Depressed spouses who refuse all help

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lakota
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/15/2006 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I'd like to exchange thoughts with those who have depressed spouses, especially those who have depressed male spouses, who refuse to accept help in any way shape or form. Mainly I'd like to talk just to keep my own sanity and get stuff off my chest. I am very well accquainted with depression having been through it myself, and as a nurse, having helped others via treatment. But to have a spouse who refuses to do absolutely ANYTHING has become very frustrating. So I would appreciate anyone in the same situation who would be willing to talk about it and just share some "decompression" time with each other. My spouse also has an alcohol problem to compound the situation.

Thanks much,
lakota

obs ann
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 1/16/2006 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lakota,

You're in a tough spot.

The only thing that comes to mind is what Alanon (sp?) calls "Intervention" ... when Family and Friends, set a time to come over and talk to the person and give them alternatives, etc. etc..

He doesn't talk suicide talk, does he ?

If he won't listen to a Nurse/Wife, then Loving  Intervention is all I can think of. 

I'm sorry for you and for him. I hope he gets the desire to get help soon.

Holding on to hope with you.

Ann


 


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/17/2006 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
HI Lakota,  Al-anon is an excellent place to start as Ann stated.  They can give you the support and advice that you would need to get through this difficult time.  Al-anon is through Alcohols Anonymous but it is a support group for spouses (women).  I dont have any experiance with this but my mom used to go to these meetings. They often meet several times a week, but you can check via internet local chapters or phone book.  I am sorry that you have to go through this.  Alcohol and depression is a terriable combination to live for anybody.  Hang in there and if you ever need to "depcompress" or just need a someone to vent to holler anytime.  ~elisha 

jlbjohnson328
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/20/2006 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lakota,
 
I understand the position that you are in perfectly.  My husband is going through depression and it is just getting worse.  He has been going through it for the past 5 months or so and we have only been married for 7 months.  We aren't sure what triggered this and he doesn't have any alcohol or drug problems.  He was such a fun loving guy before this.  We have great talks and he agrees that he needs to take things slowly and start making small changes but I haven't seen any effort on his part.  I get so frustrated because I feel like I put in more effor than he does!  He has been seeing a psychiatrist for 1 month but she hasn't helped at all.  He has actually gotten a LOT worse since seeing her.  Everything is so difficult, especially going to work.  We had been trying to deal with this together but I had to share this with his and my parents this week.  I just can't take the stress and frustration on by myself.
 
Is your husband on any medication to help him with the depression?  Does he experience any anxiety?
 
It does feel good to vent, it has been hard dealing with this on a daily basis.  Family can help but they don't have to live with it constantly with no escape.
 
-Jess

hollywood
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/21/2006 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
i think im going through alot of termoil. hope i spelled that right. need someone to talk to so i loged on here hoping to talk to someone about my problems.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/22/2006 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hollywood,  Welcome to Healing Well!  I am sorry that you having problems.  You are more than welcome to post here anytime.  You will find lots of kind caring people here.  We also have a peer to peer chat room if you find someone that you what to chat one on one with.  I hope to see you again. ~elisha

lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/30/2006 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
My hearfelt thanks to all who replied. I really appreciate your taking the time.

He has gone through AA before and I have had experience with them as well with Al-Anon and and neither of us want to deal with them. I don't like their philosophy. I think it's very demeaning and demoralizing and they specialize in guilt which is the LAST thing he needs right now. I realize people have to do what works for them, but there *are* some great alternatives to AA and he is using one of them. He's actually not had a drink for the last 3 weeks and when he wants to, can stop completely. But the depression is still there. I finally got him to agree to go to a doctor, and made an appointment for him for next week. (That's half the battle. Next I have to get him there. It took a year and a half just to get him to agree to an appointment.) He currently is not on any medication.

Oh, and Ann, yes, he has mentioned suicide in the past, but does not act on it. He says things like, "I wish I was dead.", or "Maybe I'll blow my brains out today." But, he's squeamish, and afraid of pain so he doesn't act on it. Besides, there aren't any guns in the house, he's not the cutting type, there aren't any pills he can take, and mostly he says those things when he's really drunk. When he's sober, he just withdraws. I'm not taking it lightly, I just know him.

