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Managing Depression as a Couple

Managing Depression as a Couple


Managing Depression as a Couple


Depression is a condition that affects not only the sufferers, but everyone that surrounds them. It can have a negative impact on work, domestic life, and relationships. The burden of living with a depressed person, particularly a spouse, can take a heavy toll on a marriage. Research shows that when one or both spouses are depressed, the marriage is also depressed.


The Threat That Depression Poses to Marriage

Like any other physical, psychological, or emotional condition, depression affects a person’s health, home life, friendships, and marriage. Statistics show that the divorce rate for couples managing depression is nine times higher, and that when a spouse is depressed, the marriage is likely to be unhappy. As the depressed partner struggles with the condition, the other partner suffers from the prevailing negativity in the relationship, including the loss of emotional and sexual intimacy.

It’s more than just a case of the blues: depression is as serious as diabetes or heart disease. When one spouse is depressed, they see everything in the relationship through a darkened lens, limiting their perspective. Most events are interpreted negatively, and a profound feeling of separation and isolation can engulf both partners as the depressed partner avoids social contact. On top of this, there can be feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritation, anger, or despair.

Depression has a way of creeping into the undepressed partner’s outlook, moods, behaviors, and reactions. Without really understanding what the depressed spouse is undergoing, the partner may blame them for this. The condition may also become a source of embarrassment for both spouses. The biggest threat for couples managing depression is when they conclude that this negativity means love is no longer present in the relationship.


Love Cannot Cure Depression

Understanding this type of mood disorder can help couples manage depression with love, support, and concern. However, no dose of tender loving care can reverse depression. It is useless to wait for the depressed spouse to just “snap out of it.” The deeper the depression, the tougher it is to treat. Severe clinical depression may also make the depressed spouse vulnerable to other emotional conditions and risky behaviors like alcohol and substance abuse, violence, and self-harm.

Love is not enough to treat depression, because love can’t alter the imbalance in a depressed spouse’s brain chemistry. Instead, find a use for that love: get help for your partner and remind him or her of your unwavering hope. Assure your spouse that things can be better, if the depression is properly and promptly treated.


Staying and Sticking Together through Depression

Depression is a condition that involves a person’s body, mood, and thoughts. It is not a choice or a sign of personal weakness or poor character. It is, therefore, of utmost importance for both spouses to have a good understanding of what depression is, what to expect, and what treatment options are best, especially when it is threatening the marriage. Getting a diagnosis and seeking therapy together as a couple are the keys to beat this invisible enemy. Whether it is you or your spouse who needs to be treated, having an ally to go through the process is always beneficial.

The good news is that depression is highly treatable. In fact, the success rate for treating the condition is as high as 90 percent, but, like any treatment process, it takes time and patience. It is a good idea to seek therapy together and work through how the depression is affecting your marriage. Finding a professional whom you can see together at times and individually at other times will work to your advantage.


End Unhappiness in Your Marriage

If you suspect that you or your spouse may be suffering from depression, let Carolina Counseling Services — Pittsboro, NC, help you. The independently contracted counselors with CCS — Pittsboro, NC, are specially trained to help couples manage depression with the right kind of treatment.

Depression is an insidious illness that can pull apart even couples deeply in love with each other. It has a way of poisoning a relationship if left untreated. There is a ray of hope, though: therapy from the right-fit professional can make all the difference. Get started now. Call Carolina Counseling — Pittsboro, NC, to help your marriage survive depression.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Chatham, Alamance, Durham, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Randolph, Wake, NC
Areas: Pittsboro NC, Gulf NC, Hickory Mountain NC, Hadley NC, Siler City NC, Wilsonville NC, Fearrington NC, Mandale NC, Bear Creek NC, Albright NC
Zip Codes: 27312, 27344, 27207, 27228, 27256, 27559


Gail Gustafson, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 9+) Adolescents and Adults, Individuals, Couples and Families. PTSD/Trauma, EMDR, Adoption, Drug/Alcohol/Substance Abuse addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, Life Transitions, Grief and Loss, Parenting, Family, couples and marriage counseling.
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare/ Tricare Prime Tricare Select/Extra/Retired, Medicare and Cash (Credit Cards Accepted, HSA and FSA )
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Counseling Information

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Carolina Counseling Services - Pittsboro, NC
68 Fayetteville St.
Pittsboro, NC 27312