Guest Author - Kitten Kristine Jackson
Do you dread going home? Do you wish you could just leave and never go back home? Letís face it. You can take all the right supplements and meds, get enough exercise and sunlight, and do everything else correctly, but if youíre in a dysfunctional relationship or have dysfunctional family dynamics, you are prone to have depression.
When treating depression, rather than immediately writing a prescription, the first thing that should be done is to determine the cause of the depression. There are so many possible causes that you may never know specifically what they are. However, if you are in a dysfunctional relationship, it has to be a contributing factor. No drug is ever going to fix that.
Iím a big proponent of talk therapy, or counseling. In speaking with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist, you can begin to find the root causes of your depression, and then you can work on those issues.
As we all know, we canít change anyone other than ourselves. Going to counseling isnít going to change your spouse, but it can help you to make changes that can affect the way you and your spouse relate to each other. If, for instance, your spouse is doing something that drives you nuts, you probably act a little (or a lot) nutty. You canít change what your spouse does, but in changing your response to his behavior, you might feel better yourself, and thereís also a chance that his behavior might change, in turn.
Sometimes we have issues from as far back as childhood that eat away at us constantly. We might not even be aware of the fact that our thoughts, feelings, judgments, etc., are related to those past events. The way we respond to current issues might be directly related to painful events from our past. In working through that pain, we can become much better able to relate to others and as a result, many times, improving our current relationships.
It could be that your spouse is the one with painful issues from his past that are affecting your relationship. Men usually have a lot of difficulty in talking about such issues because they see expressing their emotions as weakness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It takes a great deal of strength to open up and express yourself that way, but making him see that might take a miracle! If you canít get him to see a therapist on his own, ask him to go to marriage counseling with you. If you let him know that both your issues are creating problems in your marriage, he might be willing to give it a try.
If you have one of those stubborn men who think that counseling is ďjust a bunch of nonsense,Ē you can still get help for yourself. If he tries to prevent you from getting help, you have a much larger issue. Many times, controlling behavior is also linked to abusive behavior. In that case, do whatever it takes to get help. Donít tell yourself, ďWell, he doesnít hit me, so itís not abuse.Ē I can tell you from my own experiences that sometimes cruel words hurt worse than physical abuse. Itís not okay for anyone to belittle you, humiliate you, call you degrading or ugly names, or say hurtful things to you. If you are in a relationship like that, you must seek help.
If youíre in a physically abusive relationship, you must get out! Women who leave are more at risk during that specific time, so you have to go to a battered womenís shelter, or some other place where you can be protected. And donít let the temporary increase in danger stop you from escaping the daily danger of living with an abuser. No matter what he tells you, you do not deserve to be abused! If you feel that you donít have the strength to do it for yourself, do it for your children. Even if they arenít being physically abused, being exposed to the verbal/emotional/physical abuse of you is damaging them much more than you can imagine. And donít think they donít know whatís going on. They do.
In a dysfunctional relationship, the only way you can improve your depression is to improve the relationship. The only way to improve the relationship is with the help of a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. If the relationship canít be improved, the only way to get better is to get out of the relationship. Dysfunctional relationships are usually very co-dependent, so leaving is extremely painful and difficult. But I can tell you as someone who has escaped those relationships, once that initial pain has subsided, the relief is overwhelming!
Donít live your life with someone who makes you feel sad, hurt, ashamed, humiliated, or anything other than wonderful. You werenít created to be treated badly. You were created to be loved, protected and cherished. If the man youíre with canít treat you that way, he doesnít deserve you. Donít think a pill can help you if youíre in an abusive or dysfunctional relationship. See a therapist and/or get out!