unwillingness to try therapy

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KO-LD
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/17/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I am trying to understand my husband's unwillingness to try therapy, or even fill out a workbook that I got for him about 4 years ago when he was having a serious anxiety episode.  He has had anxiety for as long as he can remember, and his mother and sibs also suffer from it.  I am the one that has done all the research, ordering books, calling doctors, scheduling appt etc.  I was able to get him to my GP 4 years ago when he was at his worst, but he fought even this because when the day came for his appt he was able to "manage it", it wasn't gone but he could live with it.  I put my foot down and made him go.  She is just a GP and gave him Seraquel because he wasn't sleeping hardly at all and that was compounding the problem.  Later she gave him the Xanax to use occasionally for the anxiety.  He now takes the Xanax daily.  He says if he waits til he needs it then it doesn't work.  Why won't he take the 15 minutes a day to fill out the workbook , just try it and see if it helps?  If I could do it for him I would.  He has missed so much of our life that it hurts.  What can I do?  Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Thanks, KK

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/17/2009 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   

KK,

I am sorry to hear your husband is not ready to go to therapy but this is one of the things that the person must want to do for themselves.

You cannot tell him what to do. I think that is something he is going to have to work out on his own.

I  do not endorse putting your foot down, because that implies an improper balence of power in the relationship. How in the world can either one of you be safe in a space that one has more power then another?

I am wondering how many Xanax pills he is prescribed monthly if he has enough to use them every day?

I am sorry I do not have any magical answers.  I feel the main thing is get help for yourself right now.  You cannot really change another person.

I do empathize with how you are feeling.

With kindest personal regards,

Kitt


 

Kitt,
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KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/17/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt,
I could live with the not wanting to go to therapy, but why won't he even read a book and fill out the workbook just to see if it helps.
 
I should clarify that when I said I put my foot down it was not a power play at all, I feared he was headed for a nervous breakdown and I was really scared.  He clearly needed help and was unable to seek it on his own.
 
His Rx for Xanax is written for every 8 hours as needed, so 1 Rx last for 3 months.
 
I just really want to understand the psychology behind not seeking help (ie: not filling out a workbook). 
Thanks, KK
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/17/2009 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello KK,

I understand  what you mean by worrying your husband is headed for a breakdown. Anxiety and other personality traits can trap a person in their own prison.  Outside influence seems to have little effect on them coming out.  It’s frustrating and can be even depressing for the healthy spouse. 

Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders don’t seek help. They don’t realize that they have an illness that has known causes and effective treatments. Other people fear their family, friends or coworkers might label  them if they get help.

Just this past week-end I was talking with  my MIL to tell her their neighbor is very depressed.  My MIL turned to my FIL and said " Steve is feeling sorry for himself"  ARgh !  Some people just don't understand a disorder if they cannot see the injury or pain a person is in. 

I hope this gives you an idea how your husbands mind is thinking. 

I admire you for working so hard at helping your husband.  Remember to take care of you.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


spinnaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/18/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I know this will sound sexist and I apologize ahead for offending anyone, but I believe what I have to say is often true.
What kind of workbook is it? Men (maybe older generation men more?) are notorious for NOT wanting to get in touch with how they feel, what is going on in their heads, admitting a weakness and then (gasp!) have to write it down too. That is why it is often the women who do the researching and book buying and seek out counseling for a bad marriage or make the doctor appts for a hurting (physically or psychologically) loved one, etc. I remember being told once by a therapist that men tend to be the ones to drink or drug their pain, rather than open up and seek help. Again, of course there are exceptions, and I don't mean to offend. But maybe we women sometimes expect our men to respond like we would (talking it out, sharing, spilling the beans, journalling (sp?), etc. And they are just not comfortable with that at all. So maybe if you talk with a therapist or clergy or whomever, they might be able to offer a different approach? Just a thought.
Peace to both of you!
Spinnaker
PS not trying to scare you with the drugs and drink comment my only reason for stating that was the therapist's point that some men find it very difficult to admit they need help and then to go get it, and so some even self-medicate rather than discuss/explore their problems the thought of which is foreign and may makes them feel weak or helpless or whatever.

