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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Supporting wife with bad depression...new to this. Am drowning.

Topic: Supporting wife with bad depression...new to this. Am drowning.

25 posts, 0 answered
  1. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    13 September 2020
    Hello, have been with my partner for 8 years. She had a traumatic upbringing with violent parents..moved house 40 times. Forced to leave home & school at 14. Had a very bad marriage.Her young brother that was her best friend unfortunately grew up to be a toxic person forcing her to stop contact with him.
    I fell in love with her instantly. She has a heart of gold but became very sad 3 years ago and stopped trusting people.
    Due to my work...we have had to move every few years (instability).
    She hasn’t stayed in touch with past friends or family and has isolated herself.Doesn't belong to any groups & hasn't been able to work for last 3 years.
    A new city& rental property (my work), the suicide of a close friend , a failed attempt to reconnect with her young brother led her to want to end her life.
    I realised she needed professional care and waited 7 days to get her into a good private mental health hospital. I also needed some respite...as she had become angry. Angry at her childhood...her brother....her not having children....not being able to work...angry...being made to live on different locations due to my work....furious....not being able to plant a tree and watch it grow...not having friends...no family connections etc.
    She only lasted one night in the hospital and asked me to get her out of there which I did.
    Fortunately has started seeing a psychiatrist and been prescribed new medication (6-7 weeks to start working) Diagnosed with severe depression...high anxiety...ptsd due to childhood trauma as well as agoraphobia.
    Has gone to 2 sessions so far.
    Has been home but is not the sweet girl I know. Either extremely sad or angry. No one she can turn to other than me...but has lashed out with angry outbursts....name calling..bringing up all I ever did wrong etc. Now asked me to stay at a hotel or friends place as she needs space ...doesnt want to see me. I tried to return home to be with her but received angry SMS to keep away..respect her wishes....that I never listen etc.
    So..am writing this from a strange bed ....wondering if she is ok....thinking of healing words to text her regardless of the anger and resentment she feels towards me.
    I feel SO lost, unsure, scared..do I give her space or insist on going back? Am terrified she will try and hurt herself. Lots of self loathing with her anger - "I'm just a worthless piece of sh*t, I've been a stupid idiot to follow you around with your work, I'm useless etc etc.
    I'm scared pls help!
    2 people found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5937 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Steve68
    Hey Steve68, welcome to the Beyond Blue Forums. Thank you so much for having the strength to reach out this morning, we know it can be difficult to open up about our lives and to acknowledge when we need further support. We're so sorry to hear about your partners situation, we know this must be very hard on both of you. It sounds like you are an amazing support for her though and are ensuring she gets the correct help. Please know that our community is here to support and guide you through this tough period.  If you feel up to it, we'd also recommedn getting in touch with our Support Service. We are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. One of our counselors will give you support and point you in the right direction for help in your area. You might be interested in the following Beyond Blue online resources: Please feel free to keep us updated on your journey here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.
     
  3. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Sophie_M
    Hi Sophie_M,
    Thank you. I will find a private space later and try calling.
    I am trying to stay strong and not fall apart as I need to stay strong for her.
  4. Lagela
    Lagela  avatar
    19 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    Hi Steve,

    I am sorry you and your wife are experiencing this. It is hard and impacting on the whole family.

    I’m glad you’re reaching out for help too. It is important to take care of yourself and not lose yourself either.

    As someone in your wife’s position, thank you for being there to help her get help and show caring and love for her wellbeing. If you ever feel she is in immediate danger, I would call triple 0.

    My own husband has never been tolerant of my depressive episodes. He gets quite angry and ambivalent to my emotions whether they’re angry or sad. While that in itself contributes to the depression, it has also made me more accountable to myself and ensuring my safety plan doesn’t include him. On the other hand, it has given me a boundary that I don’t talk about ‘us’ during the episode. While the relationship is a source of stress, it’s not the only one. like your wife, I have childhood trauma and a previous marriage that had domestic violence.

    Have you and your wife got a safety plan that you talk about when she isn’t in the depth of a depressive episode?

    wishing you all the best and you’re not alone.

