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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is depression causing my marriage break down or vice versa?

    I have been depressed on and off for a number of years, but this year has been the worst. I had a melt down a few months ago and went to a health retreat for some counselling and alone time. This was good until I came home again. I have no feelings for my husband (other than as a friend), but he insists he loves me and wants me to stay regardless of how I feel. I've asked for a seperation, but he won't have it. I get anxious when it's time to go home in the afternoon, and hate the idea of having to sit up with him at night, because he just wants to remind me that he lvoes me, and as much as I know this and don't want to hurt him, it is getting me down and making me feel suffocated. What can I do (besides counselling which doesn't seem to be helping)? I have got a referral to a physciarist, but am still waiting for that appointment. I'm offer to any suggestions, because I'm at a crossroads whether to leave or stay and try and make a go of it.
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    With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    Hi, sounds like you are really struggling. You have two pressing issues; your depression and your relationship. It seems like you are not having much success getting on top of your depression so you might need to try some different approaches, such as seeing a psychiatrist or different counsellor or psychologist. Re your relationship, you need to address this as well so talk to your husband and see if he is willing to attend  counselling then find a one who is experienced with working with couples and make a time.  When I see couples I make sure I have some 1-to-1 time with them so they can be completely honest with me, if your counsellor doesn't do this request that they do so and let her/him know what is really going on and what you want. Of course this gives your husband an opportunity to say things he might not say in front of you as well which may be helpful.

    If you have been with your counsellor for 3-4 months or and things aren't working, try a different counsellor but keep attacking that depression, I've had clients completely change their life around once they've got on top of their depression.

    All the best, Grant 

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    Pamela Hoy

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Offering both Hypnotherapy and Counselling for my clients is a double opportunity to change unwanted feelings, thoughts, behaviours and reactions. Accessing both the conscious and … View Profile

    You wrote you've been depressed on and off for several years but you did not write how long you've been married, nor if you're experiencing these concerns in any other areas of your life. Are you aware of what the trigger or triggers were for your meltdown? Even though your husband loves you and does not want to separate, is that sufficient reason for you to remain? Continuing to live together if you want different things is going to be very challenging and unrewarding.

    It's not a healthy environment in which to live when one party wishes to leave and this often leads to resentment and anger. If you do not wish to have any further counseling, have you considered hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy offers the client the opportunity to discover feelings that have been hidden or neglected and to remove those negative feelings and to replace them with positive and constructive concepts in a safe and relaxed manner, therefore, allowing you to decide what it is that you want for yourself.

    You didn't write whether there are any children involved. If there are then you need to consider their requirements as well. If there are no children I would suggest to you at this time, preventing conception would be a really good thing for you to do as you may find that would complicate your decisions even further. Good luck with the future.

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    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

    Depression is complex and the causes are multiple. It is good that you have a referral to see someone about this. You say you are at a crossroads as to whether to leave or stay. I recommend that if you are not happy with your counsellor you see if it is possible to talk to him/her about where your expectations are not being met. As said above, if you still don't feel you are getting anywhere try a different counsellor. You may need to try a few to see who is the best fit for you. You mention feeling suffocated in the relationship and it is very helpful to look at what is going on here. Relationships are complex and our past has a lot to do with it. If you can look at the underlying issues and dynamics in your relationship you will be in a much better place to be clearer about what is going on. From there, you can make sound decisions. But don't make important decisions like whether or not to leave a marriage in a vacuum. Commit to a process of enquiry and discovery in relationship counselling and then you will be empowered to make sound decisions. Never make big decisions from a place of confusion.Try and look after yourself by getting some good support. Honour your needs for space, relaxation, recreation and try to find ways to nurure yourself. Good Luck!

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