Did You Know?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Also, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
Be on the Same Team
Know that it is the illness that is the foe and not your partner. Try to deal with the depression as a team, which will help your spouse in not feeling isolated. Take an active part in helping your depressed spouse feel better by going along with him for jogging, to the gym, or going to the doctor as a couple. Seek the help of a close friend or therapist for moral support in case you feel overwhelmed by the illness.
Help Your Partner in Getting a Proper Medical Examination
Often, the depression will lead the spouse to be in denial in seeking help. It is then up to you to show patience in dealing with the illness, and recommend an action plan. Take the initiative to seek a doctor's appointment, and explain to your spouse that you are there with him/her, and will provide all the care you can in the treatment for the condition.
Give Your Spouse Time and Space to Go Through the Bad Phase
There will be times when, no matter how much dedication or love you feel for your spouse, he will have bad days. He won't comply to your plans to watch a movie or to even have lunch together. All he will want to do is mope around being a hopeless creature, and stay like that until you fall asleep. These things happen. At such trying times, use your concern to get help, and motivate your partner in seeing his self worth. Also, let him just be.
Understand What He/She Truly Desires
Genuinely ask your spouse what he requires at that moment. If it's possible, just give the thing he asks for. It could be anything from his favorite flavor of Sundae to seeing his best-loved television show. Create a list of things he likes, and offer one of the items whenever he feels depressed.
Keep Yourself Updated With Information About Depression
Read as much information as you can about depression. Ask your doctor about the stages involved in treatment, and get a thorough understanding of depression through whatever medium you can get. The more you know, the better you can cope with your depressed spouse.
Take Care of Yourself
Don't sacrifice your own personal needs while tackling with your spouse's issues. You are entitled to spend your time pursuing meaningful interests in addition to deserving everyday niceties, like a clean surrounding in your house, timely meals, and having a social life. Note that you may not be immune to depression yourself. So, balancing your personal pleasures with those of your spouse's will better equip you for managing the condition.