Jess, how are things going with you? BTW, it's not unusual for symptoms to get worse when a person first starts therapy, but if , after a month or so things aren't getting anywhere and you or your spouse have a gut feeling that this is not the therapist for you, then by all means, look elsewhere. You don't have to be stuck with that particular person. Hope things are going better, though.

Thanks again, to all who took the time to respond and blessings to each of you.
Lakota

Melfield
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/7/2006 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Lakota,

Not sure if you are still reading these postings, but just came across while doing a search with spouses with depression.  My husband sounds exactly like yours.  Sometimes feels like I am the one with the problem.  We rec no help from his family, they are in more denial about his depression than he is.  I  love him dearly, will never lose hope, but BOY is it difficult and I do not know anyone else in this position.  We too, just went three weeks without a drink, then BAM..well, the story goes on and on and I would love to chat..just wanted to know if you were still reading.Take care:)


lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/7/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Melfield,
Thanks so much for your reply! Yes, it IS difficult! It's like being in isolation! You can't help but feel depressed yourself. I *don't* like groups like Al-Anon, in fact I have a real aversion to them, but I have been going to a wonderful group called Women for Sobriety who have been so supportive and uplifting. They are fantastic. Am also planning to see a therapist. And I have two books I'm currently reading, both by Anne Sheffield : "Depression Fallout", and "How You Can Survive When They're Depressed". Both are very helpful.

I was able to *finally*, after 2 years, talk him into seeing a doctor! He's going today, as a matter of fact. Not that I'm silly enough to think one visit is going to make a huge difference, especially since it wasn't his idea in the first place. But at least he agreed to TRY an anti-depressant for 8 months. The time frame was my idea. That's long enough for it to work, but less than a year which sounds like a looong time. He's still not drinking ,and he's actually going out most days and running in the local park. For that I give him major respect and credit. But he's still very down and remote. And he's still in a lot of pain. These two things *have* to be addressed by a physician. Whether or not he'll *let* the doctor treat him for the pain is another matter entirely. I'm dropping off a letter to the doctor in a few minutes for him to read before he sees my husband this afternoon, to tell him about the pain and his level of depression, because I know my h. won't. After this, it's all up to him. There's nothing more I can do, and I have to accept that. Period. After that I have to make a choice of what I do in response to the situation. So we'll see.

Thanks again, so much for your response, and you have my hearfelt empathy for your situation. Please let me know how you are and what's happening with you.

Many Blessings,
lakota

Melfield
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/8/2006 5:44 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear LAkota,

I checked out the web page for Women for Sobriety and it says that only women who are themselves alcoholics may attend.  Let me know if this is not what you have found.  I will check into those two books as well.  I just read Emme Aronsons "Morning Has Broken" about her husband surviving two years of depression.  It was a fantastic book, however, her husband was totally willing to receive help, therefore making it completely different from my situation.  My husband has rec'd help, and has been diagnosed with both cyclothymic and hypothymic mood disorders, but once diagnosed, he refused meds and stopped going to his doctor altogether.

All in all, I think I am holding up pretty well.  Right now, I am going through a phase of trying to separate myself from him as much as possible while still loving him dearly and living under the same roof.  I am also trying to start some sort of support group for people like us because this has HURT so much and there is no one to talk to (except my church family, but none of them have lived with a depressed spouse).  He is one of NINE children and none of his siblings will help at all.  I have no one to do any type of intervention with me or anything.  What I wouldn't give to see him happy again:)

Have a fantastic day. I hope we can keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Melfield

 

 


lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/8/2006 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Melfield,
We can certainly stay in touch! You're going through a *very* rough time. Trying to separate yourself from the situation while continuing to love and support him, (exactly what I'm doing) is HARD. But it CAN be done. It takes constant reminders to one's self that, "It's not my problem to fix. I cannot fix it. I have done what I can." Then step back, continue to care about him, but take care of YOU. It helps to engage a therapist if possible.

Will he join you in *any* type of exercise at all? Bicycle riding, brisk walking ourdoors? Exercise of any kind is the best antidote to depression and he doesn't have to take a pill. If he says no, then just drop it. It's HIS decision...not your failure. That's the most important thing to remember in all this. These are HIS decisions to make and not your failures. You can't MAKE him do anything.

