First time on a forum (ever) - I was depressed and now my wife is.

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SirFunky
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/16/2007 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everybody, (I'll apologize now for the length of this post, it just felt good to share some of this stuff)

As stated, this is my first post so I thought I would give you some background on myself.

I have recently turned the corner on years of severe depression with the help of some medication, exercise (very good), and I guess what you would call gaining some maturity/perspective as time marches on. The thing is, my wife has now become depressed. I can't help feeling that I may have brought her down with me during my rather long episode (5+ years) as I have been told before by others (at work etc...) that I have a strong effect on the dynamic of a group and that the mood that I'm in usually spreads to others.

Also, when we first started living together, she was very taken aback by my (then) sometimes violent temper. Be assured it was NEVER directed at her or our son and usually involved me getting mad and yelling at some object I was working on or punching a hole in a wall or something. I have since conquered this ugly facet of my personality (with the loving understanding of my wife I should add) and realized that hating myself for acting that way was probably a major cause of my own depression. Anyhow my wife being the gentle soul that she is and coming from the most beautifully loving and functional family I have ever had the joy of seeing (we're talking Little House on the Prairie here ) , these bouts of intense negative energy coming from myself were understandably upsetting for her. One of the things I loved the most about my wife was the pure joy, enthusiasm and honesty with which she would approach new situations and life in general and I can't help feeling that I am partially responsible for showing her a much darker side of reality.

Anyway, the situation now is that I am very eager to help my wife heal as I love her very much and will do anything it takes to help her get well. She knows that she is not well and I think would be willing to accept help although she is very weary of medications as a whole. She has stuck with me through so much that I feel I will never be able to repay her. The problem is, I am not sure how to approach this. Our communication process suffered some damage during the rough times and I fear I may have "broke something good" for ever. She is much more closed off than she used to be (a defense mechanism against the jerk that I used to be) and I'm scared that she will never again trust me with her deepest thoughts and feelings. Tonight I poured my heart out to her and offered my love and support in an email as this seemed easier for me than trying to tell her face to face. Perhaps some of you have experienced something similar? Have any of you gone to marriage counseling and if so, what was it like?

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent and sorry again about going on for so long.

SC

Doug Eby
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/16/2007 5:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi SC

Thought I was reading my own thoughts for a second there.  I too went through a long nasty spell and like you directed my anger at in-animate objects. (walls, doors, etc)  These episodes would followed by feelings of utter despair as I would realise the chaos I had caused.  A vicious circle creating a deeper depression.

Anyway, my wife too starting suffering with bouts of depression and we needed to take care of that as well.  Like you, I feel I am responsible for this happening to her.  It is good that you "poured your heart out" to her and yes, she will trust you with her deepest thoughts and feelings again.  It just may take some time.

about marriage counseling.  We did go to a marriage counselor and she wanted my wife to go to personal counseling first.  It took a while but my wife did finaly get personal counseling for her depression.  After that we had one appointment with the marriage counselor, who told us we didn't need her.  Once my wife and I had dealt with our personal "demons" life was much better.  We could talk again and we could love again.  It has been a couple of years of a good marriage again.

Encourage your wife to see a doctor and maybe even a counselor.  She will benefit greatly from doing so and so will your marriage.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Doug

 


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


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 9/16/2007 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   
SC


First of all I want to welcome you to the forum,we are very glad that you found us and I know you will find the support that you are looking for.

Doug has given you excellent words of wisdom that is for sure.
Marriage counseling is a good thing,it gives each of you a chance to talk about what is going on. They are trained to ask the right questions so you won't be required to just start talking.

I think that you and your wife are very lucky to have each other..understanding the other person's depression is a major step. So many times we see on this board where the other half does not get it,therefore the person goes without support. And that is very sad.

Hang in there and stay strong!


Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Lexapro,Zyban,Buspar,Clonazepam

Have been med free for 2 years now.

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How can you talk without a brain?

I dunno...but alot of people talk without a brain don't they?

Dorthy and the Scarecrow-Wizard of Oz


SirFunky
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/16/2007 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for sharing Doug,

I think I will encourage her to seek counseling. She had worked really hard to finish a teaching degree and after five years of study realized that teaching stressed her to the point of physical illness. She is now taking some time off but frequently tells me that she feels like a failure or a "loser" and has lost enjoyment of life. I just feel like I owe her so much and really want to help her and be a good husband to make up for all the crap I put her through you know? I have been free of anxiety for a while now but (probably because of my guilt), I want so much to do a "good job" and am trying hard to stay level headed about it and not make her feel like I am rushing her to get better. Anyway, it's good to hear a success story from someone who went through something so similar and I thank you for the advice.

Doug Eby
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 9/16/2007 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Glad I was able to share something meaningful.  yeah

 


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


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/17/2007 3:20 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi there SirFunky and Welcome to HealingWell!

Firstly, I wanted to congratulate you on your success. Turning the corner is never easy, especially when the depression is severe. You should be proud of that. That said, it should also give you an insight into how hard it is for your wife, giving you an added advantage over some people. I completely agree with any form of talk therapy (including Marriage Councilling). Talking is a great way to truly heal the wounds. I notice you have not mentioned meds at all in your posts... Do you or your wife take anything in order to help? Sometimes it is better to take meds to start with because it gives you that little bosst you need to get the best out of talk therapy, where without them, it can be difficult to see the benifits and you are more likely to give up. I think this is something you should discuss with the family doctor.

I wish you all the best and feel free to vent whenever you wish... we are all here for you

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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SirFunky
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/17/2007 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I personally am taking Escitalopram (which I think is marketed as Lexapro in the States) and like you said, it has given me the "boost" I needed to break out of some of the patterns I was stuck in. I truly feel as though I am ready to go off of them now but I'm holding back just in case it doesn't go well and hinders my ability to support my wife. As far she is concerned however, taking any kind of medication is a bit of a thorny issue as she is very un-trusting of pharmacology as a whole. I think this is due to some bad experiences and her being very sensitive to drugs of any kind (I once came home late one night when studying to find an ambulance in my drive-way. She had taken a NyQuil for a cold and was violently ill and hallucinating.) We will be going to therapy (her on her own first) as this is the only thing she is willing to try at this point. She will talk to me but I have quickly learned that the best thing to do is to shut up and listen ;) Whenever I try to sympathize and share what I experienced, I get the "It's not the same, I'm not depressed!" and "It's easy for you to be positive you don't feel like I do". Which I can understand because that's how I felt for a long time. There's a very fine line I think between offering support and making the person feel like you're being condescending. Still, makes for pretty dead end conversation so I am optimistic about having an objective third party offer some direction to the proceedings. I must say, talking on this forum has been a great help and has changed my outlook on the subject from anxiety to hope.

Thanks
SC

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/18/2007 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi,

If your wife can get through talk therapy without the aid of meds then that is great news. I would suggest though that when she talks to you though, that "shut up and listen" isnt a great tactic. There will be times when you have to be quiet and listen but communication is a 2 way thing and there has to be a point where you have your say as well. Otherwise, how will she know how you feel? You end up being an unknown quantity as far as she is concerned and that is not good for her or you.

All the best

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
 

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