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Old 08-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
Mihral21 Mihral21 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 27
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Re: partners of depressed

tchai,

For what it's worth, you're not alone. I believe there are A LOT of spouses living with a depressed partner; on this board and beyond.
I'm into year #25 and my arch of addressing mental illness has been this:

Phase 1: I had no idea he was depressed. I thought he was just frequently grouchy.

Phase 2: A number of years into our marriage he realized he was depressed and sought treatment. Lots of hope that he could fix this! I put all my eggs in the 'medication' basket, believing if he took the right concoction of chemicals his mind would heal and all would be well. After all this is a biological illness right?

Right now: I've learned the adage that biology loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger. Medication has a place and may help stabilize a mood to some extent, but if the depressed person doesn't make a concerted effort to change behaviors, they will never be well. I'm beginning to fear that this is the brick wall that many people hit. They pop pills but fail to tackle their behaviors.

I truly wish you the best. I hope your husband improves and your marriage survives. I often feel like the wet blanket on the boards, but I can't help but send up a big cautionary flag on the issue of relationships involving a person with a mental illness. Illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder are serious, serious disorders. They damage individuals and cripple relationships. Sure it's good to hold on to hope and work hard for a positive outcome, but it's also wise not to have your vision clouded by rose-colored glasses.