The partner of someone who is depressed

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Mary48
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/2/2006 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
My partner is severely depressed and I am finding it hard to cope. I feel like I've lost him completely. It's like I'm living with a stranger and I don't know what to do. We have only been together for 3 years and we had the most fantastic relationship - amazing, we were soulmates. Then bang about 6 months ago he started to change and I feel as though I am living in a nightmare. It is very much to do with his ex wife and children and his feeling of loss over his children and the fact he has no control or say. I just don't know what to do. Can someone please give me some advice?

Suzy35
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 10/2/2006 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
My poor husband is dealing with my depression right now, and I know he is at a loss, most of the time, as to what to do. I know that he is there for me, and he listens to me and wants so badly to fix it, but I tell him he can't, the best thing he can do it just be there for me.
Has he been to a doctor? The best thing you can do is get him to a doctor, tell him you will go with him if he wants, but get him there. I'm on your partners end of this, I have to say this depression is one of the, if not the worst thing, I have ever been through. Please try to support him and get him some help.

Mary48
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/2/2006 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Suzy35, I'm so sorry you're feeling the way you are. I am totally supportive of my partner. He has been to the doctors and I went with him but the anti depressants made him feel worse. the doctor changed them and he had terrible side effects from the second lot so he stopped taking them 3 weeks ago. Since then he has been at his lowest.  He is very very angry all the time and has in fact been violent towards me (I can't tell you how out of character that is), something I never thought would ever happen to me in my life.  I am feeling pretty low too. He ignored my birthday last week, which I am still hurting from and he goes off in the middle of the night and sleeps in the car. I am living with a man I don't know. Yet he functions perfectly well at work (he's a teacher) and chats to his friends like there is nothing wrong. I just don't understand - yet I want to.

Sunshine Superman
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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 10/2/2006 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
The only advice that I can give you Mary is to say what I would do in your circumstances if I were a married woman (as it is I'm a single bloke) and I dare say that there are those who would disagree with me. Fair enough.

Firstly the first instance of violence towards me would be the last. I would be on the phone to the police and asking them to be aware of the situation and for the telephone numbers of LOCAL women's support/self-help groups and any other organisation they would care to suggest. I would also speak to your GP (and presumably he or she is the same one as your husband, great if this is so) to keep them informed. Your first duty is not to your husband it is to yourself.

I woiuld make sure that I have a private bank or building society account if up until then there has only been a shared one and that there is several hundred pounds put into or transferred into it incase you need to leave home or need money in an emergency. Canvass friends or relatives in case you need to stay with them at short notice, tell them as much or as little as you think you can trust them with, use your discretion. Remember tho' that their loyalties may be divided between the two of you, so point out that though both of you are 'victims' you are the one who is suffering the most and from the other not from a chemical imbalance in the mind.

Consider letting the headmaster of his school know of the situation as you see it. I frankly don't care if at the moment he seems OK at school, if I was a parent I would not want my children under the power of a man subject to severe mood changes and irritability that so far has struck out at the most precious person in his life and broken away from her.

Don't bear this alone.

SS
'Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds' - Emerson


wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/2/2006 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Amen, Sunshine!  Well said...

First responsibility is to Self.  Can't help or 'fix' anybody else; that's something he will have to come to himself.  There is no excuse for bad manners or bad behavior - or abuse...


Suzy35
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 10/2/2006 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I totally agree with Sunshine. If he is becomming violent, then you have to watch out for youself first. As much as you love him, you have to take care of yourself too.

Mary48
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/2/2006 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
SS I know what you're is what everyone would say to me if they knew, but I love him and he was the most amazing man before this. It's a hard situation to be in because I know he hates himself for it as much as I hate him for it. He's only 39 and I don't want to ruin his life if I don't have to.

Sunshine Superman
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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 10/2/2006 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Mary48 said...
SS I know what you're is what everyone would say to me if they knew, but I love him and he was the most amazing man before this. It's a hard situation to be in because I know he hates himself for it as much as I hate him for it. He's only 39 and I don't want to ruin his life if I don't have to.
I'm not asking you to ruin his life but the actions that I'm advocating - and the opinions of the others who've commented seem to support my words - are directed to looking after yourself and also to pulling him up a little and make him see (hopefully) the consequences of his actions in how he is treating you and not helping himself.
 
