Jay Bear, MD, Psychiatrist, Guest Author
Help your spouse get a proper diagnosis and treatment. The illness might prevent a depressed person from recognizing that he/she needs help, so express concern and suggest that you tackle the problem together.
Don’t get bogged down by resentment. Dealing with a partner’s depression can result in angry feelings, especially if you are often making excuses for your spouse’s social absences, your sex life suffers or household responsibilities shift.
Be receptive. Encourage the spouse to talk about his feelings, and don’t pass judgment.
Be patient. Doctors often can help depressed people feel and function better, but it may take some time.
Understand that depression usually is an episodic illness. Depressed people experience bad and good periods.
Helpful for spouses of depressed people… Get emotional support from a friend or therapist, and attend couple’s therapy when your spouse is feeling better.
Copyright © 2015 by Jay Bear. Jay Bear, MD, psychiatrist and director of ambulatory services, department of psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. Reported at LiveScience.com.
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