Handling depression in your signifcant other

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Penny93
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Date Joined Apr 2017
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   Posted 4/20/2017 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello! I'm new to the community and just seeking some advice on how to cope with your significant other's depression. He deals with anxiety and PTSD from some health issues he dealt with a couple years back that forced him to have surgeries consistently over a period of a year and a half. It kind of took away his motivation to strive for more in life and to get out of the rut that he's in. We're discussing whether he should go across the country to a clinic and help him sort out his demons and I'd like some advice on whether that's helped anyone who's done it. And what I can do to help him feel better. Thanks!

Tim Tam
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 4/20/2017 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I think it's good that you are trying to help him.

Is this a special, one of a kind clinic across the country?

There's not good help near where he lives?

Penny93
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Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/20/2017 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tim, I don't know too much about it at this point but I think part of what his family thinks will help him is the distance. That relinquishing everything that ties him to home will help him deal with everything. What are your thoughts on this? He also isn't my husband and we don't have kids or mortgages grounding us in an area and several people have told me that him being in a relationship while he gets help will hinder him. Feedback is appreciated smile

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41698
   Posted 4/20/2017 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Depending on the effects of the depression, a lot of times being alone helps. It isn't really that anybody would like to be alone, but they need to focus on themselves. Which seems kind of selfish, but it isn't. They just need no distractions. He could still be in a relationship with you, but probably not much communication on his part. They do really need to focus on themselves at this time.

Has he been to any therapy? That often helps depending on the severity of the depression. Seeing a psychiatrist helps too. Is he taking any medications?

I hope that things get better. You may have to wait for awhile, there really aren't any time limits on getting better. It is so hard to say what is going to happen when he gets better.

Welcome to the forum.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Penny93
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/20/2017 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the feedback, Karen. I do agree that it is important for him to fix what he's dealing with and I think not being in a relationship with me might benefit him in that he doesn't need to worry about anything or anyone but himself. Not that I would prefer us to be separated for so long but his anxiety, depression, and PTSD do hinder our relationship from being as successful as it could be and if we would have to take a break for 6 months for him to work on himself, it would seem like the best thing for the long run.

Tim Tam
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 4/20/2017 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry to hear of his difficulties. It sounds like it was really rough.

It's good that he has some help, and that you reached out for support.

Being both the patient and the caregiver can be very difficult.

A lot of people are both, and their problem can cause their thinking and their decision making to diminish, and their positive thinking to go down with that, also.

To have the caregiver as a second person, is a big help. So, it's really good that you are reaching out for help. It took me years to finally think about a help line.

You say:

1. "I don't know too much about it at this point but I think part of what his family thinks will help him is the distance. That relinquishing everything that ties him to home will help him deal with everything."

Of course, whatever the family says is probably going to be very important. They perhaps know him best, and it's good that they, too, are really working on this.

Are you, or anyone else, going to be going with him? If so, what are your feelings about going across the country? For how long? A few weeks? A few months? A few years? What if he wants to live out there? Are you willing to relocate?

What then if he wants to move back?

No kids, no marriage, no house, which is good for moving. What about if you have a job here?

How is all of this going to be financed?

You asked: "What are your thoughts on this?"

In a way, I don't know, because there's a lot I don't know about this. But one of my views is, when my now deceased wife had a difficult illness some years ago, we were faced with such a situation: treat here at home, or go 1,000 miles away to a treatment center.

One way of looking at it is, the treatment center 1,000 miles away is probably, in this case, basically the same thing they offer at some treatment centers here in our town.

Secondly, by staying home for the treatment, we got to stay in our own house and cook our own meals at no increase in price from what we were already paying.

To go 1,000 miles away for possibly the same basic treatment, would mean paying motel and restaurant bills for possibly months or more.

Huge savings by staying home. Relatives and friends could come by here at our house. More comfortable surroundings in our own house and town.

Of course, if there is better treatment across the country, you'd have to think about that.

What does he think? Does he want to get away?

You say, "several people have told me that him being in a relationship while he gets help will hinder him."

I don't understand that. For one, who's going to help him if he is out there by himself? He'll be both the patient and the caregiver, which, again, can be difficult.

I think it would be a help if you were out there. What did they mean by that?

Does he want you to accompany him in the new town?

So, he's got depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Is he doing OK from the surgeries?

You say, "It kind of took away his motivation to strive for more in life and to get out of the rut that he's in."

Is he in a physical rut, or a psychological rut, or some of both?

You say, "We're discussing whether he should go across the country to a clinic and help him sort out his demons and I'd like some advice on whether that's helped anyone who's done it."

