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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband is acting strange. There have been changes in his

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My husband is acting strange. There have been changes in his eating, sleeping, and exercising habits. He is no longer interested in marriage or family. His goals have changed drastically and he doesn't seem to know what he wants. I think there is something seriously/medically wrong. How should I handle his changes? What are possible causes?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

May I ask- how old is your husband? And have there been any recent difficulties or stress he has been through?

Thank you,

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He turns 40 next month.


He was miserable at work and quit 2 years ago. We moved to a new state and he returned to school using his GI bill. He has since earned 1.5 masters degrees but has been unable to find a good job.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

It sounds like your husband's symptoms could have many causes. The first one to explore is a physical cause. You always want to rule that out first because many physical disorders can cause emotional symptoms. So ask him if he will see his doctor. And if you feel your husband might not let the doctor know what is going on or if you just want some input, contact the doctor ahead of time. They may not be able to share with you what happens, but you can tell them anything you need to. That helps the doctor know what to look for.

If your husband is cleared medically, then you are probably seeing an emotional reaction to something. At his age, it is unlikely that he would develop a serious mental health issue. So more than likely, he is having trouble with something going on in his life.

The symptoms you describe sound closest to depression. Difficulty sleeping, changes in goals, eating habits and loss of interest in family and activities that he previously was interested in are all signs of depression.

It could be that the changes he made a few years ago have not turned out the way he wanted them to. Or he could have other stressors going on that he has not shared with you. Either way, your husband would benefit from a full evaluation by a mental health therapist. That way, it can be determined what he has so he can receive treatment.

Another way to find out what he might have is through resources and self help. Here are some links that can help you (and him) pinpoint what he might be feeling:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/depression/article.htm

http://mentalhealth.about.com/od/problems/Mental_Illness_Mental_Disorders.htm

Use these links to explore what you are seeing with your husband. And if he will participate with you, all the better. It can give you an idea of what he may be struggling with and with that, you will have a direction to help him.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not enough information. I need some specific ideas not generalities.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.
What kind of ideas where you looking for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I know he is depressed. I need to know what to do or say to him to keep him from leaving his family. He won't talk to anyone and is incapable of identifying any specific reason for his lack of interest in everyday life. He is a kind, courageous, strong man and his disinterest in all things good has me worried for his life.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It was not clear from your original description that you were aware that he is depressed or that he is considering leaving the family. I am sorry to hear that.

It can be very stressful when you cannot get someone to talk to you. And if your husband is depressed, keeping his thoughts and hurt inside can be part of why he won't share with you. Getting him to talk about his feelings can seem overwhelming.

What you can do is to keep encouraging him to talk. He may not seem to listen, but it may take several tries to get him to open up. And if you feel he will not listen to you, ask someone who he might listen to such as a close family member or friend. It is too hard to go this alone and support can help a lot.

Also, try talking to his doctor to see if he can help. Your husband may listen to him.

And if you feel your husband might hurt himself, then it is very important to talk to a professional about your husband's situation. His doctor or the local ER can help.

He may not be able to tell you why he feels as he does. Depression can build up over time or it can hit all at once. He may not know himself why he feels this way. And motivation is a huge factor with depression. So with that in mind, being there for him has more impact than you think. Just sitting with him or offering to help him may help. Here is a link to help:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/MH00016

Most of all, take care of yourself. It is very stressful to cope with someone who is depressed. Talk about how you feel, consider therapy for yourself, get as much support as you can. Spend some time away from home and enjoy yourself for a little while. It can give you time to organize your thoughts and to approach the situation with less stress.

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
5559 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.