How to survive depression symptoms that could destroy marriage

  • By Lindsay Tsang
  • 22 Jul, 2016
depression symptoms could hurt your marriage

Depression symptoms are hard to handle for the person suffering from it. Things are more complicated when there’s a significant other involved. It’s easy to make the link between depression symptoms and relationship problems. Or vice versa! Here are a few symptoms of depression that could hurt your marriage, and what to do about them.

Feeling down most of the day, nearly every day

When your partner is feeling down, they are less likely to do activities you did together. You may feel rejected by them. You may also feel like you’ve been dragged down along with their sadness, unable to enjoy the day.

What you can do:
The first thing to do here is self-care. It is important that you continue to do activities that are good for you. For example, just because your spouse won’t go to the gym with you, doesn’t mean you stop going.

Loss of interest in things that usually brings them pleasure, like sex

You may start feeling an emotional distance from your spouse. They may not be showing their usual affection.

What you can do:
As hard as this is, do not take it personally. Although they are not able to show affection, they still like receiving it. Give them long hugs, it’ll be good for both of you.

Increased use of alcohol or recreational drugs
Alcoholism and depression are commonly seen together. It’s hard to concentrate on daily tasks when someone is depressed. They may turn to other addictive activities to pass their time. Alcohol, drug use, pornography could bring shame and secretive lives causing distrust.

What you can do:
Ouch. You may be feeling betrayed by these acts and rightly so. But yet, understand that addictions are hard for your spouse too. They are feeling guilty and a sense that they couldn’t stop. Honest communication about your feelings and forgiveness are necessary. Try to see it as two people coming together against addiction.

Irritable moods
A common symptom of depression is irritable moods. They could become critical of their spouses or be extra sensitive. This, of course, could lead to conflicts.

What you can do:
Understanding again is important here. Your spouse is also feeling bad about their irritability. Learn to use this model: 1) Listen first, 2) understand completely, 3) then solve the problem together. Being defensive will only make it worse.

A sense of hopelessness
Without hope, it’s hard to dream and imagine a future together. You may be hurt that they are not looking forward to significant events in your life. You may be frustrated that they aren’t planning or working hard towards shared goals.

What you can do:
Patience. More patience. It may seem slow right now, but have hope that depression will not last forever.

Conclusion
Your spouse is suffering from depression, they will have symptoms that could hurt you. Understanding the symptoms is the first starting place. Making sure that you are taking yourself is important. It is hard to take care of someone else if you can’t take care of yourself. Get the support you need. Focus on the things that you CAN do rather than the things that you cannot control. Help your spouse get the help that they need . Remember you’re not alone in this journey, and reach out if you need help. Also, read more on couples counselling here .

           
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