We all know what depression is and how it affects the life of the person who is experiencing it. Let’s see now, how to face depression in the marriage. We also know that it affects family members who have close contact with that person.
Clinical or Major Depression is a more serious issue. It is practically a constant state of depression. It is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.
There are an estimated 17.3 million adults, or 7.1% of the population, experiencing at least one major depressive episode in a given year. With the added stress of COVID-19, those numbers are increasing. That is because all the things we considered “normal” changed, and the “new reality” is hard for most people.
How is suffering depression in the marriage?
While there are different types of depression, major depressive disorder is the most common in America, and unlike sadness and grief, which are normal human emotions, depression is characterized by persistent symptoms that interfere with the ability to carry out day-to-day activities, negatively impacting our work and relationships.
There is no single cause leading to depression. With life experiences, genetics, brain chemistry, and environment, there are many factors that many factors can trigger depression.
Clinical or major depression has been classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a period of at least two weeks when a person experiences five or more of the following symptoms. With at least one being depressed mood, or loss of interest or pleasure:
- depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day,
- noticeable loss of interest or pleasure in activities,
- significant weight loss or weight gain,
- insomnia or oversleeping,
- restlessness, fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day,
- feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt,
- inability to concentrate or make decisions,
- recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying).
How does depression affect marriage?
In marriage, we vow to support our spouse in sickness and in health, and when a mental health issue arises, it can be one of the most challenging illnesses to face as a couple or family.
For the person suffering from depression, seemingly simple tasks such as taking a shower, making a meal, or driving to the store can become overwhelming or near impossible. Research shows that depressed patients spend as many days in bed as people with chronic medical conditions.
For the other partner, the significant changes to their spouse’s mood, energy, and behavior can lead to a great sense of loss for the healthy and vibrant partner they know so well, and often a feeling of helplessness. The spouse can witness the change the depressed partner has suffered.
Suffering from depression is a more and more common issue nowadays. The stress we experience on a daily basis with financial, work, and health issues, just to name a few. It has affected people regardless of their social status, religion, or conditions in general.
We all feel the pressure, we all feel the pain, and we all feel burdens falling upon our shoulders. Maybe we feel tired, maybe we feel overwhelmed, maybe we feel depressed.
Depression in the marriage is common
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you felt this way? Or maybe you have seen your spouse fighting depression? You are not alone. Even in the Bible, we can find people like David, Joseph, and Job who experienced sadness and sorrow in their lives.
In Job’s story, we can see how his wife could not stand seeing him at rock bottom. But they all had something in common, they sought God to overcome the pain and sadness. They found in God their refuge to cope and to move forward. But it is not an easy task.
You may be wondering if there is something you can do to not let depression ruin your marriage, and there is. First, motivate your spouse to seek God’s help in His Holy Word.
There are beautiful verses in which we can find the strength to talk to God, to ask Him for help, to ask Him to hold our hand while we go through the tough time. You can also help your spouse seek professional help so that both of you can have the emotional tools you need to overcome the crisis.
How to face depression in the marriage
There are ways for us to help our loved ones overcome depression, the crisis, and the tough times they could be living through. Do you want to learn other ways you can help your spouse or close relative deal with depression? I invite you to read our next post so that you can have a broader picture of what we can do to help them feel better. God bless you.
 National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml
 Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#Types-of-depression
 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394420/S