Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Depressed Husband


Several months ago, my husband took a emotional breakdown. This happened just before Christmas time & during work. Since then, he’s been in counseling with a registered psychotherapist. He was diagnosed with depression with anxiety disorders. He’s been improving thanks to psychotherapy. I was told by a colleague of mine who is a former addiction counselor that normally a spouse would also be asked to join in therapy. I have not as of yet been asked. In light of this, what advice can you give me that will enable me to support my husband on his road to recovery? And to understand his depression and anxiety disorder? He has not disclosed a lot of details to me as to why this happened? Thank you for your time.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Don’t sweat it too much that you’ve not been asked to join in psychotherapy. There are different schools of thought regarding how to treat different disorders. The dominant modes for treating depression are largely delivered as individual therapy (e.g., cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy). There can be value in viewing depression as a family disorder, but by and large, depression is treated through relationship counseling modes only when marital problems are the primary symptoms. To support your husband, communicate to him that you love him and accept him irregardless of whether or not he sees himself as a failure (and mean it). You can also educate yourself regarding the nature of depression and anxiety by reading books and articles on the Internet. This website would be a good place to start.

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand