Husband denying diagnosis

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/15/2008 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Three years ago, shortly after my diagnosis with breast cancer, my husband was diagnosed with depression.  At about the same time, he was fired from his job - he became incapacitated by his depression and was unable to function in the office.  Initially I thought that it was triggered by my breast cancer, but slowly I came to realize that it had been brewing for a long time, perhaps even since we got married.  (We knew each other for 6 years before we got married.  He was not depressed at the point we became engaged, in my opinion.  The depression only got bad when we had a child five years ago.)
He was put on Effexor, and has been taking it for three years.  He has been in talk therapy for slightly less time than that.
But the crazy thing is.....he is still deeply depressed, and deeply in denial about it!  He was fired this summer again, and I read his review: it talked about his sleepiness, tardiness, inattentiveness, etc.  When we met, we worked together, and he was a hard worker, and I believe that his review was like a list of depressive tendancies, more than anything else.  Yet he thinks that he has it under control and that I'm "mean" to insist that he's depressed and needs help!
He is irritable, unreliable, and dishonest.  (He lied to me about his progress at work, about the dose of his meds, and about numerous other small things.)  He shouts when he is angry, and has frightened our five year old on multiple occassions.

I DRAGGED him, kicking and screaming, to the doctor just about two weeks ago.  My husband told me to come to the appointment so that I could "tell the doctor what a bad guy" he is.  I resisted, but then realized that it might help fi I did come.  I tried to be respectful, but firm - I told the doctor what was going on.  The doctor said, "How is your job going?" and my husband didn't even mention that he'd been fired - only that he found a new job!  When I pointed this out, the doctor said that he was minimizing his symptoms, and that was dangerous, etc.  I think that the doctor is in a position to help, and might understand how to work with my husband.  The doctor re-diagnosed him with depression, and added Wellbutrin to his prescrptions.  The doctor questioned the effectiveness of his therapy, and suggested that my husband wasn't revealing enough ot the therapist.
But my husband still denies it all.  He says that *I* am "giving him" depression.  He says that he is fine, except that I am so unloving.
I finally gave my husband an ultimatum: fix some of these problems or I'm leaving in the summer.
How do I protect myself and my daughter from his unhealthy behaviors while still encouraging him?  How do I break through to him?  Is there any hope?  I want to support him through his disease but after living with it for years, and feeling often like a single parent, and walking on eggshells from his horrible moods, and suffering severe financial distress from his inability to be an effective employee, I am at my wits' end.  I am a functional person, full of love to give.  I deserve so much more than this!  Still, I want to honor my marriage vows.  I want to leave NOW but I'm hoping that with the ultimatum (which is real: I have limits to how much I can take) he will see that he must get help.

Any advice is appreciated.  I realize that what I've posted is disjointed; there is so much more to say.  I'm just anxious to find help where-ever I can.
PS  I am also seeking the help of my therapist, friends, my minister, my parents, etc.
PPS  We have been to two different marriage counselors, but my husband feels 'beat up' by the experience and it makes him more withdrawn than ever.  I am planning on trying again, but scared.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42503
   Posted 9/15/2008 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lovespouse,

First of all, welcome to HealingWell. I think that you will find that this is becoming kind of a common thing. We have had other members go through this, so I think that you will get a lot of responses.

One thing that I noticed when I was first diagnosed was that I didn't realize that I felt bad, until I started feeling better with medication. So a lot of his problem could be that he just doesn't realize that he doesn't feel good, so hopefully the addition of medication will help your situation.

I am thinking that he does feel like he is getting picked on during the family counseling, because it is about his attitude and the way he is handling things. But if he would only try, this would change.

It is so easy to blame everybody else for your problems, and not realize that it is your own way of thinking that is the problem. I am happy that you went to the doctor with him and clued him into what he is doing. Not being honest with the therapist doesn't help. There is nothing there to work with. I am happy also that you are going to counseling too. You need the suppport thoughout this.

I really hopw that the medication helps him. And that he keeps this job. Wellbutrin is kind of like a stimulating drug and hopefully that will perk him up at work.

I am sorry for what your five year old is going through. I hope that your husband's yelling doesn't cause problems there. It is scarey for a child to see an adult out of control.

Take things one day at a time as you are and keep on trying. It is the disease that is causing him to feel isolated and picked on. You are doing the best that you can and that is a lot of help for him. So be proud of yourself.

Best wishes for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/26/2008 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Getting by, thank you for your response.  Every word helps.  Dealing with this is a lonely process - it seems like "normal" people don't understand.  If my husband behaves like this because he's depressed, then he's a sick man in need of help.  But if he's just choosing to be a jerk, well, then he's a jerk!  My girlfriends don't entirely understand.  Who can blame them?  I don't understand either.
We are starting a mentorship with another couple who has a long, loving marriage, and has experienced cancer and depression in their family as well.  I am praying that helps.
I would love to hear from others - anyone?

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42503
   Posted 9/26/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
There are so many people that dont understand depression. But you are not alone. Keep posting, there are a lot of people here that do understand what you are going through and would love to help you.

Best wishes for a wonderful day,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/26/2008 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I just want to second what Karen has said. "Normal" people very seldom understand depression because they have not experienced it and a lot of people think it is just about feeling sad. (Which we all know is not true).

We would love to hear from you regularly to see how things are shaping up in your life.

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.
"A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if your not enough without it, you will never be enough with it." - Irvine Blitzer (John Candy) in Cool Runnings
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
Help support the forums so we can support you:

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 9/26/2008 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Love,
This is identical to the middle of my husbands story. Until he hit bottom, his one and only manic episode, he was unable to come clean with his therapist and psychiatrist. It was a long and awful fall. Eventually he did hit bottom, last November/December. In the intervening months he has worked hard to stay on top of his disease. He still lies and hides small things at times, but his attitude is better. Yelling is minimal. He is not in bed all the time. Unfortunately due to his inability to get out of bed he lost his very good job. It is tough dealing with this disease state and having to interview for a new job. But he does keep plugging away.
There is hope. But what it takes to get to that point is not pretty.

There are several good books on male depression and helping your spouse through depression. One of my favorite books is by Terry Real,,, I Don't Want to Talk about it: The Secret Legacy of Male Depression.

Take care,

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/27/2008 4:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning Love,

I know it is hard to be the spouse of a person with dx with depression.  Depression is a sad place to be but I believe everyone with depression wants to feel normal and happy and does not want to feel as they do. Perhaps his denial is how he is coping because if he accepts the dx then he fears he won't get any better.

You sound like you are doing all the right things but please take care of you too.  Perhaps you might consider therapy for you just to make sure you know how to deal with the marriage and your husbands disorder.  You need one on one therapy for just you. Please don't blame yourself for your husbands illness. You are extrememly supportive and a very good person, remember that.

Keep postings.


Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, July 23, 2018 8:57 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,984,538 posts in 327,234 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 162017 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, DrBeracah.
409 Guest(s), 10 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
therearemiracles, sebreg, Sara14, Pratoman, Hardlyrob, Busted1, fjdrill, Mamatomypeas, DrBeracah, Another UC Mum