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Readers Respond: Coping With a Depressed Spouse

Responses: 212

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Updated September 30, 2011

Self Meds

Like many of you, my spouse has suffered depression for many years. He believes that he has the mental capacity to "think" himself better. While this method works at times, it is mostly short lived and really does nothing to relieve the concurring symptoms of anger and high irritability, for which he turns to marijuana. Sadly, It has come to the point where I would rather discuss anything with him after he smokes. As most of you have shared, I too love him deeply and have become very frustrated with the mood swings, the lashings of anger, blame and disconnected zombie effect. Is anyone else dealing with this situation? I can't see an end if he refuses medical treatment (designed for the brain) over the smoke.
—upsanddown

so many are suffering

stories so similar to mine. married 34 years. did not realize spouse has depression and anxiety disorder until 4 years ago. he had tough childhood, saw much abuse between parents. heavy drinker. he quit. surprisingly excellent provider. failed to connect many times with his children. all of us walked (and still do) on egg shells as he has bouts of verbal abuse. I think many many people have depression and dont know it. thank you all for brave stories. i have begun to heal myself thru good therapist. marriage still intact but fragile. each day a challenge but now i have strength i did not have before. Reach down to the strength inside, make your own "calm place". I don't always succeed but more and more I am becoming whole. This has helped me to care for damaged spouse but not get trampled in the process. In his defense he is trying to get help but feels ashamed he has mental illness. Never give up on them...they are terrified.
—Guest cathy ann

Sad

What a shame I am reading this on World Mental Health Day, no advice just whining and bitching, none of this is helpful for anyone going through difficult times in relationship, I wonder how your partners would feel knowing what u have written about them and seek advice else where
—Guest Sara H

Bad advice

It is not helpful to act as someone's pseudo-therapist and telling someone to take their medication is not helpful advice and telling partners to take care of themselves because living with a depressed partner could cause depression is unhelpful. That depressed people can never get better, this is doing more harm than good, anyone can suffer from depression, while there is no magic cure, there is some help, in Australia 45% will suffer some form of mental illness or addiction during their life time, how long before the shoe is on the other foot and your partner is on here talking like this about your relationship and you
—Guest Sarah

thank you so much

My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to Philippine for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from Philippine.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me a
—Guest jahana

Dont know how much more I can take

I have been with my husband for almost 6 yrs. and started noticing his depression when we moved in together after 6 months of dating. at first he just seemed like a nice but sometimes quiet guy. When we first dated he was always thrilled and happy but signs would pop up here and there when something minor would go wrong and he would be so distraught. Once living together came the rude, inconsiderate and uncontrollable outbursts caused by anything. so bad at times that I would find him laying in the dark on floor or rocking back & forth putting himself down. sometimes he is unusually happy but out of nowhere here comes the lack of energy, aloofness, to much sleep or no sleep, out bursts and even being mean to the children and even has become so anti social. I broke up with him before we got married. told him he needed help & he lied about therapy, now we r married he is right back to his depressed self.he blames me for everything & talks to me like i am trash.after 3mon i am con annul
—cele385

depressed spouse

having read many of these posts about individuals with depressed spouses, I decided to offer my own perspective. my husband has been depressed for about 10 years. I've done everything. supported him, emotionally and financially, overlooked the bad behavior caused by the depression. found him therapist after therapist. I can tell you that they will suck up every ounce of energy that you have. you think you're being a good spouse but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. they will only get better when they decide to. leave now and save yourself the heartache
—Guest anonymous

My Depressed girl Friend

I have been reading some of these articles and they are very interesting. I have been in a relationship for about 4 years. My girlfriend battles depression and we always break up then get back together. I care about her a lot. She takes Medicine for it. But sometimes she snaps and goes crazy on me for no reason. I really care for her a lot but there is so much I can take before I start becoming depressed.
—Guest Scott

What happens when she's dead?

