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My wife and I are both 58 and we have been married for 10 years. She has been fighting depression for years and I am about to just give up. She was on meds when we got married but has gotten off them is fighting getting back on. I know it is no different than her having cancer or some other illness but I just do not know what to do. I love her enough to leave her if that is what it takes for her to get better. My friends have told me to just leave but I would not want her to turn her back on me. My family is not aware of any of this but I do go to counseling to help me with all of this. Any input would be appreciated.
 

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What is her behavior like?
To find a solution, start by ruling out the most common or obvious causes of depression.

Blood Testing
Has she been tested for obvious medical problems? As much as 10% of the population has thyroid problems. It's as common as wearing glasses or having high arches. Problems with glands and hormones are often caused by autoimmune diseases. Does her family have a history of type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, grave's disease?
This is all checked with simple blood tests that should have been done years ago, but lots of doctors are idiots, so I don't like to assume that these problems have been ruled out.

Vitamins and Minerals
Starting right now, you can try giving her vitamins and iron. Having low iron makes a person feel tired all the time, and it's usually women who have this problem because they bleed more often. Vitamin B deficiency is uncommon in normal people, but vegetarians or vegans who don't know what they're doing can easily run short on B vitamins. Lack of B vitamins feels a lot like iron deficiency because iron and B vitamins are needed to carry oxygen in the blood. Lack of vitamins also has weird symptoms like bruising easily, having a swollen tongue, and tingling in the hands and feet.

Sleep Patterns
Does she sleep well? Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can really screw up a person's behavior. The simplest OTC drug to try is melatonin. If that doesn't work, give her an antihistamine that causes drowsiness, such as diphenhydramine or dimenhydrinate. More serious sleep problems need prescription drugs.

Drugs
If all of that stuff fails, move on to antidepressants.
Most Effective = MAOI drugs
Medium Effectiveness = TCA drugs
Least Effective = SSRI and SNRI drugs

These are not the only types of antidepressant, but they're a good start. Some of the more unusual antidepressants are bupropion (dopamine stimulant), trazodone (adrenergic and serotonergic sedative), and mirtazapine (histamine sedative).
 

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Depression is hard. Have you told your counsellor that you yourself are almost getting depressed about it. I would almost say leave her with a friend for a weekend and go away to refresh yourself and maybe when you get back you will feel recharged. You cant help others until you feel ok also!
 

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Hi Ace,

I'm going through a similar issue with my wife. She too was on an anti-depressant when we got married, but has since stopped and is very depressed. My wife just started a natural program last week, and it will take sometime to see results, so we are hoping this is the solution. She does not want to be on medication, so suggesting this is a tough topic. I would prefer my wife to get back on her medication, but that has to be her decision. ShawnD has some great advice. My wife has also had some blood work done to see if her thyroid might be causing an issue.

It's been a long haul for you, but there are options. She just has to want to find a solution.
 
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