I've never been in a situation where I felt I needed to move away from where I was. I was stuck in a town where I thought I did not have a job/social future, and I've never been so glad to get out of a town in my life.

So, I do know of it from that standpoint, and there were other towns where I didn't have a job, and I didn't want to live there. So I do know something about that, and there is something to that: getting out of town.

So, he may have a point.

You say, "And what I can do to help him feel better."

Helping him get out of depression might be good. Is he getting any treatment?

I'm bipolar, and because of a health condition I don't get out of the house much.

I have a helper who really helps, and brings me items from stores and the grocery and what not, and I think from time to time, these are things UI would never have if she didn't bring them to me, because I basically don't get out except to go to the doctors.

So, little things like that might help.

You might have to put your feminine intuition to work to figure out what you think is best about moving across the country. And I don't have that. You might also need to listen to him, and what he is saying.

Penny93
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/20/2017 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Tim, I appreciate your sympathies
I would not be going with him, it's 3,000 miles away. I would be able to because my job is something I do from home but I don't think that he'd ask me to go with him or that it would be a good idea, I am open to suggestions otherwise though
He's unsure about whether he wants to go away but we have not researched in depth about whether it is the best treatment option yet.
I'm not sure what they meant by that but I understand them not wanting us to be together while he is receiving treatment because it would help him focus on healing when he only has to worry about himself.
Thank you for asking, he is doing ok from the surgeries but is still in both a psychological and physical rut. We've discussed his psychological hindrances but his surgeries have left him with ailments often because his immune system isn't strong and he suffers from insomnia because of his anxiety.
He is taking medication to help alleviate his anxiety and he sees a psychiatrist regularly but he is still depressed and his family doesn't think this is enough to help him feel 100% again
Yes I've spoken to friends but no professionals about it as him potentially going away for treatment is a new topic for us.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 4/21/2017 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your reply.

Since you're not going out there with him, can he make it on his own out there, being both the patient and the caregiver?

Of course, I get home health care, which is available in basically all towns, so that is a huge help if you need it.

Will he be basically on his own? Is that OK with him? He doesn't mind going into new town where he doesn't know anybody, and he's depressed? In a way, I can't think of a worse, or more difficult, situation.

Having experienced depression as a bipolar, it's hard for me to imagine having to buy groceries, cook meals, clean the kitchen, keep up with appointments, get meds refilled and picked up.

Mid level depression might be one thing, but if it dipped and there's nobody out there to help him, his mental and physical energy, and decision making ability, could start skimming the tree tops.

If someone from home goes out there with him, there's a connection with home that he's trying to get away from.

Home health care will basically treat you from 8 .m. until 6 p.m. After hours, weekends, you're pretty much on your own.

I think if you know in advance you might need someone at 10 p.m. two days ahead of time, maybe they can help you. I did have at least one agency who you could call day or night, and they would try to find someone right then. So that does exist.

You say, "Thank you for asking, he is doing ok from the surgeries but is still in both a psychological and physical rut. We've discussed his psychological hindrances but his surgeries have left him with ailments often because his immune system isn't strong and he suffers from insomnia because of his anxiety. "

"He is taking medication to help alleviate his anxiety and he sees a psychiatrist regularly but he is still depressed and his family doesn't think this is enough to help him feel 100% again"

So someone in that physical and psychological shape, going across the country on his own to get better, sounds like it has a chance, but almost seems the reverse of help.

I think staying positive would be a help, or, "One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem."

Penny93
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/21/2017 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for yours!

I am a little concerned because he has never been living so far from home his entire life and even in college he went to a university close by and came home often, so homesickness will be a factor but I think it might also help him to be far from everything and everyone mentally and physically.

He has two uncles in the area and they don't live very close but I think he would be staying in the facility for the period of his care.

Thank you, I really appreciate the input smile

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 4/21/2017 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Penny: I did not realize he would be staying in a facility.

I think with caring people around him, might be the right way to go.

---------------------

You mentioned he had sleep problems or insomnia.

Here is what I posted recently to someone else on the board.

It is rather lengthy, but I have found this helpful:

(Note to Penny93: He may want a 2nd heating pad say on his chest, in addition to the one mentioned below for sleep.

(Although one on his chest may help with sleep, also. I sleep with a heating pad every night on my chest. It makes it easier on the heart, by expanding the blood vessels.)

-----------------------

I'm sorry to hear about your sleep problems.

Many years ago, I was trying to avoid a doctor sleep pill, so I went to the library to look for data, there was no net, and there was one sentence in the entire book I found that was helpful.

