View Full Version : Help* Spouse is very, very depressed


Cecily
01-16-16, 11:04 PM
My husband who has ADHD/bipolar/SAD is so depressed that he is hardly functioning. Besides going to work (grocery store department manager) he sleeps and spends time on electronics, more than once staying up the entire night before heading back to work. That is all he will do. I do everything else to keep the household afloat.

We have four young children. We recently moved into a home that needs finishing (like we don't have a shower put in yet). Husband (our sole income) recently got hours cut to part time and he refuses to search for a second part-time job. We're heading to collections on multiple bills and may lose our family car.

He refuses to see any more therapists because he knows he'll just lie to them. He is no longer on ADHD medication but is still on the same SSRI dosage that he's been on for four years.

He refuses to go get the depression med or at least the dosage upped.

He is clear in his own mind that he needs help but he does not want help (his words). He gets very angry if I or my parents (good friends and mentors) push him to take care of his depression.

I've read a lot about depression and how to help a loved one get through depression. All them focus on loving a person. My dilemma is this: His depression is ruining us and our family. AND HE REFUSES TO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

As a wife, what do I do? He offered to move out. He'd rather move out than get meds.... he says he's hopeless.

Is there some sort of depression "intervention" that is sometimes helpful? Should he indeed move out and start taking care of himself (instead of me doing everything), only welcome home after he puts effort into taking care of himself, like at least getting on new antidepressants and arranging for therapy?

dvdnvwls
01-17-16, 01:57 AM
These are the best things I can think of. I hope someone else has better or happier advice.


Stop handling everything. Let things drop. Let important things simply go un-handled, and allow the disasters to strike with full force. Stop being the family hero (while of course protecting the kids as far as you're able), and stop being your husband's mother and protector.

Saying angry things will wear you out, and will also drive him further and further away from the help he needs. Of course you will be angry, and no one can blame you. It's just that there are times when showing your anger can be an effective tool for getting another person to do something; this is definitely not one of those times. The more anger he feels coming from you, the deeper he will be forced to retreat.

sarahsweets
01-17-16, 07:32 AM
Wow. I can feel your pain. My husband was out of work off and on from his union back in 2009-2011. This was due to the economy tanking. It is so hard to see your spouse suffer and sink deeper into depression. I went through so many emotions, from wanting to fix stuff, to anger,to acceptance. The acceptance was what helped snap him out of it. The job thing wasnt his fault. He was waiting for the hall to call and would check in but it seemed like that would never happen. I didnt know what to do with him. He took the hit hard because he is also our sole provider financially. I got to a point where I just let him be depressed without talking him to death about it. I just managed the kids and the house around him. I couldnt do anything financially, but I kept the kids in their routine as best as I could and did what I could as far as doing the usual stuff around the house. I think the breaking point if you want to call it that was this one talk we had. I told him that I loved him and that It was hard to watch him sink deeper into depression but that I didnt know what to do anymore. I told him that I was no longer going to try and fix stuff for him, that I understood that for whatever reason he had to feel this way for awhile. I suggested individual therapy with our family therapist. Then I had to wait him out. It was so hard saying nothing but it was like one day he just came to. He said yes to therapy and started being an active participant in his life. He eventually got sent on a job that was supposed to be 6 weeks. He got hired full time and has been their ever since. I dont know if any of that makes sense. I just know that being angry with him or nagging him or making his burden harder by adding to it didnt work. If your husband wants to move out, let him. I know that seems crazy but all the other stuff you are doing isnt working. If you ever feel like he will harm himself or you and the kids call 911. And tell the family and friends to stay out of it, They arent helping him.

ToneTone
01-17-16, 08:03 AM
Does he have a winter light box? ... I'm talking one of the boxes with 10,000 lux of light that people use to combat SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) during the winter months.

I have a light box and a visor ... using the box ... ..the boxes can help with SAD and with depression in general--at least I've read that ...

My heart goes out to you ... it really does ... so sorry you are in this situation ... and ... what a personally challenging situation ... someone you love for whatever reason being totally negligent in his care ... very sad and I imagine very infuriating.

