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How to Communicate With a Spouse Suffering With Depression
Although the first reaction to the spouse’s blue mood or their medically diagnosed depression may be to walk on eggshells around them, once you start that pattern it can be difficult to break later. And meanwhile, you’ll build resentment inside about how you have to coddle their moods while no one cares about yours. However, there are several alternatives available to you that should help bring relief to your challenging situation.
If you have already acquired the habit of hitting your spouse or encouraging them to cheer up, take a moment to calm down. After having the opportunity to think about the futility of treating the depressed partner as if they are intentionally difficult, you will be able to leave some of your frustration for the situation.
No one wants to be around an unhappy or depressed person for extended periods of time, and it is natural that you have built up a lot of tension in this. Take a moment to realize that you are reacting to a harsh setup that no one chooses willingly. Now consider how you would want them to treat you if you were the one who suddenly brought low due to circumstances or illness. This compassion will help you a lot in the days to come.
Although it is commendable to treat your partner with patience and kindness, you may feel the need for more techniques to get back when your level of frustration increases. Here are some tips or tricks you may find useful:
Don’t suffer in silence and bear the burden alone. It was that the families were so ashamed of depression that they kept the fact of this dish from neighbors and friends, and the husband puts on a cheerful front at all times. When you constantly lie to cover it up, however, the strain on you will worsen, and you may end up needing medical care yourself to deal with your own stress.
Instead of keeping a dark secret, confide in a close friend or two so you can get support for your feelings. Let someone know what’s going on, and that you may need a shoulder to cry on from time to time, or someone to vent to. As long as it doesn’t go to the extreme of talking non-stop day after day about problems, it’s healthy and useful to let off steam so you can stay balanced.
Be sure to give the depressed person breaks. If you’re both at home most of the time, go out for an hour or two by yourself even if it’s just to go to the grocery store. Rather than running to do your errands and running home to check the condition of your spouse, force yourself to stay in the store. Stop at a park on the way home and go for a walk or sit in the car listening to the radio if the weather is inclement. Avoid becoming a prisoner of your husband’s condition.
Another tendency that can turn into a trap, is the desire to cure or repair your spouse. And so, you spend long hours researching their symptoms online or reading all the magazine articles and books you can find in the bookstore or library. You turn into a combination of your husband’s doctor and the social director. In this dual role, you substitute for them to take any prescribed medication or vitamins, and hire them to get dressed and call a friend to meet them.
It’s easy to start feeling responsible for your partner’s health, because you probably see the future of your marriage going downhill with its decline. But when you take charge, you set yourself up to be resented by your husband and to be angry when he doesn’t follow your suggestions. A better solution is to get outside help from professionals in the medical and nutritional community.
Make a list of your questions, and get some advice for managing these problems and any other problems that may arise such as the side effects of some drugs commonly prescribed for depression. Take charge of what you can do for yourself, and practice the principles of tough love with your spouse. This means that they will give you loving and kind messages, but you will remove yourself from their vicinity if they get angry or are abusive towards you.
Protect yourself from harm at all times, and if there are children at home, be sure to consider their needs as well. Avoid the temptation to tell them that the depressed parent is just in a bad mood today and it will go away. Also avoid making your confidants and complaining about things that are best left private between you and your spouse. Make sure your children understand that depression is an illness, and give them the tools they need to treat their sick parents with kindness and love, instead of contempt or contempt.
If you feel that your spouse’s depression is persistent or worse, do not hesitate to contact a health professional for further advice on your specific situation.
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