How to deal with a depressed spouse

Approximately one in 10 Americans suffers from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who suffer from depression experience symptoms that include hopelessness, sadness, irritability, changes in sleeping or eating patterns and even thoughts of suicide. If your spouse is one of the many Americans who suffers from depression, you can learn how to deal with his mental illness and support him at the same time.


    • 1

      Learn about depression. Look up information about the mental illness in books and on medical websites. By learning the symptoms and causes of depression, you will be more understanding toward your spouse's moods and behaviors.

    • 2

      Talk to your spouse about his depression. Tell him that you are concerned about his well-being. For example, say, "I've noticed that you have been very sad lately. It hurts me to see you this way." Let him know that you will always be there to listen when he needs to talk.

    • 3

      Offer to assist him with daily tasks. Because his depression is stressful, he might not be able to do everything himself. Do the grocery shopping, clean the house or take his car to the repair shop. Ask him if there is anything in particular you can do to make his life less stressful.

    • 4

      Encourage him to seek treatment. Tell him that speaking to a therapist could help him feel better. Let him know that there is nothing shameful about reaching out for help. Offer to make an appointment with a therapist, and tell him you will go with him on the first visit.

    • 5

      Help him feel good about himself. Because he likely has lost confidence in himself, you can remind him of his good attributes. For example, you can tell him what a caring person he is and that he has a lot to contribute to the world.

    • 6

      Maintain your own health and well-being. Even though taking care of a depressed person is stressful, you must take care of yourself. Set aside time to do things you enjoy, such as exercising, meeting friends and shopping. If your spouse expects you to be by his side all day, politely tell him that you need time to yourself sometimes.

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