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Pregnant with a depressed husband...HELP

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I need advice..suggestions...I don't know what to do. I'm 24 weeks pregnant. My husband just lost another job and sent himself into another depressive episode. He was diagnosed with clinical depression last fall although he admits he's been depressed for the last 12 years on and off. He got on meds for it last fall and things seemed to be going well until he lost his job again. He hasn't been able to hold a job our enire 8 year relationship. I now realize its probably the depression that keeps him from being able to function like everyone else and I want to save our marriage but Im under so much stress.

we have no income. My boss (I work pt as a dance instructor) wont return my phone calls since I filed for unemployment, which I only did as a requirement to get cash aid and food stamps. She hasn't offered me any work since and I was denied my unemployment. I'm scared that no one will hire me at 24 weeks pregnant although I have had 1.5 interviews. My husband says he is looking for work, but I don't really see him trying. He hasn't had any interviews and is waiting for his unemployment check.

I'm meeting with a therapist to help deal with the stress I feel. I called 911 and had my husband taken in for suicidal talk. His family and he thinks I overreacted and think the way I'm behaving about his depression is immature and very hormonally driven. I have no regrets about what I did. I think I may have saved his life or at least showed him that I care enough to take such talk seriously. But I need therapy b/c when he is depressed he takes it out on me. He doesn't see this, of course, but I am at fault for everything wrong in his life. He said the only thing keeping him alive was our 2 year old. His mom and sister have had 12 years experience dealing with his depression but they deal with it on a son/sibling level...He treats me very differently as a spouse and acts differently around me than he does them. Most of the time around them, he seems like nothing is wrong and I'm crazy. But when he does let them see how low he is and he doesn't get out of bed for them, they tell me not to take it personally and to leave him alone.

I've tried to do that, but then I get accused of only thinking about myself and my life is more important than his. When I assure him that is not true, he doesn't seem to believe me. He agreed to get therapy when they released him from the hospital, but its been almost 3 weeks and he's only met with me and my councilor. He does have an appointment this friday, and I'm hoping things go well. I'm just trying to hang in until then. He was staying with his mom and I let him come home because he seemed to be better and the meds seemed to keep him from being too low, but today he wouldn't get out of bed and said that he didn't even have the energy to watch Brodie while I ran errands. This concerns me b/c I do trust him alone with Brodie, but not what do I do when he said he doesn't have enough energy to watch him. I need to know that he can and that he is capable. I told him that I need him to be able to have that energy b/c I am going back to work full time to take care of all of us and if he feels he doesn't have the energy to watch brodie I need to know so I can apply for child care.

There is so much more to this and I'm so confused as to how I should feel. I'm trying not to get stressed, because I want this baby to be healthy, but im scared b/ c of my history of pre-clampsia and the fact that I have diabetes now. I feel like I know I need to take care of myself if even just for the new baby (tho' I know I have more reasons to take care of myself) but I'm finding it more and more difficult b/c I don't feel safe leaving him alone when he feels that low (my husband) and I can't just go off and take a walk to clear my own head. What should I do? Has anyone else been through this?

I'm also having to deal with the fact that I don't get my wish/dream to be that stay-at-home mom that homeschools my kids and does all that I wanted to do. I know meeting with the therapist will help, but I could use some encouragement from other natural moms who have had similar experiences.
post #2 of 20
Well, I don't have any advice, but a big hug to you mama.

My mom told many people that she thought my dad would kill himself; he was hospitalized for depression several times. However my dad's parents thought my mom was over-reacting, and always managed to get him released. My mom told them he would kill himself, and one day he did, when I was a baby.

Anyway, the moral is, LISTEN TO YOURSELF, if you think he needs to be hospitalized, keep calling 911!
post #3 of 20
More hugs for you!

It is hard enough to have a partner with depression when you are not pregnant. It sounds like a really difficult situation. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Do you have any support near you? Your friends or family that could help with Brodie or give you some extra hugs?

I was also wondering if your DH's medication is being closely monitored until he is stable for awhile?

I agree with Yuma, listen to your gut and do what YOU need to do to take care of you and your family.
post #4 of 20

That really sucks. I hope things get better for you guys.
post #5 of 20
Big Hugs mama. My DH isn't depressed but he has Borderline Personality Disorder, basically Bipolar. It's very hard. I have the luxury of just checking out of his life mentally when he is having an episode because he's not suicidal, just mean and nasty. It's become easy for me to realize that it's NOT about me, it's all his deal and I take our son and get out of the way for the duration of the episode.
Sometimes the best way to take care of those we love (and ourselves!) is to let go a little. You certainly don't want him killing himself but perhaps letting his mom and sister know that you have to take care of you, Brodie and the new baby right now and they HAVE to step up (and then live by your words!) will take some pressure off of you.
post #6 of 20
HUGS, mama, what a rough situation., it breaks my heart to read your story.
I like Lukas's mama advice, distancing yourself a bit, at least emotionally will help you, I hope.

