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Melissa Crabtree
04-17-2011, 01:19 PM
If you are the spouse of someone who is drowning in depression how do you cope?? My heart is not at all to vent here, because that could be quite insensitive to those sisters here who struggle with depression themselves. :group: Plus I'm not angry. My dh struggles with depression and has basically our entire marriage to varying degrees. At Christmas we finally found the best medicine for him psychologically and I saw the best Robert I've ever seen - some characteristics I'd never seen before!!, but he couldn't tolerate the side effects so now we're back to the drawing board. I have hope that we will find the right meds for him, but it's hard not to drown myself as I carry the whole family. It's bad right now. He goes to work and comes home and lays in bed to watch tv and that's about it. I don't feel like I can leave my youngest with him as the primary caretaker right now b/c he's just not checked in at all.

Some days I tolerate it well and am full of love, patience and concern for him... other days I get so frustrated! I keep that mostly in my head b/c I don't want to bring him down with more stress. I'm lonely; I miss him. How do you brace yourself for the lack of interest without pulling away in self-protection? I'm tired. I want him to know that I need him in this relationship but he has nothing to give. It's hard to not take that personally after so long though my head knows better. Is it enabling to create a restful place at home or does it encourage the withdrawal? Is it honoring to carry the load myself and take away the "need" for him in our family? Do you talk to others about it? I don't want to be unkind about him or share "his" story if you know what I mean, but it's my story too.

I'm just tired and need to know what you do. I understand where he is, but understanding doesn't make me any less tired or lonely.

Sheri
04-17-2011, 01:25 PM
Praying for you. I know how exhausting this whole thing is for Mike.
As someone from the other side I know I personally need Mike to be there as often as possible, but from your perspective I know you need a break now and then. Can you take them? Can you go out just once a week or a month to recoup?

When I am good we make a point to just sit and chat like "old times", it really boosts both of our spirits.

Rachel Jane
04-17-2011, 02:42 PM
Sorry for how difficult this is for you. I don't know what you can or should do about taking care of your needs and the needs of your family. I understand why you feel lonely and rejected. It would be very difficult to stay open in the face of indifference. I think you do need an IRL to be a sounding board and an encouragement. Do you have a kind, motherly type friend with whom you can bare your soul? Sometimes just speaking with someone who isn't directly involved can bring clarity.

Alicia
04-17-2011, 03:01 PM
Do you have some close "prayer-warrior" friends, who can keep the requests confident? I see nothing wrong with sharing his/your story with trusted friends who will not share the details with others. If so, I would ask them to pray about all the things you listed here on a regular basis. Also, another thing I used to do with one of my dc is pray appropriate scriptures over him at night when he was sleeping.

Cindy in CA
04-17-2011, 03:54 PM
:group::group::group:

Wanted to send some hugs, my heart feels for you! This is such a difficult situation.

Jen M
04-17-2011, 04:20 PM
First, hugs to you friend.:group::group: You are not alone. I too am/was in your shoes.

Second, it seems to take FOREVER to find medicine that works and up until that point it is a horrible rollercoaster. But please make sure to find a good friend to talk to. Let yourself 'let it out', and remember that God is so good and will bring you through this as you carry your family. I don't have words to explain how much I can understand your pain, but God is SO STRONG and put you with your dh because He knows you can do this.

My dh's therapist said that I am his 'wing man' and that he needs me to love him unconditionally. But at the same time she said that I need to 'let it out' and let others hold me up sometimes. I struggle leaning on others...

But remember God is good. My dh is finally on medication that helps. And I can't begin to express what a very special blessing it is every time I see him smile. :hcry:

Please feel free to PM me anytime. :group:

laurie in ok
04-17-2011, 05:00 PM
My husband has struggled with depression on and off - but since being diagnosed with ADD and starting ADD meds, he has not struggled anymore. I'm praying for you guys that you will find the right meds and quickly!:group:

Negin
04-18-2011, 02:06 AM
No words of wisdom to offer. Just lots of prayers.
:group: :group: :group: :group: :group:

BethInOK
04-18-2011, 06:55 AM
Find someone you can lean on. Make sure to do things that uplift you. Take whatever breaks you can. Continue to encourage your dh to find a solution. It may take a while, but it is there. I can tell you that I am so glad that I kept asking my dh to talk to his dr. For him a combination of medication & a CPAP machine made a huge difference!

Melissa Crabtree
04-18-2011, 09:54 AM
Thanks for your sweet encouragement, friends. To those of you who PMed also, I just haven't had a chance to get back to you each individually yet.

