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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My husband lost most of his business about 4 years ago (real

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My husband lost most of his business about 4 years ago (real estate), he has not had steady business since then. We moved about a little over a year ago and live closer to his family, since then he has not made an real effort to restart his business in our new location and is getting bitter and angry, we seperated for a while and thought that he would be more motivated to work his business, . I am at a loss, I am as supportive as I can,but I am tired of this situation, I feel that he uses the bad economy as an excuse, I don't want to be a nag or get nasty, but it almost seems like I need to. How do I handle this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.
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Lori Gephart :

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I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your husband. It is common for depression to be experienced in men as anger. The loss of his business could have triggered depression, although I cannot diagnose without seeing him. Often we see symptoms of anxiety, depression and anger when the individual is not comfortable feeling their feelings in a safe way. Learning to feel more comfortable feeling his feelings, perhaps through the use of deep breathing or relaxation techniques could be helpful. Therapy would be a very good idea since the therapy will provide a safe place to express feelings and learn tools to use to cope with these uncomfortable feelings. Medication may or may not be needed and a qualified therapist should be able to help to assess whether medication may be needed or not. Exercise may be helpful to allow a healthy outlet for your husband's aggressive energies. It is important to consider help for this issue before it may escalate to risk further harm to your family. In the meantime, it is important to remember to take good care of yourself while you are dealing with this stress.


In addition, you can share the following steps with your husband who may find them helpful:


What to do if you may be depressed.


1. Identify that you want to change this pattern of negativity in your life. This is a powerful and courageous decision. Have a thorough assessment from a qualified clinician (medical doctor, psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Some good resources are: your HMO, local mental health agency or hospital, Primary Care Physician, or a professional source that you trust.

2. When necessary, begin the process of therapy, which can be short term or long term. Therapy is a partnership between an individual and a therapist, a shared experience of mutual trust and confidentiality. The therapist is a good listener and support person. The process of self reflection in therapy enables a person to sort out both positive and negative feelings. It can help improve communication and encourage expression of hidden feelings that have caused sadness. As a person becomes aware of the problems causing the depression, develops solution strategies, has more self understanding and compassion, the door is open for a change in belief system.

3. Learning what triggers negative thoughts is a key factor. Depression can be experienced in cycles, with different intensities. Cycles of the seasons, holidays, and aging cycles can trigger depression. People prone to depression may get more depressed when their life changes (i.e. a move, job change or a loss) or when there is a health or relationship crisis.

4. Changing one’s habitual thinking patterns is important. Recycling the negative thoughts over and over also reinforces the depression. Continually thinking that “Life will never get better.” Or “I will always be a failure.” influences the depth and length of the depression. Therefore, changing one’s thinking patterns from self judgment to compassion, from hopelessness to hopeful is necessary. Therapeutic techniques that reframe negative thinking i.e., cognitive exercises, positive reinforcement, breathing, meditative and relaxation exercises, as well as other therapeutic techniques, all seem quite beneficial.

5. Understanding how to “empower yourself” by taking responsibility for your own health and well being, while not blaming others for your problems is critical. Disconnecting from the negative patterns which keeps you powerless and focusing on positive life patterning helps to increase self esteem, i.e., healthy diet and exercise regimen; fulfilling and joyful connection to family and friends, a sense of humor, involvement in hobbies, music, theater, dance, art; relaxation techniques, positive affirmations, yoga, TaiChi; having someone to confide in, asking for help, reaching out to help others, joining a support group, improving communication within relationships and learning to problem-solve. And there are many more. You can use your own creativity to bring the positive into your life. Sometimes you just need someone to help light the way.


I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

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