    L

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Lagela
    Hi L,
    Thank you for sharing with me. I really appreciate seeing the situation from the other side.
    I actually don't know what a safety plan is !?
    I am new to this experience...wanting to find info..keen to help my partner...would you please let me know what a safety plan entails.
    I am worried today as ..due to her angrily telling me she needs space and to go stay elsewhere...she will wake up alone..a cloudy day and I won't be there to make her a coffee or give a cuddle.
  6. Lagela
    Lagela  avatar
    19 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    Hey Steve,

    gosh your message made me teary - how thoughtful to care that she would be waking alone and you’re not there to give her a cuddle. You’re a very caring and compassionate husband.

    Beyond Blue actually have an app that is a safety plan mapped out for you. It’s called Beyond Now.
    You can work through it yourself, with a trusted friend or family member or a professional.
    It helps identify any triggers, how to make the environment safe (if you have a plan to end your life), what helps you feel better and de-escalate, who you can call and what connections to life you have (or what to live for).

    it’s important that other people know of the plan (whoever is on it) and the role that they can play (listening without judgement, sitting with you to watch a movie, fix you some good food). It can help to have professional agencies or organisations on it (beyond blue, lifeline, suicide call back service) for some of the immediate narrative therapy support.

    For today - that sounds so hard. Is it possible to go home and tell her that you will give her space and just go about your day without talking about the issues? Making a promise to not talk about anything until she is feeling better? As much as my husband doesn’t tolerate the depressive episode, when I’m coming out of it it’s nice to know he’s just there and that I can get a cuddle when I am ready.

    Praying that today is an ok day for you both and that she does get back to the psych soon.

    L

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Lagela
    Hello L,
    I am so happy that you have responded. Very grateful.
    Not a good idea to go home...she told me in all capital letters last night that she doesn't want to see me.
    For me...that's the hardest thing...not being there and able to help if need be or...just be there to go for a walk with etc.
    I sent her a text this morning that I am always here for her with a rose emoji. No response to that.
    She has a psych appointment tmw and I will take time off work to take her there then take her home again. I do hope these visits see an improvement in her.
    I love the idea of the safety plan !! When she is ready I will talk about it with her. Thank you for letting me k know about this.
    I am staying with a friend at the moment..but boy I miss her!
  8. Lagela
    Lagela  avatar
    19 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    You’re very welcome Steve. I’m glad it was helpful.

    Is there any way to check that she is ok? Asking her to let you know that she is ok - promising that you’ll respect her wishes but that you just need to know that she’s ok. (I only say this because you mentioned that you were concerned that she may hurt herself).

    That’s so good that you can go with her tomorrow. It’s hard and she may want to talk on her own. I’m a big believer in family and working together so hopefully the psych will work with you too in your wife’s best interest and maintaining her confidentiality. You could ask the psych about a safety plan - it’s something they’d be able to help with.
    Good luck!
    L

  9. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Lagela
    Hi L :)
    After trying to call her..no answer.....text her...no reply I was beside myself with worry and got in car to go there (against her wishes) to check she was ok.
    Finally received a text saying ' don't want to talk have nothing to say to you'. I was actually relieved as I knew she was alive !!
    She texted me this evening telling me NOT to pick her up for psych appointment as she would make her own way there. In her current state she can't drive so can only assume she will call a taxi...which will cost a bitof money.
    I just don't understand WHY she has decided to make me the focus of all her anger and vitriol. I am so hurt and confused. I have never done anything nasty to her..always had her back and now...she doesn't even want to see me or talk over the phone.
    Is this a normal response to new medication....deep depression and anxiety ?
  10. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    14 September 2020 in reply to Steve68
    Hi Steve,
    I am so sad to read your story. I wish I could offer words of advice. I know how utterly painful and heartbreaking your situation is, as I am in a similar situation, trying to support a depressed husband who doesn't want my help...
    I just have to keep reminding myself that the man I married and love, is still somewhere behind the wall of depression. And over time, as that wall comes down, I need to still be here on the other side.
    All I can say is, keep believing, keep hoping and keep loving. Stay strong and try to look after yourself too. Hoping for the best. Keep us updated.
    3 people found this helpful
  11. Lagela
    Lagela  avatar
    19 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    Hey Steve,

    just checking in on how you’re going?

    Hoping that you guys are ok and getting the support you need.

