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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband was involved in an accident after which he was

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My husband was involved in an accident after which he was diagnosed with PTSD amongst other things. He has also been diagnosed with Clincial Depression and Mood swings. Some days he won't get out of bed, some days he won't talk to me. He seems to be focusing all his pent up anger and frustration on our son, saying things like, 'it's time he moved out, if he werent here everything would be alright.' Thing is I don't believe that is true, my son is the one person at the moment I have who I can talk too, he knows what his dad is going through in part as he has suffered from PTSD in the past. At the moment my husband is sulking with me, he won't talk to me above single word answers, though these take some badgering to get them out of him. This is because I told him to stop picking on our son this morning. I have asked his psychologist for help but he never gets back to me. It is becoming so bad at times, not all the time, but frequently, that if I had somewhere to go I would leave, I know that is a bad thing to say, but the man I knew is not in there anymore. He doesnt have time for me, he cannot even see that I am hurting. How do I help him, so he doesnt feel depressed anymore. He is currently taking Topirimate for his mood swings and Sintrom 25mg (antidepressant) We currently live in Spain and have no family other than my son here with us.  My husband is unable to work because of memory problems, breathing problems, balance problems all associated with the accident and we are faced with future homelessness because we cannot afford to pay the mortgage as he is unable to claim compensation or benefits because he is English and the accident happened in Germany and we live in Spain.  Complicated doesnt come into this.

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

How long has your husband been diagnosed with PTSD?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The accident happened in August 2009, he was diagnosed shortly afterwards and received EMDR treatment to help him with the flashbacks, this was done on a mega quick timescale, weeks instead of months due to the insurance company who were paying cracking the whip.

He has the occasional flashback to this day, somethings just trigger them but no one seems to be that bothered at the moment with them reappearing.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like he needs further psychological treatment. Is there anyway he could talk to someone? You mentioned trying to get the the psychologist to call you back. It may be that he needs a new therapist, if the one he has is not following through with helping him. If it is possible, try finding him a new therapist. Ask his doctor for recommendations. Or you could check with your pastor if you attend church. Your pastor could speak with him as well to determine if he could help your husband.

If your husband will not help himself, it may be up to you to do what you can to help him. First, educate yourself as much as you can about PTSD and depression. You can search on line and books to get the information you need (I can recommend some books for you at the end of the answer). Also, talk with his doctor and therapist about what you can do.

If your husband sustained brain injury from the accident, he may have some emotional imbalances because of it. His doctor would know this and could talk to you about how this has affected him. You can also research brain injury and learn ways rehab therapists deal with this problem in helping patients recover.

Try just sitting with your husband without talking. Spend time in his company but don't ask him to converse. It can be a short period of time. It lets him know you care.

Ask your husband if he will go out with you just for a drive or to somewhere like a coffee shop. Try these outings a few times a week.

Tell your husband that you are there for him and that you want to help, but taking his feelings out on your son, or even you, is not acceptable. Then remind him of this when he does act out towards either of you.

Here are some books that can help you get started:

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula

The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy by Diane England

Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD by Cynthia Orange

And do not forget to help yourself cope with the stress. Caring for a loved one who has gone through a trauma can be stressful and overwhelming. Do something for yourself as often as time allows. Get out and see friends, browse a bookstore, go to a park, or take a yoga class. Whatever you can do to help you deal with the stress and make it easier for you to cope.

Please let me know if you have further questions or want clarification.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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