Spouse In Denial About His Depression

Question

Asked by Spouse is depressed

Spouse In Denial About His Depression

What do you do about a spouse that is in denial about his depression and won't seek treatment or admit that he even has depression?

Answer

Hi -

I lived for many years doing what your spouse is doing right now. Unfortunately, a lot of men do this to cover fear or hurt as they run into problems caused by depression. There's a sense of losing effectiveness as the inner pain takes up more energy. My response was to bury it and start blaming my spouse or work - I became more irritable about everything, sometimes flying into a rage. My wife naturally was hurt, often getting angry right back. There wasn't much she could do - and I doubt there's much you can do to - to change what was happening to me. But she did keep trying to talk to me and make it clear how hurtful and damaging my behavior had become and urged me to get treatment. Most of that did not get through but sometimes it did. The words I could hear were about her own feelings rather than any accusation or attack. But she also made it clear how close she was to giving up and leaving for a time until I could figure out what was going on. Those are the things you probably need to say to your spouse for your own good - and consider counseling for yourself since there is always a lot of fallout from your spouse's depression that is damaging to you.

I wish you well - and feel free to keep us posted on what's happening.

John

Answered by John Folk-Williams