Post Edited (spinnaker) : 8/18/2009 2:23:43 AM (GMT-6)


Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 8/18/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
It took my dad a very long time to come to terms with his anxiety /pa . A very long time. I would say he was in his mid 30's. So about 15 years.
He had a nervous break down. Became agoraphobic lost his job and became one of the meanest people I knew. But it took him having the break down to finally seek help.
Sometimes its best to let them fall. At some point they will decide they do not like the life they have and want to change it. But it is not until then can anyone truely help. No matter how good our intentions are and how much we want to help them. It does no good until they decide the time is right.

I suggest you just let it go. Support him when he needs it. But give him the space he needs to deal with HIS problem. Stop pushing things on to him. Let him come to terms with his problem on his own. Let him decide when the time is right. You are "mothering" him and it probably is just making it 10 times worse.

I hate it when my family does this to me. I will decide when the time is right for me. I will be the one to do what I need to. I personally do not want someone else telling me what I should and shouldn't do. It is very very frustrating and makes me back away even further on seeking meds/ therapy etc that I already know I need. But I am not ready. I don't want to face these facts yet. Even though I already know. I just am NOT ready.

Just writing this upsets me. Because it was just the other day my family was hounding me on taking the meds the doc gave me. Yes they will make my anxiety better. But at the cost of other emotions I do not want to lose. So I WILL decide when I am ready.

Listen to him. When he says he doesn't want to let it go. A journal is well something he might not be interested in what so ever. So drop it. He knows its there if he decides do use it. The books are there. Therapy is there. He already knows this. If you keep hounding him. He will back away even further. What it ends up being is a consent reminder he has a problem. And yet he already knows that.

I don't mean to sound harsh or mean at all. So don't take it that way. Its just the way I feel when my family steps into my situation. It is MINE. And I have to deal with it. Let him decide is all I'm sayin.

Take Care
Cary-Ann

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/18/2009 3:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning KK
 
How are you today?  I hope you are doing well and that you know we are here to support you.  It is not an easy job to be the spouse of a person that needs help and won't admit to it.
 
Please do take care of yourself.
 
Gentle hugs to you,
 
Kitt

KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/18/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt,
He has known something wasn't right since he was 5 years old, but not until he was in his 20's was he able to find out what it was.  He is now in his 40's.  He has told his family, which have their own anxiety issues, and some close friends, but not any of his co-workers.  I think he thinks they will think less of him.
I know what you mean about depression, it's like a dirty word.  I also know what you mean about if people can't see an injury or pain, I have Lyme disease and people don't even think it's a real disease! 
 
Cary-Ann,
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad.  I know you can understand my worry, I really felt like my husband was headed in that same direction.  I DO support him and act as his sounding board, but that is a one way street.  I don't Mother him, or push things on him, the books and Dr. appt was 4 years ago when he was "the worst it's ever been" his words, and really on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Now I just am there to listen when he needs to talk about it.  I have to admit that it is emotionally draining and at this time in my own life I just don't have it in me any longer, I am not as strong as I used to be, or maybe I have just been worn down by it all.  What he doesn't seem to see is that his anxiety affects not only himself, but me and our son. 
 
Spinnaker,
I know what you mean, but his Mom is the same way.  They both would rather take a pill than deal with the issues.  His Mom has engaged in self medicating which is scary. 
 
Thank You all for your responses,
KO
 
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/18/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   

KK

It does not help your husband to see his Mother hiding her head in the sand and self medicating. It gives him false hope that by ignoring the issues he can deal with it without help. 

Do you have someone from your community, a clergy person or someone he may look up to that you could ask for an intervention?  I know you take the chance of your hubby becoming angry but he will get over it. 

Again please remember to take care of yourself.  You are an important person and you need to stay healthy mentally and physically.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


Allestaria
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 8/18/2009 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
KO-LD,

My mom was were you are now back then as well. My dad just turned 60. And my parents have been married for 37 years. He finally got some meds in the early to late 70's. (I was very young).
He had his break down in the early 80's. If I remember right I was about 8. It happened a few months after he had opened his own business. Which at the time was going really well.

