my wife's depression is taking its toll on me

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reaching
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/27/2011 6:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been married for 20 years and my wife is depressed.  I didn't realize it at first and really have not known what to do.  We have children and it has been hard to say the least.  She started taking meds about 10 years ago and said it was a life changer for her.  We had a few good years (I think - it is hard to remember at this point) after that but slowly things have gotten worse.  She has been withdrawn for a few years.  She sits in front of the computer or reads but does not do much around the house.  I tend to do most of the housework although occassionaly she'll do a few things.  We have been to counseling and she has gone alone but basically she blames me for everything she sees that is wrong.  The counselors tell me all I can do is keep doing the things I am doing but after so many years that is hard.  People that know what is going on always tell me how impressed they are with the way I handel things, but I am not handeling it because things just keep getting worse.  She says her whole life is a mistake and while she does not directly say I am to blame for some things she implys it when she talks.  She now wants to move out.  I have fought this in the past but I don't think I have the strength to do so again.  The problem I have is that I love her very much and I want nothing more than to have a happy family.  I don't think her leaving is going to fix the problem.  I think she will still be depressed but now have noone to be there to keep her going and I think our kids will have a hard time.  I think she thinks if she goes she can clear her head and get things worked out and we can't do it together.  My fear is that she leaves and things still are bad (which I think they will be since I don't believe I am the problem) and she gets even further depressed.  I am pretty sure she realizes the meds are not working any more but blames me for the problems instead.  I try not to fight with her, I have tried to give her hugs, tell her nice things, and just keep the peace over the years but she has such low self esteem that it has no effect.  The good things I do are never good enough and if I make a mistake it will be remembered forever and used against me and usually the memory of any bad event gets worse with time.  I am not perfect but I have tried.  I don't want to give up but I don't know how to make her realize that she is depressed and that she does not see things clearly right now.  I think making life decisions like moving out should not be made while depressed but how do you make a depressed person see this.  Basically I want to tell her that her view of things is not accurate but in the past if I say this is possible she uses it against me to tries and make me feel bad.  I just don't know what else to do.

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 7/27/2011 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I think Gettingby is one of the experts on this Reaching, but I will offer just a few suggestions:

1. Your wife should see a psychiatrist and explain that she thinks her medications may not be working. There are some new mood stabilizers out there now that are very effective in restoring the chemical balance. That could easily be the largest part of her problem.

2.. She needs to get back into counseling on a regular schedule.

3. Negativity is a strong signal that her chemistry may be out of balance. (The wearing of clothing that is black, navy blue, or purple can often be signals of a depression or approaching depression.) You are already knowledgeable about what to look for, though, so if you can persuade her to go to a psychiatrist and request a change of medications, it might be the key to turning your situation around.

4. She may need some changes in her diet: removal of caffeine and
alcohol if she uses either; they both make the illness worse.

I empathize with you and hope you are successful in getting some changes made that will bring you happiness. You need to be careful about your own health, as well. If the drag of her depression has gotten to you, you might want to get some counseling to relieve the stress. I think you have done admirably, but post traumatic stress syndrome can occur in a situation like the one you have. You might even need medication to calm you or help you sleep if you have a problem with that.

Take care of yourself.

It's Genetic

reaching
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/27/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your thoughts. No alchol but lots of coke every day. I will try and talk with her, but it is hard to tell someone to do something that they think they don't need especially when they think you are using that as an excuse for their complaints. Ironically it is why there are so many complaints but I am getting the blame not the depression.

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 7/27/2011 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Take her by the hand and go with her to the psychiatrist, Reaching.
Her condition will only worsen unless she can understand the harm she is doing to herself by the use of caffeine in depression.  You reach a point in dealing with the illness in your home when you just have to make the appointment and go with her. 
 
If she won't go, you've taken action which is essential.  Then, see the psychiatrist yourself and find out what his recommendations are for you to manage the home.  It might make her think seriously about her behavior to know that you are making a serious effort to see that change occurs.  This might be a case in which "tough love" is called for.
 
Take care.
 
It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 7/27/2011 1:39:52 PM (GMT-6)


reaching
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/27/2011 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
The last time I dragged her there it did not work - it was my pushing her to go and she resented it and still does. When I have gone alone they just tell me you are doing all you can do, but I have not been in a while so maybe it is time for me to do again.
Thanks again for your input.

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 7/27/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you're making a wise choice, Reaching. Something needs to be done for the benefit of the children and you, even if she resents the effort to help her. People in depression often have a skewed view of how things are. Taking action generally has a long-term beneficial effect. It's also a very noble thing for you to do this for all of you.

Take care of yourself and the children.

It's Genetic
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