Can you call his doctors? ... call his relatives? Call his mother? Father? Friends? ... Coworkers? ... If desperate, I might call his boss .. At some point when a person acts as your husband is, he forfeits the right to privacy ... and you have the right to call anyone who might be able to talk to him and influence him ... Plus telling others might change the dynamic ... it will no longer be simply you who talk to him about treatment.

Good luck.

Tone

dvdnvwls
01-17-16, 06:37 PM
What I'm about to say sounds corny, and it might be impossible under the circumstances. But if you can sincerely tell him that you love him, and give him a hug, that might be the most positive and helpful thing of all. People with ADHD often get excessively emotional during times of extended crisis, and if he is able to feel that you are trying to connect emotionally with him in a good way, it can make a much greater difference than someone without ADHD could probably imagine.

ToneTone
01-18-16, 01:57 PM
By the way, can you share anymore about whether your husband has ever been treated for depression before?

BTW, it can be amazing what a simple upping of a dosage can do ... I was on Zoloft about 11 years ago ... when I was about to get into a bad marriage. I couldn't function, couldn't make decisions--probably anxiety as well as depression. I got an appointment with my psychiatrist and he simply doubled the dosage, from 50mg, I think, to 100 mg ... Huge and immediate positive effect. Huge. I could function, I could think, I could make decisions.

I don't know what dosage your husband is on ... But I wonder if you can talk to his doctor and explain the problem ... Find out his dosage and the medication before you make the call. Of course, there is HIPAA privacy stuff ... the doctor may not feel he can share info on your husband with you.

But you can always talk hypothetically, and I think the doctor is covered. So if the doctor says he can't directly discuss your husband's treatment, you can do the "Doctor, let's take a hypothetical case of a woman whose husband is depressed and is on X dosage of Med Y. Would it make sense to ...? What would you recommend?"

The doctor could, I think, answer hypothetically as well. But you would have your answer.

Good luck. Please update us. And please try to take care of yourself as well during this time. It is one of the horrible effects of depression that it clouds clear thinking in a blanket of hopelessness. You really feel hopeless in the depression ... and so you won't get treatment or take steps that could help you.

My depression is under control now thanks to Wellbutrin and to long-time therapy. But I can easily recall--and this is the case with ADHD meds as well--that often I didn't see how distorted and needlessly hopeless I was until I felt better and came out of the depression.

Tone

neewsmonth
01-18-16, 09:07 PM
He refuses to see any more therapists because he knows he'll just lie to them. He is no longer on ADHD medication but is still on the same SSRI dosage that he's been on for four years.

He refuses to go get the depression med or at least the dosage upped.

He is clear in his own mind that he needs help but he does not want help (his words). He gets very angry if I or my parents (good friends and mentors) push him to take care of his depression.

I've read a lot about depression and how to help a loved one get through depression. All them focus on loving a person. My dilemma is this: His depression is ruining us and our family. AND HE REFUSES TO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

As a wife, what do I do? He offered to move out. He'd rather move out than get meds.... he says he's hopeless.

Is there some sort of depression "intervention" that is sometimes helpful? Should he indeed move out and start taking care of himself (instead of me doing everything), only welcome home after he puts effort into taking care of himself, like at least getting on new antidepressants and arranging for therapy?

Hi,
I read a few of your older posts. looks like your husband has the best friend and advocate in you. You're great!

It's interesting why he says he will lie. (What if he lied before ?)

You wrote in the older posts, that he suffered from other conditions, some of them exacerbated by the medication he had received.

Maybe he feels the therapy takes away a part of his personality ?

Something precious he got used to so much that losing it seems unbearable ?

You wrote he didn't like to read and you do the research. It's quite possible that he can't verbalize what he actually feels,
what he wants to feel and how much he wants to lose in order to win.

He will lie to a therapist, but hopefully not to you. Make him speak and post it here. If he learns someone out there has this same exact problem,
maybe he will be less stubborn :)

Good luck!