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Ask Rev.Dr. August Abbott Your Own Question

Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7543
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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Hello! Im Ang. 33 years old, married for 10 years, mother

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Hello!
I'm Ang. 33 years old, married for 10 years, mother of a ten year old boy. 4 months ago, I was the happiest, most optimistic person you could ever meet! But, lately, I have been everything but! I don't sleep, hardly eat, I'm moody, and sometimes just down right mean! I've lost motivation like never before and this is in every aspect of my life (work, home, church, kid, friends, HUSBAND)! I always said and believed that I would be with my husband forever, but these days, I'm not so sure. We don't talk and when we do, we end up fighting or just being rude to each other. We don't have sex, and the last time we did, it was awkward. He's getting this awesome promotion and I can't seem to get excited for him, even to fake it. Our marriage has never been sunshine and roses, but it was our normal, this is worrying me. I guess, my question is, what can I do?
Thank you!

-- The good news is that you notice this, you know it's not quite right and you're anxious to 'fix it'.

So the answer to 'what can I do?' is that you've already done it. You've acknowledged a problem (first step) and are trying to correct it (second step).

If you're in a particularly dark, cold, dank part of the country during this wintery season you may have what's called SADD. Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder. It may go by other names, but basically the loss of full spectrum light, being limited in activities, cooped up indoors more than not and all the other things that go along with winter - can just plain be depressing.

People lose motivation, interest and are quick to lash out.

With the lengthening of days and sunlight, the opportunity to get outside and become more active again alleviates the symptoms in a good number of people, but sometimes the depression can last and last beyond the season. And it's also not uncommon for people who have never experienced SADD before, to suddenly find it happening as they get older (meaning leaving childhood) and finding it intensify as the years go by.

Whether this is behind your current condition or that it's flat out depression, let me assure you that you are not alone and that yes, there is help.

Talk to your doctor and ask him/her to discuss the possibility of a course of anti depressants. These are not 'happy pills' that you take and get a kick out of - they are meds that either alone or in conjunction with some sessions with a counselor, help the function of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters and get you back to your 'self' again. Or even better since you really don't know how long this imbalance might have been going on.

Why not read a little more about it here

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/MM00660

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The counseling is something I strongly recommend not just for you, but for the whole family. It would be a 'safe place' to go and learn how to communicate how each person feels when another person does this or says that. Not just you, but each other. With a genuine, licensed counselor with a degree (oh please steer clear of 'life coaches' and anyone without a real, university degree in psychology) acting as a guide, a teacher and at times perhaps a referee -you'd be surprised at how new a path in communication might be revealed.

When it's the end of the day, you have to ask yourself 'what can it hurt?' right?

It's the miscommunications that hurt most

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BotXXXXX XXXXXne: You are very insightful, intelligent and even courageous to notice the imperfections in yourself to begin with and then to launch the journey to making yourself better? So rare!

Keep going ok? And if you need support along the way I'll be happy to help.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words!


I don't believe it's SAAD, I live in Denver, CO, we have over 300 days of sunshine a year :) I have a hard time believing that I'm clinically depressed and I would never take psychotropic drugs, no matter what the circumstances.


I do, however, think you are correct about communication, but my husband is a very sensitive, yet fiery man. He takes things very personally, if I bring something up, he usually takes it as an attack. Maybe you have some advice on how to talk to him without causing the inevitable explosion?


I believe in your instincts about yourself. No one knows you better than you do. And you show remarkable insights in both your description and in what you've done to make this whole situation better.

"But" (don't you hate that?) - it's not at all uncommon for someone who is suffering from depression to not know it's depression. We all have our own ideas of what that is. Some people think they have to be crying in the dark all the time. Truth is, depression can present in so many ways that I don't believe anyone has ever listed them all. What we look for are "markers" and you have some of the more common.

The meds aren't all what you might think either. That's why I included the link address to the Mayo Clinic. It's got a short video that keeps it simple and describes how one kind of med works.

It doesn't alter you or send you into orbit.
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Let's consider how an aspirin works on pain: When you bruise yourself an enzyme produces a chemical telling the brain OUCH!

The same chemical causes the injured area to release fluids which lead to swelling and MORE pain via inflammation. Double OUCH!

So you take an aspirin which is a chemical that sticks to the initial enzyme that produces the chemical that tells the brain OUCH. And by sticking to that enzyme and keeping it from making the chemical it also lessens the production of fluids and thus, less swelling, inflammation and the double OUCH factor.
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Taking an aspirin inhibits chemicals in the brain where taking SSI (Seratonin uptake inhibitors which most anti depressants are) improves the chemicals in the brain.

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But we're getting way ahead of ourselves. You may not need them to begin with. I'm just saying that they aren't the evils they might have been many years ago when they first came out. Many advances have been made. Keep an open mind ok? That's all

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When it comes to talking to your husband, that's where the counseling comes in. A retraining program.

Here's why: After all of these years, both of you have learned that A + B = C. B + A = C. All roads lead to the same destination. You say this, he says that, you both end up angry or unhappy or both.

It's like watching the same movie over and over, hoping for a different ending.

I can advise you to keep thinking ahead and when you hear the same words or tone start to come out of you that triggers his defensiveness, stop and try to do the opposite --- but it won't work.

In time you might learn a new way; just like you might be able to teach yourself to stop using your dominant hand (if you are right handed, try to be left handed). It's not easy, it's 'possible', but it will never be natural and it can lead to all sorts of emotional problems.

A counselor will be able to teach you (both) how to use different words and importantly, how to use different ears. How to listen to each other as a partner with an "we're in this together" attitude rather than an enemy out to knock us down.

And it's really ok for you to be in this rut. It happens! You're not wrong, you're not bad and you're not odd.

Perhaps approach him with a calm, loving statement when you have nothing negative to say and no suggestions to give, ie: "John, do you remember when we started this journey? We were two as one. You and me against the world. I want that back."

Then ask him if he'll attend some counseling sessions so that YOU can better learn how to communicate with him.

Don't worry, you'll eventually get to let him know that this was also about him communicating with you too

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But the point is that you are wise enough to see the need here. All that matters is that you get him on board.

And if he's particularly stubborn, then go yourself. There are still lots of tools to pick up and ways to use them to crack through the stone wall and rediscover gold.

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I have to sign off now, but will check back in the daylight hours ok? I'll stand by you no matter what you decide to do




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