    L

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to 815
    Hi 815
    Thank you so much for your healing words :)
    I guess I am still getting used to this new normal.
    She is going through extreme anger...irrational. I have been told to not contact her (unless she reaches out) as she perceives it as controlling.
    Hardest part is not being able to help and seeing the woman I l love replaced with a depressed angry person.
    Thanks again 815
  13. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to Lagela
    Hi Lagela...unfortunately I had a bit of a panic attack..broke down at work and am being cared for in a ward at a wonderful hospital through work.
    I thought I was strong but 4 weeks of relentless ups and downs did my nervous system in.
    Partner doesn't know..at any rate in her depression she would think I have done this to get attention (she isn't thinking straight).
    I will be attending her psych appointment with her tomorrow. Am anxious as to how that will be.
    What a mess !
  14. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    17 September 2020

    Hi Steve,

    I am sorry to hear how hard this situation is for you, and the impact it is having on your own health and wellbeing. However it is good that you have sought help and are being cared for. Do you have any family or friends nearby who can also provide support during this difficult time?

    I can definitely sympathise, and I wish I could provide further words of advice and support. However at least you can attend her appointment with her tomorrow. I think that is a good step in her allowing you to be there for her.

    Please take care of yourself. It will be a long hard road and you will need all the strength you can muster to get through this. My GP's advice to me was to not give up, and to just continue being here for my husband as much as I can. So please, don't give up. And keep posting here if it helps.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Steve68
    Steve68 avatar
    9 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to 815
    815 you are a sweet and caring soul. Thank you for your support and understanding.
    Am getting anxious about seeing her tomorrow...how do I act...etc.
    I don't think I will be returning home but I do hope the psych can come up with a safe plan.
    She hasn't told any family or friends as she is very shy and private. Both our families live in other States. For me my employer has been amazing. Have received care...support and a place to stay.
    I just wish she had stayed in the hospital so she could be cared for and not alone.
    Am trying not to think of tomorrow as it gets me so anxious.
    Thank heavens for benzodiazepines...at least I can actually sleep without worrying and ruminating.
    Thank you for being here !
  16. quirkywords
    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.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    Steve, 815, Lagela

    Thanks for your honesty and sharing your experiences here.

    Many more people read your posts than comment.

    Your words will help many people who feel alone and no one u derstand then.

    Steve I hope the appointment goes well.

    I am not sure if you like writing but if you feel up to it you could write a letter to your wife and tell her how much she means to you etc. Keep it and when she is better and it seem the right time you could show it to her. she is in such a dark and confused place that she is pushing away the person she loves the most as sh probably doesn’t want you to see her like this.

    I used to push my loved ones away.

  17. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    18 September 2020

    Hi Steve,

    I hope you managed to get a restful night's sleep. Hoping all goes will with your wife's appointment today.

    Hi quirkywords,

    Thanks for your reply also. It's a little heartening to know that someone might be able to find some sort of support from our posts. I think your line about being in such a confused and dark place and pushing those you love the most away, because you don't want them to see you in this state, really helps people in mine and Steve's situation to understand that it is because they love us that they push us away. It is sad that this happens, but definitely gives me hope because for me, as long as there is love there, that is enough to give me hope to hold on. Thanks again.

  18. quirkywords
    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.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to Steve68

    Steve

    just wondering how the appointment went.
    no need to reply unless you want to.

    there is support here at such a difficult time.

    it is so hard when a loved one says such hurtful things and behaves In a hurtful way.

    Depression can be a cruel illness and at times because one is in such a dark place we don’t want anyone to join us there. At a time when we most need love and support we push those away we love the most and we cause them pain.

    I hope your wife and you get the support you need.

  19. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been following along these posts as I am in a similar situation, and can identify with the anxiety and desperation that everyone is feeling. Thank you for your honesty about pushing loved ones away quirkywords. My partner and I are in a long distance relationship, and she’s been going through a rough time. I haven’t heard from her in a week and the longer it goes on the more worried and anxious I become. I send her the odd message to let her know that I care and am here when she’s ready, and I know she reads them. I don’t want to suffocate her, and am worried about doing the wrong thing, which is making the situation worse. In the meantime, I have spoken with my own psychologist and have reached out to friends for support. A handful of them have told me that she’s being unfair and to leave. I remind myself that this is not the woman that I love who is doing this, but her mental illness. I still feel at a loss as to what to do.

