Depressed Wife - Discussion and Treatment

A depressed wife not only affects the husband. This is because she is more than just a wife - she is also a daughter, sister, mother, professional, and, above all, she is a woman.

Most women have the ability to endure a lot of stress and pain both physically and emotionally, but there are times when the strongest of women break down and suffer from depression. Statistics indicate that women are at a greater risk of suffering from depression as compared to men, and there could be several reasons for this.

Some of the major causes of depression in women include the numerous physiological changes that women have to experience throughout their lives, family history of depression, bipolar disorder, and stress factors caused due to various reasons. These reasons range from sexual abuse as a child to domestic violence.

Most of the physiological changes involve increasing and decreasing hormone levels which impact the emotional wellbeing of women. While most women learn to recognize and balance these changes, sometimes, external stress factors become too much to cope with and all of this culminates in women experiencing depression.

In a husband-wife relationship, it becomes very difficult for the husband to notice the signs and symptoms of a depressed wife, mainly because these are extremely subtle in the beginning. Some of the signs and symptoms of a depressed wife are as stated:

  • An otherwise responsible wife starts becoming irresponsible.
  • She talks less and less.
  • Suffers from sleeplessness or insomnia which results in depleted energy levels and complains of exhaustion and tiredness every morning.
  • Seems to be preoccupied in a different world.
  • Avoids the company of husband or children.
  • Some of them show signs of suffering from a victim complex.
  • Blame themselves for things going wrong.
  • Unable to take small and big decisions.
  • Loss of appetite or marked overeating.
  • Uncontrollable crying spells mostly for no apparent reason.
  • Might complain of physical ailments like aches and pains without any underlying cause.
  • Does not seem to enjoy any of the fun activities, especially the ones that she enjoys the most otherwise.
  • Starts neglecting personal health and hygiene.
  • Persistently feels sad, worthless, and hopeless.
  • Talks about committing suicide or death.

As a husband, you are probably one of the best persons to notice any changes in your wife’s behavior and attitude. If five or more of the above symptoms persist for over two weeks, one must seriously consider seeking professional help because chances are, your may well have a depressed wife on your hands.

Treatment for depressed wives includes a combination of counseling, psychotherapy, and pharmaceutical drugs. If the husband-wife relationship is going through a challenging phase, then the couple can consider seeking group therapy, where both husband and wife get counseling followed by appropriate diagnosis and treatment for the wife’s condition.

Husbands must always ensure that the wife takes all her medication on time and does not discontinue or skip the same on account of feeling better. These medications should be stopped or tapered only upon expert advice from the professional psychiatrist.

Of course, as always, our stand is that the use of pharmaceutical drugs should only be as a last resort.

Besides the above, it is a good idea to do little things to make one’s depressed wife feel special and important. Some chores that she always does can be undertaken by the husband for a change. One could try cooking a surprise meal for the wife, or taking her out on a date at a nearby place that she likes, etc. All this counts, especially to a depressed wife who is feeling completely down and dejected.

It is also a good idea to encourage your wife to discuss her fears, feelings, and emotions with you so that you can offer a clear perspective on these issues. Sometimes, people suffering from depression lack clarity, something which a husband can offer.

In addition to the above, one must encourage the spouse to enroll into dance, aerobics, or any other exercise program, because this will ensure that her serotonin levels are high, which will then increase the chances of her feeling good and sleeping better at night.

Eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of water, undertaking a detoxification program, etc, are among the many other things that couples must seriously engage in. They should try and bring about a fine balance between eating, exercising, and spending time constructively alone or together. Investing time in oneself and nurturing oneself is extremely important and has markedly positive returns in the long run.


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    Related Pages on Family and Depression
    Depressed Family - Discussion and How to Recover
    Depressed Parents - Discussion and Treatment
    Depressed Husband - Discussion and Treatment
    Depressed Wife - Discussion and Treatment
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