How should I cope up with a depressed and anxious wife?

My wife, who suffers from depression and anxiety, has been under my care. We’ve been dating for eight years now… During my night shift, I FaceTimed her from work, and she immediately broke down in tears and said that she had self-harmed. During our time together, she has only done this four times. That wasn’t the message I was trying to get across to her. We talked about coping mechanisms, etc… Everything I said was rejected without a second thought. As though she doesn’t want to try any of the solutions that could help her, I’m left feeling frustrated. When she said she didn’t have the energy to do anything, I responded with, “But you’ve got the energy to get up and self harm?” This was probably not helpful, but I was feeling very alone and irritated. For six years I worked as a health care assistant in a mental health hospital, so I am well-versed in how to assist her. Please share any thoughts or words of encouragement you may have.

HI Fran,

it is very different supporting a loved to supporting patients as you are emotionally involved. Likewise it can be more difficult to accept advice from a loved one. Does your wife receive outside help for her mental health?


My wife had a psychotic episode and was sectioned, in hospital for two months and home now. However she suffers from hopelessness and feeling very sad. However her treatment is working and the bad days are reducing and I’m seeing glimmers of my wife coming back.
The local crisis team were brilliant especially in dealing with coming home. My wife didn’t know she was ill, and that was tough, she is still coming to terms with it. Your GP or local healthcare team will be able to help. Treatment is a must, as carrying on as is won’t help. There is help, although support for spouses is thin in the ground. It will get better.

This is something that will be helpful to everyone, too, not just people whose partners are dealing with mental illness. Setting healthy boundaries and respectful communication about said boundaries are both very important things.

When you’ve thought of where your boundaries lie and have communicated where they lie, it becomes so much easier to see who respects them and who adds to your life. I recommend that omeglz everyone do this.