Coping Strategies for Couples With Depression

A woman comforts an upset man.

Depression can sometimes feel like an unwanted guest in a relationship, dampening the shared moments of joy and intimacy.

But what if there are effective coping strategies for couples dealing with depression? 

If you’re reading this, chances are you or your partner might be grappling with this common mental health issue.

Keep reading to uncover life-altering coping strategies for couples with depression that can turn the tide, helping you reclaim your relationship from the clutches of depression.

Depression Statistics

Depression is a widespread mental health problem that impacts millions of people worldwide. 

Roughly 3.8 percent of the global population experiences depression. 

In the United States, major depressive disorder impacts around 7.1 percent of adults in a given year, and a whopping 29 percent of grown-ups have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. 

These numbers are significant and shouldn’t be underestimated, especially when considering the impact of depression on relationships.

How Does Depression Impact Your Romantic Relationship?

Depression can have a deep influence on a couple’s relationship, causing strain and misunderstandings. Here’s how depression can affect relationships:

  • Withdrawing and isolating oneself becomes more common.
  • Increased irritability and conflict may arise.
  • Depression often leads to a decreased interest in activities that the couple once enjoyed together.
  • Communication difficulties can arise.
  • Sexual problems may occur due to reduced libido.

Remember, depression can significantly influence relationships, and it’s essential to seek support and understanding during these challenging times.

Coping Strategies for Couples with Depression

Acknowledging the challenges is the first step in finding effective treatment for couples with depression. Here are some helpful coping strategies that have proven to be effective:

  1. Open Communication: Having honest and open conversations about the illness is crucial to better understanding each other’s perspectives.
  2. Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about depression, including its symptoms, causes, and available treatment options. Knowledge can make a significant difference.
  3. Support Each Other: The non-depressed partner should provide emotional support, while the depressed partner can express gratitude for assistance.
  4. Healthy Lifestyle: Incorporate regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and limited alcohol consumption to manage symptoms of depression.
  5. Maintain Individuality: While supporting each other, prioritize your mental well-being.
  6. Seek Professional Help: Couples or individual therapy can improve communication and provide a safe space to work through the challenges.
  7. Practice Patience and Understanding: Dealing with depression requires patience, understanding, and support from both partners.

Remember, navigating through depression as a couple takes time and effort. 

But it is possible to overcome these challenges with open communication, mutual support, and a commitment to each other’s well-being.

The Role of Depression Couples Therapy in Mental Health Treatment

A recent study found that 61.0 percent of adults in the United States who experienced major depressive episodes sought treatment within the past year. 

This highlights the importance and effectiveness of seeking professional help when dealing with depression.

When it comes to treating depression, couples therapy can play a crucial part in the overall treatment plan. 

It provides a safe area for both mates to express their feelings and fears, guided by a trained professional. Here are some examples of addiction therapy techniques that can be used:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This approach identifies and changes negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to relationship conflicts.
  • Family Therapy: In cases where family dynamics contribute to depression, involving the family in therapy can be beneficial for both partners.
  • Group Therapy: Sometimes, group therapy sessions with other couples also going through similar struggles can provide a sense of support and community.

Involving both partners in the treatment process allows for a holistic approach to managing depression. 

By participating in these therapies, couples can better understand each other, improve their communication skills, handle conflicts more effectively, and ultimately build a stronger and more fulfilling bond.

Grace Recovery Center: Your Ally in Overcoming Depression

At Grace Recovery Center, we offer holistic addiction treatment, including group therapy and medication-assisted treatment. 

Our specialists are dedicated to helping you steer through this challenging time. 

We believe in a comprehensive approach to depression treatment for couples, focusing on healing both individuals and the relationship.

Depression doesn’t have to define your relationship. 

With the right coping strategies for couples with depression and professional help, you can overcome these challenges and build a healthier, happier partnership. Reach out to us at Grace Recovery Center today!

Top 5 Signs of Depression and How To Get Help

All of us, at some point in life, face sadness, loneliness, and depression. It is the rational way to react to life challenges, loss, damaged self-esteem, and heartbreaks. However, these feelings can quickly change from normal to real physical symptoms of depression, mental health, and stress, especially when they last longer, get worse by the day or prevent you from running your day smoothly. That’s when it’s time to seek medical help.

Your regular doctor should check for depression and mental health in order to administer the right treatment or refer you to an expert. Recognizing and accepting to be helped is key to proper recovery as most people never know they have depression and therefore never seek help.

What is Depression?

Like already mentioned, depression is characterized by longer-lasting hopelessness and despair. Depression naturally changes how you feel, think, and function in your daily activities. It can quickly interfere with your ability to work, eat, study, sleep, and see the positivity of life. Just getting through the day can seem overwhelming, and many people often describe this as a feeling of impending doom or “living in a black hole.” Others describe it as feeling empty, apathetic, and lifeless. Men may feel restless and angry.

