Anyone out there dealing with a spouse with depression? My husband has major depression and is taking meds, but I don't see it being any good. I have checked the groups for something on this, but found none. I need help dealsing with his depression and its effect it has on our family. Some background info: Our son has ADHD, our daughter has ADHD/ODD/Depression and mood disorders. He doesn't work and stays home and sleeps most of the time. He is in recovery from drug abuse. I don't see him even trying to help himself. Sometimes, it gets all so overwhelming, that I feel like his depression is pulling me into depression. Please help!

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Kathy - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi Michelle,



I have been there my self I was on medication for 6 years, What has helped me to beat the meds (did not help much either) I looked in to whole food nutrtion and supplements. and that really did the trick for me it did take some time but I have not taken any meds for over 2 years. We also adopted a boy when he was 7 and has ADHD and I took him off his meds and he is also taking supplements too and he is doing great.



It is a process and it takes patience, but I can share with you how I did it.



Depression can lead to drug abuse because your looking for anything to help.



Even though you are worn out keep trying to be motavating for him, get him up and go for a walk, even as a family the fresh air does help..If he won't go you go by your self. surround your self with positive people.



I hope this has helped.



Blessings, to you and your family



 

Natalie - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi Michelle- looks like you've gotten a lot of good feedback from people. I applaud you for being so open, as well as everyone elso who has shared. You have a lot on your plate to deal with. All I can say is that you need to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with friends that can offer you support. Make sure to take time for yourself- alone. I especially recommend a yoga class. Yoga can be an amazing tool that can help you deal with all the stress you have in your life. It could possiby even help your husband and maybe this could even be an activity you do together. But first you need to make sure that your needs are being met so that you can continue to be the "Balanced" one in your family. Keep on Keeping on, Girl- you're a Rock Star!!!!

Chasidy - posted on 02/19/2009

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It sounds like he needs to find purpose. I've been dealing with this on and off myself since I got laid off from the construction design job I love back in Aug. For me, my church is a life-saver. I teach and I'm involved in a small womens group study where I can get all my feelings out and comfort others. I'm sorry if this doesn't help you, but it works for me.

Amanda - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi Michelle,

Your story sounds very similar to mine. When I was married to my first husband, he had depression. I also found out that he was a drug user as well. He went through every dime. He never wanted to spend time with me or the kids. When he was home he was on the couch or computer. It did not end well. We ended up seperating and he killed himself 8 months after I moved out with the kids. Please try and get him help, but remember, he has to want this help. I regret leaving him, but it was for the kids. We lost our house soon after I moved out. He left me 50gs in the hole. He left my kids traumatized for life. It all sucks...but we're moving on. After he died I realized how easy it is to become that depressed. The are groups that are free, and sometimes it starts with us..I dont know what else to tell you...I wanted to share my experience so you could have some avenues. Good Luck!!

Amanda

Nicole - posted on 02/18/2009

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he might have beed diagnosed wrong. if the meds are not working , he definatley needs to go back to his dotor or another one! You need need to be in some kind of counsiling just for youself. You always have to be stong for your children, and make sure they are talking about thier issues also. good luck

Claudia - posted on 02/18/2009

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Your husband probably is a bi-polar or borderline bi-polar person.  The drug abuse is a way to self medicate.  I know as I am a Bi-polar person, (who is married happily with 5 children).



He needs to see a doctor and a therapist.  The doctor for the meds and the therapist for someone to talk to.  Do not get offended if he doesn't want you to go to therapy with him. 



The probability that your children have this disorder are high, they are now discovering that this illness is a genitic trait we got from our parents and passed on to our children.  One of my children is ADHD. 



As far as getting him the help, be understanding.  Just think if you are overwhelmed then mulitply that by 10 for him...hes in a hole and cannot figure how to get out, and doesn't want to ask for help.  Make it so he doesn't have to ask.  Find a therapist, talk to your husband, let him know that you are there for him, but you think he needs more help than you can give him right now, and that if he is broken your whole family is broken, then the need to seek treatment might be greater. 



As far as yourself try looking up support groups for spouse of bi-polar people.  You will also need a support system, be a friend, professional, etc.  The best thing I can tell you is patience.  Take baby steps, and remember that this is a disease, just like cancer, and the small victories are whats important now. 

Brenda - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hello Michelle,



I have a daughter who had severe post-partum depression after every childs birth.  With the first child we didn't know about the depression and for three months I took care of the baby as if it were mine.  She lived with me at the time.  I know about the not caring, sleeping all day, etc.  With the second same thing but she was married then and I really don't know much about how she was afterwards.  By the third we had addressed the issue and she was on meds.  A world of difference.  One thing I understand is most people that are depressed don't like the meds that are out there for them, it makes them feel bad so they tend not to take them.  That maybe your husband.  Do you know for sure he is taking them regularly?  Maybe you could monitor that and make sure he does take them. If that doesn't work I would inform the doc that they don't seem to work and see if they could prescribe another.  It is just like an antibiotic, some work and some don't.  My last suggestion is that you find a good church and become involved and if you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal friend, let me tell you He is the best friend you will ever find and He will never leave you.  He will see you through whatever you are going through and He will give you a peace and joy even in the midst of turmoil that I can't explain to you but if you want it, it is yours for the asking.  May God bless you as you work through these issues.



