Spouses and depression.....

Could someone give me some input....(please)

In a nutshell, my husband suffers from depression. I think it's gone beyond "mild."

He was going to a doctor and taking medication for a short while, but stopped. He has also been a diabetic for about 2 years. During most of this time, he has appeared sporadically at doctor's appointments (if at all), not shown up for subsequent appointments like eye and dental, eats whatever he wants, and generally walks around with his blood sugars in the 300's and 400's.

He is oftentimes too exhausted/ill to play with our daughter, spend time with me, or go anywhere. He spends most of his time, in silence, on his hobby (drawing comics). I am basically raising my daughter by myself, working full time, and taking a medical transcription course online (but with good-sized homework load). I often have to get my daughter from my MIL's after work because he is too exhausted. If it wasn't for me, she would never get a chance to see the outdoors. I take her to the playground, mostly after work. If he picks her up, he'll lay around the house from 4-5:00 about 8:30-9:00, then go get her.

There have been times where he has collapsed from high blood sugars, yet copped an attitude when I, in complete hysterics, drove him to a medical facility. He "forgot" to sign up for medical insurance when he started newest job a couple of years ago; I kept asking and asking about the deadline, but stopped when I finally got sick of the pissy attitude and feeling like a nagging bag. He spent about a good year without health insurance.

He buys just about everything opposite of his diabetic diet and his blood sugars get to the point where his vision is blurry, feet and fingers numb and tingling, and gets little confused. I will be talking to him and I can tell that what I'm saying isn't fully registering with him. At the same time, he will go to his mom's house and go on and on to his mom and sister about how bad he feels and "what can I do to feel better." I have been with him on some appointments and according to the doctor, a lot of his diabetes can be controlled with diet.

I have to, literally, claw out time for myself--which right now consists of getting all these assignments turned in at a reasonable time. Personal time for my own hobbies has to be set aside by necessity.

I am literally afraid of what the future will bring. At the moment I don't even know if I want to continue the process of buying a home--something we were originally planning together. All this has been going on for about 2-3 years now. All this is TMI and I don't usually put my business out there like this, but I truly and honestly am at the end of my rope. Thanks if anybody read this far.

Comments

  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Registered Users Posts: 3,854
    I don't have any advice, because I don't believe I have the proper perspective never having been married, but I just wanted to say that I am so, so sorry you are going through all of this. You sound like an amazing mother. Your daughter is so lucky to have you. (((hugs)))
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  • KrazyblondegurlKrazyblondegurl Registered Users Posts: 1,008
    I forced my SO go to the doctor and take antidepressants. I threatened to leave him if he didn't. I nagged and nagged and nagged. Thank God he did because he's a better person now. Even his family can't believe the change in him.

    Encourage him to seek help, take meds, go to counseling! Try to support him, but ultimately look out for yourself and daughter.
  • CurlyGina2CurlyGina2 Registered Users Posts: 1,048
    Befrizzled wrote:
    I don't have any advice, because I don't believe I have the proper perspective never having been married, but I just wanted to say that I am so, so sorry you are going through all of this. You sound like an amazing mother. Your daughter is so lucky to have you. (((hugs)))

    ita, I am sorry you are going through this :(
  • gggg Registered Users Posts: 1,865
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I've never dealt with anyone with health issues and depression so I honestly don't know what to tell you. I would hope that if he didn't think about himself but the people around him, especially living long enough to raise his daughter would be enough motivation for him to want to get better.

    Just take care of yourself. If you feel you've done all you can do as harsh as it may sound sometimes you just have to let go. I know he's your husband and you should be there for him but there comes a time when he has to make a change for himself. There's only so much you can do. I'm not saying to just abandon him but you have to take care of yourself and your daughter and he just can't do it right now. I hope everything works out the best for your family. Try to stay positive as much as you can in hopes that things will get better.
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  • nextmovenextmove Registered Users Posts: 686
    I think you need to be honest with your husband and tell him how his behavior is affecting you and your daughter (and himself) and suggest that the two of you take joint counseling. If he doesn’t want to go, go by yourself.

    I think the counseling will help you determine what course you need to take in regards to helping him help himself.

