Depression is a real issue that can impact any of us. Webster gives two definitions of depression that distinguish between a mild and a more serious level. One definition is a state of being sad and the other is a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal state.
I want to focus more on a prolonged state of being sad. The more serious kind of depression needs professional help and immediate medical care and intervention.
Sadness is a normal part of life and a normal reaction to many circumstances we face from death of a loved one or friend, to the loss of a job or the loss of a dream. When sadness is easily associated with a life circumstance, it is easier to address. Normally, this kind of sadness will diminish over time. It becomes more serious when a prolonged state of sadness sets in.Is your husband just sad or is he depressed? Here are five ways to know --> Click To Tweet
Here are five signs your husband may be depressed:
- A lack of energy or momentum.
A consistent pattern of passive activities like watching television or interacting online with little interest in other activities. They may procrastinate on simple tasks and sleep or rest more often. If this becomes the norm, your husband may be depressed.
- A lack of excitement or joy.
They don’t express as much excitement over things, laugh and smile less, and are silent over things they used to talk about with excitement.
- A change in personality or personal interests.
If they normally talk and share but now they are mostly silent. If they are normally outgoing with others but they now pull away. If they normally enjoy yard work or music and they appear to have lost interest. Any change from their normal style could be a sign of depression.
- A major shift or difference in their engagement with you, the family, and others.
One of the key signs of depression is a pulling away from others and a desire to be alone.
- They appear apathetic or indifferent to what is going on around them.
They don’t seem to show any emotion or care for the people and activities taking place around them. They seem withdrawn, silent, or unengaged.
These are all signs of depression. So what do you do if you see these signs in your husband?
- Pray for him. It’s best to ask him how you can pray for him.
- Ask him how you can help. Let him know that you care about him and are concerned.
- Ask him to talk to someone he can trust: a good friend, a minister, or a counselor. Sometimes talking about what they are feeling with someone can make a big difference — just to be understood can bring new life.
- Be especially sensitive to encourage and to give to them emotionally.
- Speak their primary love language.
In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he talks about an emotional tank that each of us has and that it is important to keep your spouse’s tank full. If your husband is showing signs of depression, there is a good chance his emotional tank is empty. This book is a good read to learn the different ways to express love to your spouse. The five ways expressed in the book are: Words of affirmation, giving gifts, physical touch, acts of service, and quality time.
- Encourage him to see a medical doctor to be sure there isn’t something physical going on.
- Try a change in something. A vacation, a retreat, new patterns at home for rest and renewal.
- It may require you to give more and do more for a season.
- Love him unconditionally. Don’t nag.
- Don’t assume that your view should be their view.
Depression can be caused by many things like worry, stress, exhaustion, sadness over some loss including the loss of a dream. Try to be the safe place to talk about any or all of the above. Reassure him you will be there for them and that you will be there for them through this season.
What are some other ways you can help someone who appears depressed?If you think your husband might be depressed, here are 10 things to do to help: Click To Tweet
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his compassion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two life down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12