Lately in the military community there has been growing discussion surrounding a topic that previously had been taboo — depression and anxiety among military spouses.
With frequent deployments, the number of spouses experiencing depression, anxiety and other disorders is increasing — and many sufferers don’t know where to look for help.
As a blogger in the land of military spouses I hear from women all the time who are suffering from depression, and unfortunately many believe they have nowhere to turn. I too suffered from anxiety and depression during my husband’s past deployments and felt as if there was no one to help me. Depression can stem from many things, but there are small tasks you can do to help prevent the agony of being depressed — especially when your spouse is deployed.
Create a positive environment
It is important to surround yourself with positive and encouraging people. This may seem “Kumbaya”-like, but you need to be around people who will offer an ear and won’t make you feel worse about your situation.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and tell someone you trust. Now is not the time to worry about what others will think. You should never be embarrassed or ashamed of your depression or anxiety. Being in the right frame of mind is much more important than worrying about people’s perception of you.
Remain socially engaged
I know depression can cause you to become anti-social, but if you have just an ounce of social strength, try to take advantage of the various groups available in your community or on your military base. There are several play groups and volunteer activities on base which can help you to feel less isolated and create a new support system.
Seek professional help
Lastly, if you are feeling that your depression is getting the best of you, there are a number of resources available for military spouses who need help. Start by checking out these helpful websites.
- MilSpousesofStrength.org — This military spouse support group offers resources for mental health assistance, a team of volunteer mental health professionals to answer general questions and also a depression test.
- MilitaryOneSource.mil — This organization offers free face-to-face counseling and allows you to be seen discreetly by an off-post mental health provider. In addition, they can help you find a number of other resources.
- MilitaryMentalHealth.org — This website provides anonymous mental health screenings and assessment tests to determine if you have symptoms of depression and helps you decide whether to seek further treatment.