Many women suffer depression for the first time as either post-natal depression after the birth of a baby, or during the menopause, when feel good hormones may be at a low level.
So how can you help and support your partner through this period of debilitating depression?
You should not have to tread on egg shells but you may find that more thought over your words and actions can help. Avoid ill thought out comments and instead try a sensitive approach. Remember your partner may normally be able to cope with anything you verbally throw at him or her but that has changed, at least for now.
Sex can be last thing on a depressed person's mind. Anti-depressant medication can also reduce a person's libido. Try not to put pressure on your partner to perform sexually. If you have a loving relationship sex will return in time.
Encouragement is good but also can be tough. Take for example your partner's appearance. Caring less about their appearance, well-being or personal hygiene can be symptom of depression. Your partner may struggle to get out of bed each day let alone spruce up for the outside world. Patience is the key. However look at adding a few changes a little at a time. Small "baby" steps may bring around a gradual change for the better. If you try and bully the person you will get nowhere and may do more harm than good.
Having said all of that you must be true to yourself. Putting on a false front for your partner is never a good idea. You will have some days when you wish you were anywhere but with your depressed partner. Try to take each day as it comes and remember you are not a health professional but simply a partner doing their best to help and support.
Ensure that your partner attends doctor's appointment, sticks to medication plans and visits counselling sessions if necessary. However, you are both adults and you cannot make your partner do any of this. You may though be able to persuade instead.
Make sure that you look after yourself. It can be very difficult and time consuming supporting a partner who is depressed. What use are you if you too become physically or mentally ill? Take some "me" time-out in order to keep in touch with friends and family, or what you will.
Help your partner make any necessary life changes to ease their depression. The depression could be work related, a problem at home or simply a clinical depression. If your partner can gradually open up and talk with you they may find that their fears have no foundation but are just part of their depressed state of mind.
A depressed person usually puts themselves into virtual isolation. They may turn scenarios over and over in their mind or find it hard to speak hardly at all to anyone. Try to get your partner to open up a little. Silly as it seems something such as a telephone conversation can be a worry to a depressed person. They may let the phone ring and avoid talking to any callers at all. Passing them the phone just to say "Hi" could be a start.
Encouraging an increase in physical activity would also be helpful, especially if it is outdoors. For example, walking the dog together you will both benefit from fresh air, exercise and encountering other human beings.
It can be a long road to recovery though and you will have to take it a step at a time.
Your partner may need to stay on medication for life, may never become depressed again or may find that periods of depression will be a fact of life for them. If this is the case you will need to make sure that you can cope with this. However, should depression recur it could be that you will identify the warning signs much sooner. This could mean that the period of depression is shorter and less intense.
We are all individuals. This is also true of your partner's depression. Take what advice you are given but remember you are not a miracle worker. If the situation is not improving contact your health professional again. Ask for advice and recommendations. In time things will improve, just try not to "beat you or your partner up" so to speak.
Depression may be a fact of life for many people but it does not have to ruin life for either of you.
If you are refused credit you can demand to see the credit report used to make this decision. If there are any inaccuracies get them put right. Never allow yourself to be declared bankrupt unless there are extreme circumstances.
Overall you can improve your credit score quite simply by paying debts on time, not getting into excessive debt and keeping abreast of your bills and finances.
So, with this background I have told two friends over the years to see a doctor when they shared how they were feeling. One discovered she had an under-active thyroid gland and the other that she had thyroid cancer. Having had such varying symptoms over the years it is often easy to spot thyroid issues in others. Despite this the last time I experienced major thyroid problems I mistakenly thought it was the menopause, due to the type of symptoms and my age.
Here are some signs and symptoms which could mean that you have a thyroid problem and need investigations. Remember most times that your condition is easily treatable, although sometimes it may require surgery. Remember also that you must consult a medical professional for a correct diagnosis.
Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism
Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism
Unfortunately in some cases thyroid cancer may be diagnosed so a doctor should be consulted in all cases. Usually there will be swelling at the front of the neck in cancers but even with that sign it still may not be cancer.
As with all these type of things the symptoms can vary but if you have any vague feelings it is best to have your thyroid checked. A simple blood test will show if your thyroid is not working correctly.
Remember that worry and stress will aggravate your condition so try and stay calm. Also depression can quite naturally accompany thyroid problems but may need treating as a separate issue.
As a final thought if you have close family members with thyroid disorders, especially your Mum, it may mean that you will follow suit. So check your family’s medical history.
Check Web MD for the latest diagnosis methods and treatments available
De-clutter your home as much as possible. It is usually advisable to de-personalize your home also. Remove photographs and unusual, personal, nick knacks from your home.
As a rule of thumb pets should not be seen or smelt by prospective house buyers. This is not always easy. It may be that you have a good friend or relative who will home your pet until after any house sale. An animal’s bedding, bowls and toys should definitely not be kept in the kitchen.
These days many buyers want a house that is painted in a fairly neutral colour scheme. This enables the buyer to stamp their own mark on the property or move in without needing to decorate. If your home is full of vivid colours consider whether or not it would be more saleable with a lick of neutral coloured paint.
Give your home a thorough spring clean, no matter what time of year it is. If you undertake this properly, it should simply be a matter of keeping the house tidy on a regular basis. Potential buyers often want to view a house with little notice; when, and if, this happens it is nice to know that all your home needs to look good is a quick tidy up.
“Stage” your home so that it looks its best. Disguise what you cannot fix quickly and easily. Fresh flowers and pleasant fragrances can add to the ambiance of your home. Move furniture around until you are happy with the effect. New curtains can make a room look 100% better.
Finally, consider the price of your home carefully. It may be that you are including extras, such as some furniture and carpets. If this is the case make sure this is stressed in your advertising. Most residential areas have a top or ceiling price for houses, no matter how much you spend on improvements. Be realistic about the price but do not sell your home short.
Most modern buyers try to negotiate a reduced price and so you will need a little room to manoeuvre. The housing market is a difficult one but, if you stack the odds in your favour, it is still possible to sell your home for a good, or even great, price.
- Decide what extras you may opt for.
- Buy good quality multi-functional furniture.
- Decorate in neutral, plain tones of colour.
- Keep window coverings light, plain and unfussy to allow as much light as possible to flow through the space you have.
- Keep additions such as ornaments, rugs, pictures and clutter to a minimum.
- Make sure that the space is well laid out for ease of movement throughout.
- If you can incorporate glass, such as large mirrors, or extra windows, into your design the space will seem larger and work better.
- If it helps, draw a plan which is roughly to scale and work out what will go where.
Buying furniture for a small space requires a little extra thought, but is really not that different from buying furniture for anywhere. All purchasing needs a little common sense, an eye for a quality bargain and the ability to select the right item for your need.
Still need inspiration? Check out amazing spaces online.
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Leo's story - heart failure in dogs
This is a mini-series following Leo's heart-health journey and his final years.
"When your dogs illness cannot be cured, Part One
You can find "When your dogs illness cannot be cured Part Two here
plus "When your dogs illness cannot be cured Part Three"
"When your dogs illness cannot be cured Part four"
and finally "When your dogs illness cannot be cured the last goodbye."