Depressed Spouse
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30-09-2013, 11:38 AM
Depressed Spouse
My girlfriend of 3 years has fought with depression her whole life and ever day is a constant battle for happiness. I must admit some days I handle it very well and others.....well not so much. I am trying to be understanding and encouraging because I genuinely want to see her over come it. I know alot of the things she says and does are a direct result of the depression that takes a hold of her. I just need to know some strategies I can implement that will help me deal with her when she gets in a depression. If any one could shed some light on this matter it would be greatly appreciated!
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30-09-2013, 11:51 AM
RE: Depressed Spouse
Dealing with depression can be very taxing, whether it's you or someone close to you dealing with it. Has she sought professional help? I generally avoid seeking medical treatment or advising it unless absolutely necessary, but if her depression is the result of a chemical imbalance, she probably won't get through it without the help of antidepressants. Even if it isn't a chemical issue, she may benefit from speaking to a therapist anyhow.

Aside from encouraging and supporting her, there may not be a lot that you can do to help her get over her depression. If something situational is causing her grief, do what you can to alleviate the situation. If it's just a constant battle though, I really recommend you encourage her to seek help. Make sure not to neglect yourself in an effort to help her though. If you devote so much time and energy to her depression that you have nothing left for anything else, you may burn out on the whole situation and end up damaging the both of you, and your relationship. Take a day once in a while for yourself, and do things without her. Encourage her to do the same. Relying on one person for everything can add to feelings of dependence and impede social growth, which is already a struggle for many with depressive disorders. It will do you both good to do things together as well as apart.

Good luck, and I hope she can find a way to manage her depression.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-09-2013, 11:56 AM
RE: Depressed Spouse
(30-09-2013 11:51 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  Dealing with depression can be very taxing, whether it's you or someone close to you dealing with it. Has she sought professional help? I generally avoid seeking medical treatment or advising it unless absolutely necessary, but if her depression is the result of a chemical imbalance, she probably won't get through it without the help of antidepressants. Even if it isn't a chemical issue, she may benefit from speaking to a therapist anyhow.

Aside from encouraging and supporting her, there may not be a lot that you can do to help her get over her depression. If something situational is causing her grief, do what you can to alleviate the situation. If it's just a constant battle though, I really recommend you encourage her to seek help. Make sure not to neglect yourself in an effort to help her though. If you devote so much time and energy to her depression that you have nothing left for anything else, you may burn out on the whole situation and end up damaging the both of you, and your relationship. Take a day once in a while for yourself, and do things without her. Encourage her to do the same. Relying on one person for everything can add to feelings of dependence and impede social growth, which is already a struggle for many with depressive disorders. It will do you both good to do things together as well as apart.

Good luck, and I hope she can find a way to manage her depression.

Thank you for your response. She is seeing a therapist through a company called lifeways but they seem very formal and uninterested from what she has told me. I'd like her to go speak with another therapist but it's to costly at them moment due to our financial situation. But the lady she is seeing did prescribe her cymbalta she has been on it for 2 weeks maybe so we will see how that works. But I will take heed to your advice, again thank you.
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30-09-2013, 12:03 PM
RE: Depressed Spouse
Hopefully the Cymbalta will help. Several members of my family have struggled with depression, and there is usually a guinea pig period where the doctors may prescribe something, follow up for a bit to see how the person does with that perscription, and alter the dosage or switch medications several times to get the best possible outcome. It takes a few weeks for any medication to have its full effect, and it may take a few months to get the prescription down. Be patient, and hopefully they will hit on the right formula quickly so you two can start seeing some results.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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07-10-2013, 04:20 PM
RE: Depressed Spouse
(30-09-2013 11:38 AM)Citizen_Atheist Wrote:  My girlfriend of 3 years has fought with depression her whole life and ever day is a constant battle for happiness. I must admit some days I handle it very well and others.....well not so much. I am trying to be understanding and encouraging because I genuinely want to see her over come it. I know alot of the things she says and does are a direct result of the depression that takes a hold of her. I just need to know some strategies I can implement that will help me deal with her when she gets in a depression. If any one could shed some light on this matter it would be greatly appreciated!
You may want to suggest your girlfriend keep a journal or diary or blog of her experiences and emotions throughout the day, every day. The mere exercise of working out her experiences/emotions in writing is very therapeutic. At the end of one or two weeks, she can reread the journal and identify the triggers that affect her moods and any patterns that may have arisen. If she is in therapy, she can bring the journal with her and work with her therapist. Once the triggers are identified, she can work toward rearranging her activities to alleviate the emotions associated with the triggers. If, for example, at certain times throughout the day she feels more depressed than others, she can rearrange her activities/schedule to do other things during those periods. Things of that nature. Writing out her emotions is not only therapeutic it gives her something concrete to work with and a goal to work toward for her own personal growth and development.
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07-10-2013, 04:42 PM
RE: Depressed Spouse
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be helpful with some forms of depression.
Also, as already indicated, the right anti depressant can be very helpful. Finding that tailor made one is the problem.
A bit drastic but, ECT has been of value to some difficult cases....
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09-10-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: Depressed Spouse
(30-09-2013 11:38 AM)Citizen_Atheist Wrote:  My girlfriend of 3 years has fought with depression her whole life and ever day is a constant battle for happiness...If any one could shed some light on this matter it would be greatly appreciated!

The best course of action is to have the depression treated. All of the current antidepressants take several weeks to reach full therapeutic efficacy so give the Cymbalta a few weeks before deciding it doesn't help. Cymbalta is but one member of a class of antidepressants; there are other drugs in the same class as Cymbalta and other classes of antidepressants. If the Cymbalata doesn't help then don't despair. In the unlikely scenario that all pharmacological options have been exhausted and only partial and insufficient remission is achieved then your partner should consider ECT.

If your partner has had MDD her whole life then it is unlikely that any form of psychotherapy alone will be sufficient to achieve remission. It may be a useful adjunct but it is unlikely to be of much use on its own.

Also, it is sufficient for a chronic depressive to be not depressed rather than to be happy most of the time. Happiness is ideal but it is not the absence of depression; the absence of depression is just that, the absence of depression, it is not happiness. No antidepressant drug, psychotherapy or ECT course will produce happiness, at best it will cause the remission of the depression.
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11-10-2013, 06:33 PM
Depressed Spouse
(30-09-2013 11:38 AM)Citizen_Atheist Wrote:  My girlfriend of 3 years has fought with depression her whole life and ever day is a constant battle for happiness. I must admit some days I handle it very well and others.....well not so much. I am trying to be understanding and encouraging because I genuinely want to see her over come it. I know alot of the things she says and does are a direct result of the depression that takes a hold of her. I just need to know some strategies I can implement that will help me deal with her when she gets in a depression. If any one could shed some light on this matter it would be greatly appreciated!

Does the depression fluctuate?
What does she say and do when she is in a depression?
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