    I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Registered Users Posts: 7,578 Curl Neophyte
    well first off {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

    your situation is a tough one...having seriously dated someone who is depressed it is hard to deal with but he is your husband and you guys have a daughter so i'm just going to give you a few suggestions to consider:

    1 - is there someone in your hubby's family or a friend who you could partner with to sit down and try to talk to your hubby about his diabetes and his mental health? going at it alone is too much for you i think (plus it hasn't helped).

    2 - is there someone you can talk to like a counselor to make sure your needs are met?

    3 - i agree that maybe you should put buying a house on hold. buying a house is a major decision and can be stressful and right now you don't need any additional stress.

    4 - try to continue to get help with your daughter and as much as possible try to shield her from the things your husband is going through.

    take care of yourself...
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  • afrosheenqueenafrosheenqueen Registered Users Posts: 5,400 Curl Connoisseur
    nextmove wrote:
    I think you need to be honest with your husband and tell him how his behavior is affecting you and your daughter (and himself) and suggest that the two of you take joint counseling. If he doesn’t want to go, go by yourself.

    I think the counseling will help you determine what course you need to take in regards to helping him help himself.

    I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    I agree
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  • ScarletScarlet Registered Users Posts: 3,125 Curl Neophyte
    I'm very sorry your family is going through this. From what you wrote, it seems that your husband does indeed need therapy, and most likely meds. I hope he will realize that he needs help and will do it for himself and your family.
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  • kurlskurls Registered Users Posts: 843
    I have a very close friend that dealt with a situation similar to yours...

    Her husband suffered from major depression and they had 2 children. This man did NOTHING - I mean that - NOTHING in the house. Somehow he held down a job, but that was not without problems, because he constantly had 'run ins' with coworkers and managers. Their children were always his LAST priority because it was 'tired' all the time...and he slept a LOT. We (their friends) all knew something was wrong because these 2 used to be so loving and outgoing, and when his mood changed, he was (as she would say - the 3 S's) snippy, sleepy, and sloppy. He just became a totally different person!

    What she did was start getting counseling on her OWN...for HER. That way, she could emotionally build herself up to be strong not only for her kids, and herself, but to be strong for her husband - who at this point wasn't ABLE (mentally) to be strong for anyone, including himself. Once she felt she could handle it, she approached her husband (she had her family involved also - as they too noticed his changes) and it was like this 'mini' intervention. SHE did most of the talking and talked bluntly to him about how his behavior was affecting and their family...and I don't recall her telling me she gave him an ultimatum, but whatever she DID say, it worked...because he agreed (begrudingly) to go to the dr's - and he did get on medication. Of course in time the meds began to work, he felt better, and then eventually apologized to her and their children for his actions...NOT that he was in complete control of himself when he was depressed, but he felt BAD for it all anyways.

    I hope for your sake and that of your children that you seek out help...and I"m sorry that you have to deal with this situation. But with dr's and the advancement in medications - there IS a light at the end of that tunnel. :)
    People will always do what they want to do...no matter what you say!
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Registered Users Posts: 15,402 Curl Neophyte
    Yeah hugs. He's endangering his life if he goes into a diabetic coma or is otherwise incapacitated by his health issues. If he's taking care of his child at the time, he's also endangering her life.

    Is there anyone in your or his family, or friends, who can help you intervene? I like the idea of joint counseling; it's worth a try and could be more effective than individual. It doesn't look like he's motivated for himself, but if in joint he understands and begins to care how this is affecting you and your child, that may do something. Bottom line you can't caretake him. Take care of yourself and your daughter and sounds like you're doing a wonderful job in tough circumstances. And if his income is need to buy the house, I would postpone that.

    ETA - Just saw Kurls post ITA about counseling for you. Excellent idea.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Sounds like he's trying to make you a young widow. Seriously...walking around with blood sugars that high is suicide. He's wrecking his eyes, blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, heart, etc. I'm sure the doctor has told him all this. You can't make him change. He has to want to change. I agree counseling sounds like a good idea for you, even if he won't go. You need to make some decisions and arrangements for you and your daughter, because he's not really an active part of your life.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Honestly, I don't know how he does it. To feel so utterly miserable every hour of the day...how he manages to make it through the average day, holding down a full-time job, is beyond me.

    Diabetes complications aside--the thing that scares me the most is his cholesterol which needed to come down about a year ago.....but the cholesterol meds can't be started until the blood sugar levels come down. It looks like he is in complete denial about his condition.

