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My Husband Dealing With My Depression

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forums and this is my first post. I'm not sure where else to turn.

I've been living with depression for a few years, and in January I made the stupid mistake of thinking I was fine and going off my anti-depressants on my own. Well that didn't work too well (as you can imagine!) and about a month later I had an emotional breakdown and had to leave work early. I went back on my medication, but it's taking a while to kick in and since then I have had a few bad days.

Yesterday was a really bad day. I just felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin at work, and I could barely function or concentrate. I'm in the process of interviewing for another job, and I'm not even excited about the prospect of something new and that upset me. (I have lots of issues with work - I've had so many different jobs since I graduated from college due to me being fired, laid off, or leaving on my own, and though I've been at my place of work for over a year and doing something very mentally stimulating, I can't stand it. I just can't shake the feeling that I'm just a lazy person who hates working.) I just don't see any light at the end of the career tunnel. I kept randomly crying and was very sensitive all day, trying to hide from everyone at work so I wouldn't have to put on a fake face for anybody. I was texting my husband about my feelings all day.

When I got home, I was in bad shape. I spent most of the night sleeping and worrying about my depression and getting myself worked up, sobbing when I started thinking about how I've pushed so many friends away and how I hide what I'm really feeling from my friends and family. I know I think too much. The only person I don't hide from is my husband, but as loving and supportive as he tries to be he doesn't understand my depression and becomes very frustrated when I get upset and can't explain why. I don't blame him. I guess if I were him I would wonder why I'm wasting all my time with someone who brings me down like this and doesn't appreciate anything I do for them. He has given me a wonderful life, bought a beautiful house for the two of us and provided us a great living. He even got me a dog (and he hated dogs!) that he has tried to and succeeded in enjoying as well. He is wonderful, but when it comes to my depression he doesn't know what to do. Last night he sat next to me as I sobbed in bed, rubbing his forehead silently. He said he didn't know what to say, and he brought me my favorite snack to cheer me up but we didn't talk much for the rest of the night.

I don't know what to do...I try to talk to him about it but it hurts him so much to see me upset that I know he just wants it all to go away. I sent him an article today about coping with a depressed spouse hoping it would help him. I don't know if he's researched depression at all, but I get the feeling that he is just trying to not think about it and hope that I return to my cheerful self soon. I believe he thinks that I think about it too much and spin out of control and that if I stopped thinking about it it might get better, which I suppose could be partially true. I like being in control and I don't like victimizing myself, but this is really hard. Has anybody been through a situation like this? Does anyone have advice about what I should do? I don't want this to keep getting worse throughout my life and ruin my marriage.

Thanks for reading this!

- Laura

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Hi Hopeful, I don't have any solutions for you, but I wanted you to know that I am in the same boat as you. I have a wonderful loving husband that I have been leaning on way too much. So much of his energy is spent trying to make me happy that I think he's beginning to resent it. You mention your husband's frustration. I totally understand that. My husband just keeps saying, "I just want you to be happy". I've tried to explain to him that this is an illness that I am dealing with, but it must be so confusing for our spouses to look at our "great" lives and see that we aren't happy anyway. As for me, I am planning on putting some more effort into asking what he would like (i.e. food, activities, movies, etc.). I hope that some attention to his needs and wants will reassure him that he's more important to me than my illness.

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Hi HopefulInNY- I too am in the same boat at you. Have been for some time now. About 3 years ago I went though a very rough time of depression that lasted on and off for two years. During that time my husband was trying his best to help me with my illness all the while it was affecting him and his connection with me. About a year ago I got some help (through exercise, diet and therapy). I've not been on antidepressants since Nov and I'm thrilled. The sad part is that my husband can't seem to get the connection back that he used to have with me. I'm not sure what to do about it either. I've been working on keeping my depression in check and we're doing things together but the connection is still not back. I found a book that should be beneficial (we're both in the process of reading it, even tho it's geared toward him and not me), How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield, Mike Wallace, Donald F. Klein.

Edited by pickledseeds
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I have a wonderful husband also who sometimes gets upset when I am overreacting and then he overreacts....I have started reaching out, this forum, friends, family, calling them and talking instead of always dumping on my husband. I also do not always vent ... I guess it isn't necessary to tell him every ugly thing that is in my brain....let him be happy.

