• Our latest book:

    By Amy and Bernadette
  • Also by Bernadette and Amy:

About Us and Our Work

Depression is an exhausting, frightening illness. Those who are depressed need care from supportive friends and family, and medical and mental health professionals in order to overcome the disease. Websites, pamphlets, articles, books, and talk shows are devoted to the topic of helping the depressed.

In contrast, little attention is given to the plight of those of us who are married to depressed spouses. But the trials we face are very painful, and very real. We may feel overwhelmed by loss: the loss of a parenting partner, a financial partner, even the loss of our spouse in the case of suicide. We ourselves may experience symptoms of depression due to the continual strain of living in close quarters with the illness. We may feel abandoned by God if prayers for healing appear to go unanswered.

We are the authors of two books designed to help those who live with and care for a depressed person:

“Dancing in the Dark: How to Take Care of Yourself When Someone You Love is Depressed” (Central Recovery Press, 2012)

“Let Me Sow Light: Living With a Depressed Spouse” (ACTA Publications, 2008)

We also offer presentations and support groups to mental health agencies, churches, and businesses.

Note: While we are not medical or mental health professionals, our lives have been touched by the pain of depression. If your own situation is dire, or if you fear for your own or a loved one’s safety and well-being, contact an emergency room or your own doctor immediately.

BERNADETTE STANKARD and her husband, Ed, have been married for 37 years, half of which was spent dealing with Ed’s depression. Through his perseverance and their commitment as a couple, they have grown into good health together, realizing the gift of life they share which could have been lost.

Bernadette is the author of several books and gives presentations on creativity and multiple intelligences to schools, churches, and businesses. In her spare time she helps her husband run a café in downtown Overland Park, Kansas. They have two grown children.

AMY VIETS knows first hand what it means to live with depression. She and her husband Bruce struggled through twelve years of marital, emotional, and financial strain as they searched for an effective combination of therapy and medication. With Bruce’s return to health and the rebuilding of their relationship, she recognizes the importance of helping others survive the darkness of depression in their spouses.

Amy, a former elementary school teacher, is now the Director of Children’s Ministry for a large ELCA Lutheran congregation in Overland Park, Kansas. Her articles and essays have appeared in a number of religious and parenting publications. She is the author of Making Faith Fun from ACTA Publications. Amy and Bruce are the parents of three teenagers.

8 Responses

  1. I have awarded you a blogger award! All the details are in my post here: http://littleblogoflettinggo.com/2013/05/20/more-awards-oh-my/
    You have been a true inspiration to me, and I feel fortunate to be able to promote your wonderful blog. Thank you for doing what you do! =D

  2. I am so pleased to have found your site. My mother has chronic illness calle scleordermia and polmyoycitis. She is dealing with a maginitude of symptoms and depression. She once was very independant and made her own living. Most of her depression stims from this fact, she hates to receive any kind of help via social security and from family.

    I am looking forward to following so I can help her and my family cope. Thank you so much, A. Zych.

  3. Thank you for liking my post on http://www.bipolarlessons.com

    I think it is interesting to hear the other side of the story and how major depression affects those around the afflicted individual. I am sure it is horrible but I see that you have a compassionate point of view. So many people think that depressives are out to ruin their lives and this is simply not true. With everything I have been through it never entered my mind even once to ever hurt anyone. I hurt them none the less, but not through malice. I just didn’t have the coping skils to behave differently.

    I intend to read more on this site to gain insight for myself. So many people just want to punish the mentally ill and it is difficult to hear it and actually makes me more depressed! However I also believe that I need to hear the respectful points of view so that I can learn to not be so much of a burden on others.

    Thank you for taking a honest and caring look on this topic.

  4. We’re always thankful when our words are meaningful to others. I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts. -Amy

  5. I just wanted to let you both know that finding this blog is a God-send for me. My boyfriend (future husband) was recently diagnosed with depression and prescribed anti-depressants.
    After reading your blog and others, in retrospect I should have see his depression coming a mile away over the past several months. The sudden lack of participation around the house, the disappearing motivation in general, then the anger and irritability.
    The depression has now moved him into a stage of being emotionally distant (alienating himself from me in particular), unfeeling, and self-absorbed. This weekend was particularly brutal and full of tears on my end. But as I read up on what depression really is and how to get through it, and as I see little pieces of his sweet, caring, nerdy, healthy personality shine through, I find that I’m able to dig up bits of hope where I least expect them.
    Will it be an easy journey? No. Is he worth it? Unreservedly yes, and I will do my best to help him every step of the way. But thank you for putting your stories out there so I know I’m not alone on this insane but sometimes wonderfully beautiful rollercoaster. It is very much appreciated!

  6. Thank you, ladies, for liking my blog http://familyanswersfast.wordpress.com/ . I love the work you are doing here for two big reasons. Helping families in their time of need is critical to break isolation and prevent relationship deterioration. Also, my husband is a Clinical Psychologist (one of the good ones) and we both have a big heart for those who struggle with mental health issues. I hope you’ll visit me again and I look forward to learning more from you 🙂 A blessed Advent to you both!

  7. Thanks so much for following my blog! I’ve read several of your posts, and I appreciate the down to earth, yet optimistic perspective that you write from. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • I’m enjoying your posts, too. Funnily enough, though I was checking out your blog through the guise of my other blog, Mom Goes On (www.momgoeson.wordpress.com). Hope you’ll stop by there sometime, too! 🙂

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