    I get a slight vibe (never spoken, just a vibe) from some of the in-laws like *I* should be somehow taking some sort of responsibility for his condition. There is absolutely no way I can be motivated for somebody else, or make somebody else be motivated.

    My youngest sister is severely depressed too.....it's bad enough to have to see that from afar but very scary when it's your significant other. He is not at the point where he sleeps all day or misses time from work. So far everytime he goes to the doctor the news isn't quite as bad as expected....I don't know how, but he's still at the stage where a lot of this can be made better. The docs have repeatedly told him how lucky he has been so far.

    One HUGE obstacle is the metformin pill; it makes him violently ill with diarrhea. The docs keep saying that it is only temporary but he drives all day and doesn't always have access to a restroom. They have been trying various dosages and forms; even the extended-release one has the same effect. He has tried to take it every sort of way but it never helps. It's not the total root of the problem but it has a lot to do with his noncompliance with the diabetes meds.

    I have tried and tried to get him to realize that he can just call the doctors or nurses if he has any difficulties or questions; he doesn't always have to take time off and trot down there. I find it hard to believe that the metformin is the absolute only option they can give him (he takes a couple more that don't bother his stomach, but the metformin is the one that brings the levels down), but I can't always be calling and tracking down his doctors for him.

    I think I will talk to my doctor when I get my next checkup and see if she knows of any counseling resources, a support group, or something.

    Having The Talk is going to be really hard.....I don't know how to say what I have to say. Anyhow, thanks for the kind thoughts and input. Any more advice, feel free; I'm all ears.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    It's really hard to say if the depression is making him neglect his health or whether the diabetes is making him depressed. Either way, his uncontrolled blood sugar is an immediate medical emergency. He could easily wind up permanently disabled if he doesn't manage to kill himself.

    Has he been under the care of a psychiatrist, or just a family doctor? To be honest, I think he should be working with a psychiatrist, and possibly should be hospitalized.
  • kurlskurls Registered Users Posts: 843
    I'm now speaking from experience - but the worst problem with any mental/behavioral disorder is lack of understanding!

    Seriously dear, educate YOURSELF (through books, internet, and drs) on depression, it's many 'faces', effects, etc. That way, YOU will be able to approach your husband with compassion - not frustration/irritation. THAT is very hard, because when we're disappointed and frustrated with someone - compassion is the LAST thing we think of. But depression is not something your husband chose to have...but you now have the 'choice' to help.

    I have ADHD, and before being diagnosed my family knew SOMETHING was wrong, but nobody ever took the steps to help me GET help. Oh they would complain about the things I didn't do, how I messed up this and that, or what I didnn't do right....but never took the time to educate themselves on what my problem could be. Once I was diagnosed, they STILL continue to 'not' understand what I go through, WHY I may do some of the things I do (things that are a product of ADHD) and THAT is very hurtful sometimes. If my family wouold just try to LEARN about the disorder, then they would know how to approach me - aka - have compassion.
    People will always do what they want to do...no matter what you say!
  • maria_imaria_i Registered Users Posts: 1,765 Curl Connoisseur
    I´m so sorry Sinistral, <<HUGS>> and prayers to you and your family.






    I'm going through a similar situation right know and haven´t find a way out yet. I´ve already decided to start therapy for myself.
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  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Registered Users Posts: 7,578 Curl Neophyte
    make sure you don't start feeling guilty for all that is going on. when i dated the guy that was depressed or bipolar (i'm not exactly sure what it was since he wouldn't get treated) i always felt guilty. partly because of his comments and partly because nothing i did ever was good enough, he stayed in a perpetual "funk" and it go so bad that on the weekends he wouldn't shower, he was always down, he lost his atm card 3 times in a month....but miraculously he could put on his game face at his very important job. i think all the acting during the day just resulted in bigger lows on the weekend when he would just be terribly down and gloomy.

    i would advise that you really watch him with your y'alls daughter because in my experience when someone is depressed they are not always "present" which could result in accidents or carelessness that could put your daughter at risk. i know he loves your daughter but it's a byproduct of depression, forgetfulness and zoning out.....

    again....hugs!!!!
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  • MeghuneyMeghuney Registered Users Posts: 4,263
    I went through it and it's hard. The other person has to want to get help for themselves and that's the REALLY hard part..not being able to do it FOR them.
  • gemidevigemidevi Registered Users Posts: 510
    I think because he has shown on interest in his health, esp since he has diabetes, I think you may have the grounds to admit him into the hospital, by force. First, talk to his doctor and explain to him what is going on and that you would like to have your husband admitted into the hospital for observation. Or if there are other options that you can employ.

