Mothering Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband has always been moody and has had periods of depression. In the last two weeks though he has gotten really really really sad and anxious. I have urged him to see a counselor throughout our relationship. He always agreed that he should, said he'd make the call and then never did. So anyway, finally today he has an appointment and is diagnosed with moderate depression and anxiety. He is going to try some meds. I hope they work fast. Seriously I am having a very hard time being a good partner to him right now. I know I need to be supportive and I want to be but it is so hard because he is so hard to be around right now.

First, not like there is ever a convenient time for illness but now is really NOT a convenient time for this. We are moving in a week and a half and have to pack up and move all our belongings.

Second, if I ask him to do anything or get annoyed at anything he forgets to do he gets all bent out of shape and says I'm not being supportive.

Third, he is really snappy and seems to think that i need to just let it all go and that it's okay because he is depressed.

Argh, so i feel like a world class b*tch typing all this out but I am really struggling here. I love him so much and want to be here for him but I need him to buck up a little too.

Or am I wrong and I need to just let him be how he's being and just smile and hug him?

Help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,387 Posts
Ok, I am looking at this from your DHs point of view because I have been where he is. First off, it can take as long as 6 months to feel the full effects of the medication. On the same note it can take up to 6 months for ill or positive effects of the medication to wear off. So you may be in for the long hall. However, several medications I tried worked great right off the bat, but wore off weeks or months later. So you are truely in for the long haul just trying to find the proper medication. And I was only treated for depression, since he has anxiety too it may be twice as hard trying to get two medications to work properly together.

Second. You are moving, that is causing a lot of stress on your DH. Stress to a person with depression makes the depression worse and more difficult to deal with. Something that may seem small and insignificant to you, may be a huge deal to him. Taking out the garbage may seem like a lot of effort. There were times when getting out of bed was just too much.

This doesn't give him the green light to be mean or snappy at you or the children. If he is feeling like he can't handle you guys, then maybe he can go into his own room until he has a handle on his emotions, or he can go for a walk, or whatever works for him.

You mentioned that right now is not a good time for an illness but in your first paragraph it sounded like he has been depressed for a while. You should feel lucky that he decided to get help since right now is probably when he will need it the most.

I know it is hard to be supportive, I don't know how my DH put up with me, I really don't. I went from happy go lucky, to laying in bed all day, to sitting in a corner crying, to getting annoyed and either yelling or crying over the tiniest things. I literally had no control over my emotions when I was at home. When we were out I acted as happy as I could be, joking, laughing, etc. Then as soon as we got home I would break down from the stress of having to put up a false front. I am assuming your DH works out of the home? If so then he may be holding all of his feelings in all day and puting up a false front, then when he gets home he lets it all out. Unfortunitly you are the one who has to deal with the real him.

Is your DH also going to counceling? I would highly reccomend he go to counceling and get on meds. Just having an unbiased person to talk to for an hour, once a week makes a big difference. Plus this person can help him deal with his depression and how to be a better partner to you, and a better father to your children. Just meds isn't enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
My dh struggles with depression and it can be miserable to live with! I second the counseling recomendation (possibly for you too).

We have learned that when he is really down, it is better if we are both really honest about what is going on. He will say "I am really depressed, right now. It doesn't have anything to do with you. I love you..but I can't be happy right now." It doesn't make it easy to deal with, but at least I know that he isn't angry/disappointed/miserable about me, and that helps me cope with his down-times.

It's tough, mama. I know that it isn't his fault, but sometimes I just want to shake him and yell, "Snap out of it! You are being ridiculous!". I don't, because it wouldn't help and it wouldn't be fair...but that doesn't mean I don't have the impulse.

You are not a meanie for feeling frustrated with your dh. His responsibility is to start dealing with his depression in positive ways (counseling, meds, etc.) Yours is to help him do that. Be patient, but let him know what you need, too. It may not be possible for him to give you everything that you need, right now...but in my experience, my dh and I cope with his depression better when I operate somewhere between acting like everything is peachy and sulking and fuming that he isn't being there for me. If I go too far in either direction, I start feeling things fall apart.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Quote:
First, not like there is ever a convenient time for illness but now is really NOT a convenient time for this. We are moving in a week and a half and have to pack up and move all our belongings.
My DH suffers from sometimes debilitating depression and anxiety and I know that it often rears its ugly head just when you least want or need it - it has a lot to do with stress and fear and anxiety about life changes. I hope the counseling and meds work - be patient as possible with the meds, though, it sometimes takes people a while to find the type and dosage that work for them. It can be very frustrating - my DH thought nothing would ever work for him since he'd tried nearly everything on the market, but a new drug came out that finally works somewhat.

