Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to support a spouse suffering from severe depression but who does not want to get professional help?

My wife can't have a kid and has many childhood issues. Moreover she is having severe work problems.

She does not want to tell her GP or get any professional help becasue it will have career implications for her.

Her condition is very bad.

What should I do?How to support a spouse suffering from severe depression but who does not want to get professional help?
I have sufferered from depression and i didint want to tell anyone my partner knew but i refused help and said everything was ok in the end it got so bad that i started cutting myself my partner left in the end and looking back now i cant blame him he was only 20 i 18 and he didnt know what to do. But i did get help in the end and i was precrribed anti depressiants and with a year i was back to my old self and wished i had done it a lot sooner. Its not an easy thing to admit to anyone let alone a doctor but she dies need help you obviously cant force her to go but you can support her as much as possible and talk to her about her problems. Its hard for someone with depression to admit they have a problem when you have depresion you feel on your own like your the weird one for feeling like this and iother people/doctors wouldnt understand but they do. The hardest bit is the firsr step and going to the doctor they are there to help and they arent going to look down at your wife which might be what she is worrying about if she went.

She sounds like she may have alot of underlying problems that is causing this and there is only so much you can do for her maybe you could show her this it may help her see that she is not the only one and who is/as suffered from simular problems and there is a way out of it. If she does see this she can always email me if that helps.

As for her career she wont have much of one if she doesnt get help because very few people can control depression on there own and it can easily sprial out of control. This may sound harsh but it can hapen.How to support a spouse suffering from severe depression but who does not want to get professional help?
The fact that your wife is still going to work and facing the ';severe work problems'; shows that she has the character of perserverance. This is a quality that is needed to be able to overcome some of the issues that she is trying to deal with.

It is great that you are there to support her while she is going through a rough time. Just listening to her is beneficial.

Society does not frown on people that seek help for issues in their lives. Counseling would benefit her by helping her to face the childhoold traumas and move on from there. She will have to decide if ';career implications'; are more important than her overall happiness and success in life.

If her condition is '; very bad';, at least encourage her to go to dr-- not her regular GP if she doesn't want to, another one. K
If she is severely depressed the answer has to come from inside herself - nobody can do it for you.

Too many compliments will be annoying to her and you have to consider your own mental health.

My husband and I went to marriage counseling for awhile and then decided that the time together on the drive did more good for our marriage than the counseling.

fresh air and exercise are the best medicine for a mild depression. Get her outside even if she just lies in a hammock or something.

read about the stages of grief - she may just be going through a perfectly normal grief cycle, if so, and she is not suicidal, etc you should just let it run the course.

If she is suicidal you need to intervene and get her help immediately.

If she is that bad her job is in jeopardy anyway. Maybe she needs to take some time off work. A vacation never hurts.

A couple centuries ago people would go to the beach to cure all sorts of ailments.

Hope some of this helps, just remember to take care of yourself and spend some time everyday nurturing you because having a depressed spouse is very depressing. Perhaps you are grieving too.

Good luck and prayers.

ps a REALLY cute puppy or kitten may help.
It will have more severe career implications if she doesn't seek professional help, apart from that it will affect your relationship and her own health.

What I would do is go to the doctors, they are used to dealing with depression, they know ways to get around those, like your wife, who do not want or do not think they need any help.

It may feel a little like you're stabbing her in the back at first, but it really is the right thing to do.
My therapist occaisionally suffers from depression because of heredity. It only made him better at his job because he really understands what it's like to be labeled with a mental illness. Some jobs are enhanced by the compassion brought about by experiencing what those you work with sometimes experience. It's like having your mind blown out of the box. You must challenge your wife's thinking that getting help will harm her carreer. She will be protected by law from being fired, unless her depression causes her to really mess up on the job and her employer doesn't know anything about the real reasons why.
If shes suffering from depression then she really does need professional help, like medication and counselling. You can be there for her but its not going to get her over it. surely if she has depression her job must be suffering anyway because of that, and a lot of perople with depression stop wanting to go to work. Thats what happened to me when i got depressed and ended up losing my job.
I do feel for you, this is a lot of pressure on your shoulders.

I went through a similar situation with a friend, having him tell me how bad he was, and wanting my help but refusing to get proper help. He came up with all the reasons - he had to protect his image, job prospects etc, but in the end I phoned the depression helpline in confidence to ask advice for myself. I couldn't cope knowing in my mind how bad he was suffering.

