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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My wife is going through out-patient treatment for a nervous

Customer Question

My wife is going through out-patient treatment for a nervous breakdown/severe chronic depression. She feels overwhelmed by everything. We were married in Nov 2011 and she is having a hard time dealing with the expectations she set on herself for what being a wife means as well as a new job that she hates. Since the treatment center is closer to her parents' house, she has been staying there for the last 5 weeks. How long does it take to recover from a nervous breakdown and what can I do to not push her further away?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It can be very difficult to know how to help your wife. She is in a difficult situation and knowing the right things to say and/or do can be hard.

The best and most supportive thing you can do is to be there for her. That sounds very simplistic, but it is true. Someone who feels distressed about life and overwhelmed needs to know they are not alone. By being there for her, you are helping her feel supported.

Talk to her. She needs to vent her feelings to someone, especially if she is overwhelmed. You can respond with supportive statements such as I understand, I would feel the same way or It sounds like you are angry, sad, etc. By responding to her in a supportive way, she feels like someone hears her.

Actively listen. Sometimes that just involves looking directly at someone and nodding your head. Or it means responding with supportive statements.

Make a plan. Along with listening to her, talk to her about ways the both of you can change her situation. Start small. For example, if she feels she hates her job, ask her how long she wants to stay in it before you both start looking for a new one for her. Offer to be there to help with whatever she needs.

Consider counseling together. Even if you just go for a few sessions, it can help you both find ways to bond and communicate so she feels better about her life.

I hope this has helped you,
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
This resource may help as well:


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