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Old 12-03-2006, 01:40 AM   #1
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rachel.41 HB User
Question Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Hi, I am new to healthboards and feeling my way. I have looked at info from other people over the last few weeks and now feel it may be helpful to share details of my own situation.
I have been very happily married for 19 years to a wonderful man. Perfect marriage ( or as near to it) no affairs on either side, no major rows, reliable and trustworthy relationship. We are caring parents to 2 boys (19 and 16).

My husband had a terrible childhood, Lost his one significant brother to cancer.My husband had supported the brothand his family very closely throughout his illness (2-3 years) and subsequently throughout the death and then continued to supprt his sister in law and her family for the last 12 months. This involved frequent visits, long visits on weekends and telephone calls every night as she struggled to cope with her loss. My husbad had no time to grieve. I supported my own boys day to day and my hiusand who was holding down a stressful demanding job.
He cannot cope now. Has no feelings for me and children and has not coped at work for 6 months. No hugs,kisses or future plans.

 
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:08 AM   #2
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Sannah HB UserSannah HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Hi Rachel, sounds like your husband needs to find time to grieve. He might need some extra help by going to counseling. If you contact the local Hospice they might be able to give you some referrals or they might have some classes or something? Good luck to you all.

 
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:02 PM   #3
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Dakota_Skye HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

hi rachel,

too many lossess, too much pain in the family lately. your husband shouldered just about everything for both families for quite a while. no wonder he's exhausted and can't cope anymore. he's only human, after all. he needs to recuperate his lost energy. i think he went overboard with caring for all. it had to be done, and he sounds like one of the most wonderful men in the world, but one can only do so much. now, it's your husband who needs help. he needs to regain his strength and to mourn his own loss!

sannah's advice is very good. she alwasy give good advice. if i may add, if you have a general dr.--maybe he can give you a referral for someone qualified in the field of mental health, for your husband to go to and work on his grief, by talking about it. talking has much power!!! releasing painful, sad, angry, and negative feelings is likely to make him more "free" --he can't go on carrying it all inside forever, or hoping it'll go away by itself. sometimes it does, but it tends to leave "wounds" and "scars." i'd really recommend looking into that first, and then go from there.

i sincerely wish your family the best!
blessings!

 
Old 12-04-2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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mongomad HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel.41
Hi, I am new to healthboards and feeling my way. I have looked at info from other people over the last few weeks and now feel it may be helpful to share details of my own situation.
I have been very happily married for 19 years to a wonderful man. Perfect marriage ( or as near to it) no affairs on either side, no major rows, reliable and trustworthy relationship. We are caring parents to 2 boys (19 and 16).

My husband had a terrible childhood, Lost his one significant brother to cancer.My husband had supported the brothand his family very closely throughout his illness (2-3 years) and subsequently throughout the death and then continued to supprt his sister in law and her family for the last 12 months. This involved frequent visits, long visits on weekends and telephone calls every night as she struggled to cope with her loss. My husbad had no time to grieve. I supported my own boys day to day and my hiusand who was holding down a stressful demanding job.
He cannot cope now. Has no feelings for me and children and has not coped at work for 6 months. No hugs,kisses or future plans.
Rachel,

I ignored grieving for the death of my father back when I was 16. I am now 38 and just this year did this and other negative things that happened as a direct result (drunken step-father that treated me badly as I lived there and siblings thought he was great as they did not witness his true self). I never cried after the day my dad died, watched him die of Leukemia over several months. Also so the stepfather die and I was the one who helped the most to see to it he went out with some dignity (people tend to treat dying people like children, especially when their mind is not there).

I'd like to say do this and that and everything will be perfect, but if he is experiencing what I am or similar, it's not that easy. I left my job as I could not cope with the tasks to even shower and get dressed let alone interact with people. NOTHING was working for me. My wife, bless her heart, called my employer and explained the best she could as I wanted to just stop going (back in April or so). We got paid leave for a while and I went back after getting some anti-depressants and sleeping pills from my Dr and a recommended Psychologist. It took her threatening to bring my Godfather (she works for him) to help her make me go to the psychologist.

I lasted about a month back at work as the pills did nothing for me, but I so wanted to keep my feelings inside and do what I had always done, make money. The trouble with help is there are some VERY bad psychologists, therapists and therapy not right for your husband. My psychologist just arbitrarily set a date to return and changed my meds. I was not ready, wife called her and she said there is no reason I should not be going to work. The only way I could stay out and get paid was to go to group therapy. This may work for your husband, but I took on the problems of these other people and it made me worse. I gave one of the patients a couple hundred bucks I didn't have to give with what he was facing.

