If you have a spouse with depression, you may find yourself struggling with the relationship in more ways than one. Depression in marriage usually means that the depressed partner is not able to be present in the relationship. This is the unfortunate downward spiral that can occur when one spouse is depressed, and it can ultimately lead to depression in both partners. The challenge is to recognize depression for what it is so that it does not completely destroy your relationship.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to change a depressed person’s mind if he or she is firmly in depression’s grip. While it can easily seem like your depressed partner is not trying to do anything about his or her illness, the more likely truth is that he or she does not know what to do or that your loved one is so used to the negative feelings associated with depression that feeling good, even for a short time, is actually threatening to his or her sense of self.
If a person is depressed long enough, depression becomes his or her way of being in the world.
While it is important, and even an advantage, for a depressed person to have the support of a spouse or loved one, that support will not cure depression.
If you don’t understand depression as an illness, you’re bound to misinterpret your depressed spouse’s behavior, and you will probably also have unrealistic expectations about how he or she should handle depression.

Agree on a manageable amount of social interaction and time spent together, but also allow your spouse the down time needed to cope with the depression symptoms that he or she is experiencing.
Over time, if your relationship is strong enough, your spouse will miss being with you and will begin to recognize the negative behaviors that are driving you away. Even if you are not depressed yourself, if your spouse is depressed, your marriage is depressed. Going to counseling together can help you cope with the challenges of living with a depressed person, and it can also help you understand the issues that are causing your husband or wife to be depressed so that you can both develop strategies to overcome them.
If you need more help with understand or managing depression, the “End Your Depression” ebook can help. The book provides detailed information on the causes and symptoms of depression as well as treatment strategies that you can tailor to your individual experience. The thing to realize is that it is your spouse with depression, not you, who is ultimately in charge of taking the steps to change things. In fact, you can even strengthen your marriage by joining with your husband or wife in the battle against depression. Get as educated as you can about the disease, its treatments and any signs that indicate worsening depression.

A person with depression may have a lot of inertia and be unable to get the energy up to arrange for therapies and other activities in life. But though you can help a lot by coming up with suggestions and offering your encouragement, you need to understand that sometimes your best efforts and good intentions will be met with apathy, rejection, anger or derision. It can be frustrating to love a person who behaves in sometimes hurtful ways, but you have to remember that depression is a real illness - just as real as cancer or diabetes or any other physical illness. Try to help out by coming up with suggestions and options, so that they can move into action with a minimum of effort beforehand. Loving someone with depression is never easy, and there may be times when you near a breaking point. If someone you love is fighting depression, they need help; and anything you can do to make that happen is a good thing.

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