How to have relationships while living with depression?

Posted by marjou @marjou, Jun 21, 2020

Need some help in coping or pointers in how to best handle relationships whether family,dating, friends. Because my depression is the constant factor every day, I isolate in a way as to not subject others to my depressive state which I have to live with but they do not. Feel it's not fair to them or they just avoid me. When to tell or not to tell someone especially if trying to date?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.

@lilypaws

@marjou Thank you for your prayers and blessings for recovery. My pain is down today. This morning when I got up from bed I had a lot of pain. How are you doing? Let me know what I can pray for you. Jeanie

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@lilypaws Hope you are doing better today. How kind of you to pray for me and had to think about what specifically. The request is for relief of this daily depression. Thank you and blessings.

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@marjou and others in this discussion about depression and forming relationships. I recently received an email from, https://thinkr.org/newsletter/humankind-a-hopeful-history, with information about Friendliness and how it can build happy relationships. I know that depression tends to create a less than friendly countenance and attitude but perhaps but practicing friendly actions and attitudes this might be something that would work for you. I just copied the last paragraph for you to read. Will you let me know what you think about this?

2. It’s not the fittest, but the friendliest that survive.
Until recently, humans elevated the collective over the individual. Despite popular images of warring tribal hunter-gatherer cultures, nomadic groups preceding the rise of agriculture formed fairly peaceful, egalitarian societies. It was the friendliest who would have the biggest families, and so nature selected for friendliness. It shows in Homo sapiens’ progression toward domesticity. Homo sapiens are at their best and strongest when they are at their friendliest.

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@grandmaraines

My husband has severe depression and I understand (As much as I can from a bystander viewpoint) how difficult it is to interact with the anyone. His escape is to spend large parts of his day , even all of it, sleeping on the couch. We've tried light therapy, several meds, some of which had terrible side effects like major panic and terror attacks , nothing works. The current one has dampened the panic, but he still has zero motivation and no joy in doing anything. It has been years since he could engage in intimate relation ships and we can go days with him not saying more than a few sentences. Other times he shares his desperation and tries to talk but mostly it is "I wish I could understand what is causing this ( I tell him even doctors don't know so he can't focus on the why) and I just want it to go away"( I tell him that expectation is not likely but we can work on controlling it and softening it) I offer him methods to help like encourage him to get up, move, go sit outside, walk – his inactivity has made him weak and easily tired – So I have question for you. As someone who has depression, how do you think your friends and family could help you? What support do you wish for? I feel I listen, I am there, I have taken on most of the tasks of running the house, I do not put demands on him, i try not make him feel guilty for laying down all day though I am terribly lonely most of the time as I feel like a housekeeper and nurse not a wife of. 39 years. I want to help. From your perspective (or anyone reading this who has severe depression) what cn i do to nurture our relationship and help him with his daily stress and depression?

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@grandmaraines As I read your post I could get the sense of your love for your husband, your care and your wanting to help him. I have been diagnosed as being bipolar which took many years to determine, but the heaviness of depression is unrelenting. I, too, have tried many medications that didn't work or made me a "zombie", ECT, been hospitalized, talk therapy, etc.

For me progress was minimal like lying in bed to lying on living room couch. It zaps the life out of the body both energy and the loss of joy. Science explains depression as a chemical inbalance in brain but is unique for each person and why there's no one remedy or cure.

Have been in a relationship where both of us were depressed and thought at least he understands but that didn't help us. As women we want to help and fix it, but difficult to do when the other person feels helpless/hopeless. The more I did the less he did and I noticed myself resenting him for not trying to do something, anything. So I had to break off the relationship to keep the friendship.

Does your husband have a therapist? Group therapy? Art therapy? Does he have friends that can visit him?
I don't have a miracle answer, but am here if I can be of help. Blessings and prayers are sent to both of you.

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@marjou

@grandmaraines As I read your post I could get the sense of your love for your husband, your care and your wanting to help him. I have been diagnosed as being bipolar which took many years to determine, but the heaviness of depression is unrelenting. I, too, have tried many medications that didn't work or made me a "zombie", ECT, been hospitalized, talk therapy, etc.

For me progress was minimal like lying in bed to lying on living room couch. It zaps the life out of the body both energy and the loss of joy. Science explains depression as a chemical inbalance in brain but is unique for each person and why there's no one remedy or cure.

Have been in a relationship where both of us were depressed and thought at least he understands but that didn't help us. As women we want to help and fix it, but difficult to do when the other person feels helpless/hopeless. The more I did the less he did and I noticed myself resenting him for not trying to do something, anything. So I had to break off the relationship to keep the friendship.

Does your husband have a therapist? Group therapy? Art therapy? Does he have friends that can visit him?
I don't have a miracle answer, but am here if I can be of help. Blessings and prayers are sent to both of you.

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@marjou From what I understand from your message is that you are Bipolar 1? Mental illness runs in our family and my mom committed suicide at age 69. My son is the one fighting the devil now. He has his PHD, but can't teach, because of his Bipolar 1. His wife also has her PHD and is very successful. I do fill that she is controlling and controlling our son and granddaughter, we have no contacts with them. I am depressive and anxiety, my daughter the same, plus other factors like being very over weight. Most of other family members have some type of mental illness. It is very inherited. I just got home 2 weeks ago from a 9 hour fusion back surgery from T-10 to my pelvis. Had Pinched nerves plus other problems. I am still recovering and it takes time. Blessings and Prayers are sent your way.