The one thing that seemed to make a difference with my husband and making an effort this time was this last time when I lovingly, (not an unltimatum type of talk) told him that the only thing he had left to lose was our marriage, because that's how bad things had gotten. I felt like he wasnt' there anymore anyway, and that I may as well be alone, so if he didn't at least TRY , then we were going to lose US. But we may be at a different stage right now, than you are.

Anyway, it sounds like you could use a therapist more than a support group right now. Starting a support group takes a lot of energy and you're already expending a lot of that just coping at home. Do you have children as well?

As for WFS, yes they're mostly women with drinking problems. I found them last year when I was stopping Ambien, which I had used for fibromyalgia, and my doctor had "freely" prescribed to me. He's no longer my doctor. If you contact your local group moderator and explain your situation, it's possible that the group will welcome you to come for a while and give you insights into the alcoholic personality from their perspective, and support/suggestions on coping. Or not. But it's worth a call. They're very different from the AA based groups, and from my experience are very warm and welcoming group of women. The main thing is helping you. You've been taking care of everyone else, so now it's time to take care of you. I know. I did the same thing and paid for it. You have to take care of *you* first, so you CAN take care of others.

Keep in touch, Melfield, and Blessing.
lakota

Melfield
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/8/2006 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lakota,

Luckily, I was able to obtain a free membership at the gym for my husband..I will take him most days (he can't drive right now) even if it means I do not get to go myself, because he seems so much better after working out for two hours.  The problem is, if he drinks, then he will go two or three days without exercise at all.  We do have two little children.  Two WONDERFUL children:)  I can't go to therapy now, as my husband lost his job and we do not have health insurance.  This is the excuse he uses for not going to therapy as well.  Like you, I think I will write a letter to his therapist asking to please contact my husband and see if he can work out a payment deal, but other than that, i will stay out of it.

I did leave once, but it didn't work.  Come to find out, one of my husbands conditions makes it so that he can not realize there are any consequences to his actions..so he was mentally unable to understand that my leaving was his fault.  Now I would never leave again.  People don't understand, but as I like to say..I wouldn't leave if he had been diagnosed with cancer and was refusing chemo, why should mental illness be any different?
 
I think at my young age, I am hanging in there ok..I learned the second year of all of this..(we are going on year 3 now, but have been together for 14 years)..I learned the 2nd year this started to begin taking better care of myself..still have a ways to go on that front though.  My biggest problem is realizing when he is yucky, hateful and bitter towards me, that it really has nothing to do with me no matter what he says.  Still takes a huge emotional toll though.
 
Talk to you very soon!
Melfield
 

lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2006 3:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Melfield,

Well, you certainly have a lot on your plate, as they say. Hang in there, and anytime you want to just "vent", feel free. Meantime, "take care of you".
Many Blessings,
lakota

lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2006 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
To jlbjohnson328 from lakota:
How are things with you? Are you still with the same psychiatrist? Has the situation gotten any better? That's so hard having to deal with this only 7 months into your marriage. I hope things are getting at least a little better. Try to separate yourself a little and remember, you're not the cause, nor are you the solution. That made it a bit easier for me, but it was something I had to continually remind myself. It didn't make it easier to see my spouse hurting and want to help, but it gave me back some sanity telling myself I COULD NOT FIX IT.

Take care,
lakota

lakota
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/9/2006 3:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Obs Ann

He finally had the visit to the doctor. He's been sober for nearly 7 weeks and has been going running almost every day for that long as well. I told him when I asked him to go to the doctor, what has he got to lose except our marriage? Anyway, it's been a bit rocky these past few weeks, but we're good, and the visit to the doc went well, and he looks and acts better than I've seen him in a very long time. Don't know how long it will hold, but it's "one day at a time", eh? The doctor was recommeded by a friend who is a recovering alcoholic who doesn't like AA either and knew this doc wouldn't throw AA in his face the minute he walked in. After the visit my husband, who usually doesn't like any doc said he liked this one. Wow. So, so far so good.

Thanks for holding on to that hope with me! I really appreciate that!!

lakota
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