    I wish you well...
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  • cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
    kurls wrote:
    I'm now speaking from experience - but the worst problem with any mental/behavioral disorder is lack of understanding!

    Seriously dear, educate YOURSELF (through books, internet, and drs) on depression, it's many 'faces', effects, etc. That way, YOU will be able to approach your husband with compassion - not frustration/irritation. THAT is very hard, because when we're disappointed and frustrated with someone - compassion is the LAST thing we think of. But depression is not something your husband chose to have...but you now have the 'choice' to help.


    I agree with this. There's this book, called "On Suicide" edited by John Miller. It is very good for understanding. It's contains excerpts of suicide in literature, and also so autobiographical ones that really explain everything so well, you can really get inside their heads and feel for them. the stories were all writen so beautifully, and explains everything so much better than any doctor could. During my deepest depression, this book comforted me, because it put to words what I could never say. I would especially recommend "The savage god" by Alfred Alvarez, (excerpts are in the above book) written by a friend of Sylvia Plath and a failed suicide himself. His book is not only from a study/psychogy point of view, but also his own experience with his own suicide.

    I don't mean to scare you, but his neglecting his health, could be a passive suicide attempt. I did similar things when I was depressed/suicidal. I had some failed attempts, and I was really serious about doing it, so I didn't concern myself with anything to prolong my life, including eating, because I didn't see the point in it. I seriously only ate like once maybe twice a week, and not very much when I did. Id have toast every now and then. My stomach/appetite still hasn't recovered that 10 years later.

    I hope you can get through to him, you'll be in my thoughts.
  • gggg Registered Users Posts: 1,865
    cympreni wrote:

    I don't mean to scare you, but his neglecting his health, could be a passive suicide attempt.

    I thought about this too. My best friends brother's baby mama (don't mean to be funny but that what she was) Was the same way. She was young in her 20's or bearly early 30's at most. She had diabetes refused to do anything about it , refused to go to dialasis (sp?). I don't know if she was depressed but I can imagine she was since my friends brother was dying of Aids. He died not too long after she died. The sad part was that they left a very young son behind, only about 5 years old.

    I don't want to depress you any more but that is something to take into consideration.
    You don't have to blow out my flame to make yours burn brighter.

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    How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I don't mean to scare you, but his neglecting his health, could be a passive suicide attempt[/b].

    Would you believe that I, too, have wondered about the same thing? I have thought about that many times.
    make sure you don't start feeling guilty for all that is going on.

    I make a real effort not to, but sometimes I do :(
    i would advise that you really watch him with your y'alls daughter because in my experience when someone is depressed they are not always "present" which could result in accidents or carelessness that could put your daughter at risk. i know he loves your daughter but it's a byproduct of depression, forgetfulness and zoning out.....

    His condition is such as the above. He doesn't get angry much (if ever), or irritated or snappish--it's more of the zoning out and despondency. I suffer from mild depression and irritability/snapping/anger is how I suffered. I take a low-dose medicine and it's really really REALLY helped me.

    We have already had some zoning out incidents where I had to take over the wheel, but I think it was his high blood sugars on a couple of his really-really-not-so-good days.

    I forgot who asked in the previous posts, but he was seeing a psychiatrist when he was initially diagnosed. She put him in a clinical study where a group of patients try a new med. After it was over, he more or less never went back to follow up and just gradually stopped going over time. His present doctors don't know anything about the depression issue. I keep telling and telling him that they are there to help him in any way, including the depression issue.

    I have thought about talking to his doctor(s) myself...or writing a letter.....but I have no idea about the HIPAA privacy laws and stuff. Would anyone here know?
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Hmm. I think you can *tell* something to his doctor even if you can't ask.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    I have thought about talking to his doctor(s) myself...or writing a letter.....but I have no idea about the HIPAA privacy laws and stuff. Would anyone here know?


    With HIPAA laws, the doctors can't tell you anything unless your husband specifically gives them permission to, but YOU can tell THEM anything you like. I think it's a very good idea for you to do so.

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