Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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Could a partner's depression lead to a divorce?

Many Americans suffer from clinical depression. This is more than mere malaise or a vague sense that they should be happier than they actually are. Clinical depression can manifest in many ways, and if you are the one living with a depressed spouse, you may have considered divorce as an option.

After all, being surrounded by doom and gloom all the time is hardly conducive to a healthy relationship. Sometimes depressed spouses behave in ways that are incompatible with a solid marriage. In an effort to put some pep back into their step, they may flirt with others or even have full-blown affairs. Alternatively, their depression may become so crippling that they take to their beds and quit working.

The combination of that economic pressure on an already shaky union could become the straw that breaks the back of the marriage. Before pulling the plug on your marriage, consider the options you may have to address the problem.

Get counseling

Marital counseling can open the door to the help that the depressed spouse desperately needs. Often, depressed people are in denial about their conditions and resist treatment. However, if they care to remain married, this could be the impetus they need to get well.

Try medication

Maybe your spouse recognizes their depression but has resisted taking antidepressants, as they previously had a bad experience. The pharmaceutical industry has come a long way since Prozac Nation hit bookstore shelves. There are many new drugs that can address the problem and help depressed people once again embrace their lives.

Planning to end the marriage

If you are truly ready to call it quits with your spouse, make sure that you have a plan in place to exit the marriage. This may include seeking custody of your minor children until your partner gets the help they need.

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