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Hi Hopeful,

Wow, your CV sounds just like mine!

I can also relate so strongly to your relationship dilemmas..

  • the guilt of bringing your partner down,

  • his frustration with the illness

  • your frustration with the llness.....

  • his frustration with your lack of communication....

  • your frustration with feeling misunderstood.....

I experience each and every one of these emotions too....

Also, my partner is of the same opinion as yours; that my thinking too much about my problems is my problem. I guess I agree to a certain extent but that doesn't really make it any easier to stop.

Plus there are many other factors in my depression. Too much stress; isolation; lack of purpose....My partner always stipulates that if I had a job I would be fine.

That is always his answer. He thinks that the answer is so simple. That I just need to go and get one. Tomorrow. Simple as.

He doesn't see the one hundred obstacles in my way pyschologically. A psychologist would understand. It is a recognised and debilitating illness.

My partner makes me feel like I should just sort myself out. On top of dealing with my depression I feel like I am being badly behaved or something. That I am doing something wrong in his eyes I guess; not suffering with an illness and deserved of rest and a little support to get better. He doesn't necessarily say that I am a bad person and doing anything wrong but in his frustration he does tell me to get my act together sometimes; especially when I withdraw.

I don't really have any advice on this really hopeful. I'm struggling with the same thing. What overwhelms me more than anything is the thought of this carrying on for years and eventually wrecking my partnership too. I guess the only thing I would perhaps say would be to try to focus on you and your needs in this.

For me, this weekend has been a total disaster and damaging to my relationship because I completely lost it today. - If I had a choice to go back to the beginning of the weekend I would rather that I had spent the time by myself or with family. I was feeling very ropey and I provoked a big fight today. I should know by now that I need to be in control in order for us to spend quality time together. There are no exceptions. There is only one outcome when I am extremely emotional - an argument.

Please don't tell yourself that you are lazy or dysfunctional Hopeful - you have an illness - the over-thinking is part of that illness. If you could stop you wouldn't be ill.

I don't have the answers but you can rest assured that the folks on this site know EXACTLY what you are going through and we all do our best to support each other here,

Love, Jeremiah

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Wow! Ive just joined today , this is the 2nd post ive looked at and could not believe how very similar alot of ur stories are to mine. I had started to feel that nobody could possibly feel the way i do or understand but u all do dont u nd I am so grateful I can come somewhere n vent , im going 2 do my first post now ... xxx

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Reading all these posts is the same as describing my own life. A wonderful husband who has reached a point where he feels he can't help me anymore. There are many times when I ask myself whta am I doing wrong? I've taken every med that has been prescribed, and none of them seem to help.

Had a bad day today. Was feeling angry all day long, snapping at my 11 year old daughter. I'm tired and I wish I could put a stop to all of these.

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Life has its ups and downs. Today definitely had some downsides...I have been trying to ramp up on a new medication and it is causing me adverse side-effects...another in a list of drugs that I cannot take. This is so frustrating. Word for the day, frustrating. Anyway, I took pain meds before I went to bed and that was not a good idea...felt nauseated, work up feeling like not getting up....heavy eyes...red face...not good. Just when I had talked myself into taking a shower my husband came in and jumped into the shower. So, I gave up on that idea and got a wash cloth and did a sponge bath...Then it was one thing after another, husband in the kitchen hogging up the sink and I had to go into the bathroom to get water for the water filter so I could take my pills and get some tea. I also had surgery on my foot and have to soak my foot every day twice a day...so I had to deal with that. Every time I try and get water from the sink my husband huff and puffs....I just couldn't take it today so I sat down and started crying silently to myself. Then I gained control...and kept trying to take care of myself. Unfortunately, I had been up all night with extreme anxiety over my doctor who is an egotistical maniac and angry because I am seeking help from specialists....Long story,. I decided to drop him and had to start with the doctor hunt today which did not go well. I spent the entire day with only one option of a new doctor who I cannot even get a bio on because he is new to the area....All of the women I wanted and got great recommendations for aren't taking new patients.

Anyway, all of this is happening and really all my husband can say is: "Take your meds..." Thanks alot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bottom line is that while I love my husband deeply.....we get frustrated with each other....and sometimes need space. I guess everyone needs space/ time from each other at times.

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