Living with a depressed person

Living with a depressed person can be very difficult.  You might feel worn out from having to watch what you say and also having to act a certain way in front of the person who is depressed.  It’s also frustrating to know you are powerless to help, especially when it’s somebody you deeply care about.  It’s even tougher when the depressed person is your spouse.  You love them, and want to understand them, but eventually you can end up suffering with them. This can ultimately lead to a lot of marriage problems, and even worse, divorces.   When it is your spouse that is depressed, it not only affects you, but could possibly affect the children as well, causing the whole family to feel the repercussions of depression.  Here are some suggestions that might help you be more supportive during these tough times.

In the early stages, one of the main issues is living with someone that has not accepted that they have a problem.  Neither one of you knows what’s wrong; all you see is changes in the sufferer’s behavior and moods.  You try to cheer them up, but nothing seems to work, and the situation seems to become gradually worst each day.

During this stage, the sufferer can go through a lot of different emotions which consist of confusion and isolation from others.  It is important to be patient with the depressed person during this time, since you may just want them to snap out of it.  You might also get frustrated that nothing seems to work.  Communication is key during this time.  Express how you feel, but be simple and non-aggressive.  People who fall into depression have a hard time coping with criticism, which might in turn lead them to be more depressed.

An example of bring too aggressive to a depressed person is as follows: “Why are you being so selfish and making everybody worry about you all the time?”  A better way to communicate, would be the following:  “Is there something wrong and is there something I can do to help you?  We are all here for you, and want you to get better.”  If your loved one reacts by getting more upset, since they still do not acknowledge the fact that they have a problem, it might be make sense for them to seek a psychologist or even finding a local support group.

When the sufferer is unwilling to accept your help, another method might be to take a step back and refuse to support them until they ready to accept your help.  This might involve giving them some space for a period of time.  This is definitely a difficult thing to do, since you feel like you are abandoning them.  But this suggestion is to offer some personal space, not isolating them completely.  When you do check on them, it’s important to be in a relaxed mood. Try to put your own day’s stresses behind you before you talk to them, so you can be as supportive and understanding as you can possibly be.

Once the sufferer accepts he/she has depression, it makes things a lot easier.  They might be more willing to meet with a psychologist or even attend a support group.  Often times, they might have a lot of negative behaviors.  They might even blame that you are the part of the reason why they are depressed.  I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but being patient through these times is really important.

It’s imperative that you believe that the sufferer can overcome their depressed state of mind, since they will ultimately feel that you have faith in them and hopefully slowly regain composure of their life.  There are some medications out that help battle depression as well to balance out hormonal imbalances. Further, depression may cause symptoms such as insomnia and medication can be sought out to alleviate these symptoms as well. Please consult with your local physician about this issue.

Depression might be confusing and frustrating for both parties, but it’s crucial that patience, love, and faith are shown to the sufferer.  Often times, it’s exhausting since you feel powerless in being able to help, but keep up the faith that things will get better.  All of this work and attention can drain your personal energy, and thus you can set aside other aspects of your life.  It is important to live your own life too and to maintain a healthy balance.

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