I do have sisters and friends I can talk to. Candace is one of them and pretty much knows the whole story. She knows how Robert feels too from being there herself, so her perspective is helpful too. The hardest time is when Robert is home and the air in the house is just so heavy. Getting on the phone at that moment isn't really an option, but I can certainly have an outlet at other times and that is helpful. Especially because when I get all those tumbling thoughts out of my head with someone else I don't feel the need to dump them on him.

I was on a retreat this weekend and I felt like one of the things the Lord showed me is that He will restore all this time we have lost. It will be good again at some time, I just need to keep hanging on. I am thankful for the glimpse of the Robert I saw over Christmas, because quite honestly, he was more easy going, patient, and demonstrative (in his affection toward me) than I have ever known him to be. I never thought he'd do or say some of those things! But now it's all gone... not sure if it's better to hope for that again or to have never thought it was possible to begin with.

I think the Lord uses this too to remind me that Robert is not the one on Whom I am supposed to be leaning. I think He wants me to be overwhelmed sometimes to remind me how much I need HIM.

Jen M, I like the wing-man illustration.

Candace C
04-18-2011, 12:30 PM
:group::group::group:I am so sorry. I know it is so hard for you. I know how hopeless I feel in my situation, wondering if I will ever feel "normal" again...so I know that feeling.

I don't ever mind listening. I wish there was more I could do. :group:

I think you are right in realizing how this draws you to the Lord. I think that has been the number 1 lesson I have learned through my own struggle with depression. God has had to bring me to this place to show me my desperation for Him...He has had to teach me to lean on Him and no one else - I'm still not good at it, still learning to trust Him more. And, we do need friends for encouragement...but He is teaching me that He is my source, my refuge, I have had to learn that I just can't do it myself - I think He had to show me how self-sufficient I thought I was by bringing me to a place of continual dependence on Him. I literally cannot do the things i used to do - and in some ways, that is frustrating, but in other ways, it is a blessing in disguise!!

I pray for Robert regularly too...and you. I know God is faithful and has His best in mind for you both.

Melissa Crabtree
04-18-2011, 12:42 PM
Also, another thing I used to do with one of my dc is pray appropriate scriptures over him at night when he was sleeping.

I forgot to put this in my last post. Alicia, right before I read your post I felt like the Lord told me to pray over him while he sleeps. I feel like ten minutes twice during the night is what I should do. Last night I prayed before I went to sleep (he's always asleep before I am) and set my alarm for 5:30 and prayed again this morning before his alarm went off at 6. I know God's not a genie, and even if praying for him doesn't help him, I know it will help me have a better perspective of him as the Lord helps me see Robert as He sees him. I'd love to know what scriptures you prayed.

Rachel Jane
04-18-2011, 12:59 PM
2 Timothy 1:7
Psalm 127:2
Psalm 34:19
Isiah 26:3
Proverbs 19:23
All of Psalm 139
Psalm 131: 1 and 2
Romans 9:37 -39
Romans 15:13
2 Cor 5:16
Eph 3:14 -21

Melissa Crabtree
04-18-2011, 01:04 PM
2 Timothy 1:7
Psalm 127:2
Psalm 34:19
Isiah 26:3
Proverbs 19:23
All of Psalm 139
Psalm 131: 1 and 2
Romans 9:37 -39
Romans 15:13
2 Cor 5:16
Eph 3:14 -21

Thank you! I hadn't had a chance to do any research yet, but I'm really bad at finding topical things like that when I need them.

Rachel Jane
04-18-2011, 01:10 PM
Thank you! I hadn't had a chance to do any research yet, but I'm really bad at finding topical things like that when I need them.

They aren't really topical. These are just the ones that came to mind that I thought would be helpful.

Anjie in PA
04-18-2011, 01:11 PM
Melissa, I haven't read all of the other responses, but I wanted to give you a :group:. I totally know how you feel. It's so hard sometimes! Some days I feel strong and feel God sustaining me, and others I'm just so tired of having to be the strong, stable one. I know what you mean about the whole atmosphere in the house feeling heavy.

For me, it's hard to find someone to talk to. I feel like people just think I'm whining and it's the same old, same old. One thing that does help me is to get out with friends. It doesn't happen too often, but I've learned to make it a priority when the opportunity does arise. Once a year I go to the beach for a weekend with six other mom friends; it's wonderfully refreshing!

Ultimately, yes, this is a way for God to draw us near to Him. The one (human) you're supposed to be able to depend on always is not able to be there for you, so you have no choice but to run to the Father! I'll be praying for you as you journey through this. PM'ing you, as well. :group: