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Old 12-30-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
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How can I help my husband with his depression?

I think my husband is suffering from depression. He has even suggested it himself. He has withdrawn alot from our family, and I don't know what to do for him. He abused drugs alot when he was in his 20's now he self medicates with pot all the time. He has lost interest in sex and spends so much time alone in our room. We have 5 kids, and when he does spend time with the family, he has no patients and never seems happy, just mad or withdrawn. We've gone to marraige counseling, and I have talked to him alot about getting some help, but he doesn't do anything for it. I feel bad for him & our kids. What can I do, that I haven't already tried? Thanks for any advice.

 
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: How can I help my husband with his depression?

Difficult situation. There isn't reallly anything you can do for him. He will have to do it for himself. If he's not motivated, it's not likely you can get him motivated. In fact, part of the issue may be his reaction against others trying to motivate him. His depression may be compounded by other factors: burnout? stress? medical condition? As hard as it might be, I believe you simply need to let him work it out. You can be supportive, but not to the point of pushing him towards help, which he would likely resist. He needs to have the space, and time, to reach out on his own. If he knows you are supportive and there for him, he will reach out if he is not pushed into it.

 
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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Re: How can I help my husband with his depression?

Maybe you could encourage him to switch from pot to an antidepressant? It might take making an appointment for him and dragging him to it. I have more invasive options because that's what worked with me. I did not see that I was anxious/depressed, did not see that I needed help. Once we got to the ER and it seemed like it was safe to be there I went along with the plan. Best thing that could have happened.

 
Old 12-31-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: How can I help my husband with his depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwae
Difficult situation. There isn't reallly anything you can do for him. He will have to do it for himself. If he's not motivated, it's not likely you can get him motivated. In fact, part of the issue may be his reaction against others trying to motivate him. His depression may be compounded by other factors: burnout? stress? medical condition? As hard as it might be, I believe you simply need to let him work it out. You can be supportive, but not to the point of pushing him towards help, which he would likely resist. He needs to have the space, and time, to reach out on his own. If he knows you are supportive and there for him, he will reach out if he is not pushed into it.

 
Old 12-31-2006, 08:24 PM   #5
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Re: How can I help my husband with his depression?

What about me, I'm feeling so unloved and out of place in my own home. I want to just take my kids and run away. He makes me feel like he doesn't love me anymorl. What do I do.

 
Old 12-31-2006, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: How can I help my husband with his depression?

He needs to know three things from you. You need to tell him, in as calm a way as possible 1) what you observe in his behavior. This needs to be objective statements of your observations. Not accusations. Something like "I can see that you are depressed" or "I can tell that you're not happy." 2) you need to tell him how you feel. That you feel lonely, unloved, scared...whatever feelings you have; again, in an objective way, simply stating your feelings. And its important that you not say "you are making me feel this way." These are just how you feel given the situation. 3) What your needs are. Try to avoid statements about what you need from him, but rather just what you need. You can say "I need to feel loved." Or, "I need to know what I can do to help." Again, these are not demands, just simply statements of your need. There is no requirement or obligation for him to respond; they are not questions. All three can come out in sequence, something like..."I can see that you have been depressed and I feel at a loss at how to help, I really need to be connected to you and I need to know that I am loved by you." By stating these to him, you will feel more involved, you will have expressed yourself which is important and you will give him an opportunity to communicate with you if he so chooses. Because there is no obligation for him to respond, don't expect one or get upset if he does not. But, know that he has heard you. Something may come from that an hour later, the next day....At this point, for your well being, you need to express your observations, your feelings and your needs - without rancor or hurt. You'll feel better after you have made these statement, in a loving way. Give it a try - and give it a chance.

You may also want to consider counseling for yourself to help you deal with your feelings about the situation.

 
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