I just find it pretty outrageous that his family obviously doesn't do anything to help your situation. If he had cancer and would be too sick to do anything would they give you lame advise like that?

I really hope you are going to find a way of helping yourself, cause honestly I don't think you are going to be able to help him. He's gonna have to get out of it by himself. Good luck, I will keep you in my thoughts.
post #7 of 20
Hugs to you. Maybe he could apply for Social Security for his depression. It may take awhile, but in the end it could make it a lot easier on your family. Who knows maybe in the end with Food Stamps and Social Security there might even be a way somehow that you could be SAHM and homeschool. :

I hope that things get better. I am sorry that his family is not being supportive of you. My mother has some severe emotional problems, and has had for a long time. She has often told her family (8 siblings) one thing and then me another. This has caused big rifts in our family. She has even said lies about me to them. She is getting better, but for awhile her whole family would not talk to me for about 4 years and did not come to see my first baby or even call. Its amazing how someone else's mental illness can really bring out the worst in families. :
post #8 of 20
No advice -- just
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

thank you, everyone

All your e-hugs and words do help. I'm still really stressed out today. I'm starting to feel like I will have to take myself out of the situation in order to have a safe birth. All this stress is really starting to make me worry about the baby. I feel a little crampy and sick to my stomach and I know that can't be good, right?

At the same time, I dred taking my son away from his daddy. He loves him so much. I do too. Taking myself away will be just has hard. I love my husband with all my heart, but he insists that he doesn't want therapy and doesn't need it. He's not suicidal right now. In fact, he seems okay some days. But then 2 days ago he told me he didn't even have the energy to watch Brodie. And today he's talking about getting a new job, after being angry towards me all morning. In my Opinion he deals with his feelings of worthlessness by saying that I do nothing to help make him feel better. He turns everything around on me and when I told him that I knew he didn't feel good, but he still had the responsibility to be a father, he got really upset and sarcastic with me. I feel like if I leave I have failed him as a wife even though I know reallythere is nothing I can do to "fix" him. I just can't stay here if he doesn't see that he needs help. I can't live like this anymore. I feel his family judging me and saying, "I don't understand why you can't, your his wife. We love him and would do anything to help him. " But I feel like they "baby" him. They buy him whatever he needs and wants, dispite the fact that he hasn't had one job interview and I've had 3. I apprecaite the fact they are here to help us, but really....he's an adult. I understand he has needs, but he doesn't feel he needs help from therapists. I really don't feel as a wife I can help him. I've done all I can. I still love him. I always will. And its breaking my heart to feel like its going to fall on me to pick up the kids and go. I'm scared if I do that it'll get ugly. I don't know what to do. I feel like if he ends up getting this job he called about today, he'll expect me to stay home and take care of the boys and I don't trust him to keep this job either. I don't trust him to take care of is. Isn't that horrible? I feel like I can't trust him because he's mentally ill. Does that make me a horrible wife and mother? How to I explain all of this to my 2 year old? Will he hate me if I leave?
post #10 of 20
Oh honey my heart hurts for the angst you are going through.

I wish you a strength and peace.
post #11 of 20
Not feeling like you can trust him DOES NOT make you a horrible wife and mother!!! You know him better than anyone. You have to follow your instincts. And yes you did the right thing by calling 911.

I wish I could give you an easy answer but there is none. Just know that depression is a disease and there is nothing you can do to change it. I myself have struggled with it in the past.

Have you contacted his doctor maybe they could change the medicine or the dosage he's on. I'm saying this b/c they had to do this with me at one point. Take care your in my prayers.
post #12 of 20
Maybe leaving for a while will help you both. He does need therapy that is obvious and you don't need the stress that he is putting on you. It sounds like the time you and your son are spending with him isn't that quality of time anyway perhaps he would cherish the time more if you weren't around all the time. No matter what you do, I feel for you. Depression is hard.
post #13 of 20
I have been in a similar situation with my dh, though fortunately it was before dd was born. He has held down work more consistently since she was born than ever before, and now has a stable job that promises a future.

