever steps you can to let them know you’re there for them and that you’re in it together.
Don’t Take it Personally
It’s easy to take their anger, sadness or general unhappiness personally. Don’t. The issues that their facing are due to an imbalance in their brain and not something you did, or didn’t, do. Don’t allow their depression to invoke in you the anger and resentment that they may unintentionally be projecting. It’s wise to seek counsel not only for the one suffering but also for yourself. Living and loving someone with a mental illness is a big undertaking and it’s important that you allow yourself the support system that you need in order to conquer it.
Like with any disease, injury or illness your spouse’s depression will not disappear overnight. Going into a doctor’s appointment and expecting immediate gratification is going to leave you wanting. Depression can be lifted but it will take time and some trial and error to find the right combination of medication and therapy. Don’t allow the waiting period to push you farther from each other. Instead, work with the therapist and find out what you can do to speed the recovery along. Identify the triggers so you know what to avoid in the future. Approach this with your husband or wife as a united front and go through the process together. Not only will this help their recovery time but it will also strengthen you as a couple.
Depression is an awful illness that can completely take over the life of the one being affected. Being married to someone who’s battling this can be very difficult in it’s own ways. By taking the tips above and reminding yourself that you can fight this together you stand a good chance of coming out with your marriage on top.