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Having a loved one experience the symptoms of depression can be challenging. You may feel a strong desire to help, but it can be hard to know where to start. Navigating a loved one’s mental health condition can be especially difficult when that person is your partner. If you have a spouse dealing with depression, learning how to help them can have a profound impact. Putting in the time and energy to help is a simple yet effective way to show that you care. By learning about some of the best ways to help your spouse, you can do your best to help your partner along their recovery journey.

Ways to help a spouse with depression

  • Educate yourself — Mental health is complicated. While you don’t need to get a degree in psychology, learning more about basic terminology and symptoms can be an important step. Educating yourself on mental health can help you understand what your spouse is going through, encouraging more empathy. By teaching yourself how to talk about depression, you can hone your sensitivity and avoid common mistakes. It can also help you discover treatments made to address your spouse’s condition. Reading this article means you are on the right track.
  • Encourage professional help — People with depression often resist getting the help they need. Treatment avoidance can stem from feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Your spouse may feel as if their condition is not serious enough to seek care or that they do not deserve care. If your depressed spouse is hesitant to seek treatment, you can help by being a voice of encouragement. Professional intervention can provide the tools and coping mechanisms necessary to manage depression. With treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, your spouse can make positive changes to their thought and behavioral patterns.
  • Listen well — Sometimes, people with depression just want someone who will listen. Listening to your spouse without judgment can be a great way to help them express themselves in a safe environment. To encourage sharing, try to create a safe and understanding space. When your spouse is expressing their thoughts and feelings, try not to interject. Listening patiently can show respect and understanding. Try to avoid offering immediate solutions when your spouse brings up their issues. Instead, focus on empathetic listening. While problem-solving advice can be helpful, it can also be frustrating when it is too quick and forceful. Replying with your advice whenever your partner mentions a problem can make them feel unheard. To avoid this, prioritize supportive words. Letting your spouse know you are there for them can have a major positive impact on their mood.
  • Offer assistance — Depression can make everything feel overwhelming. If your partner seems to struggle with simple tasks and chores, try gently offering assistance. Helping out with practical things like grocery shopping and doing laundry can help lighten the load on your spouse. This can empower them to focus on their mental well-being. When offering help with practical tasks, it is important to be tactful. Your spouse might be reluctant to accept help if they think you are patronizing them. Learning the right approach to offering assistance can be key to helping your spouse manage their responsibilities and their mental health.
  • Communicate openly — Open communication is always healthy in a relationship. When your spouse is depressed, knowing how to communicate well is especially important. Try to facilitate transparency with your partner. Let them know that expressing their feelings is OK, whether those feelings are positive or negative. Having honest conversations can be a great way to strengthen your connection and learn the best ways to help your partner.
  • Respect boundaries — Depression is different for everyone. While working toward recovery, different people tend to have different boundaries for their support network. If your partner seems to be more distant than usual, try not to take it personally. Respect their recovery pace and personal boundaries. While offering support is good, try to avoid applying pressure or unrealistic expectations. By respecting your spouse’s boundaries, you can help them improve without adding stress to their life.
  • Practice self-care — One of the best ways to help your partner is by helping yourself. Caring for someone with depression can take a toll on your mental health. Stress, anxiety and other mental health symptoms can make it harder for you to give your partner the help they need. To ensure you stay capable of providing support, set time aside for self-care. Remember that it is easier to help others when your mental health is stable.

Active Path Mental Health offers treatment to help your depressed spouse

Ready to find the help your depressed spouse needs? Active Path Mental Health offers a range of top-notch solutions for mental health solutions. Our team prioritizes recovery and care, helping each patient through personalized interventions. With our help, your partner can experience lasting relief.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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