Loosing my Wife

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loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/21/2006 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   

 

Hello

My wife was diagnosed with clinical depression about three years ago. She has been seeing a councilor for about the same amount of time and has seen her family doctor on a regular bases. She is taking 75mg of Effexor 3 times a day and has been for over two years.

She is telling me that she was very depress while growing up but thought that she had gotten over that period in her life. She has been getting worse now for the last 8 months. She believes that she never will overcome her depression and can no longer love or be happy. Our marriage is dieing, I love her very much and I am willing to stay with her for as long as is takes but she continues to worsen and has told the doctor that she has thought about taking her own life on many different occasions.

I do not know what to do to help her, does anyone have any ideas or have been through this with a spouse?


loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/21/2006 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the reply, it’s been hard around here to deal with all that is going on. I often thought that she should see another doctor but when I bring it up she gets real upset. She likes this person and says that she can trust him. I just do not think that he is the right person to help her.

Her meds help some but when she stops taking it and she will do that sometimes up to 3 to 4 days at a time she goes wild. She gets bad headaches and nothing that I do can calm her down. about three months ago she started getting real odd acting, I came home one day from work and she was in bed. I asked her if she was Ok and she told me that In a few days everything would be fine. I got real worried and called her doctor and let him know what she was doing and had said.

He talked to her and called me back latter and said that she seemed to be OK. That is when I knew that this doctor was not the right person for her but she will not listen to me. How did you get through all of your opportunities and what was the one thing that your husband did for you that helped the most?


rybird
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 8/21/2006 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
This is difficult to say but I need to say it, A very dear friend of mine had depression for over 10 years. He would mention suicide to someone and they would take him to the psych hospital where they would admit him, they tried him on different medications. The last time he seemed fine, he laughed and he had no signs of depression. I went to see a movie with him that week and we had pizza that night. The next day he killed himself. No one expected it. Everyone said, he seemed so peaceful, he must allready have had it planned and made his peace. We all felt guilty because we didn't see the warning signs. Now I know to be aware of sudden changes, good or bad.
We are here for you, and for her.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/22/2006 4:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi loyalist, Welcome to healing well forum, we are happy to have you.  I am sorry to hear about your wife and what you both are going through.  I don’t intend this to sound harsh but it would seem that your wife is manipulating her treatment by the way you explain it in your post.  The reason that I say this is because you said she often stops taking her antidepressant for several days at a time then restarts them.  It is critical when taking antidepressants that you take them everyday.  By stopping and restarting them she is screwing up all the chemical levels in her brain and making the depression symptoms way much worse.  Have you asked her what the point is to her doing this?  It really makes no sense, either she wants to take them and does or she doesn’t want to take them and stops.
Secondly, I would be curious as to what she is telling the doctor.  A person can have suicidal thoughts and notify their physician of this without being hospitalized.  It would be appropriate for the doc to try to change medications at this time.  The point where the person would be hospitalized would be if they had a plan as to how to carry out those thoughts, which would make them actively suicidal.  For some reason here I am just wondering if she is down playing a lot of her problems and things she is going through with her doctor. 
When I started to see my Psychiatrist I had a difficult time.  I worked in the mental health field and was not up front and honest with my doctor for many months as I was afraid of being viewed as “crazy” or “incompetent” which was not something I wanted to face or deal with personally or professionally.
So perhaps you need to sit down and speak to her regarding this or you can ask to sit in on some of her sessions with her psychiatrist, you would have to have her permission first, but that would be a good starting point to try to figure out where the problem is and trying to rectify it.  I wish you much luck and your more then welcome to continue to post we have several spouses of depressed people who come her for advice and whatnot.  Take care


 


CounterClockwise
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 8/22/2006 5:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loyalist -- welcome to HW!

You are being so strong for your wife, but she needs to know that it's time for *her* to be strong and face this properly. -- I know this is easier said than done, but it *is* possible -- as so many here are testament to: people with depression are ill, not stupid or weak. Your wife needs to be honest with you and her doc, and not just tell you all these things about not taking meds and taking her life, etc. and leave you to deal with that whilst she doesn't *do* anything about it. If the doc's not paying attention, she *has* to see a doc that will. If she's not telling her doc everything, she *has* to start being completely honest. It's quite clear that she needs her meds reviewing from what you've said. Sorry if this sounds harsh: I've actually been dealing with a similar situation myself, and have now realised that *something* has to change and that sometimes "tough love" is the best love. I know you're probably worried what being firm with her will do to your relationship (I was), but carrying on like this is, as you say, eating away at your marriage anyway. And, in my experience, these fears are unfounded: the strength to put your foot down and challenge her will help her in the long run, and done with caring and reinforcement of your love she will know that this is not you abandoning or judging her.