'he was the most amazing man before this' - well there is only one Superman and that is me! yeah So do your best to work towards his return to this. And that won't be by putting up with this treatment but by moving out and/or enlisting the support of friends and family in your campaign. Don't you think that 'Amazing Man' would have said three years ago if he knew what he'd be like now, 'honey, for God's sake don't put up with it, otherwise I'll never get better! Tell someone, tell the school, tell my GP, tell our families and friends but don't keep it and the bruises to yourself!'
 
Forget that talk about ruining his life. He's done that himself. It took me/my GP about four attempts originally to find the anti-depressant that I was on for the last eight years, one that worked and was ideal for me. He should be told to keep trying.
 
And I meant what I said about him being a danger to the children at school. Ill teachers should not go into classes. And that includes (temporarily) mentally ill ones, can't you see that? nono
 
Must fly, forest fire to put out in South America. Keep us informed.
 
SS
 
 


'Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds' - Emerson


Mary48
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/3/2006 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
SS I know you're right and it's what I always said before it happened to me. I couldn't understand why woman put up with abusive men - I thought they were crazy. But .... the difference is he's ill and he needs me.  Are you in a relationship? If so would you leave your partner?

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 10/3/2006 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mary, I totally agree with the suggestions and advice that everyone has given thus far...
The thing I wanted to interject here was that if he is seeing a Primary Care Physician for his depression then that could be problem #1.  He needs to be finding a Psychiatrist who can properly diagnose what is going on with him now, since you state that this just popped up 6 months ago and also can prescribe the correct medication for him.  I am not saying that GP's are not knowledgeable on depression only that Psychiatrists are more intune to these disorders and how to treat them.
Secondly, it is very apparent that you love him greatly, want to help him get better and work on returning to the kind of relationship that you had before all this started.  The only problem with that is going to be once he has allowed himself to get so out of control to actually abuse you physically then that part of your relationship is fractured.  You have to look out for yourself and your physical well being...by staying it shows him that you are allowing that behavior from him. 
You asked SS if he was in a relationship and if he would leave his partner if he knew they were ill and needed help.  I was with my husband for 12 years, five of that we were married.  After our first year of marriage I was diagnosed with MS and was very ill and our relationship and the activities that we normally did together changed drastically.  Over the course of the next 4 years he became abusive towards me.  I loved him with all my heart and still do...but I had to leave or else I wasnt going to make it.  When I left I knew he was depressed and sucidial and crying all the time because he couldnt control me anylonger.  He turned to his parents who got him help.  We are divorced and have been for 2 years...if it gives you any idea I am 33 years old so I spent pretty much all my adult life with him.  I dont regret leaving, I just wish things could of been differant.
You cant change him and make him do things if he doesnt want to.  So, I would strongly suggest seeking out that Psychiatrist and if he doesnt go or refuses...I would pack my bags...IMO

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Sammysorvik
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/3/2006 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Depression is hard for the family and victim.  I am glad to she you are worried. If your partner has not seen a DR. my advise is that he do so. Also the medication for depression does work but takes some time before it even starts to work. My advise to you is to get him on meds and remember not to give up.  The meds take about 6 weeks to start working but when they do you will see a change, He will start going back to his old self. Hang in there. I was very depressed two years ago. It took an enormous toll on our relationship. We almost ended in divorse because my husband couldn't cope with my illness. good luck

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/3/2006 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   

I understand that you don't want to move out, seperate, or divorce.  I understand that you don't want to abandon your husband when he is mentally ill, any more than you would if he had been in an automobile accident.  I understand that you love him and want your old life back with him.

Well ... things have changed. 

If you want to truly help, you have to rise to the challenge, become proactive first on your own behalf and then on his behalf.  With accurate diagnosis, proper medications, indepth therapy, and, most of all, his own motivation; it is entirely possible for the two of you to have a future together. 