With my dh, though, it was not depression alone, but a combo of depression and ADD. We went through years of psychiatrists telling him the two don't mix or that ADD is not present in adults, before he finally got someone to listen and allow him to try ADD meds. He has now found a psychiatrist who is an expert in adult ADD and has kept to a medication schedule for a couple of years, and the results have been amazing. It did take some time once we found the right meds for him to change, as a lot of behaviors were actually poor habits encouraged by the combined diseases. And some are things I know I will always have to live with. But we certainly had days/weeks/months before that when he would not get out of bed or look for work, and even now I make more than he does, as he is starting his third career since we married. (which I think was part of the problem, in that he was in careers that interested him, but were not a good fit with the disease he must live with.)

I would encourage you, if you can, to get your husband to a good psychiatrist, if you are not doing this already. Therapy alone will not help him, and he may still not be on the right meds or the right combo of meds. A good psychiatrist will be able to tell you if there is anything else going on besides depression that can be treated.

The one good piece of advice your in-laws gave you was to not take it personally. I know it is hard, but this truly has nothing to do with you. It took me years to come to the place where I could just let dh have his space during one of his "episodes." That said, if one continues for more than a day or two, I definitely do NOT leave him alone! I make sure he is on his meds, and that he has what support he needs to continue to function. For his part, he has gotten better at communicating to me what is causing the meltdown and what, if anything, I can do for him. If he were to become uncommunicative, or if I EVER heard him mention suicide, you can bet a call to 911 would be my response. I don't think you were immature or hormonal at all for doing that. It really is something you have to take seriously.

As for your child care issues, I would encourage you to go ahead and apply for child care. Please try to understand that with depression, it is not a matter of willpower but an actual physical inability to get out of bed. I have seen my husband there, and I have been there, and it is hard to understand from the outside, but all the pep talks and begging in the world really will not change it. Again, the right meds, the right doctors, can do wonders.

I also wanted to mention that if and when you have the resources, you might want to investigate energy healing. It helped me a ton with ppd and ptsd after dd was born, and I think it was helpful to dh as well. It is not a substitute for meds, but can help lift some of the negative energy that gets stored in our psyches and that we carry with us from month to month/year to year.

All the best to you, mama. I truly hope and pray things get better for you soon.
post #14 of 20
First off, I am so sorry this is happening now.

I want to tell you, as a child who grew up with a depressive father, that you need to do what is best for the children, Brodie and your unborn child. Yes, of course Brodie loves his daddy, but is being around his daddy the best environment for him? We lived in fear of making a wrong move that would cause my dad to kill himself. A lot of pressure to put on a little kid. And my dad, as much as he loves us, was prickly and fickle with his love (at least from our perspective) and so hard to understand. Plus, in the end, he really burdened, esp my brother, with way too much adult stuff before he was ready for it; it has negatively affected him to this day.

I think separating is a good idea, honestly. Of course, I don't know the whole story and am not a therapist or something, but I think it would give you the chance to rebuild your life in a more positive way, mentally, emotionally, and financially and prioritize the things in your life. Like other people said, you cannot help your husband. Lord knows my mom tries. 40 years of marriage struggling to placate a man who cannot be placated; he has a disease. You need to do what you can to survive and thrive with your little ones.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for sharing your stories. It really does help. I'm taking the good days for what they are, and I know we still have a lot of "bad" days ahead of us. After the last "short" episode, he agreed to look into child care "if" he gets this job he has an interview for (never mind the fact that it conflicts with the day and time he agreed to couple counciling...tho he did appologize) I told him I still feel a need to get a job myself until we have money back in our accounts and I know we are all in a place where I can trust him to manage his depression successfully. I also made sure to tell him it wasn't that I didn't TRUST HIM...it was more needing to feel like he also had a trust in me to help him manage his depression. Does that make sense? So, we will see how things go. Today was a good day and he took us to a local Pirate Festival and went to a scout meeting with a group of people who are looking to start a group in our area. I'm hoping this focus will help him and not overwhelm him, but I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm not getting my hopes up that things are "all better", you know. So thank you again. I really appreciate the words of encouragement. I know there may come a time when I have to walk away, and I'm also preparing myself for that. But for now...we shall see i guess.
post #16 of 20
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I have similar moments. My husband has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his combat service in Iraq while we were dating, and it manifests itself mainly in depression. Luckily, he started seeing someone several years ago and she's been wonderful for him, so it's mostly managed, but there's still a psych pharmacy in our bathroom and we have to play with his meds every so often.

Some days are better than others. One thing that helps us specifically is our communication skills. During Iraq we got really good at saying, "what are you really saying here?" or "this is what I really mean when I say this" or "I don't really mean that, but I'm feeling x, y, and z and that's how it's coming out and Im sorry." His therapist says our communication is better than some couples who are twice our age, and I think it's saved our relationship and our marriage more than once. Still, though, there are days when his behavior and mine just don't mesh.

