You can’t point to a specific day, time or event that everything changed. All you know is your spouse hasn’t been the affectionate, happy person you married. They seem distant and detached from you and your kids. They’re constantly in bad moods and lashing out. And they don’t have the same priorities as they used to.
What’s going on with them? And how can you help them get back to being the person they used to be? It’s possible your spouse is just going through a rough patch and will eventually bounce back. But if your loved one’s symptoms have lasted for a long time and seem to be getting worse, they may be suffering from depression.
In this article, we’ll help you identify some of the top signs of depression in adults and give you some ideas on how you can help your loved one recover.
5 Signs of Depressions to Look Out For
1. A Lack of Interest in What They Used to Love
What are your spouse’s hobbies and passions? Maybe they loved being physically active and would go on runs and bike rides all the time. Or maybe they enjoyed volunteering and participating in community events. Do they do those things anymore? If your spouse’s activity levels have dropped and they turn down opportunities to participate in what they used to love to do, they may be struggling with depression.
2. Severe Mood Swings and Irritability
Depression has a way of showing itself through anger, irritability and intense mood swings. One minute your spouse may be really down on themselves and the next they’re snapping at you and your kids. It’s normal to have off days where you lose your patience and snap at loved ones. But it’s cause for concern when you begin to see and expect these behaviors and mood swings from your spouse.
3. Negative Thoughts and Feelings
It’s common to feel insecure and helpless every once in a while. But has this become an everyday occurrence with your spouse? Maybe they regularly talk to you about how they don’t feel good enough or can’t ever seem to measure up. They may also tear you or your children down with negative comments that are undeserved. If this is the case, this may also indicate a sign of clinical depression.
4. A Sense of Hopelessness
Has your loved one made comments like, “what’s the point?” when talking about family vacations, your kids’ sports practices or other life events? Maybe they’ve even gone so far as to indicate that they don’t feel like life is worth living and they just want it all to end.
These are suicidal thoughts you absolutely cannot ignore. While this is a clear indication that your loved one is struggling with depression, if suicidal thoughts become present, contact your spouse’s doctor or therapist immediately.
5. Destructive Behaviors like Substance Abuse
It’s not unusual for people suffering with depression to participate in destructive behaviors – either as a cry for help or to try to cope with the pain they’re feeling. One such destructive behavior is alcohol or drug use. This is because substance abuse is a quick way to release an overflow of feel-good chemicals in your brain to help you feel better. The problem with this tactic is your spouse will quickly learn to rely on substance use to feel good, which can turn into an addiction.
If you’ve noticed that your loved one has been drinking regularly or you suspect they’ve been high, it’s imperative that you get them dual diagnosis disorder treatment to help them overcome their substance abuse and find healthier ways to cope with their depression.
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How to Help a Loved One with Depression
It’s easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do to help your spouse through this. And since depression and substance abuse also affect those around your spouse, you may feel angry and upset about how they’ve treated you and your family.
These are all normal feelings to have. However, it’s important to remember that the depression and substance abuse aren’t your spouse’s fault; depression and substance abuse don’t define them. What they need from you now, more than ever, is your help.
Here are some ways you can help your spouse with their depression and substance use:
- Do your best to avoid judgment and blame. Your loved one didn’t ask for or cause this dual diagnosis disorder. After all, they don’t actually want to feel depressed or abuse alcohol or drugs. What they want the most is to break free from it and recover.
- Do your research. Educate yourself as much as possible on depression and substance abuse. This can help you understand what your spouse is going through and give you additional steps to take to help them.
- Listen and communicate. Even when your spouse pushes you away, let them know that you’re here for them. If they want to talk, listen. If they need to cry and breakdown, be there to support them. Communicate in a nonjudgmental way and help them recognize that they need help.
- Contact a treatment center. If your loved one is suffering from a dual diagnosis disorder, they aren’t going to be able to recover from it on their own. Reach out to a treatment center like The Raleigh House to get them the trained, professional and compassionate treatment your spouse needs and deserves.
Get Your Spouse Dual Diagnosis Disorder Treatment at The Raleigh House
At The Raleigh House, your spouse’s life and wellbeing are our first priority. As a premier addiction treatment center in Colorado that has over 10 years of experience helping thousands of people achieve recovery, we know how to help your spouse overcome addiction and mental health conditions like depression.
We leverage an evidence-based and holistic approach to treatment to get to the bottom of your loved one’s addiction and help them find a healthier, more positive way to live.
It’s our mission to get your spouse on a path towards recovery and heal your entire family. Fill out our form or contact us today to get in touch with one of our friendly team members.