That's down the road, it's a maybe not a definite .. for you to accept his recent behavior will delay a good outcome.  You can't love him into wellness, you can't passively tolerate his rage, and you absolutely cannot bring him back by yourself.  Get Help. 


x-Souxie-x
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/4/2006 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm real sorry about your husband being depressed, My mums friend has depression, and she got this book called "Overcoming Depression" by Paul Gilbert, We found it at amazon.com
It uses CBT its helping Me Too

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/4/2006 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mary,
 
I'm so sorry to hear about how difficult a time you're having. I agree with most of the advice that has been given so far.
 
My husband and I have been together for 13 years and for the last ten years I have been suffering from chronic migraines. For the mors recent five years I have been suffering from depression. He has struggled with my illness and depression because he couldn't fix it. He felt I should snap out of it.
 
Our relationship has succeeded because we have changed from fighting each other to fighting my disease together. We are partners. We were on the brink of divorce and I started to go to counselling at his request. I think he gave me an ultimatum. I don't remember if it was verbal or implied, but I know I understood that if I didn't get help he was leaving. He also strongly encouraged me to take anti-depressants, which the psychologist supported and also recommended.
 
After I had moved ahead along way, then it was time for him to come to counselling with me. There were some unhealthy behaviour patterns that he was contributing to my depression. For example, I no longer needed ultimatums and directions from him. I was strong enough again to make my own decisions and he needed to learn to trust me again.
 
I believe he gave me ultimatums because he was taking care of himself. He couldn't take it anymore. Thank goodness he was strong enough to do that and I was strong enough to listen.
 
As someone said, it is important for you to take care of yourself first. It is not okay for him to hurt you physically or emotionally. Perhaps it's time for you to have that serious talk with your husband. To let him know what you need in order for you to continue to stand by his side. Have you asked him what he wants you to do? Perhaps it's time to move out on your own and work with him from a distance.
 
As someone else said, anti-depressants take 4 - 6 weeks to start working. If he's having a lot of trouble with side effects a psychiatrist is the best to help prescribe the right medications. I don't like the sound of a psychiatrist - psychologists are okay, but for some reason not psychiatrists. But I went because she was able to check all of the medications I was on and let us know if there was a better combination that would work better.
 
Good luck, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
 
 
Nicky
 
I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside. 
                 --Wayne Dyer


slowlygoingcrazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 10/10/2006 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been thinking about your predicament. I am very depressed right now. My sleeping rhythm is completely off (why I'm up at 2:32am but can't keep my eyes open at 4pm). And I know what I need most right now is acknowledgment. But then I am aware of what I'm going through. I am getting help. I'm reading everything. I've joined this group for additional support. You cannot expect of yourself that you alone will fix the problem. Your significant other needs to seek help for himself. I know about the cycle of violence. I never even equated my angry outburst with depression until I read a book recently that made the association. My son, unfortunately, took the brunt of my anger and I had no where to go. I couldn't walk away and take a break because my husband was never home (he worked shift work). At the same time, in retrospect, I hate myeslf for what I put my son through for too long. But he was a child, where could he go to escape me? As an adult who has the choice to walk away or stay, I hope if the violence escalates and your significant other continues to refuse to get help (meds are not the only solution), then you will do what's best for you and take yourself out of the situation and out of harms way. Being a martyr for his problems is not helpful either. Who knows perhaps making the drastic move to leave will shake him out of where he's at and make him realize he needs to get help. Meds only do so much. I am lucky that with time, my doctor's assistance and medication, I have my anger under control. The anger is not the problem anymore.... I thank God for that everyday. But I continue to pay emotional pennitance for the damage I caused my son during my angry years before I stabilized. As a parent I had no right to do that. And nor does your significant other, depressed or not. Do not make excuses for his actions. They only enable him and they open the door for it to happen again. The bottom line is, you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved, so don't go down with the ship just because.... It's not worth it. But if he does show signs of reaching out for help and seriously wanting to find a solution to his problems, then your support will go a long way to helping him get better and heal. But the key here is, he has to make the commitment to getting his health back together. Until he does that, there's nothing (I repeat nothing) you can do... I hope this doesn't sound terribly harsh but you must look after yourself first and foremost in this situation. Please have strength and take care.
 It would be easier to tell people I have cancer than it is to tell them I am severely depressed.....


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/11/2006 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
well said.
Nicky
 
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why its called the present."
I'm working everyday to overcome the pain and depression that comes from my chronic migraines.

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