Depressed Husband

20 Replies
Jbear - December 6

I know this isn't really an infant care question, but I finally got the nerve to ask my husband why he's been so distant for the last ten or so months and he told me he's depressed. He was treated for it before as a teen. I want him to see the doctor about it now, but he's afraid the doctor will treat him like a nut or a wimp, or that his job will find out and have a problem with it. He's also afraid that the doctor will refer him to a shrink. I was wondering, for anyone who was treated for depression, did your doctor make you feel uncomfortable about it? or did you have any job-related problems because of the treatment? And did the meds really work?


Narcissus - December 6

JBear, I am not experienced with depression but I want to send some support your way. I hope DH is feeling better soon.


CURIOUS - December 6



Barb - December 6

hey jbear! i really think that maybe you and him should talk.. if he tells you what is wrong then maybe he will feel better... and if he doesn't want to talk... just simply ask him how his day was.. if he says fine ask him job related questions and maybe you guys can talk.... try asking how was your lunch.. or try to call him and remind him that you love him.. this is x-mas time and maybe he is feeling down about the holidays... just ask question.. not a full b__wn attack.. just little things that will get him talking...


Jennifer W. - December 6

Jbear, I haven't dealt with depression specificaly, but I have dealt with anxiety issues. I felt the same way as your hubby, afraid the Dr. would call me crazy or make me feel bad, but it went nothing like that. I felt Sooooo much better after talking with my Dr. He was so understanding and encouraged my husband to come to the visit and speak with him too. He put me on medication that I took for around 6-9 months and then I didn't need it anymore. He did refer me to a "shrink" and I went a few times, but honestly for me, I didn't feel like I got anything out of it. But that's just me, other people may be different. One of the things my Dr. suggested that really helped was to keep a journal of my thoughts/feelings. I thought the idea stupid at first, but did it anyway. At first I didn't know what to write so I would just write about my day, but after a while It really started to help. I could go back and read it and then I started to learn what was triggering my anxiety. I wish you and your husband the best of luck.


Jbear - December 6

I don't think he's depressed about any one thing. We're actually doing better than we have in years, financially, and our kids are both healthy...Sometimes depression can be triggered by a major life event, like the birth of a child, even if the child is wanted. He is happy about our baby, but he started getting really quiet and withdrawn about the third month of my pregnancy. He didn't have any problems with depression after the birth of our first (but I did). We do talk, it just feels like he's not there, and he doesn't do any of the things he used to be interested in. I feel bad for him because he should be enjoying life, not just going through the motions. There was a time about two years after we got married that he was really depressed, but it only lasted two months that time and he didn't seek any kind of treatment. This time it's gone on for long enough that I think he needs to talk to his doctor about it.


Kendra - December 6

I can say that for me, my doctor(s) have all been very compa__sionate, and not at all judgemental. As for medication - that depends. If this is something specific that's got him down, he might feel better just talking it out. However, if depression is something that has truly plagued him for quite some time - try to make him understand that there is no shame in medication. It doesn't make you a wimp, it's just like any other health problem you would take a pill for. Depression is a chemical imbalance. I found that pills did work. Now I had to try several types, and dosages, before I found what was right for me, but once I did, it was great. It doesn't make you a whole new person, but once it finally starts to kick in, it's a feeling of, "ok, I can handle this". It may be tough in the beginning to find the right one (i.e. - one that won't turn him into a zombie), but it's worth trying. Oh, and no, I've never had any job related problems - I think because you would be amazed at how many people deal with this. The only way it might affect his job, is if he does get on medication, and starts to feel better, and convinces himself he doesn't need it anymore - that is a big no-no! Again, like other medications for other health problems, you never just quit taking what is holding you together! ....Anyways, hope this provides some sort of insight, I've dealt with this for a loooong time.


Jbear - December 6

Thanks, Jennifer W. and Kendra. The more I know about what he can expect at the doctor's office, the better I can try to persuade him to go. The only real experience I have with depression is my father, who has other problems also...I don't feel like I can ask him for advice because my husband would be too embara__sed.


Ashley - December 6

I was treated for PPD, and the doctor I saw was just not that good so I stopped going to her. However, I have a close relative who has very severe depression and has been being treated ever since I can remember. She loves her doctor. She's been on countless medications and so far none of them have worked. She's usually in her own little world, falling asleep at the table or just feeling to overwhelmed to see or talk to anyone. So, I guess it really depends how severe the depression is. My advice is to convince him to see a doctor because it maybe easier for him to talk to someone else than to you. And, I don't think there is a way his work could find out because of doctor patient confidentiality. Don't think I helped much, but I hope I did. Good Luck!


Gina - December 6

Jbear - you have mentioned being miserable about staying home all the time. Do you think maybe part of his funk is from feeling bad that you're unhappy?


Jbear - December 6

I thought about that, but he's been unhappy a lot longer than I've been staying home. I do agree the two are related...but I think I'm unhappy staying home because nothing I do seems to cheer him up.


Cindy - December 7

How old is he? My husband went through the same depression thing when he was in his early 40s. He didn't know why. He just wasn't happy with anything--his job or the way things were going in the family. He just felt very out of controll of his life and stuck. He finally went to a psychyitrist and got on meds. He also started doing Aikido (a martial art that is very peaceful and focuses on balance and blending) It took about 3 months for him to come out of it after starting these 2 things. What a horrible time it was! I'm so glad it's over now. It even made me think about leaving--thank God I didn't. He continued to take the meds for a full 6 months and still does the Aikido. It is very important for him to move his body. I understand that this is very common for people who tend to lean twards depression. If he doesn't go regularly to Aikido I can tell that his behavior is changing. He is always in a great mood when he comes home from cla__s. All you can do is be supportive and try to create as little stress as possible. Hang in there, it's tough. Another hint, don't tell anyone that he might talk to about what's going on. It is so embara__sing for men and they tend to be much more private about their feelings than we are. If word gets back to him he will get very upset. This of course includes family members. Hope this helps.


D - December 10

How is he doing? How are you doing?


CEM - December 10

I don't have a depressed husband, Jbear, just one that gets sad now and again. He has lost both of his parents recently, and within 11 months of each other. It is very hard for him sometimes. If you need someone to talk to, I'm here for you. :-)


Jbear - December 10

He's making an effort to interact with the family a little bit more. I think he just doesn't want to go to a doctor. It's sort of frustrating...he has health insurance, but I don't, yet he refuses to go to the doctor for anything. I'll be honest, sometimes I just want to kick him in the b___t and tell him it's time to be an adult.


Cindy - December 11

Jbear, have you read any books? One I would recommend is Getting Unstuck by Dr. Sidney Simon. It was available on tape, but I think that only the book is out now. It's very motivational, but simple and not sappy.


Christy - December 11

I have had depression and took meds for it one time for six months about three years ago. It was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time. My bf (who is now my dh,) therapist and doctor were all very supportive. So many people take meds for this kind of stuff now, it really is not a big deal, athough I remember being really resistant to taking meds for a long time before I did. I thought that I should be able to get bettert on my own. As for hus employer, they work should not know about it unless he tells them, as it is his private health info to which they are not allowed access unless your dh gives permission for them have access. Anyway, ask him if he'd be open to trying counseling first. They could figure out if he needs meds or if talk therapy would be enough. Does his employer provide an Employee a__sistance Program with counseling? That would be a good start, but if he wants to keep it away from work, then he should ask his doctor for a referal to a therapist. I hope he gets some professional help and it is great you are being supportive of him. Just let him talk to you and keep being a good listener. Good luck!



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