In the UK, men often struggle to express their emotions and problems. They may think that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness. Because of this, they are less likely to seek out emotional help. Depression and other underlying problems end up swept under the rug. This may lead to fractured relationships when they lash out. Otherwise, they may turn to “self-medication” tactics, such as alcohol or illegal drug use.

At times, they try to hide their mental distress until they’re far worse. With the right support, depression in men can be addressed. Do you recognise any of these symptoms and behaviours in your partner?

  • anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
  • feeling sad, low, guilty, tired, or empty
  • lack of interest in favoured activities, including sex
  • eating less or more than usual
  • too little or too much sleep
  • having trouble concentrating or remembering details
  • high-risk activities, including increased alcohol or drug use
  • thoughts or attempts of suicide

Now, how can spouses effectively support their husbands battling depression?

Supporting Your Spouse

You may be wondering about how to support your man emotionally when he’s dealing with depression. It’ll be a process for the both of you, but you must trust it. It’s difficult to unlearn things and dive into new ones overnight. When you accept this, you remove pressure from each other.

First, understand that his depression isn’t your fault. It’s quite hard to get through to people unless they are already open for help. Remember that it won’t always be a challenge to break down the walls around his emotions.

Give him time to understand what he needs to address his depression. On the other hand, he must be willing to receive professional help from mental health specialists.

  • Ask and Listen

    Men tend to shut off at the first sign of perceived weakness. So, begin with asking about small things like how their day went. Then, work up to discussing and processing how certain situations made them feel. Tackle bigger issues once they’re ready, especially since not everyone’s communication style is the same.

    More so, active listening is essential in any conversation. Refrain from thinking about your response before they finish off their thought. Oftentimes, they’re only looking for a sympathetic ear.

  • Set an Example

    If you want your husband to open up, set an example. Be open about your feelings and emotions to him. Include him in your process when you’re dealing with hardships yourself. However, don’t force them to speak up when they aren’t ready.

    More so, active listening is essential in any conversation. Refrain from thinking about your response before they finish off their thought. Oftentimes, they’re only looking for a sympathetic ear.

Building Up Your Partner

  • No Judgments

    Maintain a safe space for your husband to share and vent. If they feel they’re being judged, they may shut down again. There may be a lot of triggers present in everyday life, more so during the pandemic. So, be patient in providing consistent, objective support for him.

  • No Unwelcome Advice

    It’s impolite to force your ideals and thoughts on other people, especially when it comes to advice. Wait for him to ask for it. Otherwise, ask if he’s open to hear your opinion on the situation.

  • Give Validation

    Tell him that his feelings, thoughts, and emotions are valid. He may not feel the same way as you do in certain situations, and that’s okay. When you validate how he feels, he’s more likely to own that feeling and understand himself better.

  • Empower

    Again, it’ll be a process. Working on communicating and validating their feelings can lead to empowerment. When he has encouragement to share, he’ll be comfortable in seeking out emotional help to heal and move forward. Don’t just spring out therapy, doctors, and medication off the bat.

UK’s Trusted Emotional Support for Depression

Depression can affect the whole family when left untreated. If your man can’t trust the people in his home, he won’t feel safe in asking and receiving outside help. You don’t have to be alone in understanding how to help your husband with his depression.

Let’s talk about YOU. Our advisors are well-equipped in handling emotional support for men with depression in the UK and other countries. Book an appointment today to receive more information on how to support your spouse with depression.