It said tryptophan health food for sleep. I bought some and it worked. Then a couple of years later they quit selling it for some reason due to side affects, or something, so I had to quit that and never found anything else.

Then many years later, Melatonin from health food store for sleep, and worked. Then the same Melatonin was making me groggy in the a.m., so I switched to Power to Sleep from the health food store.

A few weeks after taking it, my kidneys started to hurt, and I knew it was the re-start up of Power to Sleep, because my kidneys had never hurt before.

So I quit taking the Power to Sleep and went back to the Melatonin, and it puts me to sleep, and I'm not so groggy in the a.m.

So I've been on Melatonin now for several months is a guess, and I've had no problem.

As for the kidney pain I had, I also take Lithium (700 mg.) for my bipolar, along with an anti-depressant. I've heard a lot that Lithium can cause kidney damage, which is why they test you for Lithium level a number of times a year.

So I think Power to Sleep and Lithium combined might play havoc on the kidneys.

So you say Power to Sleep can be bad on the liver, which is why you don't want to take too much.

Wasn't it you that wrote here on this forum, in a I can't sleep, type of thread, that you took 6 Melatonin a night, along with Valerian Root, or something.

Why did you get off Melatonin? You think going back might be worth a try?

I've found that if I get 30 minutes or more of exercise a day, it helps me sleep at night.

I've also noticed that a heating pad helps me sleep. I know you don't believe that. It's like a child's teddy bear, something warm to cuddle up with.

As far as a heating pad is concerned, here's what helps even more. I moisten the foam insert (or a kitchen towel). (You can also try not having a moistened heating pad).

I put one end on the pillow and put one ear on it. I wrap the other end of the 22-inches long heating pad around the top of my head and put the other end on the other ear. I use part of a phone type book to hold it on my top ear.

(I use this moistened heating pad to help my ears, by expanding the blood vessels in my ears, to get them more nutrients and oxygen. But I found this also helps me sleep.)

As a diabetic, I usually sleep about 1 and 1/2 hours before I wake up to go to the bathroom, and I do that about five times a night.

With the heating pad on my ears, I go to sleep quicker, and sleep probably 4 to 5 hours, not 1 and 1/2 hours.

Dan, I know the heating pad sounds silly. But I would say, try it one time, prove me wrong, to see if it might work. It does for me, I can guarantee that.

So I say:

1. Power to Sleep (or Melatonin)

2. exercise for 30 -60 minutes

3. moistened heating pad as noted above

4. Also waking up after only 2 hours of sleep, can you take another Power to Sleep?

Now, I know you don't want to take too much. Or how about Melatonin at bedtime, and then a second one if you wake up in 2 hours?

If you say you take more than 1 Melatonin at bedtime, then you can try that if you are OK with it.

I know they sell 3mg Melatonin tablets, so I would think taking 2 or 3 Melatonins would be OK, if 1 tablet doesn't work.

I only take 1, but I have other meds which also help me sleep, Lithium for bipolar and Mirtazapine anti-depressant.

As you say, you should check with your doctor or druggist to see if they conflict with your meds.

My psychiatrist does not mind me taking Melatonin for sleep. She does not want me taking Power to Sleep.

-----------------------------

(2nd post to same personsmile

Thank you for the reply.

Do you have a heating pad?

If not, could you buy one?

And do this:

1. Plug it in by your bed, so you don't have to go get it every night. You just cut it on, there's no work.

2. Forget the moistened heating pad (mentioned in above post, which may be more helpful, but more trouble).

3. Cut it on to high if you can stand it, or 1 or 2, which ever

4. Put the heating pad on your pillow. Just lay your head on it and go to sleep. See if it helps with sleep.

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 4/21/2017 9:45:57 AM (GMT-6)


BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7063
   Posted 4/21/2017 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Penny,

This is hard for you I understand, dreams breaking apart, everything unknown.

However, here is the thing.

He has to learn to deal with the emotions, memories and issues that come up with what happens in his life. If he does not, any life you two may have will not be happy.

I believe going 3,000 away from the family is a good idea. Insightful for the family that he has never really left.

Staying at the facility is needed. It sounds like an expensive, possibility private facility and if he has a chance to go to one of these, I would not stand in his way.

If you love him help to set him free, when he is stronger, if his love for you was not co-dependence , he will return.

I wish the best for you.

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

Penny93
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/21/2017 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Tim- Thanks for the post! I'll let him know and see if the sleeping aids help.

Trina- Thank you!! I really appreciate the insight, as I don't have much of any experience with this at all. I'm all for him going if this means he will be able to become a better version of himself because it also means he will be a better partner to me.
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