Depressed people might feel alone but they are most definitely not alone. The mood of a depressed spouse not only affects themselves but everyone around them; their friends, their spouses, and, sadly, also their children.
It is important for a depressed person to realize this because after they realize how THEY are harming the children they used to love this might motivate them to get help. Depression is a horrible sickness but it IS controllable and also curable.
Read this article to learn 4 ways that children might be indirectly harmed by your depressed spouse so you will be able to protect them and give them what they need.
1. Behavioral problems. It might be hard for you to believe but children crave structure and don't like to be only leaders. It is too much of a stress for them. Therefore when their parents are depressed and not fully functional they will act up as if to tell their parents, "Get out of bed, do your job, and give me structure". A child needs to have a chance to be young and innocent, to learn the lessons and experiences that will shape their own lives. If they are subjected to too much of something they do not understand or can't handle, behavioral problems will result. This could lead to something more serious down the road.
2. Teaches them to be depressed. Children imitate their parents behaviors. When they see their parents out going, helping others, and being generally proactive they will naturally follow suit. On the other hand if they see their parents doing nothing, they will also learn to be like that. Isn't it worth it to get help for your child's sake?
3. Medical neglect. When it comes to children's sicknesses the saying, "A stitch in time saves nine" is very true. A lot of children's sicknesses wouldn't be so bad if you would "catch it in the bud". A person who is depressed is so removed from the world that they might miss some small symptoms and it could turn into something big.
4. Success in school. The way the schools are run today, outside help from the parents is very important, in order to help them succeed. Not only emotional support but also to help them to understand the material that they are learning. It is SO hard for a depressed person to give them the help they need.
A depressed spouse affects ALL family members especially the younger children. If your spouse knows that he/she suffers from depression but lacks the motivation to do anything about it, subtly point out to them how their children are being effected to give them the push that they need (and want) to get the help that they need.
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