i'm new - in search of support with husband with depression

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MerlotMoon
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/8/2007 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all - I've been online tonight to find sources of support for family and carers of people with depression and this seemed like a good, friendly place :-)
 
I want to try and make this short as once started, I have the potential to go on for pages and pages....
 
in brief, my husband was diagnosed with depression 5 years ago, but I think it was going on for years before that. he was on prozac which he took for 3 months, then stopped abruptly because he felt he had 'cured himself.'
 
He has the capacity to talk about how he is feeling and what is going on and chats himself extensively online with other people with depression and he felt he had a grip on it.
 
He didn't. The past 5 years have not been fun at all. I have tried to be patient and supportive but it's hard when part of it is him being so utterly foul to me and making it very hard to be his wife.
 
He has just gone back to the doctor's again and is back on prozac. This doctor is fab and I have spoken to her myself and she has just put his name down for cognitive bahavioural therapy, with his approval of course, as we feel he is an ideal candidate as he is used to exploring and talking about his feelings.
 
anyway - that is just a bit of background.
 
my question really is something I've been wondering specifically about how to cope with him -
 
when he is in a particularly bad mood, which is often brought on by tiredness, headaches, pressures at work, feelings of inabiltiy to cope, etc, he gets particularly repulsive to me - accusing me of all sorts of things I haven't done, things he thinks I feel, which I don't and is especially rude and insulting. Mostly I can let this go over my head as I realise he doesn't mean most of it, but sometimes it seems like he so believes in it I have to answer back and stand up for myself. This makes his moods worse and I am generally told to leave his vicinity (but not that politely) and often physically ejected from rooms if i decline to leave. He has told the doc I make his moods worse, because I argue back, don't leave and because I am generally so useless and horrible. (he has often said he wants a divorce, but in his better moods, he says this is because he feels i shouldn't have to cope with him and he's not getting one yet as I don't feel you can make those decisions under such circumstances and i guess this is the 'worse' and 'sickness' I spoke of in my vows....!)
 
SO, my question IS: is it all part of the support and care to just accept all the horrible things a depressed person will sling at you? Should I just agree with him, or leave, or take everything I get as part of the way to deal with him, or do I owe it to myself and him to ensure he's got the right picture and right ideas in his head??
 
With thanks for any thoughts you may have.
 
MM
 
 

Ann3425
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 9/8/2007 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
MM
I understand. My Bf has depression and if you look at some of my postings I am in very much the same position except not married. He abruptly ask me to not go on a trip to Labor Day the day were we to leave. I even got stuck with the B and B bill. He does the same with his meds and lying to the psych. Even tonight making arrangements to retrieve his things, he accused me of not being able to comprehend the pain he was in over the break up of a relationship when he initiated it! I worry about him as he has not left apt. all weekend. I have come to this decision for the betterment of my son and myself I need to distance myself from him until he decides to get the treatment he needs. I would leave when he starts to escalate and then make plans for a more permanent separation until he is stable. He is the one who must address his own depression and ALL the actions that come from it. It has been several weeks since I have seen him and I cry as I write this. I worry about him, but I realize there is not anything I can do until he is done cycling and gets treatment and is HONEST with doctors. I wish you well and understand I am there with you you do not stand alone. Ann

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/9/2007 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi MerlotMoon and welcome to HealingWell,

It is normal for people who suffere from depression to hit out and be generally horrible to those closest to them. For most people it is a security thing. He is secure in his love for you (Deep down, although he may not show it) so he feels safe in hitting out at you. As for what you should do... I would try to get him through therapy (with or without meds) in order to help him heal. Although there does have to be a point where you say enough is enough. But it sounds like you are some distance from that.

Good Luck and Keep us posted

Darren

 


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
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Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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City Girl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/11/2007 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Merlot Moon,
 
I too am a new member and am sympathetic to your experiences.  I am fortunate (to some extent, I guess) that my husband's depression results in withdrawl rather than angry outbursts.  Having said this, I can imagine that his reaction makes dealing with his depression all the more difficult for you; one can only let things go so long before we begin to take them personally.
 
