Depression and marriage don't mix. Even great marriages can fall apart when one of the couple suffers from depression.
It is important, then, to recognize some of the common thought patterns of depressed people in order to be compassionate with them and to be able to help them break these thoughts and return to normal life.
Read on to learn 3 destructive thoughts that were identified by Dr. Aaron Beck.
1. Mental filter - A common pattern in depressed people is that they only see their failures and inadequacies and are blind to their successes. For instance, if they make a joke at a party and everyone except for one person laughs, they perceive this to be that NO ONE thinks that they know how to tell a joke. If they prepare an elaborate meal for the in-laws and one thing gets burnt, they feel like the whole meal was ruined and they don't how to cook.
A lot of times the "non-suffering' spouse doesn't understand why they are feeling so bad since they see how delicious the WHOLE meal was or how 99% of the people laughed at his joke.
Keep this in mind and gently point out to them their successes until they will also admit to themselves that they are not as bad as they see it.
2. Disqualifying the positive. Even if you are able to bring to their attention their successes, they immediately dismiss your argument and give an excuse why it happened. "Yea, you know them, they laugh at anything" or "They are such nice people. They only laughed to make me feel good."
In the example of the meal with the in-laws, she might say, "Those things? They are so easy to make anyone can do it". Be prepared for this reaction and don't fall for their explanations. Gently point out that they don't always laugh at jokes or the other courses of the meals are also hard to cook. Stick to your guns.
3. Personalization- With this thought pattern the person suffering from depression sees themselves as the cause of botch ups and failures even though they are not really responsible.