FAQs

How do I know if my partner is depressed?

There are some typical symptoms that you will notice e.g

  • Lowered self-esteem (or self-worth)
  • Change in sleep patterns, that is, insomnia or broken sleep
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Less ability to control emotions such as pessimism, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety
  • Varying emotions throughout the day, for example, feeling worse in the morning and better as the day progresses
  • Reduced capacity to experience pleasure; can’t enjoy what’s happening now, nor look forward to anything with pleasure. Hobbies and interests drop off.
  • Changed sex drive: absent or reduced
  • Poor concentration and memory: some people are so impaired that they think that they are going demented
  • Reduced motivation: it doesn’t seem worth the effort to do anything, things seem meaningless
  • Lowered energy levels.

For more information on this please click on the link below to read the complete article Depression Explained:

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/depression/depressionexplained/index.cfm

The Blackdog Institute specialises in understanding, coping with and treating depression in men.

Beyond Blue has an excellent on-line questionnaire that can be completed. It is a checklist that will give you an indication if someone close to you is possibly suffering from a depressive illness. Please note, Beyond Blue keeps no record of your test results or identity. http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=1.3&gclid=CI-aoInowJ4CFcQvpAodLT_0ow

What do I do if I notice these symptoms?

Choose the right time and place to have an open conversation with your partner about what you are noticing and how it is impacting on you and the family. You could start a conversation like this with:

I have noticed over the past few weeks you seem to be ….. Is there a particular reason for this?

For more tools on how to manage this tough, touchy issue please visit my website http://trailblazingwoman.com.au and browse through the blog posted on 5 January 2010.

Try to pin point the root cause.

Use your intuition and your well tuned listening skills. Is it:

  • Work pressure
  • Family concerns
  • Financial worries
  • Health issues?

By pinpointing the root cause upfront, you will save yourself and your partner a great deal of unnecessary tension. If both of you understand the root cause you can work together effectively to find a solution. For your depressed partner this creates a huge psychological relief.

couple arguing over depressionMy partner seems very withdrawn and moody. How should I respond to this as it is impacting on our relationship and family?

These symptoms can be an indicator that your partner is experiencing depression. The points I have made in relation to what to do if you notice symptoms of depression in your partner are now very relevant to you.

Begin by following these steps. It will help and make a difference.

  • Have an open conversation with your partner about the symptoms you are noticing. Do this through your value of respect
  • Understand your partner may not initially respond positively to you opening up this issue for discussion. This is the natural defence mechanism of the male. However given some space and time they should respond more positively
  • Your partner will need professional care so have at hand some recommendations from your General Practitioner as to who would be the most relevant health care professional for your partner to see
  • It would be helpful for you if you were able to share your thoughts and feelings with someone who understands what you are experiencing. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to discuss this with friends and family.

Also remember that The Trail Blazing Woman is there for you http://trailblazingwoman.com.au so that you can discuss your very individual situation and find solutions that work for you and your family.

Why won’t my partner acknowledge their depression and seek help?

To assist your partner come to the point where they are prepared to acknowledge their depression and seek help, will require your exceptional communication and relationship skills. This will be one of your greatest challenges to deal with in the situation.

  • It is your partner’s natural instinct to deny there is a problem. This is normal and your partner is not the only one who responds to this mental/emotional health challenge in this manner.
  • There is still a certain level of stigma in the broader community associated with depression e.g. that it is a sign of weakness.
  • Your partner would be well aware of this and will naturally resist/not acknowledge their symptoms for fear of being “labelled” as weak.
  • Remember women share and open up more naturally to the challenges of emotional/mental issues. However your partner has been taught by society and perhaps their upbringing to be tough and not show their feelings. It will be your extraordinary communication and relationship skills that will gradually break down this barrier.

Here’s something that could be of great assistance to you. Click on the link below to find my article Professional Care For Depression.

My partner is suffering from depression. Where can he get help?

