Since depression is a medical condition that can occur in both males and females, it is important to know how to help your spouse cope with depression. Depression is more common in women than in men. One out of five women comes down with severe depression, but only 1 out of 10 men will. There are many reasons for depression and, as a spouse, there are many ways to help your spouse cope with that depression.
Get Your Spouse to Talk
It is very significant that your spouse is able to have a discussion about his depression with you. Sometimes, all it takes to come out of that depressed state of mind is to simply listen; having someone say they understand or agree with them can do wonders. Even if you disagree, be willing to listen.
Positive Thoughts Go a Long Way
Insist that your spouse work on replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts every day. There is good and bad in all situations and it is always better to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. Sometimes depression can occur due to an overload of depressing information, such as the news reports on TV; if this seems to be a pattern, maybe it is best to shut the news off and perhaps put on a comedic show instead.
Show Compassion and Appreciation
It is important to help your spouse feel loved and appreciated. From time to time, a simple compliment can go a long way; it gives the depressed spouse a feeling of self worth.
One example might be to compliment your husband on some repair work done around the house and to emphasize how nice it is to save money because of this task. Often people who are inclined to become depressed easy feel useless, unappreciated, have low-self esteem or feel unloved. It will amaze you how easily you can bring a smile to the face of your spouse by simply taking notice to and appreciating what your spouse does for you and your family.
There must be a "Work-Life Balance" in everyone's life in order to avoid depression. If there is not enough play and too much work, a person is more opt to become depressed; often without even realizing it. On the other hand, if a person is a compulsive shopper or golfer, that's unhealthy too. There must be a work-play balance in order for people to be successful and happy.
Possibly, you can advise your spouse to eliminate some work activities if he is overloaded. If you are able to relieve your overworked spouse by completing or assisting with his tasks, you just may be able to take away some of the inner pain. Sometimes just bringing out the trash or putting away the dishes can add to the happiness of your husband.
Activities can be fun and help enforce positive thinking. If you have a full itinerary, you have less time to focus on depressing feelings or thoughts. Try to get your spouse more involved in activities; in fact, doing things together usually works well.
- Play Miniature Golf together or with a family member.
- Take a walk together after dinner or whenever it is convenient to you both.
- Go bicycle riding regularly.
- Exercise and a healthy diet leads to a fit, happy mind.
Making New Friends
You are never too old to make new friends; advise your spouse to always go out of his way to be friendly to people. When you surround yourself with new and old friends with similar hobbies, life becomes more exciting.
It may take months or even years to conquer depression, depending on the severity, so don't get discouraged; a little love goes a long way.