Anyway. My mom deals with my dads anxiety every day. Never knowing what kind of mood he is going to be in. It took her a long time to learn how to read him. And figure out what she needed to do for him that day. It was rough on us kids as well. We learned to get up in the morning have breakfast as quietly as possible and get out of the house before he got out of bed. We wouldn't come home until dinner time. Or when my mom would give a yell.
It was very very hard child hood. And as a child it was very hard to understand. In my family you didn't talk about mental health problems. My grandma (moms side) was not in her right mind. And us kids did not understand why we couldn't go visit her. And she passed away around this same time.

I don't remember a whole lot of my dad's anxiety. But I remember the big things. I remember seeing him get so mad he threw things across the living room. I remember him breaking down and crying. I remember the fights and my mom crying because she didn't know what else to do.

In the end it worked out. He finally got help. And is a super grandpa and a much better dad then he used to be. He tries very hard to make up the past. Even though I do not wish or ask him to.

Your son is lucky to have an open and understanding mom. And your hubby is lucky to have a very loving wife. I wish they had this type of help for my mom. She suffered so.

Do what is best for you. Your health is as important as your hubby. But you should always put yourself first. I know its not easy but you should.

I have no advice on how to talk "sense" into him. As it is next to impossible. I have several members of my family who also suffer. I have a drunk brother who I have not seen in years. He self medicates drinking and xanex for his anxiety. My 2nd brother I have not seen him since I was 4 he was 12 I think. My next brother deals with his anxiety the best. When his acts up. He calls us for supports. My baby brother has moved in with my parents. Got married and had a child. They still live with my parents. And he to this day will not talk about his anxiety. He will not even tell his wife when he is feeling down.

Then there is me. I'm open seek help from my mom who is ultra supporting. If I feel bad at 2am I can call her and she would be here in a heart beat. My hubby is just as supporting. He watches me throw things and would sit on the couch and say "When you are ready dear. I'm here for you." And that was all I needed. He knew to just step back. Let me get over it and then I could cry on his shoulders.

Remember you and your son come first. If you can not handle what is going on. Have you thought about therapy? Some way to unload your massive emotional load. Maybe try to have another chat with hubby. If he is a good "runner" I would maybe take it to a park or some place where it is harder for him to leave. (I know my brother is a great runner)

Take Care.
Cary-Ann

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 8/18/2009 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that it's a "man" thing. But it's unusual, in my opinion, for someone who is suffering with anxiety/panic to not want to seek every possible answer to their attacks. You have done all the right things. He needs to read the books and go to therapy. Maybe wait and see if he hits rock bottom with these terrible feelings he will begin to do something. It's frustrating, I know.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
 
60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.
 
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."


KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/18/2009 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
First let me say a big Thank You to all of you, I really appreciate all your posts!
 
Aries8,
I think rock bottom was 4 years ago, but I did convince him to see my GP.  I feel the meds are just a bandaide and just make things "passable" his term.  It's funny because he doesn't like to take meds normally, but is willing to take the Seraquel and Xanax to cope.
 
Cary-Ann, I'm glad your Dad is doing so well now, it sounds like you all had a really rough childhood.  Thank you for the kind words.  I have a hard time putting myself first, like most Moms everyone else comes first.  Since I've been sick I've realized that I really need to take care of myself, I'm getting better at it.  I'm glad you have your Mom, she sounds really special!
 
Kitt, My husband and his Mom are very close, and I know it's not good for him to see how she handles her anxiety.  Her behavior has gotten really bad since his Dad passed 5 years ago.  A intervention would never work with her, she would feel like we were ganging up on her and she would revolt.  When he mentioned something was probably caused by her anxiety, she said "I don't have anxiety" and when he said something like yes you do, I have the same symptoms she said "I don't have anxiety and neither do you"!     I really don't have anyone to talk to about this which makes it even more stressful.  Thank you for your encouragement, I really appreciate it.
 
Take Care,
KK

Daisysmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 8/18/2009 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
has he at least read mental health stuff on the Web? This site, for example? Or about.com has lots of short, basic articles and some quizzes. Internet quizzes, gotta love them.

