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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has suffered from Depression for most of our marriage. She had our first child and her parents got divorced all in the same short span of time. During all of that she started taking anti-depressants and 20 years later she is still on them. She has spent a lot of time sleeping thru our marriage leaving me with lots of responsibilities that I think most stay at home moms would consider the moms job. In a lot of ways I have come to a place where I have accepted my lot in life but I also feel bitter towards what I have had to endure. I have been ready to break up the marriage for many years. Today I read something (not sure who wrote it) that I thought was interesting and I would like to know someone else’s thoughts on this. “Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it.” When I read this I almost started to cry because for me it is so true, my wife complexly lacks the ability to care about me and it probably steams from her own inner struggle. Does anyone with a spouse that has emotional problems agree or disagree with this statement? I would love to know anyone else’s thoughts.
 

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My wife suffered from depression off & on for years. I never knew what to do and felt completely inadequate because of that. It turned out the depression was part of undiagnosed bipolar disorder. She has been thru more depression since. But the point is that I've now told her I absolutely will no longer stand by and watch it. I will not allow her to let herself wallow in depression. She can get angry if she wants, but it won't change anything. I will make her gey out of bed. I will make her take care of herself. I will make her exercise and do what she has to to help herself. My dad watched my stepmother drink herself to death because he didn't know what to do and was afraid of her anger. I won't do that.
 

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Other then taking anti-depressants, what else has she done to improve the situation or look into it? Are you (and she) sure that it is only depression? You say she spends a lot of time sleeping, and I know of many diseases that cause severe fatigue AND depression, I'm wondering if there are better medication options for her?

As for your statement: “Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it.” I don't think that is fair at all. EVERYONE has flaws - the only question is whether or not you can live with your spouses.
 

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I think depressed people are toxic and selfish.

And before people bash me I've suffered from depression most of my adult life. I've fixed it now. Back when I was depressed all I cared about was me.

I would like to know someone else’s thoughts on this. “Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it.”
I would say I agree with this statement. It wasn't until I sought help and began to fight for my life that I was able to care for my husband's heart.
 

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I think depressed people are toxic and selfish.

And before people bash me I've suffered from depression most of my adult life. I've fixed it now. Back when I was depressed all I cared about was me.



I would say I agree with this statement. It wasn't until I sought help and began to fight for my life that I was able to care for my husband's heart.
I am brutally depressed and have been for a long time, but I find I actually don't have enough selfishness, or "me" and that I lose myself to my wife or other people, and have never understood it seems that is is actually alright to look after yourself, prioritize yourself, to ensure you stay whole and healthy, which is part of the problem, so I don't agree with you on that one that depressed people are selfish.
 

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I am brutally depressed and have been for a long time, but I find I actually don't have enough selfishness, or "me" and that I lose myself to my wife or other people, and have never understood it seems that is is actually alright to look after yourself, prioritize yourself, to ensure you stay whole and healthy, which is part of the problem, so I don't agree with you on that one that depressed people are selfish.
Point taken and selfish might be the wrong word. When I was depressed all I did was hole up in my own world without a real sense of what this was doing to my friends and family. Pity party for one was my life always feeling sorry for myself never doing anything to fix it. Just pass the Oreos, the remote control, let me sleep and leave me alone. My behavior was destruction to my family. They needed me and I didn't care enough about them or me to change.
 

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Re: Re: Wife's depression is slowly killing me:

Point taken and selfish might be the wrong word. When I was depressed all I did was hole up in my own world without a real sense of what this was doing to my friends and family. Pity party for one was my life always feeling sorry for myself never doing anything to fix it. Just pass the Oreos, the remote control, let me sleep and leave me alone. My behavior was destruction to my family. They needed me and I didn't care enough about them or me to change.
I was similar. For me I think I wad so caught up in my depression I didn't even see what it was doing to them, and avoiding being around them was a way of avoiding seeing it and thereby avoiding the shame.
 

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I was similar. For me I think I wad so caught up in my depression I didn't even see what it was doing to them, and avoiding being around them was a way of avoiding seeing it and thereby avoiding the shame.
It's my family that saved me. Once I saw how this was affecting them I began to fight. Not for me mind you for THEM. My kids deserved a better mother, my husband a better wife...wasn't until much later before I realized I deserved to be better too just for me. :)
 

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...yes. Kind of like grabbing onto a drowning person and hoping they will swim you to shore. Awfully lonely though - don't let yourself be isolated. So lonely sometimes.

It does help a bit to adjust your expectations. After 20 years, you know change is unlikely, and you know she doesn't have the emotional bandwidth to reach out to you. So, um, stop expecting anything else from her and find alternatives. There are support groups for the family of the mentally ill, albeit, too many at our last meeting expressed regret that their family members were still alive, so a bit depressing sometimes.