However, its imperative to keep in mind that depression can quickly get serious if left untreated. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness should never be overlooked but do not necessarily have to be the reality of your situation. By understanding the source of your depression and knowing what to look for in the signs and symptoms, you can take the first steps towards your treatment and recovery journey.

Signs of Depression

While hopelessness and helplessness are easy to recognize, there are many other symptoms that may be less obvious and difficult to detect. However, it’s essential to note that some of these signs may also be signs of other underlying medical issues. If you have the following symptoms, it’s time to see your doctor and start a treatment and recovery plan.

1. Weird Sleeping Habits

Depression is characterized by a change in sleeping habits as there is a strong link to moods and sleep. Lack of sleep naturally contributes to depression, and on the other hand, depression will make it difficult to sleep. Based on a study by the National Sleep Foundation, people who don’t sleep or people with insomnia are ten times more likely to have depression than those who usually sleep. Consequently, oversleeping or sleeping too much can also indicate depression.

2. Fatigue

It’s not reasonable to feel excessive fatigue when you haven’t done any physical work. Extreme tiredness is one sure sign of depression. However, it may also be a sign of another illness or condition. While its normal to feel tired once in a while, persistent or continuous fatigue, particularly if it is accompanied by other symptoms listed in this article, may signal depression.

3. Weight Changes and Appetite

Diseases and conditions can significantly contribute to appetite and weight changes. However, eating too much or too little also signals depression. Some depressed individuals may turn to food for comfort while others may completely lose interest in food or have a bad raw mood to food, hence eating little. These changes in eating habits have a consequence of gaining or losing weight. Dramatic weight changes can exacerbate depression as they also come with lowering self-esteem.

4. Drug Use and Alcohol

Some people may turn to drug use and alcohol to help them deal with their feelings of loneliness, sadness, and helplessness. According to the report by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 1 in 5 people with anxiety, mental health, or a mood disorder like depression suffer drug and alcohol use disorder. Conversely, the same number of people who use drugs and alcohol are likely to have a mood disorder.

5. Loss of Concentration and Happiness

When a person loses their train of thought or trails off during conversations, it can be a sign that they have a problem with concentration and memory–a common symptom of depression. Hidden depression is usually displayed by a fake smile or forced happiness when in the company of other people. However, this may not last long, and people may begin noticing the change in happiness and concentration.

How and When To Get Help

If you realize you have various symptoms of depression, it is imperative that you consider seeking help from a healthcare professional like a psychotherapist or doctor or even loved ones. Excellent mental health is essential in helping you deal with depression as it will assist you to accept that you are depressed and have the will to seek medical treatment from professionals. If you are concerned about a loved one having hidden depression or slowly losing interest in almost everything they loved, you should try speaking to them while offering non-judgmental support and advise them to seek medical help. This will not only help hasten recovery but also reduce the risk of suicide.


How Depression And Addiction Work Together

Depression and substance abuse seem to go hand in hand. Does substance abuse lead to depression or does depression lead to substance addiction? In most cases, depression is considered a gateway to drug and alcohol use. Depression and substance abuse are in a cycle that feeds each other and one makes the other worse. They have what is called a bi-directional relationship. If a person abuses a substance, they are more likely to suffer from depression. If a person suffers from depression, there is likely to be a strong connection to substance abuse. The Journal of Clinical Psychology reports that 1 in 3 people that have an addiction suffer from depression and 1 in 4 people with a mental illness also abuse substances.

The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that people diagnosed with mental illness account for 69% of the nation’s alcohol use and 84% of the nation’s cocaine use. Sometimes this is called self-medication and clinically depressed patients report that this helps them escape negative emotions. Drinking or drugs will often lift a mood temporarily and relieve guilt and melancholy, but many times they ultimately increase depression. When the drug abuse builds up a tolerance or comes to an end, the onset of depression becomes even worse.

Indicators of Depression

Typically, depression is seen as a lack of interest or fatigue, but those aren’t the only signs. Here is a checklist to think about:

  • Do you feel angry or irritable often?
  • Do hobbies or activities that you enjoy seem like a chore?
  • Are your sleep patterns changing?
  • Have you lost or gained weight? Any differences in appetite?
  • Does your mind race? Can you concentrate?
  • Do you feel uncontrollable guilt or despair?
  • Have you thought that you’d be better off dead or had any suicidal ideation?

If you drink alcohol or feel like you may have a drug addiction, here are some questions to answer that may indicate that you should seek help from a professional:

  • Do you find yourself trying to lessen your use of substances without success?
  • Do you spend a lot of time finding, using, and recovering from your drug of choice?
  • Do you have a hard time stopping and use for much longer than you intended?
  • Do you find yourself calling into work or missing school? Are you behind on taking care of things at home?
  • Do you abuse substances when it would put you or someone else in physical harm?
  • Have you developed so much of a tolerance that you need to use more than before?