I would agree with the PP who suggested counseling for you as well as your partner - it is very difficult to get the support you need from a depressed person, who can be so shut down it's like talking to the wall - it has helped me a lot to be able to vent, complain, and figure things out with a therapist. Also, I am very bad at taking time for myself but it's really crucial when you're living with a depressed person - there is a high incidence of partners developing depression, it sort of "rubs off" as you deal with the constant lethargy and negativity.

I found a lot of support on the depressionfallout.com boards when my DH was going through a rough time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much! I really hesitated to post because I was afraid everybody would jump all over me saying that I was making it all about me and being a horrible partner. So thank you for getting what I am really feeling.

Yes, he is going to counseling as well as taking meds. And the counselor is one I have seen in the past and he would like to see us both together some. I see what you're saying that maybe I should see one on my own as well.

I feel so much better after hearing from you all. It is good to know I am not just a total selfish jerk.

I am afraid we may be in for the long haul with getting some meds to work. Dh's mother had very very very very severe depression several years ago and could not find a drug to work. She eventually had electro shock therapy (yes they still do that) and it actually did work. Now she takes meds that keep it at bay. So I am hoping and praying that it is easier for my sweet dh.

Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. I post here at MDC often but I don't usually ask for such personal advice. I'm so glad that I had you all to come to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,387 Posts
It is so good to hear that your DH is in therepy as well. And it is great to hear that you are open to going as a couple, as well as on your own. I agree that couples therepy as well as seperate is the best bet. Talk to your DHs councelor and see if they wouldn't mind seeing each of you individually, then again as a couple. If you see the same person then it may be easier for them to help you work on your marriage because he/she will hear each of your concerns seperately then again as a couple. They may be able to say "Well in your session you mentioned X in your session, and Fred mentioned X in his session. How do you think you can work on this as a couple?" etc. BUT I would definitly make sure the councelor asks each of you if it's ok to share X in group sessions because somethings you may not feel comfortable shareing with your DH in that setting.

It's great to hear that your DH is so open to all of this (many DHs aren't). I really hope he finds what works soon, or at least something that works in the short term to get past this time of high stress. The best part is that you both recognize there is an issue and you both are willing to work on it with a professional.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,463 Posts
Oh hon PM me. I lived it asnd have myself been on both sides and Dh is now on lightest form of meds and is a new man. We foght off meds for a bit but his anxiety was beyond anything and destroying us.............he'd cry, lash out. miss work, etc...................

Just let him know it has been hard on you too but that you are there for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
Chrissy! I can so relate to everything! We're six months into dh's diagnosis of depression. Some days are good and some are bad. DH just started his fourth antidepressant and finally started therapy a few weeks ago. Hopefully this one will work for him. It's a rollercoaster and I never know how what to expect. There are days when I want to yell at him to stop being so selfish and to do something.

So much to say, but I can't keep my train of thought. Just know that I'm here for you to lean on and talk to.

Pam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Quote:
If you see the same person then it may be easier for them to help you work on your marriage because he/she will hear each of your concerns seperately then again as a couple. They may be able to say "Well in your session you mentioned X in your session, and Fred mentioned X in his session. How do you think you can work on this as a couple?" etc.
I wanted to mention that my DH and I see separate counselors in the same practice, and then have one big group session where all four of us are there. This allows the counselors to focus on our individual needs but then to also work together for the marriage counseling part of it, and they can act as an advocate for each of us in the group sessions. Not all insurance companies will pay for that kind of therapy, though, but it works really well for us.

Quote:
I really hesitated to post because I was afraid everybody would jump all over me saying that I was making it all about me and being a horrible partner. So thank you for getting what I am really feeling.
I know it is hard to express your own emotions and frustrations after living with a depressed person - you worry about being or appearing insensitive, about "triggering" another bout of depression, etc etc, but it really is crucial that you find at least one space where you can do that. One of the hard things for me is that I can't always vent to my DH like I used to, that's why it's really important for me that I am close to my mom and have more anonymous places like this board to help me, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Hugs, Chrissy!!