I now have a better psychologist that listens, but my meds are not right. I ride an emotional rollercoaster nearly daily. More bad than good days still. My mother-in-law that I love got me a spiritual counselor that perked me up a couple days, but I have stopped calling him as we agreed and missed a meeting today with him. I thought I was getting better, now I am not so sure.

The only thing I can do is keep trying. The only thing my wife can do is push me until I give emphatic No's (after that I feel like I am a caged animal backed in the corner). You are going to need to be very patient and understand he is not himself or you are going to need to leave for your own sanity. It all depends on how much you want it to work and that you understand that this is not only his problem but yours too.

My wife says she took an oath before God and will never give up on me and has not as of yet. That means a lot. If you tell him you are not going away and you are staying and getting past this, he might respond better. He may have all sorts of bad thoughts in his mind. Make him feel comfortable you will listen and not judge the way he feels as "crazy" or "stupid" or anything other than something we need to work on.

He needs professional help and you need to help find someone competent. If you know anyone in your area that has battled depression, ask their opinion for psychologists and therapists. Assure your husband he can change them if he likes, as some have made me relive and say stuff that WAS NOT helpful. He needs you now, he knows it, but he can't show it as he is afraid he is "stuck" like this forever as do I on many days. He doesn't want you to go through this which worsens his feelings, maybe. Let him know you are there and can handle it, whatever it may take, but he has to admit the problem and be willing to seek help (merely needs to go to an appointment you make).

If he is anything like me, don't ask open ended questions. Just yes and no as decision making is something that I completely lack and get angry about it. I wish I had better news, but maybe he will respond and snap out of it quicker than I. Good luck!

 
Old 12-05-2006, 04:33 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9
rachel.41 HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

I can give more info now as i ran out of room on the original!

My husband left to go abroad for 3 weeks. He said he may never come back ever, but he rang me after a week and we talked about the weather, food etc. he was remote and felt like a stranger. He rang me every couple of days and then said he was getting a flight back (not home). He said it depended on the conversation we had in the car.
He booked the cheapest flight home so we had to wait a week, I collected him from the airport, knowling only the approx time not the flight details. He looked tired. I took him to the car and said i had some lunch at home.
Later that day e went for a walk and i waited for him to talk. He didn't. That night he went to bed on the settee ( i said he could come up if he wanted).

The next morning he said we needed to talk. He admitted he was depressed 12/14 symptoms! and that he left cos he did not want to be a burden and couldnot stand for us to see him in his state. He still said he felt numb. He said he was going back abroad in a few days or weeks. He booked a doctors appointment and a councellsor. When i came to bed he had moved his suitcase to the bedroom and placed 3 photos of us and the boys on the windowsill.
The next day i went to work and he said he had unpacked when i got home. Then he came back to bed. A couple of days later he was rushed to hospital with stomach pains and needed me so much. I have been giving and unconditional. He spoke about xmas at home which is the first future plan he has made in months.

 
Old 12-05-2006, 04:34 AM   #6
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rachel.41 HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Thank you. I feel he needs time to greive and time to talk to someone unconnected.

 
Old 12-06-2006, 07:50 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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rachel.41 HB User
Thumbs up Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota_Skye
hi rachel,

too many lossess, too much pain in the family lately. your husband shouldered just about everything for both families for quite a while. no wonder he's exhausted and can't cope anymore. he's only human, after all. he needs to recuperate his lost energy. i think he went overboard with caring for all. it had to be done, and he sounds like one of the most wonderful men in the world, but one can only do so much. now, it's your husband who needs help. he needs to regain his strength and to mourn his own loss!

sannah's advice is very good. she alwasy give good advice. if i may add, if you have a general dr.--maybe he can give you a referral for someone qualified in the field of mental health, for your husband to go to and work on his grief, by talking about it. talking has much power!!! releasing painful, sad, angry, and negative feelings is likely to make him more "free" --he can't go on carrying it all inside forever, or hoping it'll go away by itself. sometimes it does, but it tends to leave "wounds" and "scars." i'd really recommend looking into that first, and then go from there.

i sincerely wish your family the best!
blessings!
Thanks for your advice Dakota Skye. He has now booked counselling at our doctors surgury and has accepted anti- depressant med. which was a huge step for him in terms of his acceptance of his illness. He has a lot of baggage from a deprived childhood too. Rachel X
PS. I am in England.

 
Old 12-06-2006, 07:54 AM   #8
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rachel.41 HB User
Smile Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sannah
Hi Rachel, sounds like your husband needs to find time to grieve. He might need some extra help by going to counseling. If you contact the local Hospice they might be able to give you some referrals or they might have some classes or something? Good luck to you all.
He has now taken this step and booked counsellor and has a prescription for medication. I feel we are beginning to make a start to sorting this out, although i accept we go at his pace with my support and love. I am never giving up on a wonderful man who now needs me more than at anytime over the last 20 year. Thank you. i am so grateful people i don't know take the time to give encouragement and advice.
Rachel X

Last edited by rachel.41; 12-06-2006 at 07:55 AM.

