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Monday, April 06, 2009 trintrin, Community Member, asks

Q: I'm finding it harder to live with my husband who is suffering from Chronic Depression

My husband has been suffering from depression for many, many years now. I thought that I would be able to deal with his depression but it's getting harder and harder to live with. He is not interested in doing anything. He sleeps about on the average 16 hours a day and then will watch tv. He usually doesn't want to go anywhere unless I saw let's go do this or let's go do that and he will tag along sometimes but when he gets there he will just sit there and he doesn't interact with anybody. He used to help me out with cleaning the house and keeping up with laundry since he isn't working and I am but now he doesn't even do that. This has gotten worse within the last 2 years now. Last year he was hospitalized for the depression and got some help and when he got out of the hospital he was doing much better but it didn't last for long. He will go 3-4 days without showering. He doesn't take his depression medicine most of the time because he says it causes him to have less of a sex drive but at this point I'm not interested in having sex with him because of how he is. I just don't know what to do at this point.

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Answers (3)
Merely Me, Health Guide
4/ 6/09 4:04pm

Hi

 

This must be so difficult for you.  I am going to give you a link to Deborah Gray's article, "What to do when your Partner is Depressed" which gives some suggestions of how to handle this circumstance.

 

It sounds like you could use some support.  Do you have any family members or friends to rely upon and just get away to talk and have a cup of coffee? 

 

What has helped most with your husband's depression in the past?  Has he had any therapy at all?  Would he be interested in seeing a counselor or therapist to talk to?  Have any of the medications helped in the past?  If he is worried about sexual side effects there are some with fewer sexual side effects such as Wellbutrin. 

 

Could you maybe schedule him for a physcial and talk to his regular general practitioner about things?  Sometimes depression has an underlying medical cause such as a thryoid problem. 

 

Does he enjoy any sort of physical activity?  Would he join a gym with you?  Exercise can help decrease depression tremendously.

 

Is he unemployed or retired?  Would he ever volunteer with you? 

 

Would a daily schedule help?  Sometimes when I am depressed I literally need someone to tell me what to do next.  I may not do right then but if I can do but one thing on the schedule then this is a success.

 

I think you have to look for tiny successes each day and feel good about those otherwise you are going to get bogged down by what he doesn't do. 

 

These are all just my purely subjective ideas.  You know your husband best.

 

Keep reaching out here.  I think the more you talk about this, the more you will be able to have the emotional stamina to stay in the ring.

 

Thank you for your question.

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psychoward1, Community Member
4/ 6/09 8:36pm

How terrible it is when someone changes so tremendously that you have to seek help from others to deal with them. It sounds like you're getting near the end of the rope so to speak. If me and my wife got to that point she'd just walk out(after what she's been thru I can understand). In my opinion you need to start communicating to him how you feel. Maybe get yourself a counselor to help you thru this time and set some goals for the 2 of you. Depression can affect those around, but its very selfish not to follow thru with treatment.

 

Good luck,

 

Pat

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had it, Community Member
4/ 7/09 8:24am

My husband has been depressed for many years now.  He has been recieving medical treatment but it hasn't been working.  He is drinking heavily and I think that stops the medication from working.  I can understand your frustration and concern.  I have tried everything and thought it was the best thing to stay in the marriage because of our two children.  However I think I made the wrong decision because it has had an effect on them.  It is a lonely marriage dealing with someone who is depressed as they don't have anything to give back.  I have tried so hard but am tired now and ready to give up.  My husband can't even hold down a job now and does nothing around the house or with the children.  It is at the point that I'm wondering why he is in the house.  So good luck, I hope your story has a better ending than mine.

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By trintrin, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 04/06/09