I can totally relate. My DH has suffered severe depression his entire life, and has threatened and attempted suicide during the course of our relationship. It is tough on the partner, and it is tough AS the partner trying to figure out how you should react to the depression. On one hand, sometimes I'd feel like I should be 110% understanding and sympathetic to everything because I wouldn't be annoyed with him if he had cancer or some other disease. On the other hand, he has been a complete nightmare to live with at times, and I felt so pushed to the brink over and over again.

ITA that it always seems to get worse at the absolute worst times. Like, recently, right after our DD was born. I just had to tell him, I know YOU are having a hard time right now, but I've got a week old baby to take care of and I have nothing else to give you right now. Its okay to tell your DH that he can feel whatever he feels, but its not cool to be snappy with you.

We have done individual and marriage counseling and have found it helpful at varying times to varying degrees. DH has never found individual counseling particularly useful to him. I think he feels uncomfortable at the sort of forced intimacy of it. He is currently in a 12 step program and he seems a lot more comfortable working things out like that. Whatever works is fine with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,572 Posts
omg we have so much in common! except my husband won't go to counseling or get medication (he just got a new job and no insurance for 6 months, also he claims he can't find anyone with evening hours anyway). we just moved and barely anything is unpacked because he is always tired, or moody, or needs to be alone, or just wants to play with the baby and not do any work around the house. i'm disabled so i can't move most of the boxes, i've unpacked the majority of the stuff so far and i am hurting, hurting, hurting! i need to rest. he hasn't even seen a therapist yet, but he uses his depression as an excuse for things anyway. "you know i'm depressed, cut me some slack" and he also wonders why i just don't "get over it" about him attacking me 5 weeks ago.

my ex had ADHD and unless he stayed on his meds faithfully, all hell broke loose. it is so hard to watch someone self-destructing! you end up feeling like you have to take care of them and yourself and your babe(s) all at the same time. take care of yourself, mama, first! other than that i have no advice yet, i'm still figuring things out here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
My boyfriend can probably relate to what you are going through. I have struggled with manic depression since I was 13 years old. The Dr. thinks that it may have been triggered by me witnessing my father trying to commit suicide while I was in the house. Hmmmm imagine that.

I've been on and off medication since then. There are days that I can't even get m yself out of bed and into the shower. And when the kids are home it gets even worse. He tries so hard to understand what I go through, but it gets rough for him to do it all some days. I do give him credit, and grateful that he puts up with me.

Please try and understand what he is going through. The more you nag on him to do things the more depressed he is likely to get. Because then he is going to feel worthless and inadequate for your family. And I know that you don't want to upset him anymore then he already is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
I can SO relate to your post it's not funny. In fact I have posted about the exact same problem myself here on this board. The thing is, I think you can expect for people to take seriously the fact that you are talking about YOUR problem being the spouse of a depressed person, not talking about your partner's problem.

When I met and started dating my spouse he had just started taking a med for depression and he still is (six years later). What drove me crazy is that he wasn't really in talk therapy during that time but just getting the med prescribed to him by a psychiatrist. I would get really angry from time to time because no amount of nagging would get him to see someone. And we have insurance that covers it. He would promise to and then never do it. This goes also for going to the dentist, getting a regular check-up (and he's had cancer so should have regular MRIs), etc. The point is for me is that he won't take care of himself, even for my and ds's sake. I think being the partner of someone with depression is very, very hard, not least because you easily feel guilty for getting angry at someone who is already feeling down. You mention that the timing is bad--well, it sounds as if you need him to be there--present--more than ever because you need a lot of help what with the moving. It is less of a partnership and you can feel lonely when someone isn't really there with you 100 %. That's how I feel.

Now, he's in therapy, and the reason for that is that finally I decided that if it took me going with him, to couples counseling, it would get him into some sort of therapy AND it would be good for our marriage. And so far, it's been good. It's been about 5 sessions now. I am there for most of these sessions so I can see what's going on. I'm not saying it's all him and the only reason I instigated this is because it was a ruse to get him there; in fact I'm going to benefit as least as much as he is. But I finally realized it was going to take something drastic like making the calls to find a therapist myself and making the appointment. I must say it's great that you recognize this as hard on you and have reached out to ask advice. The meds may or may not help but if the right one it usually makes quite a difference. I personally believe that it's meds + therapy that really makes the work deep and lasting.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top