Sometimes depression isn’t obvious and occurs when you least expect it. In our scenario, it threw me by surprise because I was so happy in life. We have everything people dream of: two healthy kids, a beautiful home in the suburbs, steady jobs and a great marriage. That didn’t stop my Husband from becoming depressed. I want to share these 7 not-so-obvious signs your spouse is depressed because I believe in the power of sharing information.
Related Post: How To Help Your Kids Battle Back-to-School Anxiety
7 Not-So-Obvious Signs Your Spouse Is Depressed
An Inside Look: Example Of Depression
Let me paint a picture of our typical Saturday night as a couple. The smallest hiccup in our day might occur: like something breaking, our toddler throwing a fit, unexpected change of plans or even driving in traffic. Even though these seem like something so small to me, it’s a big deal to my Husband. It’s enough to throw him into a downward spiral of depression.
Those little moments escalate into something much bigger. He shuts me out, becomes unsocial and starts to stress about the upcoming negativity he has to face – like Monday and the weekend being over. It doesn’t matter if I’m across the couch sexually aroused, because he can’t turn off the negativity. It’s like I temporarily stop existing as his wife. Before you know it, he’s asleep by 8pm.
If I’m lucky, he wakes up in a better mood. That doesn’t mean depression is gone though. It’s always there, even if his mood changes. I’m tired of throwing away Saturday nights that could be filled with joy. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if Saturday nights with my Husband are numbered.
Sign #1: They Don’t Get Dressed
My Husband works out of the house and has always been impeccable about grooming. When his depression started, I noticed he didn’t have the desire to get dressed anymore. That means that sometimes little tasks like taking a shower became difficult. He’ll work in his pajamas, skip a shower and deal with it at a later time. When he feels better, he can do those simple tasks that feel overwhelming when he’s depressed.
Sign #2: There’s Always A Missing Piece To The Puzzle
I already explained that we are very fortunate in life and have many things that others don’t own. That doesn’t stop my Husband from feeling like something is missing. He oftentimes wonders if there’s just a missing piece to the puzzle – something to make him happier.
At first, he thought if he could just get the car he always wanted. Then he purchased that car and it didn’t help. It’s always something and the list rotates. Or he wonders if he had a different job that his life would be better. He’s always searching for happiness, in all areas of his life.
Sign #3: Self-Care Doesn’t Exist
Beyond the grooming, my spouse has stopped all efforts to live a healthy life. I’m not sure if he’s no longer motivated to be healthy, but he won’t exercise and stops taking care of himself while sick. It’s hard to live with when you’re trying to live a healthy and well-balanced life.
Sign #4: They Stop Eating Or Stress Eat
There are two extremes to eating when somebody is depressed. Either they stress eat their emotions to cope with things or they don’t eat at all. I see both happening in our home. He’ll go through waves of barely eating anything or periods of stress eating everything. Off all the signs your spouse is depressed, this one can be dangerous to their health.
Sign #5: They Overreact As A Parent
My Husband holds high standards to both of our sons. When the kids can’t live up to the expectations, he’ll overreact to the situation. He’s strong and vocal about what they’ve done wrong. It comes off as a reflection of his anger, but directed to our children.
Sign #6: Physical Signs Of Affection Stop
We have a healthy marriage where physical affection and time together is important. When his depression peaks, our sex life takes a break. He’s just not as interested in showing affection towards me. Whatever is normal for your relationship, slows down when depression hits.
Sign #7: Hobbies Are Put Aside
Things that used to make my Husband happy, he’s just no longer interested in. He stopped spending time with friends and doing hobbies he loved. He no longer has the desire to be social outside of the family. Look out for them rescheduling actives or turning down opportunities to attend events.
If you see signs your spouse is depressed, contact your healthcare provider. It could save a life.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255