The person I spoke to was very good. The depressed person doesn't intend to be manipulative, but the nature of the depression makes them behave manipulatively, i.e. ';I could do something really awful to myself, but I'm not going to let you tell anyone.';

At this stage it has to be tough love on your part (being cruel to be kind). You have tell the person to seek help and step away. Being there to absorb what it is doing to you is supporting the person to stay the way they are - because they know you are there. If they commit suicide it's not your fault because you did the right thing by telling them to get help. You have to let go of the guilt and put the responsibility back on them.

I did this with my friend - let go and took the risk that he might kill himself - and when he realised his final crutch (which was me) had gone, he got help :)
If your wife is seriously depressed then any reasonable suggestion you make won't seem like a reasonable suggestion at all. Furthermore every time you suggest something she'll probably be very reactionary and won't take well to your suggestions - depressives tend to be very defensive.

My best advice is for you to book an appointment with your GP and explain the situation to him/her and ask for some advice as to how to proceed.
try and get her interested in something: sports? hobbies? go traveling for a while?

i dont see how a visting a GP will have career implications, ask to keep it confedential? but if she is prescribed anti-depresents.. most have very addicting properties and tolorance is very easily to build up, so watch that.
i'm so sorry. she's a doctor, isn't she? i can understand why she wouldn't want to let a fellow-professional know how she's feeling. i suffer from recurring depression, but i don't really care who knows it! it's an illness, just like diabetes or something %26amp; the way i see it, we wouldn't refuse insulin injections! there isn't such a stigma attached to depression now, thank God! there are too many famous people like stephen fry, robbie williams etc, who've brought it out into the public domain. all i can suggest is you keep reassuring her that she's not alone %26amp; that, with the right help, she can live a normal life (whatever that is!). good luck, diane.
My wife suffered from depression for many years, and it was the work related problems that made it worse , forget the job and save her life you can get another job but depression won't disappear on its own,believe me I know.Ps try referring to children not Kids.
You can get another job but you only got one shot at life %26amp; if she carries on like this it's going to be miserable for her %26amp; those around her.Never mind her job - she can always get another one! What's important right now is that she gets professional help to sort herself out.
YOU not helping her by not getting pro help,it will get worst ,so go all the way to the pro for help,only way out,cant imagine 10 years down the road for her condition,both might go cc.
Career implications???? Good Grief. Ask yourself what would you prefer a wife on the edge of a breakdown or suicide earning a good whack, or a wife that is happy and fulfilled in life? Choice is yours.
her health is PARAMOUNT. and you should try and get this across to her. why don't you ask the doctor to visit her. good luck.
You can't make anyone seek out help but you can reassure them that there are many ways to get help without going and being on medications. Noone wants to think ';they have a problem'; and after working in mental health and growing up with a sister who is schizo-effective (which btw is a bs diagnosis) i've found the best way is reassure that person who is involved that they're not the first to have a problem with depression....if she is depressed due to complications of getting pregnant then the best way to handle that is to come up with a back up plan...have you talked about seeing a specialist who deals with couples trying to conceive...have you looked at all the options available if you have then why not adopt...the maternal instinct to care for someone doesnt have to be one born from your body but can be one born in your heart....As for the work thing there are laws that protect her from having any type of complications with her career..women who have high demanding jobs seem to suffer from one form of depression or another....and stress can cause you not to become pregnant....as for the issues that stem from childhood one of the best ways to deal with that if she refuses to seek out help dealing with it is for her to write a letter....at first she will think it is silly but once she starts writing and letting everything out then she'll see that it starts coming more willingly and this may take anywhere from the first paragraph to 3 letters but it does work. (this i know personally) there's something about being able to just let it out on paper that makes you feel like you're either sorting it out dealing with it or making yourself aware that it did happen i'm not dead i won't let it control my life or the aspects of my life or the ones i love any longer...it is up to me to let go and it allows you to move that one step closer...Let her know that depression isnt as rare as she thinks and if she doesnt do something about it it can get alot worse to the point of needing medication...because the chemicals in the brain are off balance excerise allows endorphines to build but can only allow so much of a mood change if the depression is severe then medication may be needed but first try these other steps before going on the route of being medicated.....if this doesnt work then maybe she'll be more willing to seek professional help...be sure to let her know that you support her decision no matter what but that you love her and are just concerned for her. Maybe then she might be more receptive to getting help. I hope this helped i wish you the best.
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