Maybe he thinks anxiety is just a lady's disease? does seem like a lot of women are on these sites! he needs a MAN to talk to, maybe.

my significant other once gave me a book/workbook thing about improving our relationship, but i never read it because i felt resentful. i think maybe 10 years later i went looking for it on our bookshelves, but i still didn't want to read it.

--daisysmom

KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/19/2009 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
daisysmom, 
He did look up anxiety and saw his symptoms listed.  He knows he has it, but when he was at his lowest he felt hopeless and didn't think therapy or reading a book, or filling out a workbook would work.  I think he felt he was the only one in the world that felt like he did.  Now that he is taking the Seraquel and Xanax he feels things are "passable" except when something comes up like last Friday (he was working from home) and got an email from work talking about a big meeting on Tuesday.  His group was going to be recognized for an award and they would be sitting at the table near the front of the room and stand when they were mentioned.  He really had a hard time with that.  Went through all the what if's, and let it "ruin his weekend".   We had plans for the weekend and he couldn't enjoy them at all.  He did make it through just fine, but I'm always worried that something like that will trigger an episode like 4 years ago.  I've actually thought of leaving him, it would be healthier for me if I did.  But that would be stressful too, I'm a stay at home Mom so financially it would not be possible. 
Thanks, KK

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/19/2009 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning KK
 
First of all I want to wish you a day full of sunshine and peace.  :-)
 
It does sound like your husband has anticipatory anxiety which was one of my biggest problems.  I am a worry wart.  I have managed to work through therapy and I am now able to stay out of the What If's most of the time.

I am a great believer in staying in the moment which I learned in therapy. Making ourself miserable is how we tend to spend a lot of time in the past or the future. We spend much time thinking about what was and what could have been. And we spend much time projecting into the future and wondering about what may happen.

This way of thinking is indeed a great way to make much of your life a lot more miserable and limited than necessary. The key to solving this problem is of course to live as much as you can in the only moment that you ever really live in and control. This moment right now. The moment that is all there ever was and - probably - will be.

But how can you step away from the thought loops that whirl back and forth through our memories and fantasies?

How do you actually return to the present moment?

Focus on what’s right in front of you, push all other thoughts out of your mind.

My Pdoc told me I have a tendency toward catastrophysizing events whether they are in the past or the present so I had to learn to talk myself out of the stinking thinking and stay in the moment. 

I understand your feelings about leaving your husband but I also know that being a stay at home Mom is important to you.  Do you have any family, friends or clergy that you are comfortable talking with? 

We are always here for you so please do keep on talking with us as we truly care about you.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/19/2009 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt,
What you said sounds so much like my husband.  I have read about CBT did you do this kind of therapy?  Do you think it is benificial?  I really don't have anyone to talk to about this, members of his family have the same/similiar problems and have not addressed their issues professionally.  I believe they all feel they have handled it on their own, but some of the off hand comments their spouses have made would lead me to think otherwise.  I don't think they would be very supportive considering this.  I know my husband has not told anyone how bad it was 4 years ago, maybe if they knew they would be supportive.
Thanks for your support,
KK

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/19/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey KK,

CBT is the best therapy for this kind of anxiety.  We have had many members use CBT.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations,
and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

There is a online free version that your hubby could try.  Here is the link for The MoodGYM 

http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

He would have to sign in as a new member but I have worked through it and the trick is to not give up when the  questions seem to simple.

Good luck and perhaps you may want to join to just to see how the program works.  No one ever sees another members name.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt


KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 8/20/2009 4:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt, Thanks again, I will check out the website and hopefully my husband will too.
KK
2001 symptoms started:
Tingling in fingers and toes both sides, not tested at that time for LD
2007 Summer tested pos. WB, diagnosed with LD, tested neg for co-infections thru Igenex
Abx - Doxy 100mg 2x/day for 3 weeks (before diagnosis)
Amoxicillin 1gm 2x/day for 1 month
Amoxicillin 1gm 3x/day with Probenecid 500mg 2x/day  5 months 
Currently on Dr. Zhang's protocol stopped Zhang's after 6 months symptoms returned.  Started Buhner's protocol May 2009


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/20/2009 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   

You are welcome. I hope your husband will check it out and give it a good try.  CBT has great reviews.

Hugs,
Kitt

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