I've also suffered from depression a lot (am currently on meds), so I speak kind of from both sides of this. Fundamentally I see it this way: neither of us care that our partner is depressed -- we love them and want to help; but we do care when they stop helping themselves, or do things that *will* make things worse (and on some level they *know* they are doing these things). Now that I've been up front with my partner about how I see things, I'm working on a kind of "reward" system: when he does things that will help him, I tell him how strong he is and how proud I am of him for facing this stuff and how he's not alone; when he does things that don't help, I challenge it (not meanly, but firmly). I started doing this after I read something that pointed out that all behaviour relates to "reward": if we continue to (explicitly or implicitly) approve our loved ones' self-destructive behaviour, we can't expect them to feel any urgency to stop.

I hope this doesn't seem too harsh. -- I really do mean it to help!!!!

Take care.
Rosie x
********************
People are not like fish: they do not work better battered.
 
********************


tase2
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/22/2006 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loyalist

I briefly referred to my situation in my first post, but my wife also suffers from depression. I know what you are going through.

In my case I guess I have been somewhat "lucky" as my wife is very open about her depression. She will come out and say, "I am just so depressed" when she is having extra bad times.

Personally I am very disorganized, except when it comes to meds, both hers and mine.
I leave out her meds every morning (M-F) and personally hand them to her on the weekends. She has always been good about taking her meds, and letting me know if they seem to be working or not.

Currently we had a very rough patch because they made a change to her meds, so she had to wean off of one and then slowly work in the new one. We are only a week into the new meds. She literally goes berserk during this change time (this is the 2nd or 3rd major change) banging walls, yelling, screaming... Again though I am fairly lucky, as she is completely aware of the situation, knows the cause and just prays that the new meds will kick in soon.

In other words I know where you are at. You must stay supportive. Give lots of hugs. Try to stay calm and try and be a calming influence. (Not easy I know) You must let her know that you are there for her no matter what, and it is OK to feel the way she is feeling.

You *must* make sure she takes her meds, every single day. Watch her swallow them if you must. I get the "sure just drug me up, so I will shut up and not bother you" Tough.
She threatens the "S" word lots of times. You must take them seriously, and keep a close eye on her. My wife has told me not to worry because she could/would never do it as she is too scared, lazy... to do it, but I still watch her closely.

As far as Drs. go, she just switched. This is the 3rd or 4th psychiatrist, but I always encourage the change.

This all has really made my life h**l, and I was not really equipped to handle this, but somehow I do, and you can too.

Sorry I seem to have hijacked your thread, but I just wanted to share the experience of a husband dealing with a depressed wife.

Please keep us posted, and ask or PM me, us anything at all.

Good Luck

loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/23/2006 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   

To everyone thanks for your thoughts and replies. I have been keeping count of her medication and I have discovered that she is still not taking it as prescribed. I have been somewhat reluctant in being too forceful with her for fear that I might get her too upset. She does not like talking about this and when we do she always changes the subject.

Just last week she told me that she has just now realized how bad her depression is and says that this is who she is and always will be. I believe that she is surrendering to the depression rather then accepting and trying to deal with it. Her sister has always thought that my wife was not telling her doctor everything that was wrong. I tend to believe this now myself. She might be afraid to tell all for fear of being hospitalized.

I am going to see a doctor myself, my father passed away last month and with all that is going on right now I feel that I could use the help in dealing with some of this. My wife and I have not been close for about two years and while we were out of town for the funeral she all of a sudden became the women that I first married. We started hugging and kissing and talking like we use to. This went on for two weeks then it all stopped as fast as it had started. I ask her when she had her change of heart is she meant it and she told me that she did. Now she has explained it all away as just being an emotional time and the closeness was just a basic human need. She stills tells me that she meant it at the time but now she feels guilty for being close to me. She believes that she does not deserve to feel happy or love.

All of that has really messed me up, just when I thought that our lives had made a change for the better it all ended. Right now I am at a total loss and I think that by seeing someone it will help me to better understand what is going on. We had been working hard in building our relationship and now it is right back to where it was.


