to those who live with a depressed partner

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@wrkbrk:  because i’m up at 1a composing a writeup for risk-management for a division of the univ i work at – and more importantly because we were probably separated at birth lol, regarding this question – i took a break from the writeup to quick browse here.

to answer your question, i fall into short but deep ‘funks/introspections/sadnesses’ if you will.  know exactly why those bouts occur; traumatic shit in my teens, but whatever.  my fi takes it in stride w the genius side i bring.

therapy could help.  not for everyone though.  i don’t do therapy.  the whole ‘oh, your time is up, let’s end here and pick this up’ session parameters don’t appeal to me.  i cannot bring up deep experiences/feeling and ‘oh, 45 minutes, we’re done here’ shut it down until ‘the next session’. 

yes, it is damn difficult for you and your wife, i am sure, no doubt.  but this is life.  if it is not one thing, it is another.  just last weekend read a NYTMag article, ‘Selfless’, about a young ph.d teaching at MIT whose ‘dark’ exacerbated after having children (hormones fluxes can do a number on us).  Anyway, the individual said in the article about her docs trying to treat her ‘person’ and not her ‘self’.  The SELF gets lost.  “reconstruction of the self” was key to her recovery.  i remember thinking how remarkable this designation, this placement, was.  too much to go into here.  Logan’s father said “don’t think about what your ‘dark’ has taken from you; think about what it has given you.”  phenomenal article.  written by Linda Logan.  Local libraries keep coplies of the Sunday edition of the NYTs; maybe check it out?

Let yourself have time to really feel whatever you feel; don’t let anyone define it for you.  Then bring that fight and strength and argumentation out.  I personally like feeling both my darkness/solitude and my light/fight.  If I could make one suggestion: don’t bring your wife to any therapy sessions with you.  you’ll be more honest with yourself if you challenge, take on whatever ‘dark woods’ you are experiencing alone.  UNLESS, the ‘dark woods’ you walk through has, in some way, to do with your wife.  More times than not, it doesn’t.

Sorry for the novel.  Heartfelt hugs to you xo


Post # 4
1258 posts
Bumble bee

Talk to a professional. Even if it’s a mild ‘funk’ or a short period of a depressed state you are experiencing, it’s serious. I live with someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It’s HARD sometimes. It’s hard for the supportive partner in the relationship to realize that it’s not about them and they can’t exactly ‘help’ in the regular sense that they want to. It’s not fixed with a band-aid. It takes work to be mentally healthy sometimes. 

I can promise you that if she has mentioned it to you, it’s been worrying her for longing than she lets on. Please take care of yourself and seek out a counsellor, if not for a quick ‘check up’ on the state of things in your life and your mind, then someone to see on a regular basis. 

Post # 5
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

See a professional first to get properly diagnosed and discuss different treatment options (meds, therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc…)  Some people need meds  to regulate their hormone/chemical levels but for mild depression cognitive behavioral therapy is usually a good option.  It takes time to do because you have to learn how to identify your triggers (so you can avoid them when possible), your symptoms, and your “fixes” (things you can do to alleviate your symptoms).

It’s also a good idea to do a few sessions with your DW so she can know for sure your depression is not her fault (or yours for that matter), and how she can assist you with your therapy and treatment.  My SO and I both experience bouts of depression so we have had to learn how to identify the signs for each other, know how much time to let us wallow, and when/how to snap the other out of their depression.

The sooner you seek assistance, the faster you can start making changes and getting better.  Good luck!

Post # 6
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Been there. I fell into a deep depression after I got engaged. I didn’t realize it was even happening until my FI finally said he couldn’t help me. Support me, yes, but he couldn’t be my therapist. It was the best thing he coulld have said.

Start with your family doctor, if you have one. They can probably give you a good recomendation. ALWAYS use a recommendation with a therapist; there are some nut jobs out there who need to heal themselves.

Also, don’t shy away from anti-depressants if they are recommended by your doctor. I was scared that I would lose myself when I started Lexapro, but once I started, I felt more like myself than I had in months. I’ve been able to wean myself off of them since, but should I backslide into depression again, I know they are there to help me cope.

As for you DW, I think the best thing you can do is what you’ve already done: tell your partner that you’re concerned and that they need help. The rest is just being there for them when they need to talk and to encourage them to function on their darker days. If your partner’s therapist teaches them coping techniques (as mine did) you can remind your partner of them during these times.

Remember that you’re not alone! Since pulling through my “episodes” I’ve spoken to dozens of people who went through something similar. My pet theory is that depression is as common as the flu, but because people somehow see it as an emotional failing, we never talk about it.

Finally, both of you should read these:


They’re the most accurate depiction of a depressed person’s brain I’ve read to date. Yours probably won’t be identical; mine wasn’t, but it’s easier to relate when you’ve both read it.

Sorry about the novel! If you have any more questions/comments or just want to talk, feel free to PM me.


Post # 7
8847 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Help her follow through with making an appointment to see someone.  I found the clinic, made an appointment, found now-husband’s insurance info, went with him to the appointments, went with him to fill prescriptions, remind him to take his medication… Seemingly-easy things like going to a doctor can totally fall by the wayside when you’re mired in depression.  It doesn’t sound like she’s feeling TOO bad, so it’s a great time to try to nip it in the bud.

Beyond that, just make it obvious in words and actions that you two are a team and you’ll get through this together.  And don’t take it personally when she’s withdrawn (easier said than done!).  Good luck  xoxo

@SoobySays:  +1 on Hyperbole and a Half!!!

ETA:  Oops, I missed the part where it’s YOU who might be depressed.  Hugs to you!  Enlist her help on getting to a mental health professional.  Even someone with a little bit of depression can really benefit from that.  If you wait, you might get to the point where your DW comes home to you just sobbing on the floor or in the tub for hours at a time, and that really really sucks.

Post # 8
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@wrkbrk:  As the depressed partner, I make sure to exercise for 30 minutes a bare minimum of 3X a week (seriously, even a walk counts). When I feel a depressive episode coming on, I take Fish Oil and Vitamin B6+B12 supplements. I also get counseling when I feel a depressive episode coming on.

When I am in a depressive episode, DH knows I need to be left alone (alternated with extra affection), that I need extra sleep, and that I need to be forced out of the house as much as possible.

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