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Depressed medicated-husband satisfied with being "level"

1584 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Jamison
I've been a member but never posted. My friends are starting to get tired and frustrated on my behalf so I really need to get some input elsewhere.

DH has been depressed for the last two years. This depression has been treated with the use of medication (Zoloft) that was prescribed to him a little over a year ago as a result of him feeling suicidal and demanding that a therapist he saw exactly once do something to help him. The therapist gave him the info for a clinic, told someone at the clinic to prescribe Zoloft to him, sent him on his way. The reason for "Zoloft" is because DH was depressed about ten years ago (exogenous--his mom had cancer and he was the primary caretaker, other significant family members passed away) and was on Zoloft to help with the depression. Between the Zoloft and the therapy, he was able to overcome and move on for quite a few years. So he told the therapist that Zoloft worked in the past and he'd be fine with him just prescribing it. Ethics of the therapist/prescription aside, the Zoloft prescription is about to have no refills and DH has not done one session of therapy despite my consistent request that he do so. Rather he has relied solely on the drug. He sees him not wanting to kill himself as a win, says he's "level" and appears to be totally happy with progressing from suicidal to level. We've been living at "level" for a year.

According to him, I nag too much and, essentially, the majority of his problem or depression is my fault. I did some deep thinking about this and recognize that I have asked him consistently to participate in our lives the way he did before he was depressed. This consisted of basic things: helping to keep up with the chores around the house (cleaning up after our toddler when he's with her all day, feeding her nutritious meals instead of giving into whatever she wants, putting dishes in the dishwasher instead of letting them pile up all day long while I'm at work so I can take care of them when I get home and that's about it). I do the cooking, cleaning, bathing and sleep routine and wake routine with our daughter. I'm bearing as much of the brunt of the burden as I can. I have tried to reform any and all behavior he felt was contributing to his depression or to making his life with depression harder.

I remind myself: this is the depression, not my it's a mantra all day long. I recognize that his depression is making him very selfish (that's what it does, I get that) and unable to see outside of himself. I feel like I've been very flexible, but he clearly does not. How do I know if I'm being manipulated into thinking this is really my fault and I'm the one that changed or if he's right and it is me? Most of the time, I'm pretty positive it's his depression, but once in a while, he convinces me it's all my fault. Mostly when I'm willing to conceded that I may have said or done something upsetting or unfair...then he takes that win and acts as though he's proven his point: "That's very mature of you to recognize your role in this." It stuns me because it both supports his points and makes me feel like my admission of not being perfect gives him more ammunition to support his blame.

Today after a disagreement we had about me wanting him to please start therapy, too, before the Zoloft runs out so he's combatting the depression in some way, he said that I have now made him want to slit his wrists again and he does not believe I am actually trying to help him at all.

I'm so upset I don't know what to do. I gave him the number of a therapist I researched who is supposed to be excellent and asked him to please call her.

I feel guilty and upset, lonely and responsible and desperate for some kind of change. I don't know how to help him anymore and am afraid I'm going to lose my own sanity and grounding in the process. I feel like both my daughter and I deserve to have the 100 percent version of him, not this subpar "level" one, but between his manipulation and my concern for his suicidal tendencies, I honestly feel like I don't have many options.

Thanks for reading, if you got this far. I appreciate having a place to say these things.
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You have done all you can with encouraging him to see a therapist. I don't believe you can do more.

Focus on YOU now. One of the big problems with living with people who have emotional disorders is that WE end up having no fun or good times. Don't let that happen to you. Get out and do things on your own or with your daughter.

Ask him if the two of you can sit down and make up a Monday to Sunday chore list. Explain how important that would be for you all as a family. Then discuss which cleaning activities you both will do. If he refuses to do this then you may want to think about your future with him.

Depression does not give him a free pass for you to be the house slave.
Does he go out to work? Doe he see friends?
He works two days a work super long hours, but doesn't have friends in the area. He's gotten involved in some groups and meetups, but hasn't kept up with them at all. My family is within 30-60 minutes, but he doesn't like them so we don't see them as a couple very much.

I realize now I didn't say this, but as of an argument about all of this about a week or two ago, he consistently makes the bed, keeps up with the dishes and straightens up with our toddler's mess. We started out with him just making the bed every day if he could manage it alongside keeping our child alive and taken care of; then I tried to add straightening up after her instead of letting her tear the entire house apart so it was in total disarray and shambles when I got home (not fun working all day, then coming home to a torn up house that you have to straighten up before you can even walk anywhere, then making dinner and handling everything else)...then I asked him to try just putting the dishes into the machine. Not clean them by hand or anything, just into the dish washer.

On my days home while he's working, I take my daughter to meet up with my mom for lunch or errands or to go to the park/playground; on weekends he's always asking me what we're doing so I try to come up with activities and plans since he appears happier when we do things like that...I try, anyway, to keep us all afloat, but he really doesn't seem to want to do more to handle his depression. What does it take for a partner to realize how they are affecting their marriage, spouse and--eventually--child.

All day I've been thinking about him telling me that he doesn't care about how this is affecting me, he doesn't feel it is having any effect on our daughter because he does involve himself with her and takes her out to do stuff (often) and that I'm not trying to help, I'm making everything worse and he was feeling "good" until the therapy talk and now wants to kill himself again.

I keep trying to remember: NO healthy person would have a disagreement with their spouse that resulted in him wanting to kill himself. None.

I don't know if I really have anything to say to him anymore or what I'll even have to say when we're both home at the same time.
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Today after a disagreement we had about me wanting him to please start therapy, too, before the Zoloft runs out so he's combatting the depression in some way, he said that I have now made him want to slit his wrists again and he does not believe I am actually trying to help him at all.
If he's not down with therapy, at least try a different drugs. Even ones in the same category have wildly different effects. I've tried most of the SSRI drugs and they are really hit or miss, depending on what problem one is trying to treat.
Zoloft - Moderately effective. I felt relaxed and "level" but not really motivated to do anything. Business-related communication felt easier, but I didn't feel like socializing for fun. I would say this drug is a bit of a downer; feel better but feel tired.
Paxil - Absolutely does not work. I think this is more of an anti-anxiety drug they are trying to market as an antidepressant. This drug was so sedating that it was impossible to function properly.
Celexa - Felt euphoric, sociable, and overtly sexual. Also causes a lot of physical anxiety and nervousness. Another side effect was a constant need to write things down and make lists of everything.
Lexapro - Same drug as Celexa but it's a rip off because it has a new patent.
Prozac - Feels like a mild version of Celexa. That feeling of happiness is there, but without the anxiety or crazy desire to write about random thoughts for hours at a time. I still take this one because the government has tight limits on how much Celexa one can take. The maximum official dose of Celexa that can be given is nowhere near enough, IMO.

This is just to give an idea how broad the effects of different drugs are. Don't assume all of the drugs are like Zoloft.
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Ceratinly sounds like the current med is only minimising the depression rather than bringing him out of it. he may well say no but I would agree with asking him to consider speaking to his doctor about a change of medication.

He may say no though. If he is in a dark place that suddenly has a window that lets him see outside, he will be scared to try and go outside in case the window disappears.

Just today started my own course of Fluoxtine (prozac I think) so cant really advise on the particulars of one over another.
Its time to take care of you. It seems you have done all you can as far as asking him to go to therapy. There is no reason to keep beating a dead horse. I would make one last attempt to talk to him about talking with his doctor to see about changing his medication possibly and thats it. If he refuses to even do that, then you need to figure out where you are in your own life. It sounds like he has become overly dependent on the medication to "help" him, the problem is, it could actually be working against him.
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