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tchai 07-30-2011 04:59 PM

partners of depressed
Anyone out there having problems dealing with a depressed partner? I am having trouble finding support groups that help one deal with living with someone who is depressed.

I've been married for 20 years now and my husband's depression just gets worse, even though he is on medications. I let myself get drawn into it, even though I know I shouldn't.

I just want to connect with someone who might possibly understand some of the feelings of helplessness a partner can have when the person they live with is going through a depressive episode.

katlin09 08-05-2011 09:18 PM

Re: partners of depressed
Have you tried contacting Social Services or the Health Department to inquire about support groups? You can also just call any psychologist in your area in the phone book and ask them. Chances are if they have a support group in your area, any local pdoc will know where and how to contact them.

take care,


tchai 08-06-2011 12:22 PM

Re: partners of depressed
Thanks, Kat.

Right now my husband is telling me that I am the root of all his problems. Everything is turned back on me and "my" decisions in the marriage. I found out he stopped taking his medications. I am going to a counselor and all we work on is my response to his depression.

Would you share with me if you are still with your depressed spouse and how things are going? I guess I want to know if these marriages work out. I know that this is not going to work out if he doesn't go back on his medication.

Thank you for responding to me. It helped a lot.

katlin09 08-06-2011 06:12 PM

Re: partners of depressed
I was with my husband for 23 yrs. we got divorced a year ago. We had other issues as well though, so can't say for sure if it would have worked.

If your husband is not med-compliant, it will be extremely difficult for him to get better.


Mihral21 08-06-2011 09:17 PM

Re: partners of depressed

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.

Mihral21 08-06-2011 09:27 PM

Re: partners of depressed
I guess I should add; I'm still in the marriage,he's still taking medication and we're still seeing a therapist (a relatively new one who's quite good). Now, to complicate matters further our young adult son is engaging in the avoiding, defeatist behaviors that seem to be the hallmark of depression. THAT is the development that makes me wonder if I should have left the marriage long ago. (When I say wonder, I mean wonder; I'm not convinced it would have helped. The only path we know, of course, is the one we take.)

All in all, it's a difficult, complicated mess for anyone struggling with a mental illness or in a relationship with a mentally ill individual. Like I said, I really wish you the best. I'm glad you reached out to the board and I hope it helps you find some clarity as you think things through.

tchai 08-09-2011 06:29 PM

Re: partners of depressed
Your journey is so similar to mine. Thank you for sharing. My husband has just taken a month off of work "medical leave." Doctors cannot decide whether he is depressed or bipolar. You'd think it would be easier to tell. He is sometimes compliant with medicines, sometimes not. He takes the pills but also does nothing to help the behaviors. I have now been taking anti-anxiety pills just to deal with him.

More and more of the responsibilities of daily living are being shifted to me, along with the blame. Somehow he always manages to make me the source of all his problems. If i could be so powerful!

If I can ever be of support to anyone, please let me know.

rudiraven 08-18-2011 11:17 AM

Re: partners of depressed
I understand what you're going through. My relative is my sister. She has been diagnosed with "depression", but I suspect Bipolar II. She moved down here during what I call a "manic" phase after her second divorce and son being diagnosed Bipolar. All done very quickly, including buying a house. Has not been able to find employment and gone into a "deep depression", barely able to function. I've taken her to two doctors, but she isn't compliant with meds or appointments. I'm the only person here for her, but she can be so nasty and hurtful that it's hard to want to help her. She says mean and hateful things and can be mean to her dogs sometimes. Other times she's loving. It's enough to drive me crazy :dizzy: I've offered to take them or do what I can but she refuses. I know there is no magic answer, just needed to vent! Thanks for listening :)

tchai 08-18-2011 07:25 PM

Re: partners of depressed
Any time you want to vent, please feel free! I'm always here to "listen." Venting is a good thing and not that many people will talk about their loved ones person to person. I wish there were more groups out there for people like us. It can be maddening, literally and figuratively, and with every definition of that with someone whose moods are so interchangable and unpredictable.

The job thing? Similar story. My hubby is on "medical leave" right now at home and not being very productive.

Hang in there:)

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