 
Old 12-06-2006, 07:59 AM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9
rachel.41 HB User
Wink Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sannah
Hi Rachel, sounds like your husband needs to find time to grieve. He might need some extra help by going to counseling. If you contact the local Hospice they might be able to give you some referrals or they might have some classes or something? Good luck to you all.
Thank you for your comments Sannah. He has now booked counsellor and he will no doubt benefit enormously from this. It is great to receive such sound advice.
Rachel X

 
Old 12-06-2006, 08:11 AM   #10
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rachel.41 HB User
Re: Advice please. Depressed husband. How can i best help ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mongomad
Rachel,

I ignored grieving for the death of my father back when I was 16. I am now 38 and just this year did this and other negative things that happened as a direct result (drunken step-father that treated me badly as I lived there and siblings thought he was great as they did not witness his true self). I never cried after the day my dad died, watched him die of Leukemia over several months. Also so the stepfather die and I was the one who helped the most to see to it he went out with some dignity (people tend to treat dying people like children, especially when their mind is not there).

I'd like to say do this and that and everything will be perfect, but if he is experiencing what I am or similar, it's not that easy. I left my job as I could not cope with the tasks to even shower and get dressed let alone interact with people. NOTHING was working for me. My wife, bless her heart, called my employer and explained the best she could as I wanted to just stop going (back in April or so). We got paid leave for a while and I went back after getting some anti-depressants and sleeping pills from my Dr and a recommended Psychologist. It took her threatening to bring my Godfather (she works for him) to help her make me go to the psychologist.

I lasted about a month back at work as the pills did nothing for me, but I so wanted to keep my feelings inside and do what I had always done, make money. The trouble with help is there are some VERY bad psychologists, therapists and therapy not right for your husband. My psychologist just arbitrarily set a date to return and changed my meds. I was not ready, wife called her and she said there is no reason I should not be going to work. The only way I could stay out and get paid was to go to group therapy. This may work for your husband, but I took on the problems of these other people and it made me worse. I gave one of the patients a couple hundred bucks I didn't have to give with what he was facing.

I now have a better psychologist that listens, but my meds are not right. I ride an emotional rollercoaster nearly daily. More bad than good days still. My mother-in-law that I love got me a spiritual counselor that perked me up a couple days, but I have stopped calling him as we agreed and missed a meeting today with him. I thought I was getting better, now I am not so sure.

The only thing I can do is keep trying. The only thing my wife can do is push me until I give emphatic No's (after that I feel like I am a caged animal backed in the corner). You are going to need to be very patient and understand he is not himself or you are going to need to leave for your own sanity. It all depends on how much you want it to work and that you understand that this is not only his problem but yours too.

My wife says she took an oath before God and will never give up on me and has not as of yet. That means a lot. If you tell him you are not going away and you are staying and getting past this, he might respond better. He may have all sorts of bad thoughts in his mind. Make him feel comfortable you will listen and not judge the way he feels as "crazy" or "stupid" or anything other than something we need to work on.

He needs professional help and you need to help find someone competent. If you know anyone in your area that has battled depression, ask their opinion for psychologists and therapists. Assure your husband he can change them if he likes, as some have made me relive and say stuff that WAS NOT helpful. He needs you now, he knows it, but he can't show it as he is afraid he is "stuck" like this forever as do I on many days. He doesn't want you to go through this which worsens his feelings, maybe. Let him know you are there and can handle it, whatever it may take, but he has to admit the problem and be willing to seek help (merely needs to go to an appointment you make).

If he is anything like me, don't ask open ended questions. Just yes and no as decision making is something that I completely lack and get angry about it. I wish I had better news, but maybe he will respond and snap out of it quicker than I. Good luck!
Thank you so much for responding so well You have given me an insight into what he is feeling and i understand that what he is saying is not actually matching up! He has accepted med today and should see some improvement in next couuple of weeks. I realise that it make take a long, long time. But i think the world of him and would not leave him ever. After the fantastic last 20 years it is now time for me to repay him, suporting him and loving him unconditionally on his terms. The hardest part is his accpetance of a change in dynamics in our relationship. I am beginning to see that male depression is often so different to womens.
Do you have any idea what he feels when i try to show affection? Does it hurt him more? As the other night i wanted to hug him but resisted the urge!!
Best wishes with your own journey.
Rachel X UK

 
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