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  • Shared Experiences

    Any deas to help for my depressed partner and myself?

    Hi my partner has depression , diagnosed from the doctor and yet has no real medical reasons or causes  that have been found as yet.  Possible underlying past childhood issues may have contributed to anxiety which  causes him to become depressed with issues that cause anxiety. He has had depression since adolescent possibly because of a traumatic experience to him,  but yet was never diagnosed with it until later years.     We have just started having counselling and I am supportive of his illness the best I can be however at times it really has an affect on my own health too.  He is on  lexapro, side affects are minimal, although the sexual side affects are playing havoc with him more so then me… however it does help overall with his anxiety although  small things that seem  to cause him to react still occur.  His reactions  more often then not are simply detaching himself from everyone around him, by  laying in bed,  for what seems like an eternity, and yet  sometimes  it may only a day or two., he wont talk to me,  look at me, or barely even eat or drink.. Ive realised sometimes its good for me to try and get him to talk by laying with him, loving him and reassuring him of my love.. and he will slowly immerse, almost as though nothing has happend.. but with a degree of slowing down for a few days after.. but other times he will become distant for longer depending on his reason for shutting off. (most reasons are often minor however they are not to him) Often he sees things that are said or done as a personal attack although Im sure are not.   He can be having days that are happy , fun and then as soon as something that someone may say or do , or just pressures of daily life affect him he reacts.   My reason for writing this is to find out what ever I can about depression and anxiety, other peoples experiences,  its causes, medication and how I can help , not just for him , because he is aside from his illness  a wonderful loving, giving man but for myself.  I feel all the emotions that are more then likely normal, helpless, frustrated, angry sometimes and just plain sad… i've cried many times over the silence  when he's “down”, and now I'm just trying to find ways to cope with it, to not only help him but myself in the process.   Leaving him isnt an option for me.. I love him unconditionally, and I view his depression as an illness and just that.. I just realise in order for me to sustain some normality  myself I need help in finding out as much as possible for him and myself..
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of … View Profile

    Hi faithforus. 

    Your husband is very lucky to have you and it's great that you have the understanding that this is part of the depression that is causing him to be this way.  It is also great that you are having counseling, and I would encourage you to bring up these experiences during counseling.  It is true that when a person has depression they are highly sensitive to criticism and good counseling can help him to identify what underlying beliefs may be contributing to these sensitivies and ultimately will impact on his mood.

    There are many possible causes to depression, one of the strongest being biology and having a history of depression earlier in your life.  It's good to hear you have sought help regarding medical treatment, and it's important to feedback the physical symptoms and side effects he maybe experiencing,  Some of these may subside over time (I am not sure how long her has been on the medication).

    The beyondblue website has loads of information on depression and anxiety, causes, treatments, self help strategies and even links to online therapy programs which are free and proven to be effective.  There is a great “guide for carers” that is would also recommend for you.  You can orde via the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636.

    Take care,


  • Chris Ann

    HealthShare Member

    Thankyou for your reply, He has only been on the medication for less then three months, and generally it is settling in, although there are days when I see variable mood swings still.  Some of moods are affecting mine.  I try to stay as strong as I can but there are times when he seems to just want to say things to me to hurt me.  Things that when you love someone you just dont say, for no reason.  I can be just doing my own thing not arguing, not even being in his way and then out of the blue for nothing he can start to try to agitate me, say something to me that hurts. One moment loving, affectionate, etc. then wow! just tormenting things to distress me.  I know that loves me so why would he do this for,  I get so confused. If I tell him how I feel, or react in a way to say something hurtful back , though Ive tried to say nothing (but that doesnt always work ) he  then shuts off from me , he then plays the victim role, acting angry with me, and not seeing how his behaviour has been the cause of us fighting in the first place and blames me for everything then. Which then leaves me in tears. apologising for things I dont ever start in the first place.  Usually he trys to make me jeolous.  I know he fears losing me, as he has told me this, so does this all have things to do with past experiences. Is he trying to push me away or is this part and partial actions because of his depression. I just need to know how to deal with it, how do I stay sane, and cope with the anger that builds up, then the sadness for feeling as though he doesnt love me.

  • beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of … View Profile

    Hi faitforus,

    I think some relationship counselling could be useful.  I would try and keep a note of the times when his behaviour changes, not down what is the context, what is going on for him to help identify the possible triggers or underlying issues.  Then being ablue to talk through these situations with a third, independent person can be really helpful. I'd talk to your partner about giving it a go.

    Take care of yourself, and dont foregt to have some time out doing things you really enjoy for yourself.


  • LisaC

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Faithforus,
    Reading you story, I could've been reading about my own life. I'm also the loving partner of someone who suffers from depression, and did so through adolescence & had a traumatic childhood experience. The last 2.5 years have been incrdibly tough, but I, like you, adore my partner and just want the best for them. That doesn't mean though that sometimes I get angry at them, hurt by them and sometimes just want to shake th,em! Sometimes its just helpful to know that someone else has gone through, or is going through what you have been through, because I know that quite often I feel that people don't understand what I'm going through, because they aren't living it, like we are. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I can completely relate to your story and reading made me relieved that it's not just me that feels those things.

  • Chris Ann

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Lisa,
    It is good to be able to understand what they are going through, but as you would know and have said it doesnt mean we dont go through the depressive episodes ourselves in trying to cope, I have since spoken to the counsellor and have been told to realise there is nothing we can do when they are feeling bad other then offer support and love and let them know we are there for them when they are feeling ok. and  to also make time yourself and and get some time out.   If we can somehow manage to do this, then the sadness may be just a little less on our part, and  hopefully we can continue to support them the best way we can.  My only difficulty is when it  affects my days when I feel good or have something special planned like an outing or other special occassion, then boom! there down for the slightest thing and it ruins all the great feelings and plans you have.  This not only gets me angry inside but hurts a lot as well.  Though they dont mean to be that way it feels like its done just at those times. Its sometimes later I realise that part of it may be anxiety they feel prior to occassions, and then stress levels are higher so then small things are triggered which then causes the depressive episodes. It is great to know there are people who go through the same issues and can be there to support one another.  Hope all goes well for you. :)  


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