Having said this, I wonder if it wouldn't help you to try to explain your situation to your husband (i.e. that you try to ignore his comments and not take them personally, understanding that they are a result of his condition, etc. but that they do hurt you and that they make it more difficult for you).  I know that it could be difficult to do this as you don't want to cause any more anger or guilt for your husband, but at the same time I think you need to respect yourself and your relationship enough to say something.
 
I wish you all the best and hope that your husband's treatment goes well.   

Doug Eby
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/14/2007 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Merlotmoon

Wow!  Reading your post and thinking to myself, "she's talking about me"  If it had been a few years earlier, you could have been my wife looking for help with me.  I could just copy/paste your post to explain what my wife had to go through.  It's exactly the same.

I know for me that I was just a hatefull, miserable person when in my "moods"  When I was out of the mood, the emotional pain I felt for what I had said or done would just tear me apart.  It's almost like two different people.  I'm tearing up right now thinking of what I used to put Michelle through.(my wife)  She's rubbing my shoulder right now, which doesn't help.

Michelle would be a good person for you to talk to.

Let us know if you would like to talk.

Doug

 



We learn by asking
No question is dumb... some answers however, are.
 


bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 9/16/2007 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried to get him to join a cbt group? It will build his self-esteem and confidence and if he's like me it will empower him to take control of his anxiety and depression over time if he works on using the exercises like the tea form on a daily basis until it becomes his newe way of thinking and reacting to stressors. I was in a group and the book by sam obitz was the first one we used and I identified with a lot of it which in turn gave me the boost in confidence that cbt may actually work that I needed at the time and got me to dive into the program head first. I liked his simple approach which amounted to the tea forms the wrist counter exercises and the putting things back into perspective exercise. I think it would be worth exploring if he's willing to work on himself. I hope this is useful to him and you.

chickpea73
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/17/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
MerlotMoon said...
when he is in a particularly bad mood, which is often brought on by tiredness, headaches, pressures at work, feelings of inabiltiy to cope, etc, he gets particularly repulsive to me - accusing me of all sorts of things I haven't done, things he thinks I feel, which I don't and is especially rude and insulting. Mostly I can let this go over my head as I realise he doesn't mean most of it, but sometimes it seems like he so believes in it I have to answer back and stand up for myself. This makes his moods worse and I am generally told to leave his vicinity (but not that politely) and often physically ejected from rooms if i decline to leave. He has told the doc I make his moods worse, because I argue back, don't leave and because I am generally so useless and horrible. (he has often said he wants a divorce, but in his better moods, he says this is because he feels i shouldn't have to cope with him and he's not getting one yet as I don't feel you can make those decisions under such circumstances and i guess this is the 'worse' and 'sickness' I spoke of in my vows....!)
 
SO, my question IS: is it all part of the support and care to just accept all the horrible things a depressed person will sling at you? Should I just agree with him, or leave, or take everything I get as part of the way to deal with him, or do I owe it to myself and him to ensure he's got the right picture and right ideas in his head??
 
With thanks for any thoughts you may have.
 
MM
 
 
omg that is exactly how I feel and what I am going thru. You explained it so much better than me! I really dont know whether to shut up and put up or not as when i argue it just makes it worse but when im accused of feeling ways I dont feel i really feel misunderstood and feel that I have to fight my case. I just posted a post about my bf today and just joined this site. I wish i could get the answer to this too.
i got told today that i was crap but my bf's mum is fantastic and i knw she doesnt confront him at all so maybe that is where i am going wrong. but i feel its wrong not to say anything. its also very hurtful to be compared to the mum like this - makes me feel very unloved.

erasmus42
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/18/2007 4:14 AM (GMT -7)   
What I mean is, don't let his moods get you down.

