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Topic: Advice / help needed - husband is unwell

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. AdvicePlease8677
    AdvicePlease8677 avatar
    2 posts
    8 June 2018

    Hi everyone. I'm a long time reader, first time poster.

    I am married to the love of my life, been together for 13 years (since I was 17) and married for 5.
    Approx 2 years ago, my husband reluctantly quit smoking before his 40th birthday and ever since then it has been a downward spiral.
    It's almost like the nicotine was masking / keeping something at bay, and now it's been exposed.

    Since quitting, he has been getting more and more anxious. Small things seem that most people would brush off, really affect him and he gets into these moods that take forever to pass.

    We are both self employed within our own company. He used to manage quite well. Now he is stressed and anxious all the time.
    He has a massive fear of things going wrong, him not being good enough or him being made to look like a fool / ridiculed.
    I have never met someone who is so hard on themselves, even though he truly is talented at so many things.

    I should probably mention that his childhood was miserable. His mother is literally an ice queen. Not a single maternal bone in her body, and him and all his siblings recall never feeling loved, encouraged or even wanted. He remembers being quite young (7ish) and not really knowing exactly what was wrong, but just remembers an overall sense of sadness and not wanting to be in that house. He left home as soon as he could at 18.
    We have tried everything. Medication (stopped working), psychologists, therapists, hypnosis, alternative medicine, fitness etc - it just keeps getting worse. He often describes a feeling of going along and everything is ok, then something will happen and he will fall back in his "hole" that he finds increasingly difficult to get out of. He recently did a Transcendental Meditation course which seems to provide some relief.
    It's so bad now that as soon as he opens his eyes in the morning, dread rushes in and he gets a tight chest. Even though his days really aren't that stressful, he's just not coping.
    Does anyone have any opinion on what could be going on here? We have never received an official diagnosis. What should we do?
    I adore this man and it kills me to see him like this. He truly is smart, funny, competent and capable - how do I help him see it?
    (Worth noting : we don't have any major stresses in life, we are very lucky - financially we are fine, we have a couple of houses, he has race cars etc. We don't have children to worry about yet. No major health issues (other than this)).

    Thanks in advance x

    2 people found this helpful
  2. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    11268 posts
    8 June 2018 in reply to AdvicePlease8677

    Hello AdvicePlease8677

    Welcome to the forums and having the courage to post with us!

    I understand where your husband is coming from having the same symptoms for a few years now (under management with my GP) I have been in senior management in the private sector for 30+ years and have had this awful anxiety too.....and its a dark place to be in

    If I can mention that the Beyond Blue forums are a rock solid safe place for you to post. The forums are also judgement free too. You or your husband wont be judged here......only supported the best we can :-)

    Good on your husband (and yourself) for being proactive with his health and trying all the natural remedies/therapy. They can provide some relief.

    Anxiety feelings can go back to our parent(s) and having a 'perfectionist' mindset. Being really good at what we do is great except when have set the 'bar' so high we have a lot further to fall.

    I also left home at an early age too....16. Just from what you have posted AdvicePlease...your husband is similar to myself and is a high achiever (and the loathing of any criticism or feeling ridiculed)

    Just a note re the meds. They are never a 'fix all'....they do provide us with a solid foundation on which we can heal more effectively using regular counseling or even super frequent GP visits

    You mentioned the 'tight chest'...this is very common with anxiety based issues..including that awful feeling of dread....I wasted 13 years of my life trying to 'self heal' and for me it didnt work as I consider anxiety disorder partially chemically based.

    May I ask if your husband has a GP that he can 'really talk too'? I hope he does as this is a huge step towards finding some peace of mind/recovery from these awful symptoms

    I started having the same symptoms your husband had in 1983 when I was 23. I didnt know at the time that the earlier these feelings/symptoms are treated the better my recovery would have been.

    I hope some of this has been of help to you

    I hope you (or your husband) can post back when its convenient for you:-)

    My kind thoughts for you


    2 people found this helpful
  3. AdvicePlease8677
    AdvicePlease8677 avatar
    2 posts
    12 June 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks so much for your reply, I really appreciate it. It's sort of comforting to know someone else out there can relate to what's happening here in our lives.

    Over this past weekend, it's become glaringly obvious to me that the anxiety seems to be heavily surrounding work and the business. Being a long weekend, Sat & Sunday were divine. Hubby was as happy, carefree, funny, present and engaged. We had a beautiful few days and then Monday rolled around (the day before we're back to work). His personality changed dramatically, he was quiet and clearly anxious. He explained to me that he just can't stop his mind from worrying about work tomorrow. Even though Monday itself was a day off, it was completely ruined and overshadowed by feelings of anxiety and dread. Then this morning was horrible. The poor thing had full blown anxiety. His morning meditation didn't provide any relief and today he is just a total mess.
    We have made an appointment for him to see his GP tomorrow. She is lovely and hubby feels that he can somewhat open up to her about his feelings. He was taking meds a few months ago. Great for the first few weeks then it's effects started to wear off to the point where it was not helping at all. I suspect that may have been the time to increase  (or at least talk to Dr about it). So hopefully tomorrow's Dr appt can give us some direction. We have also made another appt. with his psychologist. Hubby saw him semi regularly late last year, but we've both agreed it may be time to go back again. He has trouble remembering everything they discuss in his sessions, so he has said this time he will take a notepad and pen.

    Paul, can I ask if this sounds "normal" to you? To specifically experience anxiety surrounding one particular situation? ie. work.

    He is open to trying other meds also, just doesn't want to feel like a zombie. Although expensive, the current appealed because it doesn't have any affect on libido (which causes more stress in itself).

    I am forever hopefully that this is just some sort of mid-life crisis, and one day it will all go away, but I'm realistic enough to know that's very unlikely.
    We're so lucky to have so many fantastic avenues of help available to us, it's just a matter of finding the combination that works I guess.
    Your comment that anxiety is partially chemically based rings true in my logic too. I'm just desperate to find some relief for him. This is heartbreaking and incredibly difficult.

  4. Winterfell
    Winterfell avatar
    83 posts
    13 June 2018 in reply to AdvicePlease8677
    It sounds like anxiety has its claws into him. My husband has been severely depressed and thank goodness the depression is somewhat controlled at the moment but the anxiety is a shocker for him. He takes anti depressant medication plus periodic anti anxiety medication, goes to therapy and yoga and tried very hard but anxiety is a bit of a beast. It affects your esteem, your memory, your confidence and its certainly not logical. Definitely support your husband to get help, medication, therapy whatever he needs. If his libido is affected by meds there are things that can help that too (rhymes with Niagra!!)
    1 person found this helpful

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