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Topic: Depressed hubby said he's giving up

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Talisha
    Talisha avatar
    5 posts
    10 June 2018

    New here. First post. I've read through a few.

    Basically he's been dx with depression and anxiety for 12 years. occasionally been able to go off meds. Has tried counseling but he said they're trying to change who he is.

    He's been low for the last 2 years. He's changed meds a few times. Today he's declared he's done. He doesn't love me. He said he's a waste of space and he's not trying anymore.

    I don't know what to do anymore. I'm tired of trying to help when it seems like he doesn't even want it.

    I am going to go to counseling again myself but any ideas? Do I just pretend what he says doesn't hurt. I don't think he's suicidal as he's always "given up " at various times and just doesn't do anything for awhile.

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10577 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to Talisha

    Dear Talisha~

    I'm glad you have had a chance to read a few posts. From them you will probably see how much pressure falls on those like you who have to care long term for a partner with depression and anxiety.

    My wife was faced with this and found it most difficult, knowing what to expect, how best to handle it, and not getting dragged right down by it all. She did have her mum on hand to help, which made a lot of difference, plus she was in contact with my doctor too.

    So the first thing to ask is what sort of support do you have? Do you have a mum too to help, or anyone else you can talk with? Being isolated and feeling lost is horrible, getting care and perspective from another is realy helpful. Perhaps your councilor will fill that role.

    Now with you husband. I can relate to how he feels. When depression is on the up I have not been able to feel love - or even know if I was capable of it. I've thought I was a waste of space and believed that there was simply no point trying.

    From the outside it would appear as if I did not want help or to improve or anything. And it is very hurtful to be told one is not loved, and frustrating to hear it is not worth trying anything when one has spent so long being supportive and caring.

    All I can say is in my own case it is the depression talking, the love was still there and come out when things improved. Then I've really tried to show it and make up for the dark times.

    Having had treatment and tried various medications over the years is frustrating and discouraging. I was in this situation for a very long time until I came on my current regime which has been working well long-term. I can only suggest you encourage you husband to keep plugging away, and if his psychologist clashes or seems to be unhelpful to try another.

    I do hope things improve quickly or that at least you can set up some boundaries to protect yourself. Please come here as often as you would like, you will be welcome

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  3. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5897 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to Talisha

    Hi Talisha,

    My experience is similar to that of Croix regarding the husband/wife relationship.I don't really know how bad things really are you except that you seem to be at your wits end.

    And in contrast to your husband, I would lay the "blame" at my own feet rather that projecting it outwards. My wife will then tell me to remember that she loves me no matter what. It is that stupid inner critic that exists within our minds that makes us listen to and think about those "crazy" negative thought.

    You said...

    "He's changed meds a few times. Today he's declared he's done"

    Are you saying that he has or is doing going cold turkey? Or is he weaning himself off them? Going cold turkey can be detrimental. If he is going to stop, he should do it is in consultation with a GP. But I would also guess the GP might try (?) to persuade him otherwise?

    I also wonder if he both wants and does not want you around when depressed. I try to get through it myself. I would rather my wife not see me, or deal with me at those times. But knowing that she is "there" and "supporting me" is "enough" (broadly speaking).

    Also is there anyone that you and your husband can speak to besides psychologists? ie any support people. I have found that speaking with other people is a form of therapy for me. I might also get their stories as well. I also find writing here is a form of therapy as well. Allows me to put things into context. And if I read something I wrote, I can think through things.

    The other thing that I will mention is that after sessions with the psychologist and psychiatrist I will then give my wife a summary of things as well. That allows her to be on the same page as me, and I can also get her views on things discussed. And if one of the problems is the way your partner acts, then maybe have that discussion with him (when he is in a normal mood). I would hope that it is the depression talking, and not really him.

    Not sure if any of this helps. But you should find the people here will support you as we can in this space. And I invite you to come back again, to rant or let us know how you are going.

    Tim

  4. Talisha
    Talisha avatar
    5 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to smallwolf

    Thank you both.

    He stayed home from work and I took him to his gp to sort out another mental health plan. He's just doing it because of me. He said it'll not help. Going to find another psychologist.

    He's staying on his meds but isn't going to try different ones, he had a few issues previously and has decided the current ones are okay.

    He doesn't trust me and anytime I try to do anything to have a break as I'm not coping is seen as me abandoning him to his pain. He's pushed everyone else away and because he can manage to go to work most of the time and puts on a mask everyone thinks he's fine and has no time for him.

    I don't have anyone to talk to anymore as basically no one believes that he's that depressed. Even the gp thinks he's coping because he can work. His job is basically the best part of his life (his words) but he still struggles with it.

    We have a lot of young children so I'm basically not able to be supportive all the time and he takes that as I don't care.

    I wish he had a friend to talk to. I feel that would help. I really appreciate your words. Thank you!