Living with a depressive can cause you to become depressed, and this is not a place where you want to be. I've had problems with depression for a long time, and I can see why your husband might act the way he does.

I haven't had the same experience as a close personal relationship that you have, but I may have some ideas for you.

First off, he needs to stay on his medication for at least a year; three months is too short a time. After a year, then you can see if there are still problems and even begin to think about reducing the dosage or going off medication.

Next, don't ever tolerate physical abuse. If there is physical abuse in a relationship, I would get out of it. For now, if he gets into one of his moods, I would leave him to himself.

I need a lot of alone time, and when I get irritated, I try not to be around other people. I don't mean to be cranky and abusive, but I can't help it, and sometimes take it out on other people when I don't mean to. It's not that he doesn't love you, but if you are nearby and cause a teeny bit of irritation, you become a target and outlet for all the other irritations that are built up.

Try to spend some time with him, and take his mind away from work and other irritations. I suggest a walk, perhaps after supper, and just enjoy the evening, not talking about things that might turn back into the topics that may set him off. It may be best not to talk at all.

Remember that you can help him, but you can't make his mind up for him. Nagging will only set him off. Hopefully he will stay on his medication, and the cognitive behavioural therapy will let him think clearly about his problems. You don't have to be a sponge for his irritations, that's not fair to you, so I'd suggest letting him stew by himself. Perhaps he's a bit like me in that he needs his alone time as well.
 
Reason for edit
 
I have taken out a small portion of the post at the beginning as it violates rule #2 regarding obscene / explicit / vulgar language. Please remember that we have minors using this site so please refrain from such language. For a full list of forum rules --> http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=46&m=106997

Post Edited By Moderator (djdaz_1985) : 9/18/2007 6:23:24 AM (GMT-6)


SirFunky
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/20/2007 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I gotta say that I, like Doug, have been the "husband" in your situation and the feelings of guilt brought on by seeing the pain I had caused my wife once the crisis had passed would break my heart and was probably the worst feeling I have ever experienced. The vicious circle this created was very destructive to myself and left me feeling tremendous amounts of pain, guilt and shame. It's a "chicken and the egg" thing for me but to this day I am still unsure if I acted that way because I was depressed or if I got depressed because I was hating myself for acting like that. This may explain why your husband often wants you to leave him alone as deep down, he does not want to hurt the person he loves and make himself feel even worse. I think it is very admirable that you are sticking through it and offering your support (and amazing that you understand why he is behaving that way) but I think you should also be careful of your own health. Perhaps in a moment when he is willing to talk about his feelings, you could explain to him how this behavior is affecting you and suggest that you come up with a strategy together on how to better deal with the bad moments. When my wife said to me that although she still loved me very much, she didn't know how much longer she could live that way, it was like I was struck by lightning. I knew then and there that regardless of how I felt, I had to change the way I treated the people I loved or I could lose them. Once I had dealt with my anger issues (which I am happy to say are now nothing but a distant memory), the depression became MUCH easier to manage.

Anyway, just a few thought's from a guy's perpective. Your patience and understanding are very important to your husband (even though it doesn't always show) but I personally don't think I could have gotten better if my wife hadn't "stuck up for herself" once in a while. Maybe just wait till the storm has past before you tell him how you feel.

MerlotMoon
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/28/2007 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
many thanks for the replies - these are wonderful insights.
 
I have only visited quickly for now to check any answers - I could reply in great length but I don't have the time right now, but hope to pop back again soon.
 
I would love to talk to chickpea and doug+michelle some more and the other insights from the same persepctive as my husband were very useful.
 
We have actually had a few breakthroughs and things are looking much more positive at the moment, which is great, but more later.
 
many thanks again, MM

moto
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/29/2007 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm new here and find myself in a similar boat as Merlotmoon - my husband attempted suicide a month ago - this at the end of a week where everything about him turned upside down. He was always easy going, apparently (I say apparently, but who really knows now) happy and with a good self esteem (also apparently I guess), but that week he started having delusions that changed from day to day, sometimes quicker, and then one day he started pushing me away - that's the day he attempted suicide.

