Monday, 12 March 2012

Marriage and Depression - The Spouses Role

Have you ever tried to have a discussion with someone about a topic of which you had little knowledge? Though I try to avoid such conversations, I am now about to embark on one. The topic is marriage and depression, which you probably could have figured out from the title of today’s blog.

Because I have never personally been depressed I cannot begin to describe with any accuracy the hopelessness and despair that one who is suffering with a deep depression must be experiencing. It almost seems as though they are in a dark bottomless pit, filled with tar with no hope of escape. The possible causes of depression are too numerous to cite, the duration is hard to predict and the cure can be elusive.

So what is the spouse of one who is suffering from depression to do? I have had some experience in this area though it has been some time. In my opinion it is important to contact a psychiatrist. Though one’s family doctor can certainly prescribe something that may do the trick this is not their area of expertise. In addition I would encourage my loved one to seek a counselor. As a Christian, I would preferably seek a Christian and/or Biblical counselor. It is my understanding that one of the most effective ways to combat depression is with the combination of drugs and counseling.

As the care giver I would ask the psychiatrist and the counselor what they believe you should do. It is important for you to be able to encourage and support your loved one, recognizing that the road could be a long one. The more you understand about the illness the easier it might be for you to cope.

It is also my understanding that exercise can help but depending on the level of depression even a walk could be more than the patient can consider. It is also my opinion that positive self talk can be a definite ally. If the patient allows his/her mind to roam most likely it will go down a negative path. It is important to get off that mental trail and back on to the main road. The negative path will always lead to the same destination and that is not good.

Too often we Christians want to throw a Bible dart at our loved one, thinking that will help them snap out of the doldrums in which they find themselves. So we quote Bible verses such as Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28. This is rarely helpful. It would be helpful for you to pray for and with your loved one’s deliverance from the pit of despair and for God to give you the grace that you will need to cope.

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