There is only so much we can do to let our loved ones know that they are indeed loved and remembered by so many people. Yet, sometimes it is difficult for them to see that. As a partner, the best you can do is reassure them that you love and support them. When that isn’t enough, that’s when you know your partner needs to seek help.
Signs Your Spouse Is Depressed
The signs of depression are sometimes not as obvious as you may think. For example, if your partner is usually a very bubbly and social person, they may become a little less social than before. They would try and spend more time by themselves - sleeping, reading a book or watching TV.
- If they seem to be putting a lot of effort into doing simple daily tasks, it is possible that they are feeling depressed.
- They may not feel motivated to wake up in the morning the way they used to. They would rather sleep in due to being exhausted.
- They might seem to be losing their temper at the smallest of things.
- They may otherwise give lazy, flat responses to questions.
- You may notice that they aren’t looking after themselves - not shaving/grooming, not working out and not visiting the salon.
What You Should Do If Your Spouse Is Depressed
If you notice these signs in your spouse, let them know that you are there for them. Be patient and comforting towards them. If they feel less motivated or seem to get fussy over small things, try to lighten things up by giving them their favourite food or just giving them a hug.
1] Don’t smother them with love...
...but show them that you do care about them and love them. Show small loving gestures throughout the day so they know you are there for them. This doesn’t necessarily have to involve physical touching. Just soft, loving words to show your appreciation would do. Even if they don’t return the same and seem moody despite it, they will feel the love.
2] Give them their space...
...but keep listening. Your spouse may tell you that they need space but they actually mean to say that they need you the most. They may also actually mean it when they say they need space. The only way to know is to keep listening to them. So when they ask you for some time alone, just place a hand on their shoulder, their hand or their thigh, look straight into their eyes and ask them if they really need space or if they want to talk. This way they know that you are willing to listen and that they can indeed confide in you.
3] Stand by their side...
...even when they are at their worst. It is often very easy for them to forget that there are people who indeed love them and support them. This is the main reason why they will try so hard to push you away. When it gets bad, that’s when you know you have to be there for them. They need you the most when they are being bad to you.
4] Understand their needs…
...or ask them what they need. You may know your spouse well enough to just surprise them with their favourite food, movies or songs. They may also be having one of those days when they can’t seem to enjoy their favourite things. So just ask them what they want. Sometimes, all they may need would be to talk to you for a while. If they say they need to be by themselves, let them know that you are there outside if they need your help.
5] Help them get helped!
When all else fails, let them know that they can seek professional help (therapist/psychologist) if they really need it. You can ask them if they’d like to go alone or if they want you to accompany them. If it is their first time seeking professional help, they may want your company. Seeking help is the first step towards recovery!
*If you or your spouse are facing depression in any form, remember that it is never too late to seek help. You can always get better if you set your mind to it.