  5. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10577 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to Talisha

    Dear Talisha~

    Going back to the GP for a MH plan is good, irrespective of his motivation. Perhaps therapy this time may be a help. Even if not it might focus his discontent on someone other than you.

    I have the feeling that it might seem easier to not do things rather than risk his feeling abandoned, with possible accusations and unpleasantness. I'm sure you have to draw limits at the moment to look after the kids.

    I do not know if this applies to you but when someone is insistent they are being abandoned there is a tendency to cater to this and not do other things. A shrinking world if you like, which is bad for the carer as their own needs - which are very real - are increasingly ignored.

    You said nobody understands the situation and that as a result you cannot talk with anyone about it. This is terribly isolating. In such circumstances one might even end up questioning oneself.

    While I know it is difficult with kids is there anything you can do just for you? My wife's mum would child sit regularly and my wife would go do things for her. In some ways it might have been easier for her than you as she worked anyway which got her out and gave her some perspective. (I'm not saying she had it easy overall -far from it, home duties, work, looking after me, all was a huge burden).

    You can see what I'm getting at thought, mini 'respites' would be one way of looking at it. You may think I'm putting forward inessentials or missing the point, however your wellbeing is most important.

    I do agree with Smallwolf in that even when angry, resentful and stand-offish I knew my partner was there for me and it made a huge difference.

    Croix

  6. Talisha
    Talisha avatar
    5 posts
    14 June 2018 in reply to Croix

    Wow so spot on with not doing things to avoid being seen as abandoning him.

    I really don't want to add to how bad he feels so I'm often avoiding doing anything. I do get a bit of a break as I'm studying part time online and my little one goes to kindy. Though I'm often told my study is me choosing something over him it's my sanity saver and I try to do it when he's at work unless I've got exams.

    So what actually helps him though? Like I've tried everything, he'll say one thing (like he wants space) and so I'll do that but then he didn't really he just thought he did. I need to be psychic to figure out whether he wants something or not.

    What is it that helps you?

    I'm constantly reminding myself that his depression isn't him but how can he realise it? He feels like it's permanent. We've got a few things that various psychologists have said and I've read that used to help but aren't much use these days.

    Just experience the feelings and don't analyse it.

    You've made it through this before.

    No matter what happens you're going to be okay.

    That sort of thing.

    Honestly, loving someone with depression is lonely and painful. I'm trying and I'm hoping that he'll get through this episode one day.

  7. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10577 posts
    14 June 2018 in reply to Talisha

    Dear Talisha~

    Living with - and trying to look after - someone with depression is a two person job. It is not just you looking after him. He has to have responsibility too, despite discouragement, despite not believing it will work, despite everything. My motivation was love for my partner, not my self.

    You need to remain healthy and balanced. You hit on an important thing saying your study is a sanity saver. You need more sanity savers. It is true doing the things you and your child need in life will of course take your attention away from your partner at times. That is fine. You are not a full-time nurse, you are a partner too.

    Trying to anticipate if the same action twice running will have the same result is not going to work, as it simply may not. You do your best, and while it might not seem at times to you as if that is enough - it most definitely is. If it does not work step back, say OK that did not work, and leave it at that - not easy I know.

    You asked what has helped me. I guess the two most important things are firstly the security of knowing my partner loved me and was always going to be there, not be being physically present all the time, but in my life.

    The other is that she provided perspective. If I thought diaster loomed, or something was the end of the world, she could tell me I was being over-influenced by my illness, my judgment had gone out the window, and things were not as I saw them.

    When better I tried to make her feel that love and security too.

    Now you may think me superficial for saying this but all those "Just experience ... ... be ok" platitudes do not have as positive effect and restore the soul as well as watching one movie (or book or music etc) you thoroughly enjoy.

    Croix


  8. Talisha
    Talisha avatar
    5 posts
    15 June 2018 in reply to Croix

    Thanks again Croix,

    The teenager has been learning guitar at school and the next kid down has taken up the drums so that could be the enjoyable outlet for hubby. He loves music and the kids keep asking him to show them how to play or just to join them when they're practicing. He said yesterday that it was great to jam again.

    I'm not at all musical so can't join in but I'm grateful he's playing music again.

    And okay, I'm going to stop with thinking that if it helps once it'll be useful next time. The stressful thing that I've found over the years is that every episode he's had is different and he reacts to whatever I do differently. The constant is that he hates himself and pushes me away.

    I see my counselor next week so thankfully I'll have someone to chat to about everything.

    Thanks again! It's hard to know where to turn at times.

  9. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10577 posts
    16 June 2018 in reply to Talisha

    Dear Talisha~

    You're welcome.

    I guess the hard part is distancing oneself so as to be able to say to yourself a particular reaction is the depression talking and not something personal. I'm not sure how well I'd be able to do it, even though it is necessary.

    It's good he has music in common with the kids and actually enjoys jamming with them. I guess those times might be good opportunities for you to do something you enjoy.

    Hopefully the counselor will "click" with you and be an asset, you're welcome here anytime

    Croix

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