Four Signs Your Partner Is Suffering From Depression

Many people deal with depression at some point during their lives. Often, the depressed patient does not realize on their own exactly what is going on and why they feel so down in the dumps. Rather, it is friends and family members who become aware that something is amiss and encourage their loved one to seek treatment. If your spouse or partner develops depression, you're the most likely one to notice since, presumably, you spend the most time with them and know them the best. To that end, here are four signs your partner may be suffering from depression.

They're becoming increasingly isolated.

If your partner used to look forward to social activities and now seems to prefer isolation, this could be a sign of depression. Your partner may also seek to spend more time away from you -- and completely alone. Depressed individuals often withdraw from social circles and activities because they don't have the energy required to interact with people and because they stop experiencing the "high" they used to get from seeing people they love.

They've begun relying more on alcohol or other substances.

Substance abuse is often a sign of depression. However, many patients don't take their substance use so far as for it to be considered serious abuse. Perhaps your partner rarely used to drink, but has recently begun grabbing a beer every night after work. Maybe they have recently begun smoking cigarettes or other herbs. They could be relying on these substances to numb their feelings of depression.

They seem increasingly moody.

Does your partner seem calm and content one minute, but irritable the next? Maybe they've been snapping at you a lot, or perhaps you've caught them crying over seemingly small problems. Moodiness and frequent mood changes are often a sign of depression, and often a sign of a specific type of depression called "bipolar depression."

They seem exhausted for no reason.

If your partner runs 20 miles or has a long week at work and seems exhausted in the days that follow, that's one thing. But if they seem fatigued and exhausted after only completing standard, everyday activities, this could be a sign of depression. Many people with depression start sleeping excessively and experiencing extreme fatigue at all hours of the day.

If you think your partner may be suffering from depression, urge them to seek treatment with a counselor like Barbara Saban, LCSW in your area.