When to Seek Treatment for Depression and Substance Abuse

If you suspect that you suffer from codependent substance abuse and depression, it is time for an evaluation. Counseling and medication are frequently necessary for what is termed a Dual Diagnosis. It is estimated that over 8.9 people suffer from a Dual Diagnosis but only 7.4% receive proper treatment. In addition, few programs exist that treat a Dual Diagnosis with co-occurring integrate treatment.

Oftentimes, when addiction has become a problem, immediate medical attention is needed in the form of in-patient or out-patient care. This is needed to replace the addiction with healthy behaviors, habits and coping strategies for depression while at the same time dealing with the even harsher depression that is often present from withdrawals of substances.

If you don’t have a treatment plan while you are stopping a drug habit, relapse is highly probable. Many medications exist along with therapy for the withdrawal symptoms associated with drugs and alcohol including medication for opioid withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal.

Sometimes a period of abstinence is necessary to get a proper medical diagnosis and treat the underlying causes of depression and substance abuse.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment of Depression and Addiction

Dual Diagnosis is complex. A traditional rehab program will not be able to handle the psychiatric problems of a patient with a typically treated detox program. Counseling, psychiatric evaluation and medication, individual counseling, peer and group counseling, and family support all play important roles.

Grace Recovery is located in Los Angeles, CA and targets Hollywood and the surrounding areas for state-of-the-art addiction treatment. They have a residential treatment center with luxurious amenities and the latest treatment for Dual Diagnosis. Visit for more information.


How to Deal with Depression in Sobriety

Depression is a mental illness that can occur multiple times. The American Psychiatric Association even said that half of the people diagnosed with major depression often suffer a second episode. Apparently, 80% of those who suffered a second episode ends up having a third episode as well. The exact cause of depression is still a mystery yet it is connected to traumatic events, family history of depression, and addiction to alcohol and substance.

Addiction and Depression

Depression episode is different for every depressed individual. However, the symptoms are always the same. A depressed individual feels worthless, anxious, irritable, and lacks concentration among others. For a person who just came out of rehab, depression is always expected.

A sober alcoholic often comes with these symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling guilty of why he or she became an addict
  • Feeling tired of everything around him or her
  • Wanting to taste alcohol or drugs again

Depression relapse can challenge your sobriety. This is normal. What you have to do is to acknowledge it. You are feeling depressed and you have to accept what’s coming, the symptoms. Once you accepted it, take your medication. People who are from a detox do self-medication. Be aware of how long you have been suffering. If it is taking more than a week, you better check with your doctor.

Treating Depression

For a recovering addict, treating depression can be difficult. In fact, treating depression alone is difficult. During recovery, sobriety can be put at risk once depression sets in. Imagine waking up with a sinking feeling. The next thing you know, you are reaching out a bottle of vodka again. For this reason, it is important to stay connected with a support group.

If you just came out from a rehab, ask your treatment program provider if they can suggest a support group for you. Keep your family close as well. Your family’s love and support can go a long way to continue your recovery and to fight attacks of depression.

Knowing the Symptoms of Depression

If you just came out of a treatment facility, you should be aware of the symptoms of depression. Your full recovery depends on understanding these symptoms and taking appropriate steps to deal with it.

  • Inability to sleep or having excessive sleep
  • Losing interest with your regular routine
  • Lack of energy even when you haven’t done anything yet
  • Losing focus or having a shorter span of attention
  • Losing or having an excessive appetite
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling anxious for no reason
  • Having thoughts of death and how it can help you gain peace of mind

Watching out for Relapse

If you are able to maintain your sobriety, chances are you won’t have relapses. Being sober will help you watch out for possible symptoms of depression. If you can address the symptoms before it gets worst, you have a chance to beat depression and relapses.

Surviving a severe depression should be considered a victory. If you went through one and got through it, be proud of yourself. It is a big achievement. If you are feeling okay, don’t settle with it. You should find ways to feel much better. That way, you can avoid having a relapse.

To fight depression and relapse, you should slowly gain your self-worth from within. Self-worth that comes from within means knowing your worth as a person and loving yourself. After recovery, you often receive positive reinforcement and applauses from friends, families, and loved ones. These praises often become your external validation of self-worth. This is dangerous. Once the hype is gone and no one praises you anymore, you will start feeling down again and relapse can set it.

Still Struggling with Sobriety and Depression?

Dealing with addiction and depression can make you feel like you have nowhere to go. It can make you feel like a sore loser. It is important for you to remember that you are not. Remember, when you are so down, there is no other way but to go up. This is what recovery is all about.

The road to complete recovery and sobriety is by admitting that you have a problem. Once you accept this fact, you can start taking a treatment program. If you are in the Hollywood, CA area, you can check rehab facilities that offer treatment programs for alcoholics. Most facilities in the CA area like Grace Recovery comes with stare-of-the-art- addiction treatment program that can help you with your addiction.

Aside from getting treated with the latest substance abuse programming from Grace Recovery, they can also offer you extended support to prevent depression from setting in. They can provide you with a holistic or group therapy, depending on what suits your personality. Don’t let depression steal your sobriety. You worked hard to be sober so continue working hard to fight depression as well.