what to do? My wife may be depressed and I'm not sure what to do...

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pub52
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/27/2009 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Our life has been full of challenges. My wife has dealt with cancer twice in recent years. The second time was awful. Over my 35 year career I've have changed jobs and locations much more than most. Most of the time it has been for the better for both my wife and myself.. My wife hasn't had to work as I have been able to provide. We've lived in some great places in including the Colorado mountains and Tahoe. Off and on for years my wife seems to have suffered with bouts of depression. For many years she has blamed me and the moves for her unhappiness. She has even blamed me for causing her cancer. We made a move recently that dramatically reduced our financial pressure. I thought this was going to do the trick but things have gotten much worse.

My wife seems to be agitated most of the time. Neighbors annoy her. She believes our current neighbor mimics her every move...washing clothes when she does, vacuuming she she does, walking in her apartment above us with her shoes on annoys her and so on. When she drinks it's even worse and I can expect to have my head handed to me. Sleep has been a real challenge for my wife. She usually sleeps in 3 to 4 hour increments and is up or sleeping any time of the day or night. She often does not take phone calls from her family. She has no friends nor does she try to make them. She doesn't like leaving the house. She has accidents... falls, bangs into things or burns herself more than what seems to be normal. She seems to comment a great deal about how people view her. Much of her talk is negative about life and people. She spends most of her waking hours in front of her computer playing on line games associated with Facebook. There are brief periods these days that the great woman I married peaks through. This gives me hope but it seems like depression based on what I am reading. She refuses to seek help.

I know I have my own challenges and am not always there when she needs me but I find it hard to believe that I could cause cancer or depression. We all make choices. I'm beginning to be at my whits end. Sometimes lately she seems very unstable and I just don't know what to do. She threatens to leave me and I do the same. I've made the mistake of getting in shouting matches or even arguments and any sort of discussion even in a calm manner goes no where.

Well I'm rambling. Thank you for listening.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40592
   Posted 12/27/2009 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pub52,
 
Welcome to the HealingWell depression forum.  I am so sorry for what you are going through.  I am surprised that the doc hasn't put her on antidepressants due to her cancer.  Generally they do.  Maybe she just doesn't want to take them.
 
Remember when she is angry and blaming you, it is the depression talking, not herself.  Though I know that this is hard, because words can hurt.  Be patient with her, she will come around soon and realize that none of this is your fault.  So please don't blame yourself.  You are not at fault.  You sound like a very kind and caring person and I don't want you to doubt that.  When she blames you, like I said, it is the depression talking, not her. 
 
Keep posting, we are all here for you.  Maybe you could talk to her doctor and they might give her something for her moods.  I know that she doesn't want to take antidepressants, but often we don't realize that we are feeling bad until we start feeling better.  So talk to her about it.  Let her know that what she says hurts you.  Be open and honest.  Love her.
 
Take care, keep posting as I said.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/27/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi pub52,

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds very difficult.

The only real answer is to work on her about seeing a doctor or therapist. She clearly needs some help, and it will do her good if you let her know you're her best ally and friend.

Do you have a family? Kids? Pets?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18762
   Posted 12/28/2009 3:45 AM (GMT -7)   
hi pub52. sorry for your situation. keep being strong, and know that we are here for you. compassionate healings, jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


pub52
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/28/2009 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
The challenge is she choose not to seek counseling. She tired an antidepressant briefly but it made her feel badly.Yesterday afternoon was great. Today is horrible. that's the way it seems to go. But more bad days recently than good. This has gone on for greater than 5 years. We're new to this area and we have no friends or family near by. I think the best bet for me is to seek counciling which will piss her off but....I'm at my wits end. I get so angry and then feel so badly about the situation. She'd rip my throat out if she new I was in this forum even discussing the situation. I may have to just get out of this 20 year marriage and nearly 30 year relationship. That pains me.
Thanks for the support.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18762
   Posted 12/28/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
give the counselling a go. all the best. jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40592
   Posted 12/28/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
As Jamie says, give counseling a go.  For you...  I am sorry that she doesn't want you to seek help.  This for me is strange, she should encourage you to help yourself and being on this forum is a good thing.  Makes me suspiscious. 
 
