Depression causes a person to suffer a nightmare even when he is awake. Not only do they suffer tremendously but everyone around them also suffer and as a result of this a myriad marriage problems develop.
The good news is that it is controllable. With the proper therapy, and medicine - when needed, people who suffer from depressive disorders can life normal fulfilling lives.
The bad news, though, is that it takes time. It is a process. Even after the sufferer admits that he is depressed (which is a huge step towards recovery) and begins to think how to get overcome it there is still a long way to go.
The next stage, according to Dr. James Prochaska is called the "preparation stage". In this stage they, as the name implies, prepare to take steps to conquer their disorder. You, the spouse or loved one of the sufferer, have to be patient and understand that there is a long way between realizing and wanting to change and actually changing.
In this article I point out some of preliminary steps that must be taken care of and how you should help.
After a person decides to get help for his depression (and fix up his life and his marriage problems) there are three basic things that must be done.
He has to find a therapist, support group or some self- help books (as a start). He WILL NOT overcome depression just because he wants to overcome it.
If he feels that he needs professional help then he has to find out if insurance will cover it or if he has the funds to pay for this help.
He has to find a way to fit it into his schedule (if he still has one) and he has to have a way to get there.
What is your job when your loved one is at this stage.
Firstly, make sure that it is feasible for him to get help. For instance, YOU have to make sure that there is some way to get the money for the therapist or to look for some other way to get help. You might not tell him that you did this research but you have to make sure that the finances are in place. It is a disaster if he did all of the work to get here to find out that there is no therapist in your area with expertise in depression or that you don't have the resources to get help.
Give subtle compliments and commend him on the fact that he got to where he got to even thought that it was so hard.
Talk about how good it will be after he gets the help that he needs and how things will go back to the way that they were before he started to suffer from this disorder. Be careful though that this won't make him scared to continue.
Be prepared for some obstacles that will be there (and there will be lots of them) and think of alternative plans to help your spouse. Remember, they are just preparing to take action to overcome their depression. They are, however, still depressed, which means not fully functional.
Don't push for big steps. Help them to take little steps but keep on prodding them on, with subtle compliments and reward systems (Do you know what, honey? Call the bank to see how much is in our saving's account and to celebrate we'll.....! How does that sound?)
Depression causes a myriad of marriage problems. However if be patient and supportive and you will be able to help your spouse overcome his depression and have a fulfilling and great life with him.