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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I convince my wife that she is not the reason for my suspected depression?

    I recently went to the doctor about my tiredness that I started feeling. After finishing all the tests, he suggested that I might be suffering from depression and he asked me to come back to him after sometime if my tiredness does not go away.

    I briefly mentioned this to my wife and from that time she started blaming herself as the reason. She also started saying things like she will go away from me so that I do not have depression. I have a very young family, blessed with 2 beautiful daughters (2.5 and 4 yrs) and I love my family. I do not want my wife to think she is the reason for my condition.

    It is becoming difficult to have dialogue with her. There are some actions of hers that I do not like sometimes which may be contributing to my depression but I do not want to tell her because I don't want to hurt her feelings. I want to keep my family intact for the sake of my kids as I believe its parents joint responsibility to look after their kids. Sometimes I feel very lonely.
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  • 1

    Thanks

    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It sounds like you're really struggling to understand why your wife has reacted to your depression by blaming herself. You're also perhaps needing her to respond in a way that helps you manage better and feel supported.

    My guess would be that your wife's response is her way of coping. When we are faced with bad news. loss or grief we often experience a lack of control - e.g. “This terrible thing has happened and there is nothing I can do”. Feeling like we have no control can be unbearable, so a common way we try and take control is either to blame ourselves or someone else, which can give a temporary sense of feeling better about the situation (“If I blame myself for your depression, then maybe if I just leave or take some kind of action I can fix it”). 

    If you can, let your wife know that it's understandable she might react in the way she has, reassure her it's not her fault, it's not her responsibility to fix it, and that you are taking steps to get professional help (the most effective help for depression is a combination of anti-depressant medication and psychological treatment - I encourage you to make use of both these approaches under your Doctor's guidance).

    Depression can be hard on relationships. It may be important that you see a counsellor together, who can help you explore the impact of your depression on each of you, and develop new perspectives as well as strategies to help you cope better as a couple.

  • Maria Nguyen

    HealthShare Member

    I am not a psychologist, but I think you need to talk to your wife. Let her know how you feel. Tell her that some people are more prone to get depressed. Be honest with her. Tell her that you love her and need her support in overcoming depression. I wish all the best to you and your family.
    "Help your loved onesget quality medical care by raisingfunds in 30 days with crowdfunding http://peoplepledge.com.au/."

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Most people feel some loneliness at some time or another throughout their life. Many partners also often don't say what they would like to say in their relationship, for fear of hurting or upsetting their spouse. I provide a safe place for relationship counselling where each partner can be heard and feel understood. This is really a fabulous experience for many people as they realise often they have never really felt heard or understood by their partners and sometimes in their entire lives. Being able to dialogue with our partners is a learnable skill. It's also a very important skill in relationships and where children are involved, good dialoguing will inevitably help with effective parenting. It is great that you appreciate so deeply the value of your children and feel so blessed to have a precious family. I wish you all the best in your marriage and in your dealing with the issues you face so that you may  build a happier life together.

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