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/23/2006 4:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Loyalist, I am very sorry you and your wife are going through this.  I am glad to hear that you’re going to go to counseling and keeping watch of your wife’s meds.  It is a very difficult situation you’re in for sure and you will need to have some support and guidance to help you through this.  Therapy will be able to give you some coping skills and resources to help you and hopefully your wife.  It is extremely important that she tell her psychiatrist everything...as this is how they assess for her medication and treatment plan.  Otherwise there is no point in even going.  I am sure you have already figured this out by now...and are quite frustrated by it.  I could only wish that my husband...now ex was as attentive to my care and treatment and getting better as you are.  She is very lucky.  Please do let us know how it goes...Take care


 


stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 8/23/2006 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Loyalist, I completely know what you are going through. I love a wonderful man who is trying very hard to recover but believes that he does not deserve to be happy and loved. It is so difficult when you have all this love to give and the one you want to give it to won't let themselves accept it. Depression is only a small part of my hubsband's struggle at this point but I know it makes everything more difficult. Sometimes I want to tell him to just get out of his own way but it is easy to say looking from the outside in.

We had the same experience of having a period of time when all of these things seemed to melt away and it was amazing. Then they all came crashing back to us. I don't have any words of wisdom for you as we are still struggling with this ourselves. I miss him but I know that he is in there and I won't give up.

Interestingly enough we also are better when we are out of town. I suppose that is because being out of town is an escape from many of the regular stressors work, family life, bills, money (or the lack of money)... There aren't any answers for that one, just continuing to do the best we can.

I have my own story with depression and recovery so I do know what that is all about (at least for me). I want to say that I think getting some counselling for yourself is very important. Caretaking is very difficult and it takes its own toll on you, your energy, your emotions and your mental state. Therapy will be a good support for you as your continue this journey because you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.

sexysue
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 8/24/2006 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry about ur wife . that what depression does to people . it is a powerful illness . i attempted to committ suicide 4 times . almost died the last time . both of you will get thru this . don't give up on ur wife . it is the depression which is making her talk of taking her life . good luck and take care

loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/24/2006 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks again to everyone. I made my first counseling session and it went well. We seemed to hit it off so I am going back again next week, lots to talk about.

There seems to be a change taking place in my wife. She is telling me that she believes that her depression is much worse then she thought and that her doctor is not telling her the truth about how bad things really are with her. She thinks that the doctor is hiding this from her to protect her from the truth. I told her that she should ask her doctor about this and hear what he has to say.

Not sure what to think about all of this. She has always liked this doctor and has defended him when I ask her if she ever thought about a second opinion. I do not understand why she is just now thinking that he is holding back. Does anyone think that it may be a good idea to call her doctor and let him know what is taking place? She has not taken her meds for the last 4 days now and she tells me that she is but the count has not gone down.


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 8/25/2006 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loyalist,

I'm really glad that your counselling is looking good: you need that support for you. May it continue to go well and help you.

What your wife's saying is very interesting. -- It may be that she's finally admitting that this doc isn't helping her to overcome this, and could be a sign that she's ready to get better help. I think this would be more in line with how you'd like things to go, right? It might be a great opportunity for you to suggest getting a second opinion from a different doc and see what happens.

That said, I think she also needs to be (as Atedogs would say) "bopped on the head" for not taking her meds: no-one's going to get better if they don't even try. Difficult as it may be, some tough love might be in order -- tell her you will support her 100%, but that she needs also to take responsibility for her own recovery -- and she really *does* if she's going to get better from this.

I really hope this is a bit of a turning point on the doc front. I'm sure your counselling will be a turning point for you -- and that's hugely important right now: you need to be well and whole before you can be of real help to your wife -- and she needs to be responsible before she can take advantage of all the great support you give her.

I'm rooting for you, Loyalist. -- You are in my thoughts at this time.

Rosie x
********************
People are not like fish: they do not work better battered.
 
********************


Hamster_01
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/25/2006 7:06 PM (GMT -7)   
This may be a silly idea but what if you were to crush her medication in food and bring it to her that way she would eat it and the medication would do it's job.

I do agree with atedogs too, talk to her doctor about what is going on.

Do you two have children? If so this must be even more pressure on both of you.

It is obvious how much you love your wife and good for you seeking therapy for your own needs. It is difficult when dealing with a depressed spouse, it messes with your head in ways not too many can understand unless you are in the situation itself.