The real chain - is our fear of our partners death. What happens then? Most of these posters are children.
—Guest Big talker

rolling with the punches

My soul mate of over 6 years now has decided to tell me it's over as of two days ago. We are newly married for less than a year and she tells me that she doesn't love me and wants this relationship to be over. She has a long term disease that has seem to really hit her hard at this point. I convinced her that we should try to work this out by giving it some time but I've been kicked out of the bedroom and she wants minimum contact. I have been sleepless since she broke the news and have tried searching for an answer since. At this point I do believe that the pain is so excruciating for her that it has put her in a depression. My wife is a very strong but at times can be too stubborn for her own good. I still love and cherish her so I don't want to give up but I'm scared that I will not have the strength to see this through since this will be the second time we will have to fight her condition. It was bad last time but she still wanted me around, please give me strength. I love her.
—Guest alsostilllearning...

I need help/advise

I have been seeing this amazing woman for four months and we have had rough patchs which is a given do to her extreme case of depression. I won't give up on her because of it I love her to much. She thinks I'm nuts for not walking away. I need help ideas or whatever with helping her. When she has a episode I try to help but make things worse. Reading the posts on her has given me insight into this but I need more info or advise I don't wanna loose her.
—Guest guest cowboy

Nice thought...

"Shame of yourself I've been with my girl for a year and she she been suffering with depression for 4 years and I'm still with her because I love her no matter what if I was in the same position as her I know that she wouldn't leave me that's how I seen it. Why leave someone, that you love because there sickness I feel bad for those who leave there girlfriends because of there depression I love my girlfriend I will never ever leave her no matter what she's my number one on a good day or bad day we love each other that's all I need in my life yall should feel bad. —Guest King" Nice thought. I'd like to think the same. I've been with my girlfriend for 10 yrs. we want to get married, but how? How do we have kids? How do i live the rest of my life with this? Im tired of it! im tired of making sacrifices and always being the bigger person. I want to be mad if im mad! I want to tell her how I feel, but how can you? Yes shes a great person, but i feel im wasting my life.
—Guest Adam

The weight is so heavy on me

Ive been married for 5 years...together for 10. I had four children when we met..and we have four children together now also. My husbands mother is a manic depressive...and he has been diagnosed a year ago..but wont tell me with what..the doctor gave him prozac. I believe it is depression. I have gone through tremendous life threatening problems during child birth only to come home and have him unable to change a diaper or make a bottle or help with a crying baby. It continuedas the children got bigger..they know not to asl dad for a drink of water, food, or to help with homework, as he is always mad and can only deal with whatever is going on with him. Every day, every hour, it never changes. I said he was selfish, but I realize he cant get out of his own head. I feel like I have 9 children and hes one of them. My job is big enough. He doesnt leave any energy for me to deal with anyone else in the house because his depression demands all of the attention. At my wits end.
—Guest Momof8

thank you so much

My name is Diana I am from United States, I was I a relationship with Ben and we loved and cherished ourselves for 3 good years and every thing was going on smoothly but February 14, 2012 a day I can call a lovers day we both had misunderstanding because I answered a call from a guy that is asking me out for a date but I refused, and he told me that the relationship is over and that he is fed up with me and I begged him because I love him so much but he refused me I was so down cast and I felt the world has come to an end for me but my friend told me about a spell caster that helped her sister out in getting her relationship back, a good job and favor in any of her endeavor but at first I was scared but I have to give this man a trial because I love Ben very much and I am not willing to loose him to any woman, so I ordered returning my love spell from this great spell caster that made me a happy woman again to say it all my ex came back to me with much love and a caring heart...i am te
—Guest DIANA

I can relate

I can relate to many of the posts. I am fine when busy at work or on a task but as soon as I'm left to think I think the worst. I have been cheated on, many times. My partner has admitted to sex addiction and has gone through some therapy. We can't afford it regularly and so I stopped my sessions and he finished his short course. Things are better but as someone said on here. When I'm alone, he's at work, I can't sleep, I think he is cheating, cyber sexing or whatever. I constantly think about him before myself and I'm sick of it. I feel depressed. I think I am depressed. But what can I do when I can't afford therapy?
—Guest alonencrazy

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Coping With a Depressed Spouse

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