--Argyle
 

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Point taken and selfish might be the wrong word. When I was depressed all I did was hole up in my own world without a real sense of what this was doing to my friends and family. Pity party for one was my life always feeling sorry for myself never doing anything to fix it. Just pass the Oreos, the remote control, let me sleep and leave me alone. My behavior was destruction to my family. They needed me and I didn't care enough about them or me to change.
That's a better way to phrase it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for your comments. Sadly I just spent the weekend apart from her and I did not miss her, It was a relief to be home with just the kids.
 

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...see...that's the way to go. :smthumbup: She's ill - and you do owe the duties of a spouse, but - if you're staying - you have a duty to take care of yourself - and considering that she's probably a pure black hole of misery - that means maintaining a life apart from her. NAMI groups may be a real help.

In the end, it is better to take care of yourself than break yourself caring for her. (As you won't be caring for her at that point anyways.) It isn't like this depression is likely to lift or stay lifted in any case.

...oh...and...as a rule...I find it advisable to conserve my energy and stay prepared.

--Argyle
 

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Today I read something (not sure who wrote it) that I thought was interesting and I would like to know someone else’s thoughts on this. “Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it.When I read this I almost started to cry because for me it is so true, my wife complexly lacks the ability to care about me and it probably steams from her own inner struggle. Does anyone with a spouse that has emotional problems agree or disagree with this statement? I would love to know anyone else’s thoughts.
Hi

If you no longer get or share any pleasure with your spouse at all, then that's not a real marriage. Your wife is obligated to get better and if not, no one will blame you for wanting a life without her (and her inability to try). Sounds like she's already given up on living completely and over 20 years... You must be an exhausted carer.

I completely agree with what you're saying.
Wish you all the best.
 

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Which medication is she taking? Being a downer all the time would indicate the drugs are not working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
She is on a generic Prozac right now. I might have miss led everyone a little bit with my statement about not missing her, I still love her friendship what I enjoyed about her being gone for the weekend was not having to worry about how her mood was going to affect my day.
I agree with Mavash. that depression is very selfish. My experience with my wife has led me to believe that she spends little time thinking about others needs (mine or the kids or anyone). I have often wondered if she were to do some kind of service if she would feel better about live.
As far as what else we have tried to do to help her besides medication we have done a lot and some have helped and some have not. She was the happiest when she was getting regular exercise. She has gone back to school and that has been good and bad, if she has a fun class her mood is good but if she is in a hard class she is difficult.
 

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Prozac is one of the more stimulating SSRI drugs because it has some dopaminergic effects as well. That drug doesn't seem to be working, so step it up a notch. The most powerful antidepressants are of the MAOI class. The next step from here is phenelzine, sold under the name Nardil. If that doesn't work, try tranylcypromine, sold under the name Parnate. Nardil is more pro-social, but Parnate is more stimulating.
I was on Prozac before, and I thought it was the best SSRI by a wide margin. Nardil is so remarkably superior to Prozac that it makes me wonder why doctors even bother with SSRI drugs. I tell everybody to get on Nardil. Even if you're not depressed, it will make you feel way better.
 

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...exercise can be key. Seriously, it is highly comparable to anti-depressants and therapy. If you can figure out a way to structure your days to encourage exercise - it might help. (Morning jogs???)

...and fiddling with medications may actually help. The transition periods can be rough though.

--Argyle
 

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Good advice indeed (re. exercise)

20 years in Depression sound utterly horrendous. I'm sure there are many husbands and wives whose OH suffering from chronic D.
 

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I wish my wife wanted to suffer from "chronic D", but I use the term in a different way than you do.
I seem to fall into a similar boat as the original poster (I'm a couple years late to this), but I haven't been in it nearly as long. My wife's depression apparently has been life-long, but was in a good spot when we met. Hers came along about 2-3 months into our marriage and has stuck through two children. I love her, but feel relieved when not around her. I miss her when I'm not around her still, because there is good in there, but being around her is difficult because I want more than she can give with her depression. I am the caretaker for my children because my wife has difficulties doing so (not only does she work 12-hours as a nurse, she does the evening classes at the Y when the kids are home). Working with her to get better also wears me out and often I find myself hitting a form of 'limited helplessness'. I still have hopes that things will get better, but expect that once my children are gone and out of college I will ask for a divorce.
 

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My husband and I have both suffered from depression. It is NASTY!!!! My husband has other emotional traumas, I sometimes want to leave. then I remind myself that I too have had issues. The statement “Don't trust your heart to people with emotional problems, because they don't have the ability to properly care for it" does ring true to a certain degree. but I also believe in this statement "Only give what you can handle to lose". My interpretation "Don't lose yourself! Love as much as u can, but don't forget that you come first". I cant' make anyone happy if I'm not first,
 
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