He then spent a week in the hospital and then another 5 days in the psych hospital. He was put on anti-depressents and sent home. The couple weeks immediately following his discharge he was doing great - feeling like an idiot for the attempt and realizing what he put me through. But, now, the past few days he's been on a roller coaster of emotions. He started pushing me away again, telling me it's over, to leave, that he resents me, etc. I'm pretty much his sole caregiver and for the most part I've also been able to put aside the hurt it causes, believing it's the imbalance inside him and also the fluctuations caused by trying to get the medications right.

I appreciate what Doug and SirFunky have written in shedding some light from his perspective. I know he feels extreme remorse for putting me through this and I'm at a lost for how to help. My biggest fear is he will leave one time while in the midst of these episodes and hurt himself. I'm rambling - I just dropped him back off at the psych hospital and the five minutes before they took him back to assess him, he turned on me again and told me to leave him. They won't contact me unless he permits it. I think he'll come around again as he continues to cycle, but I'm just so distressed. Sorry for the rambling.. I needed to talk.

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/29/2007 9:00 PM (GMT 0)   

Hi there Moto and Welcome to HealingWell!

I feel your pain as I read through your post and I feel so sorry that you are having to cope with this. Your husband is obviously very ill and needs professional medical attention. You also need to be careful of your own health. I admire the fact that you are sticking by him where others would run a mile, but also be aware of your won health as it can deteriorate without you noticing and suddenly it hits you. Feel free to ramble here any time you wish. We will all help support you in any way we can.

God Bless

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 


Doug Eby
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/30/2007 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   
MerlotMoon said...
many thanks for the replies - these are wonderful insights.
 
I have only visited quickly for now to check any answers - I could reply in great length but I don't have the time right now, but hope to pop back again soon.
 
I would love to talk to chickpea and doug+michelle some more and the other insights from the same persepctive as my husband were very useful.
 
We have actually had a few breakthroughs and things are looking much more positive at the moment, which is great, but more later.
 
many thanks again, MM
Hi Merlot.
It's great that there have been some breakthroughs.  Keep at it.
If you email me I will send you both mine and my wifes MSN and you can chat with us there when and if needed.
Doug

We learn by asking
No question is dumb... some answers however, are.

MerlotMoon
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/5/2007 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Back again, briefly.
my husband has quit his medication after 6 weeks, with the doctor's approval.... I am very wary but don't like to appear negative about it!
He has had a few revelations - I know he has had a pretty horrendous upbringing with a bit of a psycho mother who has wrecked all her kids really - the youngest sister eats sofa foam when she gets stressed, but that's another story. Anyway, I know he's a very defensive person - he thinks someone's having a go at him before they've even opened their mouth, so he's defensive in response before he's even really thought about what they are saying - i get this especially, and have to start things with 'i'm not having a go at you, I just need to make the observation that....' to get him to think about things objectively - anyway, I know his mum has probably caused this as she spent his whole upbringing telling him he was stupid and no good and had no common sense etc - she used to moan to ME about these things! We haven't spoken to or seen her for over 5 years now, but he had a bit or a revelation after a big conversation we had that he has had feelings of inadequacy his whole life and the things he went on to tell me about himself suggest he has, contrary to what you might think meeting him, very, very low self-esteem. Realising this and admitting it has made a few improvements to his outlook but I fear he has muddled this feeling of improvement with thinking he's fixed himself and so he is off the meds. he still has his name down for counselling though and will be seeing the doc again.

One thing I am finding hard is now he feels all better, he has become all cuddly and affectionate again which would be good, except i have already noticed a change in him not on the meds and he still isn't that nice a person all the time - still very selfish, still very moody and moany and so i still don't necessarily feel like being all affectionate, which he is taking offense to. i realise I have had to create a self-preservation bubble for my own survival but it seems this is pretty impenetrable at the moment. I love talking to him, I will do anything for him, but I am very afraid to venture into any intimacy, even though it's what i want more than anything....

