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Old 10-26-2018, 11:18 AM   #1
Looking4help4her
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Default Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

I am new here. Dealing with a wife of 10 years who I believe is battling depression. Shes always sad, always crying and its taken its toll on me. She is seeing a counselor. Not a Dr. I was hoping for the latter as she is constantly feeling sad and alone. She thinks noone understands her, and is dealing with trauma she experienced as a teen and father relationship issues. I am a good husband, I try to listen and be there but I am also starting to feel depressed about what our marriage has become. She says she buried these feelings and now that they have surfaced she realizes they have effected her whole life. She is an empath/extrovert. I am her opposite. I try to find the best in any situation even when sad. She has a very negative attitude. She sees everything as terrible. Its hard for me. Im here for support and advice. I worry she may need some sort of medication. She thinks this will not solve the issue but numb it. She is also weary of what the medication would do to her. She says she wants to resolve these issues so it doesn't prevent her from leading a fulfilling life, I am worried about being pulled into a depression myself. This has been hard. Im sure others on this board are dealing with similar issues. Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking4help4her View Post
I am new here. Dealing with a wife of 10 years who I believe is battling depression. Shes always sad, always crying and its taken its toll on me. She is seeing a counselor. Not a Dr. I was hoping for the latter as she is constantly feeling sad and alone. She thinks noone understands her, and is dealing with trauma she experienced as a teen and father relationship issues. I am a good husband, I try to listen and be there but I am also starting to feel depressed about what our marriage has become. She says she buried these feelings and now that they have surfaced she realizes they have effected her whole life. She is an empath/extrovert. I am her opposite. I try to find the best in any situation even when sad. She has a very negative attitude. She sees everything as terrible. Its hard for me. Im here for support and advice. I worry she may need some sort of medication. She thinks this will not solve the issue but numb it. She is also weary of what the medication would do to her. She says she wants to resolve these issues so it doesn't prevent her from leading a fulfilling life, I am worried about being pulled into a depression myself. This has been hard. Im sure others on this board are dealing with similar issues. Thanks for reading.
I hear you.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

Hello, looking4help4her, and welcome to Psych Central! What kind of counselor is she seeing? I think it would be helpful for you to see a therapist, too, to give you support. I think a good counselor would recommend that she see a psychiatrist.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
Hanzo55
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Default Re: Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

Fellow husband to an SO with depression (and other things). A few tips, right out of the gate:

- First, be honest with yourself about what you're capable of: love, support, guidance, etc., which is *not* the same as being a licensed therapist. There is only so much you can do for someone that is clinically depressed. Be sure that this is something you make clear with yourself up front, before letting the weight of the world drag you down.

I harp on this because you can easily go down the path of blaming yourself for not being supportive "enough" or not doing "enough" - STOP. There is only so much a partner can do, and very often, these situations *demand* licensed professionals.

- It *sounds* like she is seeking therapy, but has that doctor yet to prescribe something? Depression isn't curable but it is *manageable* and a licensed therapist (after seeing her for a few sessions) should be starting her down a pharmacological path. If that isn't happening, you might want to consider directing her towards a different professional.

- This one is tough, but you must make it clear where your boundaries are. You need time to re-energize, reclaim your own mental health (eg. consider blocks on the calendar that are *you* time), but more importantly, sit her down and have that conversation. To paraphrase:

"I want to make sure you get the very best treatment possible, so that you can enjoy life again. But that's going to involve sticking to your therapist's plan and following through. And I will certainly do whatever I can to help that along. But if you won't, I can't sit by and allow your depression to affect me as well. There are going to be times where I need a break, too, and I need you to respect that."

Side note on this last one: My SO suffers from bipolar depression, and is also suffering from an as-yet-diagnosed chronic pain issue in her feet (Our "specialists" have not been very good) and there are often periods of time where my SO will moan out in agony or cry and whimper for long periods of time (imagine a puppy crying for its mother at 3:00am).

(They are doing it now as I type this!)

The point I'm trying to make is: I am dedicated to finding a specialist that will accurately diagnose her root cause and get this issue solved *BUT* I have a job! Y'know? With responsibilities? I need sleep, too! There are times where her crying and moaning BURN into my brain and I hear them when I'm not even in the house...

You. Need. A. Break. Too.

I'll change rooms. I'll throw on some headphones...I'll take a walk...anything. If it means leaving the house, so be it. You must give yourself this time, too. It is not a cakewalk living with a person suffering from depression, and if you've still got some fight in you and are not yet ready to whip up those divorce papers, then you have *got* to set boundaries and you *must* get some "YOU" time.

Make this clear with her. If you are going to make this work, you can't be surrounded in it 24/7.

Remember: living with someone suffering with a mental illness can feel like you're at the foot of a burning skyscraper and someone hands you a hose and says, "K, get to it."

Uh...it's going to take more than what you're capable of to put the fire out. Make sure remind yourself of that.

[EDIT]

- You should also seriously consider some therapy for yourself. I cashed in a few hours of mental wellness through my work and got to speak to a therapist about the weight I was carrying. It may help more than you might think.
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:14 PM   #5
Looking4help4her
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Default Re: Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement. This will help alot. Its very much appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for Support to Deal with Wife's Depression

Sorry to be barging in... But reading this thread was helpful to me as well. We have been married more than 15 years, have a teenage daughter, and a grown son from a previous marriage. My husband has struggled with depression most of his adult life. I was clueless when we got married, thought he had some temper issues and was moody at times - but who isn't? So... The depression hit hard in March of this year, when his mom passed away. He was on a quick spiral from there. Walked out of his professional job in late May, has been unemployed since. He had been on a meds protocol for a few years now, the doctor has switched things around trying to find a sweet spot. We ended up doing 11 ECT sessions in Oct-Nov. Our high expectations that this would be a miracle cure came to naught. He is still sad, often almost paralyzed with sadness, can't concentrate or get/stay engaged in much of anything. The loss of the second income is hurting us. I was supportive, I gave him space, I drove him to/from ECT appointments, I nursed him, I cried with him, I cried for him, I made him his favorite dishes, I took him out even though he was not really with me in the true sense... I am so emotionally tired and drained being the only adult in the family, holding up the brave front, coping with a challenging job, being a wife and a mother. I told him in January he has to find employment. Any employment. Part-time, unskilled labor, I don't care. He has to get out of the house and start being productive again in whatever capacity he can. I feel cruel doing that, and guilty, but also desperate...

We had 14 good years. The occasional moods I could handle. Will this darkness ever go away??
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