More Tips for When Your Spouse Struggles With Depression

Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019Nancy Virden

In my last post, I encouraged people whose spouses experience depression. The post helped draw some safety guidelines for protecting one’s own emotional health. Based on my experience with this issue, here are some more tips.

1) Ask questions of your spouse. What do you need? What do you need from me right now? I’m here for you but don’t know what to do. Believe their answer. 

People in deep depression may not know what they need. Narrowing the question to “now” and to what you can specifically offer, will ease both people’s minds. The one in depression may grasp onto an idea, helping you to feel less helpless. 

2) Try not to judge how much reassurance your spouse needs. It isn’t costing you much to tell your spouse often how much you love her, why you treasure him and that she is needed. Avoid listing all the things that are not getting done. Feeling guilty will likely add to the sense of worthlessness and uselessness your spouse already carries. 

3) Carefully encourage, not boss, your spouse to keep moving.  Invite him to easy activities you are doing such as taking a walk, watching a movie, or going for a ride to check out the sunset.

4) Don’t take on a role you cannot fill. Be honest about that. You are not your loved one’s therapist or doctor so don’t take on that responsibility. Get your husband or wife to professional help.

5) Remind her to see how God is working in her life. By that I mean, point out progress and positive changes. Even tiny steps forward are progress and worthy of acknowledgment.

Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 4:29-32 (Saint Paul writing to Christians)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

 

 

 

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