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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1755
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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My husband has been diagnosed with depression he is on medication

Customer Question

My husband has been diagnosed with depression he is on medication but will not seek any further help. He has just stated that he feels trapped and wants to leave our family home/ I am devasted and feel he is doing it to upset me or get a reaction. I have been tyring to understand. Financially I could not cope. What advice can you give me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 2 years ago.
Sometimes when people are depressed they like to project their hopelessness onto other people. This is a way to somewhat deflect the responsibility for this depression onto other people. That is usually deflected onto families and closest friends. If he is just betting medication then he is not receiving the therapy necessary to really understand his depression and the causes of this disorder. I would continue to support him even though he is acting in a way that makes that difficult. You may even gather information about depression and leave it for him. He needs to realize that this is not everyone's else's fault. There are support groups for people with this issue in any community. Allow him space to come to terms with this problem. Don't feed into any behavior of his that puts the blame on you but rather find ways to avoid such arguments. When people are their most depressed they are more willing to listen. Reason with him when he is willing to listen rather than when he is irate. Just have patience and allow for key times to be his support.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
THANK YOU BUT SHOULD I ENCOUARGE HIM TO LEAVE THE FAMILY HOME WHAT DO I SAY WHEN HE BRINGS THIS UP
Expert:  psychlady replied 2 years ago.
Allow him to decide about leaving the home. You can encourage him but people with depression often choose to be in their familiar surroundings. If he brings up the depression then just tell him that you want the best for him and offer the solution of therapy. When people are most depressed they are more open to this process. Just be supportive and ask what you can do to help him.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

I am sorry to hear of this very difficult space for both you and your husband. Depression is a powerful thing and can cause one to retreat and act in ways that are unfamiliar to all around. The good news that although he won't do anything further at this point, he has seen his doctor for medication. I am assuming that he recently began the medication and if this is the case, then let's try and let some time get under our belts for the medication to begin to have some effect. It won't "cure" the depression but it may take that very dark edge off where he doesn't feel like he needs to retreat and leave. But, if he feels that the only way that he can cope is to leave, then that may be the best thing for him until this edge is lifted. It is a very hard place to make a decision from so he is struggling just to find a place of comfort.

I don't believe he is doing or saying this to get a reaction from you although it can certainly feel that way. His depression is so strong right now that his world is all about him and how he is feeling and not on purpose, not with intent to hurt you. That is how depression goes. He wants to retreat and be on his own because he is so uncomfortable in his own skin.

I would suggest that as best you can, give him all the support and space he needs. If it means he is taking time in your bedroom to just be, then let him. It is very difficult for you and I understand it and it can be frustrating and frightening for you. You need the support too. Here is a book for you to read that can help you understand it all and how you can cope. http://www.amazon.com/Living-Depressed-Spouse-Gay-Ingram/dp/1602473633/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343048589&sr=8-2&keywords=living+with+someone+who+is+depressed

You are a loving wife and want the best for him and for your marriage. I want that for you too. I am hoping that when the edge lifts a bit, he might be more open to getting some more support, but it is not uncommon for men to want to work things out on their own without the support from others. Understanding this difference can also help you too.

Let me know your thoughts thus far and we can continue the discussion.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1755
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
Coach Jen K. and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you for your advice it was nice to have someone to express my feelings too however i am still very frightened of him leaving and maybe not coming back. Should he see a therapist before he makes this step
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
It is so frightening and I truly understand that. I might suggest to him that he doesn't make any big decisions during this very difficult time and that he can have all the space he needs within your home and you will let him be as he sees fit.

Certainly a therapist would be the best thing but if he is refusing to go and you pressure him to do so, that is how he might feel he needs to leave. I might let him know how you love and care for him and will support him however he needs to go at this time. Clearly if you felt that it was an emergency situation then you call 911.

He needs some quite support now without pushing him to be somewhere he isn't. As best you can, please know that this is not personal to you...he is in his own private hell now. His depression is so string that he cannot see past himself. Awful for you. I am here to support you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hello I spoke to you a couple of nights ago he has mentioned leaving again and seems determined this time. I cannot get him to go to a therapist or give the medication a change he just wants to go and I feel he is withdrawing even more
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
I know how scary this is for you and rightly so. If he is determined to leave then he might need to do that. Will he be going somewhere safe? If he is still determined to go this alone then there isn't much you can do. You may also think of giving his prescribing physician a phone call but make sure your husband would be okay with that as we don't want him to feel you are doing anything without his consent. Same would be true for other family. If you have other family members that could assist in helping him to get into treatment that would be helpful.

I feel for you and know how scary this is. If he is determined to leave in order to try and heal then it might be the best option. Men tend to retreat into their depression and this may be his way of coping.

Let me know your thoughts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my children who are adults have all tried to talk to him. He definetly won't let me talk to his doctor.


I suppose you are right if he has to go he has to its just really bringing me down and financially I will not be able to cope. I am also frightened that he may never return. The again I can't go on like this he is bringing me down as well.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
It is an awful situation for you. It is very hard for loved ones to care for someone who doesn't want care. I think that if he needs to go he will do just that and we need to focus on getting you the support you need if that is the case and you may need to ask your adult children to come in and help you.
Would that be possible?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
they could give me moral support but not financial. I don't understand how he can treat us this way. we have always been close and I just don't like the person he has become.
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
There is a wonderful book that I would like to recommend which can help you through this VERY difficult space. He is not doing this with any purpose or desire to hurt you. He is suffering and depression is a very powerful thing and he does not have control over how he is feeling now or reacting to all of this. He is not treating you in this way because he desires to do so...it is truly out of his hands. So very difficult for you. Here is the book.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Someone-Depressed-Second-Edition/dp/0805082778/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343304494&sr=8-2&keywords=when+someone+you+love+is+depressed
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you I have read a lot of articles and they all say it is not him talking but his depression I suppose I just have to keep telling myself that but its hard to accpet. Thanks for your advice I have no-one else. I have a doctor who is not very supportive and I am the type who doesn't burden people with my problems. I am in Melbourne Australia and I have found it very hard to find support


 

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
I am so glad you have reached out for support. I am here for you and I am not going anywhere. You can come to me to express how you feel at anytime. I wish you had the ability to see a therapist for yourself.

But as I said, I am here and not going anywhere. If I am unavailable at the moment you write, I will let you know that and let you know times where i am available.
Please get that book and yes as hard as it is to accept it, please remind yourself as often as you can that he is not doing this to hurt you .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
It is my pleasure.

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