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How to Help a Partner Struggling With Clinical Depression

You’re reading How to Help a Partner Struggling With Clinical Depression, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

When I first met my wife, I had no idea that she had a history of clinical depression.  Of course, she had told me about it before we were married, but I did not really know what that meant.  I had not had any previous exposure to serious depression in people.  By the time we were dating, she was already on a mix of anti-depressants. At the time, the effects of depression were not immediately obvious to me. The first time we experienced a major loss together was in the first year of our marriage. It was the first time I really got to see what she was like when dealing with depression, on top of dealing with grief.  Within the first couple of months of being married, I got my wife pregnant.  It was not exactly a planned pregnancy, but we were ecstatic nonetheless.  We started making plans for our first baby, and had fun picking out names, going back and forth tossing around different combinations of names until we could agree on some. Then, half-way through the second trimester of her pregnancy, my wife had a miscarriage.  It was devastating, to say the least.  We thought we were in the safe zone, since we had passed the first trimester.  We had already told our families about their first grandbaby and had gotten them excited, and now we had to call them and tell them the shocking news.  It was more than we could stand. My wife was still taking college classes at the time, trying to finish her degree.  The grief was overwhelming, and she fell into a depression.  She could no longer get up to go to class.  She dropped out of all her classes half-way through the semester.  All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sleep.  When she was awake, she was like a zombie, and would break out in tears intermittently throughout the day. We have been married seventeen years now.  It has been seventeen years since we lost our first baby.  Nothing has come close to that experience since then, but my wife still has her ups and downs.  She still struggles with depression.  We have been blessed with two beautiful girls since we lost the first one, but we never forget our first baby. Even through our first loss and my wife’s struggle with depression over the years, I still love my wife and care for her deeply.  Over the years, I have learned a lot about clinical depression and how to deal with it.  So what do you do when your partner is dealing with serious depression?

Depression is not their fault

When dealing with clinical depression, most of the time, it is not the person’s fault.  It is not something they can change on their own.  It’s not something they did to bring it on.  They can’t just pretend it’s not there, or wish it away.  It’s not all just in their head. After our oldest daughter was born, my wife fell into post-partum depression.  This is often caused by the abrupt change in hormones in the body, and is somewhat common after a woman gives birth.  This can be one type physiological trigger.  There could be environmental factors as well that trigger depression. Often times, clinical depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.  Anti-depressants work by trying to correct those imbalances, making it easier for synapses to connect.  In many cases, as in my wife’s case, this kind of chemical imbalance is and can be hereditary.  There is a long history of clinical depression going up my wife’s family. It does no good, then, to place blame on your partner, or get angry at them for not being able to change their mood like you can, or to get out of bed and be productive.  If your partner has been diagnosed with clinical depression, then you have to understand that it is not their fault.  There is nothing they did to bring it on, and there is nothing they can do to just “snap” out of it.

Get professional help

Clinical depression is a serious illness, and it is not something you can change with herbal supplements or teas, for example.  Some of those over-the-counter solutions may help with minor or occasional cases of anxiety, but they should not be relied upon for serious illnesses.  The first thing you need to do is see a psychiatrist – not a psychologist or therapist, but a licensed medical doctor. If your partner has not seen a psychiatrist yet, it may be time to consider taking him or her to one.  A psychologist may refer your partner to a psychiatrist, if they suspect there may be a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be addressed.  Only a psychiatrist can write prescriptions for medicines that can help with the chemical imbalances, and will work with you to find the correct dosage. When my wife got pregnant with our first-born, it had only been a few months since the miscarriage, and she was still dealing with the subsequent depression.  We discussed our options with her psychiatrist, and we decided that the benefits of her not feeling depressed were greater than any risks the medications might pose during the pregnancy.  Thus, she went back on antidepressants during her second pregnancy.  Our daughter was born strong and healthy.  You and your partner must make these kinds of decisions, with your doctor.

Help your spouse take their prescription medications

One of the symptoms of clinical depression is feeling a complete lack of motivation to do anything.  It almost borders on apathy.  Part of this lack of motivation applies towards seeking treatment, and taking any prescribed medications.  That is why it is important for you to be supportive and take your partner to a psychiatrist, pick up their prescriptions, and help administer the correct dosage every day. Anti-depressants do not work overnight, and they must usually be taken for extended periods of time, if not for the rest of their lives.  There is no short term solution.   Counseling and therapy can help you and your partner deal with issues as they arise, but in the long term, the medication prescribed by the psychiatrist must be allowed to work. These kind of medications are not the kind that can be missed.  Since they affect the chemical balance in the brain, even skipping one dosage can make a person feel off.  Every morning, I take out my wife’s prescribed medications in the right dosage, and personally hand them to her, along with a glass of water to help her swallow them.  Make it easy for your partner to take their medications on a regular schedule, and do not give them an excuse to miss taking it.

Finally, be patient, understanding and loving

Dealing with a depressed partner is difficult, under any circumstance.  Dealing with constant, clinical depression can be especially challenging, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow the guidelines above.  There is help.  There will be ups and downs, particularly when the doctor is trying to find the right mix of medications and the right dosages that work. Through it all, remember why you love your partner, and be patient.  It does get better.  Just because your partner is struggling with depression and may be taking medications does not mean that they won’t know or remember anything you do or say.  They will remember, even when they are feeling better. While they are feeling depressed, your partner may even say things or do things that hurt you.  This is when you have to be strong, and just let it slide.  Let it go. Realize they are not in their right mind, and continue to show them you care and will not hurt them.  This is when you must find strength in the love you have for your partner, in the love that brought you together in the first place. Encourage them to get up and do things with you, even though they don’t feel like it, but don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to.  Invite them to go on a walk with you around a park.  Nature and fresh air can lighten a person’s mood.  Offer to cook them a meal, or give them a massage.  A massage can release endorphins, which enlightens the mood. Most importantly, just be yourself – don’t be patronizing.  Depression is a long-term illness.  Just because you may not be suffering from depression does not make you better than your partner, and it does not make your partner any less of a person.  It just means they need help – your help, as well as professional help.  We could all use some help once in a while.