Our sex life is a shambles, either because of his depression or because of his meds or both, we have dry spells that no newlywed couple should have. Sometimes he comes home from work so stressed out and depressed I think that he hates me, and my own hormones and history of bipolar just cause a downward spiral that goes nowhere. So while we're not as bad off as some people, there's a lot of improvement to be had.

Long story short, I feel you sister. Do what you need to do and keep us posted.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by aylaanne View Post

Long story short, I feel you sister. Do what you need to do and keep us posted.
Thank you. I will. Thank you for sharing your story as well. It helps to know that I'm not the only one going through this. We had couples therapy before and I thought we had the communication thing down, but now i'm not sure if I meant it when he said, "i've never been able to communicate with you". Our therapist felt we were doing fine and didn't need to come back (in the fall he said that) so when my husband hit his low moment and started saying that, he brought back up that he feels we shouldn't have stopped seeing him b/c I haven't changed. Which brings me back to...obviously we are not communicating b/c I thought we were fine. *sigh*

....in unrelated news....my mother-in-laws cat just walked in with a baby bird in its mouth. My son (and the cat) were very excited about this new little creature in our house. My husband and I took the poor thing to the nest we recenly found. Today my son has held a baby bird AND preying mantis...funny day!
post #18 of 20
Lots of hugs for you, sweetie. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. My mom's side of the family has a strong and lengthy history of depression and suicide, including my mom (depression, no suicide)... I tend to view this from a child's point of view, since that's my experience with it.

First, being concerned for YOU and for your child and your pregnancy is NOT being selfish, it is putting the needs of your children first and that is just good parenting. You cannot put your needs aside to take care of him right now... Do call 911 when he's suicidal. I've seen what that does to families and it's worse than any pain that a 5150 can cause. He needs to be seeing someone regularly to monitor his meds, too. You can also look into getting him on disability, especially with his history...

Take care of yourself - I second the "do what you need to do" sentiment. If he's willing to get help, great. If he's not, then you need to take care of yourself and your baby. You can't help someone who doesn't want it... I hope you have family and friends that you can lean on too. You shouldn't have to do this alone. I know it's hard to talk about your spouse's difficulties sometimes for fear they'll judge him or you for staying with him, but you need support.

Hugs and hugs and more hugs....
post #19 of 20

I just wanted to tell you that I am thinking about you. I come from a family with a very long line of mental issues (depression being the main one). I remember my fathers breakdowns as a child and it was very traumatizing. My father has since managed himself better. Now as an adult suffering from depression, I have forgiven him. It is hard on children, and spouses though. You need to do what is best for you and your children. Luckily, most depressed people have some moments where things are "clear." Maybe he will see what he is doing to you and agree to treatment. It took me about 5 years to admit I needed help and then about another 5 to actually get the help! I still won't see a counselor (I think I have gone to every one this area has to offer), but the medications I am on make a terrific difference in the quality of life I have! Good Luck with everything, and know that you are not alone!!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you. We've been having a "clear" couple of days. He may have found a job and that seems to put him in an "I am capable" sort of mood. I went ahead and accepted the 1st job I got offered. Its only part time and no benifits, and I'm still kind of weary about taking it right now. He doesn't seem to understand that I don't really trust him to hold onto a job even if he gets this job that he interviewed for. I asked him what would happen if he got this job and he said he would need his truck to drive to and from work if there was no public transit nearby.

The job I took was being an aid for a physically impaired person. I used to be a home attendant for my mother back in the late 90's. She was paralized from the next down. The job is only pt w/ no beni's. But its an income. I'm still looking for more full time work at a better rate. But I feel like I am doing the right thing for my family. The people I would be working for know I am 1/2 through my pregnancy and expect me to return after the baby is born. I really don't feel like I have a choice but to go back to work after my last few experiences with my husband. But I don't want to be an inconvience to these people and if I get a better job off, they will have to train another attendant. I still plan on doing an excellent job while I can, but I don't want to jepordize my chance at having the job by telling them if I find something better I'll have to leave them. They do know that I am looking for something more part time, but they don't know the entire story about my husband and his depression and him not currently working. I don't feel it would help me find a job to talk about that. As far as they know I'm just looking to get back into the workforce. So why do I feel so "bleck" about all this double talk? Have any of you ever had to work even when you'd rather be the SAHM? What did you do? Did you feel bad about the way you worded your situation to perspective employees? Did you take the 1st job you got offered or did you wait until you found what you wanted?
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