Husband home from Iraq, severly depressed, I'm due with our 3rd in January, HELP

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/9/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband came home from Iraq 4 weeks ago this Thurs. (11/12). I could see it in his face when he was walking up from the ramp from the plane that something was wrong. And then seeing that, the irritation I thought I was hearing on the phone with him while he was gone started to worry me. I can pin point in e-mails and on one particular phone conversation when he changed. I just assumed it was because he was fed up and ready to come home. Serving his time, so to speak. This was is 3rd deployment in the last two years each lasting 4 months, all in Iraq. He swears that nothing happened (dangerous) this deployment. I know for a fact his first deployment consisted of his base getting bombed 3 or 4 times the first one happening within a couple weeks of him being there landing about 60ft from him.
His mood and behavior are like this. He came home and gave me a hug and a quick peck. And that's the last time he has touched me. Last night he actually made our son scoot over on the couch to avoid sitting next to me. Which hurt so badly I ended up in our closet crying for over an hour. I have cried myself to sleep every day since he's been home. He won't talk, unless it's necessary, 'get me this from the grocerey store', etc... He won't say I love you, nothing. He tries with the kids, tells them he loves them, hugs them goodbye, plays with them, etc... I can see his hearts not totally in it. But, he did tell me he does feel something towards them, it's just not what it should be. 4 days after being home we sat down and talked and he said he has no emotion towards anything. He knows he loves me but doesn't feel anything towards me. And it's apparent in how I'm treated. He does things if I ask, and a few things even if I don't (dishes, laundry etc..). But, there is no joy there. A guy at work said he was 'beat down'. I couldn't choose better words myself. Another guy at work told him he was different. I'm not the only one who's noticed, I'm just getting the brunt of all of it.
Within 1 week of him being home, I had made a Dr.s appt and he is now on Pristiq. My biggest obstical right now is that I am dealing with this all while 28 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby. I am typically an emotional person anyway, but being pregnant on top of it, I am really losing it.  I feel everything is directed at me. He's been sleeping on the couch since he's been home with no indication whatsoever that he wants to come to bed. This is so hard. Everything I've been reading says that I may not see any sign of a mood change until he hits the 6th-8th week of being on this medication. That puts me 4 weeks from my due date and then our lives change big with our 3rd baby. And that's if the meds even work. He's been gone so much, I miss him. He's home, but he's not. I don't know what to do. Is there another woman out there dealing with the same thing that can give me some advice? Is there anyone out there on Pristiq that can share? Please, anything is better than nothing.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/9/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't think Pristiq will be enough to solve the mental problems your husband has. He seems to need some serious therapy. I don't know what happened in Iraq but he surely needs to talk about that with a professional. Try to help him by encouraging him to go see a therapist. Drugs alone can't make him forget the things he experienced over there.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/9/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
The thing is, he went through something similar (this time it's worse) a few years ago. He sat me down and told me he thought our marriage was in trouble, that he wasn't happy, he didn't know what was wrong. Almost a year later after that opened my eyes and I started to pay attention to the little things, myspace to be a big one. It all came out in an e-mail I found. He had gotten too close to a woman at work, an emotional affair at least. I still don't know everything that happened and probable never will. The thought of losing me and the kids, seemed to snap him out of it. Of course it's been a long road for me learning to trust him again, but I got there. I had him back. Everything before this last deployment was fine. This all happened before Iraq. My sis is depressed and in talking with her a lot about this, she said that this sounds like this is his second episode and it could have been something so simple that could have triggered it. Something to know. We are not military. He works for the gov't. He was not in any combat situtations. Mostly just talking with people, etc.. I won't go into any more than that because I can't.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/9/2009 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi W,
Welcome to HW. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I'm not married, so I can't give you any advice about that. But I can say that there are lots of people who get depressed seemingly for no reason at all, even if they haven't spent any time in a war zone. I have talked to friends & seen pictures from Iraq & honestly I can't even imagine the horror of worrying about whether you would live or die at any given moment. Is there still a chance he could be sent back, or is he finally through with the deployments (i hope)?

In any case, in addition to encouraging him to get counseling for himself, I would encourage you to find some support for yourself. You are going through a LOT right now and on average people try 3 anti-depressant medications before finding one that works for them. I sincerely hope your husband is one of those lucky people who gets a great medication for him on the first try, but depression is such a tough illness to beat. Many of us need meds and therapy and behavioral changes and a lot of effort into seeking out happiness. I want to encourage you that if he has help and wants to fight, there is a very, very high chance he will get much better, but it can take time so if you have someone who can talk with you, support you & help you figure out how to handle all the fears/worries/stress/etc. that you are facing right now.

Please know that there are a lot of wonderful, caring members here & if you'd like to keep posting, we will support you as much as we are able.


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/9/2009 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   

I am so sorry, war is an ugly thing. He had to see horrible things or hear things. He loves you and the kids but right now he is trying to protect you all the way he knows the best. And at the same time he is protecting himself. I know it is not easy to understand, he is in the survival mod. Keep the news away form him; don’t watch anything with violence in it. You need to watch and see what sets him off and try no to do it. I know it is hard on you and the kids. Tell the kids the truth that daddy is sick. You also should know that no medication will take a way what he saw and felt.  Your love will help him process what he saw but he is changed and will never be the man you married too. Keep strong and God be with you and the family.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/9/2009 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Sweetie, I think you have answered the question you know that at least you and him need some help here. Opsec aside, you feel something is up. So I wonder if you have been thinking about seeing a counselor yourself, if he is unwilling to go. Because I can hear the hurt that you are feeling. Also I think you know that your husband really should do some serious thinking about getting help himself. My concern is that his depression and withdrawing can effect you, especially when you are prego.   I think it might be helpful to get some counseling just to be proactive in taking care of yourself and your family.  It is another weapon in the arsenal that you have to protect yourself and  your family.
While I agree once deployed you are never the same person, but the level of withdrawl you have said he is displaying is very concerning to me. 

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I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/9/2009 8:06:43 AM (GMT-7)

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20282
   Posted 11/10/2009 5:12 AM (GMT -6)   
my compassion to you both. agree that professional help will be benefical to you both. jamie

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