  • A good starting point is your General Practitioner who may refer your partner to a specialist – either a psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • Also organisations such as The Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue offer special services and programs in the area of treatment for depression:

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/

  • If your husband is referred to a psychologist and you do not have health cover for this, you can access through Medicare a program of 12 sessions per calendar year for a set fee of approximately $68/session. This fee varies per practitioner and also if you live in rural Australia. This will reduce the impact on your budget while your partner is receiving the specialised care they need to recover. Please speak to your treating psychologist about this initiative of the Federal Government.
  • There are also a range of natural therapies you can combine with any specialised care recommended by your General Practitioner:
    • Naturopathy
    • Homeopathy
    • Aromatherapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Therapeutic Massage
    • Reflexology
    • Meditation

Will my partner need to take medication?

The answer to this question requires input from your partner’s treating specialist.

Medication may be required to address issues such as insomnia and chemical imbalances that may have occurred. There is nothing to be ashamed of if your partner does require medication to assist them move out of their depression.

You will find the link below very helpful in relation to understanding medication used to treat depression:

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Drug_Treatments_for_Depression

What can I do to support my partner while they are suffering with depression?couple talking openly about depression

I have created some brilliant resources on this especially for women like yourself who are concerned about how to support their partners affected by depression.

Please have a read of my following articles. You will find very practical and inspirational insight to assist you support your partner. Visit the Resources section of my website through this link http://trailblazingwoman.com.au/resources/ to access these articles:

  • Supporting a Depressed Partner
  • Living with a Depressed Partner – 10 secrets
  • Zing in your relationship

On the About page of my website http://trailblazingwoman.com.au you will find a link to My Story.

In this story I tell of my journey of living with a partner suffering from depression and how I have been able to maintain a loving and meaningful relationship with my partner and to regain my emotional energy and freedom while living in the midst of this challenging situation.

What can I do if my partner does not want to seek help?

  1. Accept that you cannot control your partner’s response to the depression he is experiencing
  2. What you can control is how you will allow yourself and your family to be treated while your partner is experiencing depression
  3. Know that when your partner’s emotional pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of making a change, then they will then reach out for help
  4. Avoid the trap of allowing yourself to become your partner’s counsellor and to “rescue” them during their period of depression
  5. Make sure you are well supported throughout this journey and do not try do this alone

I invite you to visit my website http://trailblazingwoman.com.au so that you can access my E Report Supporting a Depressed Partner which has some very relevant guidance for you on this question that I know will bring you a great sense of relief and support.

Where can I find support to assist me while my husband is suffering from depression?

The Trail Blazing Woman has been established for this very purpose.

I provide unique support and understanding for women whose partners suffer from depression. Whether you are married or living in a committed relationship with a partner, the effects of living with a husband/partner with depression have the same impact on you as a woman.

Why don’t you take the time to browse through my website http://trailblazingwoman.com.au and see the services and resources I offer that can make a profound difference for you and turn your situation around.

My partner has been diagnosed with depression. Is there anyone who really understands what I am going through?

Yes there is. Isn’t that good news! I have walked this journey with my partner so I am well experienced at managing depression within a relationship. I have a deep passion to pass on to other women guidance, wisdom and powerful keys that can transform their situation.

If you visit my website http://trailblazingwoman.com.au you will soon discover that you are not alone on this journey.

There are many women such as yourself experiencing exactly what you are right at this moment. If you visit my website www.trailblazingwoman.com.au you will find some extremely useful resources that will encourage and inspire you as you seek answers to managing living with a partner who has depression.

My partner’s depression is causing me to feel so frustrated and helpless. Is there anything I can do about this?

Absolutely.

  • Accept that these feelings you have are very normal given your circumstances.
  • Take some action and put yourself on your list of priorities
  • Don’t try to travel this journey on your own. Ask for help, reach out for support
  • Lose your sense of shame and embarrassment about the fact that your partner suffers with depression
  • Find a place of “safety” where you can break the silence on the pain you have been experiencing and openly talk about the impact your partner’s depression is having on you and your family
  • Visit the website of The Trail Blazing Woman. This is a website created for women such as yourself. http://trailblazingwoman.com.au.

As you browse through the site I am sure you will feel supported and connected to someone who really understands your situation. There is also a broad range of resources for you to tap into that will make this journey you are on so much easier.

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