Brenda

Nicole - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Michelle,



I'm a clinical psychotherapist so i am familiar with what you are describing above. Medication alone is often not sufficient to treat a major depressive episode. If he is not already doing so, I would recommend he see someone who can provide an evidence-based treatment for depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been found to be very effective for depression, as has a behavioral method called behavioral activation. Interpersonal therapy has been shown to be helpful for depression but I am not as impressed by the data as I am with CBT or BA.



ADHD is over diagnosed and may be one of many other disorders, including Oppositional Defiant Disorder, an undiagnosed sleep disorder or learning disabiity. And not all of those require medication, and all improve with behavioral interventions. It sounds like there is a lot of comorbidity going on and goig to see a good family therapist would be beneficial in that if you find one with a behavioral background, you and your husband (as he improves) can make the environmental modifications you need to improve everyone's functioning and relative happiness.



I would recommend you find a therapist near you using the "Find a Therapist" feature of the Association for Behavioal and Cognitive Therapies at www.ABCT.org



Hope things get better soon. This is not a fun place you are in right now.

Michelle - posted on 02/18/2009

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I am so glad that you all responded! It made me cry. I KNOW everything everyone of you are telling me, but haven't heard it in quite sometime. He does take meds, and he has been trying many with a doctors approval. Welbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft.... the whole gammut. But something isn't working. Our next step is to talk to a psyciatrist. We have one that works with our daughter and will work with him (when he is ready).



As for the divorce option.......

We are divorced. We got divorced many years ago but came back together. We have been together for almost 18 years (I met him when I was 13).

Anyway, we are in this for the long haul. I love him, he loves me and we love our kids. Growing up, we went through alot of crap, abuse, and such. We vowed to change that for our kids. Its just not easy. But will it ever get easier to deal with?



Thanks so much for all of your input! It made me feel so much better!

And I will be contacting a few of you to talk more.

Nancy - posted on 02/18/2009

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Just as cancer is a physical illness, depresion is also an illness.  Cancer effects the body, depression effects the mind. and behavior.  There is a chemical inbalance in the brain.  The medications take a bit of time to become effective, but also there is a need for a good psycological doctor to help. Ask around.  Ask others  for referral of a good psychologist or psychiatrist.   Also check out Focus on the Family.  The radio show had a man on there that has had clinical depression for years and he talks about it.  

Maryanne - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Michelle. I have been living with depression for the past 10 years (I am also bipolar and have OCD). From my experience it helped to find the right medication and the right dose, i was prescribed 4 different medication (some with negative reactions) before we found the right one. I was also prescribed sleeping pills and people with depression have the tendency to abuse these narcotic pills. You may want to check with your doctor about the medications and maybe try to monitor if your husband is taking sleeping pills during the day also. I understand how you feel because that was what my husband and kids went through when i was at my lowest, all i wanted to do was sleep 24/7 and i used to get off my meds which screwed up my system big time! I hope that this information helps. Remember, you are not alone in this. Try to find time for yourself too, you have to be healthy and well so you can deal with the everyday challenges of living with and taking care of your family who are suffering from these illnesses/disease/disorder. Take care and God bless.

Angie - posted on 02/18/2009

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I don't usually reply to these but thought this time I might. I have been there and it led to a divorce. That was the best thing that could have happened to me. He let his drug problem and depression control his whole life. It got to the point that I could not trust him with our child. He ended up oin jail and that was my breaking point. I was depressed quite a while and was on meds myself. Once he was removed fro the picture the depression seemed to lift along with the ever-present migraine headaches. I am not advocating divorce but sometimes you need to consider if the person can make a change or if sticking around to find out is best for you and your child. I am in a good place now and i know he still is not, regardless of what his mom is always telling me. I know it's an issue because it has been more than a year since he has seen his child and i just know that parents fight for what is important and will do whatever they need to to know their children have it better than they ever did! Good parents anyways. if he is worth it push him to get more help or become active in the help he is getting. If it seems that he isn't interested then maybe taking a step away will give more clarity. Don't stop thinking of the needs of yourself as well as your children.

Just - posted on 02/18/2009

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I can respond on the part where Marie says that her husband brings her down. That is because he is down and depressed and in the dumps. He wants everyone else to be feeling that too. NOT INTENTIONALLY, but that's what you do when you are a victim of severe manic depression. It happens, your family knows something is wrong Michelle. They want to help, but they can't. Just like I said, he wants it all to go away and not cut himself off from the world and his family. He just doensn't know how to fix it. I used all the excuses in the world not to leave my house and be around people I didn't know. He likes it at home because that is his comfort zone.

