5 Warning Signs your Spouse is Depressed And What to Do About It

Many people who suffer as a result of living with a depressed spouse. A spouse may find depression aggravating and unsure of what to do.

“I’ve tried everything that comes to mind. No matter what I do to encourage him or get him out of the house, it is ineffective and occasionally only serves to incite conflict. After that, I feel awful since I am aware of his suffering. Then I find myself falling with him.

Depression comes in two flavors: Dysthymia, which is mild, and Major Depression, which is severe. Although the word “depression” is used to describe many different things, it generally refers to a combination of symptoms that can be anything from very subtle—like a general feeling of blah—to extremely extreme—like not being able to get out of bed or committing suicide. In order to respond before things worsen, it is critical to be aware of the warning symptoms. Any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms should be taken seriously and are frequently addressed with therapy. It is also important to rule out any medical causes for these symptoms first. Additionally, it’s critical to keep in mind that each person is unique and not just a collection of symptoms. In light of it, the following are some red flags.

Loss of interest in activities

A depressed patient of mine lost all desire in sex and felt terrible humiliation for no longer being able to “perform.” Due to his wife’s concerns about her looks and his fear of being judged, he found it extremely difficult to talk to her about his sadness. His sadness was made worse by the guilt and anxiety he was experiencing. Of all, losing interest isn’t just a problem with sex. Loss of interest in activities such as hobbies, sports, sex, or job can be a sign that your partner is depressed.


Whatever I say, he always seems to take it personally. Being with someone who is depressed might be challenging due to their sensitivity and grumpiness. Depression can also cause a person to become irritable, frequently snap at others, or to have a pessimistic or pessimistic outlook on the world. Due to the toll that depression has on their relationship, partners may battle with feeling awful for their depressed loved one while also feeling annoyed with them. Keep in mind that some of your anger toward your depressed spouse is reasonable and unavoidable. In “4 Things You Should Do If Your Partner Is Depressed,” I go over how to communicate these sentiments as productively as you can while still maintaining a healthy relationship. (Soon to come).

Social exclusion

When someone is sad, they frequently lose interest in hanging out with friends and family because they perceive social interaction as burdensome and pointless. This may have a snowball effect, increasing their sense of isolation and depression. For depressed people, seeming “normal” or happier than they are might feel like a lot of work. While having social interactions with family members or close friends can be helpful for those who are depressed, pressuring a depressed person to interact with others just for the sake of doing so can occasionally backfire and make them feel worse. It is crucial to ask your depressed partner about what feels beneficial before gently encouraging him to perform the actions you both think would be beneficial.

Judgment of self or others

Once, one of my patients said it best: “Sometimes I feel like I hate everyone, but I hate myself the most.”

An important indicator of depression is when your partner is excessively critical of themselves for mistakes, frequently speaks negatively about themselves, or has trouble realizing and truly “feeling” the positive aspects of who they are. This is because depression frequently results from channeling one’s anger toward oneself. Your depressed partner may become quite critical of themselves as a result of this. They might judge people closest to them, even you, because we frequently treat others around us the same way we treat ourselves. They can have very low expectations of you or be exceedingly dismissive. Again, the best strategy is to try to be sympathetic rather than criticize back, for instance by expressing how difficult it must be to feel like everything is awful.

Abuse of drugs or alcohol

“I’m just enjoying myself! Someone who is abusing narcotics to numb their anguish may repeat, “Relax!” When depressed, people will occasionally “self-medicate” or “treat” their mental anguish with drugs or alcohol. Of course, abusing alcohol or drugs simply makes the emotional issues worse and delays the process of learning to deal with the emotions by using one’s own resources. In order to address this issue, your partner may require both psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment.

Now what?

What should you do if your partner exhibits the warning symptoms of depression now that you’ve discovered them? Dealing with depression can be quite challenging, especially if the depressed individual is unwilling to acknowledge the issue.


Discuss your worries with your partner in a sympathetic manner. Whether they are open to chatting or not, expressing empathic attention is a crucial component of any successful strategy. You might have to back off if they’re simply not interested in talking. Try to reassure them that you just have their best interests in mind and that you don’t want them to feel alone in their pain if they interpret your care as criticism.

Tell us about your own experience.

It’s crucial that you tell your partner how it feels to be around them when they’re depressed. It may be crucial for them to comprehend how their depression impacts you emotionally so they can see the severity of the issue, particularly if they are in denial or refuse to receive therapy. Instead of making them feel guilty or placing blame on them, the goal is to assist them in accepting the circumstances behind their sadness. In an effort to avoid hurting their partners, spouses frequently conceal their feelings from them, yet doing so only makes the suffering worse. It’s also crucial to avoid expecting your partner to be accountable for your emotions. You are merely outlining your situation so that he can take it into account.

Don’t be accountable for their emotions either.

We are all accountable for our thoughts, feelings, and deeds. Of course, you must accept responsibility if you hurt your spouse in any way, but most of the time, a partner is not to blame for their partner’s sadness. Many partners experience a lot of stress because they believe they should be able to aid the depressed person or heal them in some way. Actually, depression is a severe, complex condition that almost always necessitates expert assistance. It is not only unproductive but frequently damaging for a partner to assume responsibility for their partner’s feelings, adding unnecessary strain to the relationship and delaying the healing process. In addition to being vital for a successful relationship, having appropriate boundaries is crucial for maintaining your own sanity while attempting to be supportive of your spouse.

One of my clients once said of her spouse, “He just mopes around all the time! I can’t stand the guy. We dug deeper and found that what was really driving her crazy was that she was mad with herself for not being able to fix him. This frequently makes the depressed partner feel burdensome, which makes their depression worse. It’s acceptable for you to be happy despite your partner’s depression.

Ask for assistance

There are numerous treatments for depression that work. Modern insight-oriented approaches are what I prefer since I think they get to the core of the issue and have additional positive effects in addition to not just masking symptoms like other quick-fix therapies do. It can be quite challenging to get a decent therapist, so I make myself available to anyone who needs one. When it comes to treating depressions that don’t improve with therapy, medication or other therapies have also proven promise.