Cirque Lodge > Blog > Depression > How To Help Your Partner With Depression

Living with depression can be difficult. This is also true when it is your partner or spouse who suffers from the condition. Instead of trying to overlook your partner's symptoms, you can help them in many ways. Just listening to them can be a major support, and if necessary, you can help take the first step towards treatment by contacting a mental health professional.

It may not seem like such a big deal, but just listening to a depressed partner and offering kindness and support can really help them cope with their life. Try to empathize with your partner's pain. If you have a partner living with depression, help them practice self-care, stay positive, and consider getting professional help sooner rather than later.

What Is Depression?

What Is Depression?

Major depression is a mental health condition characterized by constantly feeling low, inadequate, and unhappy without having a particular cause or trigger. It is a medical condition that can seriously affect sufferers' feelings and debilitate their ability to live healthy lives. It is far more than just having a hard time at work or in a relationship. People with depression often distance themselves from their spouse, partner, friends, and family members and have more problems maintaining relationships than others.

Depression affects sufferers' sleep, emotions and mood, so they can often appear to be a different person from their usual happy and healthy selves. It can become incredibly serious, with people suffering from depression at a higher risk of suicide and death from alcohol or drug overdoses. Choosing to accept medical treatment for a person's depression and taking part in physical activity can help both them and their spouse to live better and happier lives.

Depression in America

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 8.3% of Americans in the year 2020 had one or more major depressive episodes. 10.5% of females had major depressive episodes in the same year, meaning that women are more likely to experience the condition than men, and adults aged 18-25 are at the highest risk.

People with depression often have other mental health conditions such as anxiety, alcohol or drug addiction, and bipolar disorder, and this can have a detrimental impact on their partner as well as themselves.

Luckily there are numerous different medications and forms of therapy which are now available to treat people with depression to help limit the symptoms and treat their condition.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can have many symptoms, and everyone who is depressed will feel and act differently, but these are the main signs to look for:

  • Constantly feeling sad
  • Self-harm or speaking more about self-harm
  • Trouble with sleep
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Constantly feeling angry, guilty, or hopeless
  • Changes in appetite, such as wanting to eat more or less
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of energy
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of interest in activities that before made them happy
  • A constant sense of guilt
  • Distancing themselves from their families or a single loved oneDepression - What Does Mental Illness Do in the Brain?

Depression - What Does Mental Illness Do in the Brain?

Depression is a diagnosable mental illness. People with a family history of depression are unfortunately at a higher risk of suffering from the illness, although this is not always the case.

Depression as an illness is constantly and continuously being researched, but we know that the human brain has more than a hundred different neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are basically messengers between the brain's neurons.

Depression is likely linked to physical problems between these neurotransmitters and, in particular, two known as norepinephrine and serotonin.

Some physical changes can be seen in the brains of those suffering from major depressive disorder, although more study is needed.

Helping Your Partner With Their Condition

As a partner, the instinct to support the person you love most will always be strong. Of course, encouraging your partner to get enough sleep, eat healthily and maintain a physical exercise routine may help limit symptoms and get through phases of depression. But, perhaps the most important step you can take is to encourage them to search for and accept external support. This allows them to take strides forward in dealing with their depression and returning to a happier and healthier life.

Encourage Your Partner to Accept Help

People suffering from depression often struggle to admit that they are depressed to their partner, family, and friends, so it can be even harder for them to admit that they are receiving medication. Still, it is important that partners encourage them to get treatment and make them feel supported. Being medically reviewed is an important first step to getting the treatment and support needed.

Suggest Healthy Activities

Establishing more positive behaviors can be easier and more fun when done together with a loved one. Physical exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming are great ways to stay active. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals that lift mood and are very important in the healing process.

Eating healthily with a balance of good proteins and fresh fruit and veg fuels the body properly to give it the best chance of recovery from all illnesses. Getting enough sleep can also be helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Treatment Options

If your partner is suffering from depression, there are many treatment options available - including medication, solo therapy, group therapy, and in certain situations, hospitalization.

Having them medically reviewed is the best way to know how to treat a depressed spouse. As well as medical treatment, there are other ways to help with your partner's recovery. This can mean listening, staying connected, and practicing self-care with them. Try not to feel hurt as a result of their actions or emotions while they are suffering and undergoing treatment.


There are numerous forms of medication available to help your partner, and the drugs used will depend on their medical history, symptoms, and how helpful each of the medications appears to be during the review period.

Being medically reviewed by psychiatrists will help sufferers know if medication is suitable or appropriate for them. The main categories of medications helpful to those people diagnosed with depression are SNRIs, Atypical antidepressants, and SSRIs, such as sertraline.

Solo Therapy With a Mental Health Professional

Solo therapy can help a depressed spouse by providing a safe space for discussions about their mental health condition with a professional. They can also be informed of the important paths to recovery.

Therapy allows a depressed spouse to discuss their mental health condition with professional psychologists. Their experience in treating severe depression and mental health issues, as well as training in suicide prevention, can make a huge difference. Through therapy, people can learn to recognize their own triggers, as well as practice healthy coping mechanisms.

As well as generally helping to change your partner's mood and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be useful to help both you and your loved one prepare for anticipated events and other difficult periods in your shared life.


Group Therapy

Group therapy consists of people with depression and severe depression meeting without their partners in a support group environment. Here they learn to practice self-care and numerous techniques to help them manage their life and symptoms and aid recovery. These groups will allow your depressed spouse or partner to meet other people with similar issues helping them to talk and share in a safe setting and model healthy behaviors on each other while feeling understood and supported.

Group therapy allows depressed people to express their feelings in a safe environment and leave them feeling happier and more positive about their spouse and their romantic relationship.

Inpatient Care and Hospitalization

In extreme cases, when a spouse is depressed to the point where they have suicidal thoughts and are contemplating death, you should consider hospitalization. It may be hard to surrender your responsibility to your depressed spouse and allow someone else to take over their care, but both of you will benefit from their professional 24/7 expertise.

Drugs and Alcohol and Depression

Drugs and Alcohol and Depression

Your partner may also abuse alcohol or drugs during their depression. They may feel that this helps with symptoms but, in the long run, this is likely to exacerbate their condition. In this case, they may benefit from the support of a hospital or treatment center where doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals are available to help. Even though partners may not want to be separated during difficult times, it may ultimately be in the interest of you and your partner.

Do You Worry That Your Partner Is Struggling With Depression?

Then phone our medical team at 1-435-465-0605 or send us an email at to have them medically assessed. Cirque Lodge is a private and exclusive treatment center set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Our team of medical professionals provides a combination of evidence-based treatment approaches adapted to suit each individual's needs with the aim of treating and healing the whole person.

Contact us today and ensure that the person you love most gets the help and support they need and deserve.

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