Depression and Marriage

Lots of marriages have run aground over the depression of one of the partners. Most frequently, it has been the man. I think we have a mistaken assumption that depression means that someone doesn’t get out of bed or is basically non-functional. Most people who are depressed have families, go to work and generally do what they gotta do. It’s just that the color is drained from their lives. Depressed people don’t find enjoyment in the things that used to please them. In the face of suggestions about change, their common response is a variant of “What difference does it make?” While you may be successful in your job, this task uses up about all of your reserves of energy. You feel there’s nothing left when you come home. Certainly not for dealing with the challenges that go along with maintaining a strong relationship. The partner of the depressed person feels alone. Any negative comment directed at the depressed spouse is taken in deeply by the depressed mind as a global criticism and they withdraw. The good news is that treatment approaches for depression abound. A marriage doesn’t have to end over one spouse’s depression. The approaches of David Burns, Aaron Beck, Michael Yapko and Martin Seligman all point the way out of the (falsely) inescapable darkness of depression. Finding the works of any of these people on Amazon cannot steer you wrong.