I hope that things get better soon.  Keep posting, we are all here for you.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 12/28/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear pub,
Welcome. I agree with the others about perhaps trying counseling for yourself for a while.

As for your wife, have you talked with her oncologist? While all those symptoms can indicate primary depression, it is possible that something else is the primary cause & the depression is secondary. I'm not sure what kind of cancer she had, but certain types of cancer as well as certain treatments for cancer can affect hormone levels. In those cases, sometimes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be helpful. It is also important to make sure the cancer hasn't returned or spread. Sadly, I lost a friend at age 34 because they diagnosed her with primary depression. She had had a double mastectomy & was 5 years cancer-free. By the time she finally got around to her annual visit with her oncologist (a bit longer than the 12 months she was supposed to follow-up in), it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain & that was what was causing the mood changes. They figured out that it was actually present on her MRI at the prior visit, but was missed due to its location. Beyond that, anemia, pernicious anemia, thyroid issues, etc. can all contribute to unstable moods, so it really it key that she be checked out by a doctor first. Besides all that, I've learned that while they used to attribute sleep disturbances to depression, the latest research all seems to show that depression is often secondary to insomnia/sleep problems. Perhaps one thing that might help her think more clearly about everything would be to try talking her into getting on a routine sleep medicine for a while first. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to make any real difference in mood, so perhaps you could try giving that a chance for a month & then see if she is open to considering counseling and/or anti-depressant medications. I personally understand how hard it is to make sense of things when I'm lacking sleep. My mind starts operating in something like a dream-state, mixing together thoughts & ideas that don't belong together (people are out to get me, someone caused me to be sick, I can't go to sleep or I won't wake up, etc.).

Regardless of what the cause of her feelings is, know that you did not cause her cancer. It is horrible for both of you that you had to go through that. Chronic illness tears apart a lot of families & it is admirable that you are trying to fight for your marriage. It sounds like she is very lonely -- spending all that time on facebook. Hopefully once she finds a helpful treatment (whatever that may be), she will start going out more & will be back to her old self.

Know you are always welcome here.

blessings,
frances

pub52
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/29/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to you and everyone else for your feedback. I've got an appointment tomorrow morning with a cognative behavior therapist to start with myself to put me in a better position to try to help my wife. She had malignent melonoma with a horrible treatment called biochemotherapy. She just dosen't want to see any kind of doctor at this point. If she isn't drinking, I find I can at least communicate with her as long as I stay positive and don't suggest that she has any issues. Sometimes I can be too judgemental and have the urge to try to fix everything. I realize that it is best to put that side of me in check as all it does is irritate. That's a start. I expect to learn how to be a better partner through therapy. She booked a night out for New Year's Eve and despite everything, she seems to be looking forward to that night. I'm kind of surprised based on some of the things that come out of her mouth about me. I know the person I love is sitll there.

It really is nice to have support. Many thanks to all of you. Here's to a healthy and happy New Year.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40592
   Posted 12/29/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
You are right Pub,

But I think all men feel the need to "fix" things. And trying to fix something like this can be very frustrating. She has to work this one out for her self. Though I think that the CBT can help you to deal with this. And cope. I know that it is hard watching your partner deal with cancer. I hope that her treatments go well. With not too much discomfort.

Keep posting, you have come to a good supportive place, know that we are here for you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18762
   Posted 1/3/2010 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
good on you pub52. some excellent self-wisdom. or as i call it,
SELF-ACTUALISING!! ALL THE BEST. jamie. you are on the right track!!!
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


Pinks
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 1/4/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of medication to balance things up in the body. Or perhaps your wife needs to have a talk with a good doctor. Whatever it is, you must always be there for her and support her decisions - I'm a woman and it helps having a husband who understands. All the best for you and your wife.
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