  20. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi quirkywords,

    I hope you don't mind me asking, and please don't feel the need to reply if you can't or don't want to, but I thought I might be useful for those of us who are reading and at a bit of a loss as to what to do to support our loved ones, if you were able to share what helped you in those deep, dark and confusing moments?

    I know there's no right or wrong answer, but it may help some of us find other ways that we'd not have thought of to support our loved ones.

    KG82 - I definitely feel for you right now. I wish I had some words to help, but I think all you can do is to continue to be loving to your partner. Hope things improve for you.

    Steve - I hope you and your wife are doing OK.

    Take care everyone!
  21. quirkywords
    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.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to 815

    KG82, 815, Steve , Lagela and everyone reading this,

    815 it is find to ask and as you know I can only talk from my experience.

    You might look through some of the threads below -pushing a loved one away when depressed is a very common experience. You might find some more tips in these threads and perhaps find others going through similar experiences that you can talk to:

    You will have to cut and paste and put imto search engine on top of page right hand side.

    My partner is pushing me away
    He pushes us away - how do I help?
    Pushing friends and loved ones away
    I have pushed my husband away
    I pushed my husband away
    If you love someone with depression, you need to watch this

    I think the first thing I hope you know is that it is not your fault and the partner's behaviour is not to do with you.

    Those of us who suffer from this illness, may need to be alone. We can still love our partner , it is just we need some time and space alone. It is not because I want to cut them away. It is a very confusing sense of feelings and even harder to try and explain. I wrote before I felt I was so worthless and in a dark place that I didnt want to be with me so how could he. Of course when I was alone I felt lonely.

    I realsis it is hard to be there for someone who may say to go away, may tell you they dont love you etc.

    815 everyone is different. One thing as a partner of a depressed p[erson you really need to care for yourself and have support. It is very stressful. I think doing hat you are all doing and being their for them despite their behaviour is a good start. Since depression plays ricks on us and we believe no one loves us and that all is hopeless, we may say things that are hurtful but that is the depression talking.

    Not sure this has helped. I think supporting each here is a good place for support.

    I think the main thing is that you can help but depression cant be fixed. What works for one person wont for another.

    You are only human so if it gets too much reach out. You can ring the BB support line where a trained person will listen to you.1300 22 4636

    Thanks.I welcome wuestions and hope posting here helps you all.

  22. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Thanks 815. It’s definitely a challenge. I had a message from her just before to say that she realises that I want to help and she thanks me for that, but that she really just wants to be alone.

    I’m feeling gutted right now.

  23. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    21 September 2020

    Hi quirkywords - I know every situation is different - I guess there is just a sense of comfort in knowing we are not alone, even if we are just sharing experiences in a virtual place. So I think you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I have also read threads you listed and found them useful, especially the last one with the video about living with the black dog. I think the key thing that I've always believed, although sometimes hard to do, is the last tip in that video: always hold onto hope... Thanks again and take care.

    Hi KG82 - Please try to take comfort in that she has at least replied and communicated with you. I know it's not necessarily what you want to hear, but at least you know that she knows you are there. It is very had. But please don't lose hope.

    Hi Steve - hoping things are OK with you. Just checking in again.

  24. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    21 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Thanks 815. It’s hard to stay hopeful, and I certainly go through fluctuations. She lives 2.5 hours away, but I don’t think she’d want me to show up anyway.

    Steve, how are things going with you?

  25. BetweenThePoles
    BetweenThePoles avatar
    31 posts
    21 September 2020
    Hello Steve. I hope your current situation is well. You are a strong and committed individual and I am proud of you. Your dedication and patience in this matter is admirable and inspiring. I want you to know that you are not alone, not at all. I am in a very similar situation with a close friend. My experiences with her very much align with your own and I truly understand your feelings of sadness and inability to know what to do. I sincerely hope this situation has evolved in a direction which is beneficial for both of you. Your last post spoke of anxiety - a feeling which is completely understandable, relatable and natural for this circumstance. Your partner loves you, be sure of that. With the help of people like KG82, I have gained a greater understanding of why this happens sometimes and I hope you have too. Please take care. I encourage you to let us know how you are going, if you feel comfortable doing so. All the best.

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