Do take care of you too. As atedogs has already said, have a peaceful weekend.

loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/2/2006 4:51 AM (GMT -7)   

I was able to talk to her medical doctor this week and we had a long talk. As I had thought my wife was not telling her all of what was going on. The doctor had no idea that my wife was skipping her medication and that she was seeing a counselor. I simply found that to be amazing. The doctor was very nice but I’m not too sure just how good of a doctor she really is. This doctor has been seeing my wife for over two years and prescribing her the Effexor and knew very little about my wife. I know that if my wife does not tell her then the doctor will not know but I would have to think that these doctors should ask questions.

I was not able to talk to her counselor, we have been playing phone tag. I am meeting with my wife’s two sisters this weekend and we are going to try and come up with a plan on what we can do to help my wife. She is getting worse instead of better and still is skipping around taking her medication, this all has to stop before she goes too deep and cannot be helped. What I did learn from her doctor is this, if you’re prescribed Effexor or some other similar drug take it as prescribed. Skipping around on this type of medicine is the worse thing a person can do to their self. My wife has been going through withdraws for a long time and does not know it and now she believes what she is feeling is her instead of the effects of the drug. Multiple withdraws over a long period of time must be terrible.

I would have to believe that a medial doctor should not be allowed to prescribe a drug such as this one. I firmly believe now that before anyone can take this type of medicine they first should see a doctor that has extensive experience in this field. This can be a wonderful drug but it must be respected someone with experience should be watching over the results. Wish us luck we are about to go down a new path and I’m not sure what will happen. My wife needs more help then I ever thought.


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/2/2006 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loyalist,

*Really* glad you took this step and saw your wife's doc. I guess it is hard for a doc to know what the symptoms are if they assume that meds prescribed are not being taken and they don't realise it. You're right, though, someone with experience in this area would know better to ask all the questions. Withdrawal from Effexor is really rough (for some more than others). Maybe armed with this knowledge your wife's doc can talk to her about this and hammer home the importance of taking the meds. I tend to agree, though, that your wife would do better going to a specialist. Maybe she will listen if you broach the subject (there were signs that she was open to this before, right?), and if not perhaps her regular doc could suggest it for you (she must know the limits of her own expertise in such cases).

I think that recognising how serious this is and rethinking your approach, alongside your wife's sisters (which is great), is an important step, and I wish you all luck with this. Stay strong: sometimes it can be painful taking steps towards helping a loved one because they may fight it and feel (*at the time*) that they are being betrayed: it's *not* betrayal and your wife *will* one day realise how much you helped to effectively save her life.

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work better battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum


Kala
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/2/2006 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
HUG HER walk up to her and give her a hug the size of montreal!!! I am in your wifes position as we speak....and i know how shes feeling but when my boyfriend gives me a hug out of nowhere its one of the best feelings in the world ....and even if its just for a minute i know there is hope of getting through it all...and THAT HE DOES LOVE ME....

So just tell her you love her and give her a hug it seens like nothing but it does something.

I wish you best of luck with getting through it and you will because your here talking about ways to help her....that shows you care and sometimes thats all you need

loyalist
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/8/2006 3:09 AM (GMT -7)   

My dear wife is now telling me that she realizes that she is depressed and she knows there is help available for her but she is choosing not to get the help. She has on the other hand started taking her medication. We had a long talk about all of this and she told me that she is not wanting the help because she wants to stay the way she is. The medication she told me is keeping her from having thoughts of suicide and that is why she is going to take it. She told me that she wants me to stay in the home but only as her friend and not as her husband.

When I asked her why she does not want to get help her answers were rather vague and she really was not able to tell me anything. My thoughts are that she is not wanting the help because she may be afraid of finding the answers to why she is depressed. These answers may be something that she believes to be very painful even more then how she feels now.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do for her.


stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 9/8/2006 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I had magic words for you. Both my husband and I know what you are going through because we have both weathered the other's depressions at times when we were not dealing with our own depression. The only thing that I can say is that perhaps taking her medication regularly will give her the strength to take the next steps. My first thoughts were that you are probably right that there is something buried deeply that she is afraid to face. I don't know anything about commitment or if it is even an idea that would be helpful but it might be worth investigating if she is really beyond help anyother way. I don't know what the right thing to say is except to say with conviction that there may come a time when you have to follow what you need for you. That is a scary thought too and uncharted territory whatever that may mean.

My thoughts are with you and your sisters-in-law. I hope that you at least find a community of support here.
Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony

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