You’ve read How to Help a Partner Struggling With Clinical Depression, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed

You're reading 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

After working for the whole day, running from one place to another, handling boss and irritating colleagues, the only thing which can make your day is a good sleep. But good sleep doesn’t mean lying in bed for 9 hours and still feeling exhausted after waking up. A good sleep means that even after taking 6 hours of sleep, you should feel recharged again to work for the whole day.
Although there are many things which you can do to get a good, relaxing and deep sleep there are also many habits which you should never follow before going to bed and in this blog post, we will be looking at those 10 things which you should always avoid before going to bed.

1. Alcohol
A small glass of wine before going to bed sounds like a fascinating idea and it surely will help you to fall asleep but if you are concerned about the quality of sleep and then you should never consume any type of alcohol before going to bed.

2. Mobile Phone
Many studies have shown that using a mobile phone, tablet, e-reader or even watching television before going to bed can disrupt your sleeping. So, if you want to experience a deep sleep, then you should always avoid any light-emitting device before going to bed.

3. Caffeine
Caffeine stays in our body for almost 10-12 hours and even a small cup of coffee contains at least 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. And you must be aware of the working of caffeine in our body and how the employees of late night shift consume it for staying awake. So avoid consuming any type of caffeine before going to bed.

4. Chocolate
If you are a sweet tooth then consuming chocolate after dinner as a dessert might sound like a very good idea but you should know that even chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine and especially dark chocolate. So replace your idea of consuming dark chocolate with any other dessert which will not keep your eyes wide open even at midnight.

5. Big Meal
Devouring a big meal before going to bed can also disrupt your sleep. The reason behind this is after taking a big meal, your metabolism has to kick in and that can affect your sleep. It can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux diseases, weight gain, and other serious bad effects on your body.

6. Lots of water
Drinking water is very much necessary throughout the day but if you have completed the quota of your water consumption in a day, then there is no need to drink a jug full of water before going to sleep - it will result in unnecessary trips to the bathroom which obviously disrupt your sleep.

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8. Smoke
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9. Exercise
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10. Bath
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A good sleep is as necessary as food, air and water are for the body and brain. So, if you want to sleep properly throughout the night, without feeling exhausted for the whole day, then you should always avoid the above-mentioned things before going to bed.


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From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere.

You're reading From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all have our own moments of doubt, distress, and complete laziness. But what usually determines someone`s success or failure is your ability to stay motivated especially during their toughest times.  I`ve worked on this topic for years and below are some of the things you can do to stay motivated.

1. Work Your Negative Thoughts Out
Tony Robbins was right when he said the difference between you and success is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. These limiting beliefs are keeping you in doubt and the only way to stay motivated is by exposing them to journaling and expressive writing. Studies have found that those who completed four weekly journaling sessions for eight weeks were less worried and more motivated, than those who didn`t.

2. Remove Performance Barriers
Tim Ferris has a simple learning technique that works like magic. Whenever you`re about to learn a skill or do something new, take some time to list all your reasons to quit.

Your goal, after identifying these barriers, is to complete the first five sessions of whatever you want to practice. Why five? Because that`s what your brain needs to create wirings for new habits.

3. Do Less of The Things That Aren`t Aligned With Your Goals
Sales mogul, Grant Cardone once shared a story about someone who worked with him at McDonald`s. Unlike Cardone who was only there for the money, this guy was super pumped to go to work. Why?Because his goal was to learn everything about the business and open his own McDonald`s franchises. Soon Cardone was fired and that dude went on to achieve his dream.

4. Create Necessity
Brendan Bouchard once asked a client, an Olympic sprinter, who he thought was going to win the race. And the man replied, “I will get on the guy who gets down at the blocks, looks at the finish line and says ‘I`ve got to do this for my mom."

This is the power of WHY. Whenever you lack motivation, ask yourself why, or for whom, do you want to reach that goal. If you keep digging, you`ll always find something worth working hard for.

5. It`s like a bath
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
You usually hear people saying, “I don`t feel motivated to chase my goals.” Well, maybe if you write them long enough you`ll eventually feel pumped to go after them.

You must commit to writing your goals at least once a day, every day regardless of how good or bad you feel because, at the end of the day, the quality of your life will come down to what you`ve chosen to pay attention to. So you`d better pay attention to something worthy.

When listing your goals, write down whatever makes you pumped. If “I`m making my first million before my 25th birthday” doesn`t motivate you, then think about listing all the things that you want to buy, or experience, when you make your first million. A trip to Italy, a courtside seat in a Lakers` game, spending X amount of dollars guilt-free…etc.

Forget about what others tell you goals should be, as long as the ones you`ve chosen make you feel excited then you`re good to go.

6. Get a Quick Jump on the Day

It`s much easier to change feelings with action that to do it the other way around. Why? Because you have more control over actions than over feelings. As William James once said, "By regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling."
If there`s one nugget I want to leave you with then let this be it: Productivity comes before motivation and not the other way around. This is why you must start the day with a bang regardless of whether you`re an early bird or a night owl.

The quicker you start the day with a victory, the more motivated you`ll feel during the rest of it. So cut Facebook, meaningless texting or T.V., and focus all your efforts on getting something done.

Any sort of productivity, no matter how small. Just remember that once the ball starts rolling you`ll feel motivated to get more done. An object in motion will stay in motion, so sayeth the law.

Marwan Jamal is a fitness and health blogger at and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

You've read From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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