Marie - posted on 02/18/2009

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I am dealing with the same issue and have been for years.  My husband although refuses to get any medication at all and says that all he needs is  time to himself to do the things he wants to do without me and the kids.  I think that its a load of crock sometimes I bought him a membership to a gym he never went I tell him to go out and enjoy some time out and he won't go he just paces in the house whenever he is not at work and talks to himself loudly about how is life sucks that I am not good enough mother or wife.    I have reached my end of the line and told him that if I am the problem then he needs to leave.  I know that feeling of thinking his depression is going to bring you down don't let it sometimes I think thats what my husband is trying to do because when he sees my unable to do my daily tasks he seems chipper and content but when I am on top of my game his depression remarkably appears.  My husband is also in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and as bad and hard as that may be if your husband is not trying to help himself like the sain goes When you love something let it free if comes back to you it was always yours if it doesn't then it was never yours to begin with.



A final note you don't want to be an enabler and sometimes you just have to let go.



 

Just - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Michelle. My name is Angie. I am from Kentucky. This will be the first time I have ever responded to anyone on the net. I feel your pain. I don't have a spouse that has depression issues. Depression runs in my family. My father has it. He was cut off from the world for almost 10 years after he had worked hard all his life, had a family, nice nice cars and house and land, got on drugs, lost everything. Our house burned down and then divorce soon after. Lost the business that he had and then just pretty much slept. That is where I come in. I have depression for a long time now. Ever since all of this happened in and to my family. My brother and sister moved away and we were all pretty much split apart. My aunt's son died when he was 27, and then she went into a severe depression where she didn't even leave her house. All of this is very familiar to me. I have learned you can have more money than you know what to do with and all the lovely things in life that you have always wanted or asked for. Not have to work or have any responsibilities whatsoever and still be depressed. Sleeping all day, dark rooms, don't like to answer the phone, door or any questions from anyone. I bet your husband blocks everyone out as much as possible. My aunt has gone for weeks and not even showered. Some people don't eat at all. I have always comforted myself with food though. I want you to know something. He is so sad inside and he doesn't like to feel this way or make you and your family feel this way too. He knows that you and your family are suffering because he is suffering. If this is the depression that I have gone through and my father has gone thru the rest of my family. I want you to know that you can not pull him out of this. He can not pull himself out of this. You always think that you can fight that feeling coming on. It soon get worse and then you just slip into the deepest, darkest, lonliest world I've ever seen in my life. I recently had a baby in January of 2008 and I was on Zoloft for year. 100mg It has helped me and my father. They say ever person is different. My father is sober now for 2 years. The drugs mostly caused his depression I think, and of course losing everything too. I winged myself off ot the Zoloft depression medicine. I think that my daughter is the most #1 reason I am not sleeping all day, can't hold a job, social anxiety. I still have that. I will slip again, I always do. I stay strong, and think about my children's future and not so much on me all the time. I hope you make this far in my response and I haven't bored you. I may not have been any help to you or your question but believe it or not. You listening and allowing me to write to you has been very theraputic for myself. I feel like alot has been lifted since I sat down and starting writing you back. So, I owe you a thanks! I don't know how long your husband has been battleing this, but please feel free to contact me by email anytime. I don't usually get on this site here. angclayton@gmail.com



I really hope for the best for you and your family. He is strong, but something just has a hold of him right now and he can't pull himself out. When you are in the state that he is in. You always think you can fight it off. I'm tellin ya, it just gets worse. Sun helps, hugs he might now want, but once he gets it it's so nice and reasurring to know you are still there for him. Postitivity is the best too. God Bless!

CeCe - posted on 02/18/2009

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Quoting Connie:



Hi Michelle,






Im so sorry to hear this. I have quite a bit of info. to share with you about ADHD and depression and some alternatives, if you could give me a call I would be happy to share. It's kind of alot to type here. If you are not comfortable with calling, email me at wahumommymatters@gmail.com and I'll write ya back!






Best,






Connie



OOps, incase you do want to call.....949-873-7168





 

CeCe - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Michelle,



Im so sorry to hear this. I have quite a bit of info. to share with you about ADHD and depression and some alternatives, if you could give me a call I would be happy to share. It's kind of alot to type here. If you are not comfortable with calling, email me at wahumommymatters@gmail.com and I'll write ya back!



Best,



Connie

CeCe - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi Michelle,



Im so sorry to hear this. I have quite a bit of info. to share with you about ADHD and depression and some alternatives, if you could give me a call I would be happy to share. It's kind of alot to type here. If you are not comfortable with calling, email me at wahumommymatters@gmail.com and I'll write ya back!



Best,



Connie

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