Anyway, this has also turned into a ramble as i don't usually get to voice my thoughts much and when I do it all sort of spills out... Reading other people's posts here about their experiences with a depressed partner has been very enlightening and it makes it all seem more normal when you read in black and white from someone else what is happening to you, so I am grateful for that. I guess there are no magic answers for us all... Shame.

I will confess to one thought I keep having - maybe someone can kick some sense and compassion into me - people keep saying what i great job I do 'putting up with him' and how not everyone could do that and there must be someone out there for everyone blah blah. Well, i keep thinking - that is great for HIM, he has got the person out there for him... but (here comes shameful bit) - what about me?? This isn't exactly what I wanted...

There. My bit of selfishness. Do forgive me!

Not sure what I wanted to say anymore. Have read chickpea's posts and will email you doug - in a bit of a rush right now after all this typing! will visit again though. Oh, you saying to msn you struck a nerve - i do msn, and so does my husband, a lot. he communicates with more people on there than he does real people in real life. i resent he spends so much time on the pc talking to so many people. And they are all women. he talks better to, and gets on better with women than he does with men. i also found out recently has had a blog where he talks about his experiences and thoughts with depression and people contribute with comments etc but I am not allowed to visit it or read it. I hate feeling cut out like this and hate that he talks about it with so many other people, especially women! I wish he would talk more to 'real' people, and me. I can see how it muct be useful for him - I mean, I am *here* right now! But I do feel pushed out.

Ok, all for now - I have lost my purpose totally now!

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 10/6/2007 3:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi There,
 
I think its great that he has started to open up as this will help with the healing process. As for being intimate, dont rish anything. If you are not ready... dont do it. You have to consider yourself as well as part of the relationship. Thats not selfish, thats common sense. If you dont keep yourself 100%, you are less likely to be able to support your partner. Please feel free to ramble on here any time you like. Thats what we are here for.
 
Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 


bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 11/30/2007 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
MerlotMoon said...
Back again, briefly.
my husband has quit his medication after 6 weeks, with the doctor's approval.... I am very wary but don't like to appear negative about it!
He has had a few revelations - I know he has had a pretty horrendous upbringing with a bit of a psycho mother who has wrecked all her kids really - the youngest sister eats sofa foam when she gets stressed, but that's another story. Anyway, I know he's a very defensive person - he thinks someone's having a go at him before they've even opened their mouth, so he's defensive in response before he's even really thought about what they are saying - i get this especially, and have to start things with 'i'm not having a go at you, I just need to make the observation that....' to get him to think about things objectively -
 
      If you really want him to learn how to think more objectively I hope you look into getting him CBT. It will give him the tools he needs to learn how to do this.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/2/2007 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Great idea Big Bear.  I think you are right on as CBT has helped so many. Take Care and keep on posting to all.

Kitt


 
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
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Really Trying
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/3/2007 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi MerlotMoon,

I am sorry that you are also going through what I am going through. My husband fortuantely is not lashing out at me, but his destructive behavior included a moment of infidelity two years ago.

I am sure you feel like you are torn between (1) telling him how crappy he's made you feel to finally get it off your chest and so that you can be healthy yourself and (2) not telling him how crappy he's made you feel because you know that telling him will only make him feel worse and thus more depressed. It is like walking on eggshells.

The hard thing is that a moment comes where you think it can't go on any longer, yet months pass and you find yourself venting to your friends again... and you realize that you sound like a broken record that replays every other month or so.

I, too, have come to the point many times where I love him so much that I have to keep trying... but then come to the point that I just want to run away and save my own sanity. I also have found it true that someone plauged with depression really does hurt the one they love the most. It has been hard to feel as if my feelings are not his #1 concern.

I was glad to read the resonses you received from Doug and Sir Funky.

I hope you are hanging in there and look forward to hearing how your situation progresses.
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