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@lilypaws

@marjou From what I understand from your message is that you are Bipolar 1? Mental illness runs in our family and my mom committed suicide at age 69. My son is the one fighting the devil now. He has his PHD, but can't teach, because of his Bipolar 1. His wife also has her PHD and is very successful. I do fill that she is controlling and controlling our son and granddaughter, we have no contacts with them. I am depressive and anxiety, my daughter the same, plus other factors like being very over weight. Most of other family members have some type of mental illness. It is very inherited. I just got home 2 weeks ago from a 9 hour fusion back surgery from T-10 to my pelvis. Had Pinched nerves plus other problems. I am still recovering and it takes time. Blessings and Prayers are sent your way.

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Yes, depression runs in my family…the trait I would inherit. Each day is an incredible challenge just to get out of bed or put a smile on my face. Appreciate your contact. Blessings

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@marjou

@grandmaraines As I read your post I could get the sense of your love for your husband, your care and your wanting to help him. I have been diagnosed as being bipolar which took many years to determine, but the heaviness of depression is unrelenting. I, too, have tried many medications that didn't work or made me a "zombie", ECT, been hospitalized, talk therapy, etc.

For me progress was minimal like lying in bed to lying on living room couch. It zaps the life out of the body both energy and the loss of joy. Science explains depression as a chemical inbalance in brain but is unique for each person and why there's no one remedy or cure.

Have been in a relationship where both of us were depressed and thought at least he understands but that didn't help us. As women we want to help and fix it, but difficult to do when the other person feels helpless/hopeless. The more I did the less he did and I noticed myself resenting him for not trying to do something, anything. So I had to break off the relationship to keep the friendship.

Does your husband have a therapist? Group therapy? Art therapy? Does he have friends that can visit him?
I don't have a miracle answer, but am here if I can be of help. Blessings and prayers are sent to both of you.

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Thank you for your reply. My husband tried going to an individual therapist who gave him strategies, met once more and felt it was all silly and useless to keep a journal or follow a weekly plan. He used to enjoy hinting and dud model trains as a hobby. He just gave all his guns to his son and gave up hobby years He has a psychiatrist who just asks how the meds are, suggests alternate ones to try, prescribed and checks in once every couple months .He is useless. In our area absolutely no one is accepting new patients. We have our church but fellowshipping is minimL due to Covid. All his peers who he called close friends are moved or passed away. We live in the country with no near neighbors and our church friends are almost 1 hr away. No one drives out here to visit. Our son is also over an hr away, who wants to help, but my husband won't discuss any of this with him (he is mortified- I have shared my heartache and what is happening with family, but I can't keep burdening them) and our son has a young family, busy with his own life. When we do see them it is usually with a group or special days like this last Father's day, so we do not mar the occasion with depression talk. My husband just tries really hard to not be a sad downer but he also is pretty silent whole time in a get together. No, I truly am alone in helping him.

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@grandmaraines

Thank you for your reply. My husband tried going to an individual therapist who gave him strategies, met once more and felt it was all silly and useless to keep a journal or follow a weekly plan. He used to enjoy hinting and dud model trains as a hobby. He just gave all his guns to his son and gave up hobby years He has a psychiatrist who just asks how the meds are, suggests alternate ones to try, prescribed and checks in once every couple months .He is useless. In our area absolutely no one is accepting new patients. We have our church but fellowshipping is minimL due to Covid. All his peers who he called close friends are moved or passed away. We live in the country with no near neighbors and our church friends are almost 1 hr away. No one drives out here to visit. Our son is also over an hr away, who wants to help, but my husband won't discuss any of this with him (he is mortified- I have shared my heartache and what is happening with family, but I can't keep burdening them) and our son has a young family, busy with his own life. When we do see them it is usually with a group or special days like this last Father's day, so we do not mar the occasion with depression talk. My husband just tries really hard to not be a sad downer but he also is pretty silent whole time in a get together. No, I truly am alone in helping him.

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@grandmaraines I live in a rural area and good therapists or psychiatrist are in great demand and short supply. This Mayo Connect has been so helpful for me and people are very nice. There is a chat under Depression/Anxiety that you both might find helpful. Would like to stay in touch if okay with you. Sending blessings.

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@hopeful33250

@marjou and others in this discussion about depression and forming relationships. I recently received an email from, https://thinkr.org/newsletter/humankind-a-hopeful-history, with information about Friendliness and how it can build happy relationships. I know that depression tends to create a less than friendly countenance and attitude but perhaps but practicing friendly actions and attitudes this might be something that would work for you. I just copied the last paragraph for you to read. Will you let me know what you think about this?

2. It’s not the fittest, but the friendliest that survive.
Until recently, humans elevated the collective over the individual. Despite popular images of warring tribal hunter-gatherer cultures, nomadic groups preceding the rise of agriculture formed fairly peaceful, egalitarian societies. It was the friendliest who would have the biggest families, and so nature selected for friendliness. It shows in Homo sapiens’ progression toward domesticity. Homo sapiens are at their best and strongest when they are at their friendliest.

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@hopeful33250 I tried to read this article but it was a bit much for me to decipher. The thing I agreed with is the most people are good and friendliness has a larger group base. Maybe I missed other factors, but that's what I could interpret.

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@grandmaraines

Thank you for your reply. My husband tried going to an individual therapist who gave him strategies, met once more and felt it was all silly and useless to keep a journal or follow a weekly plan. He used to enjoy hinting and dud model trains as a hobby. He just gave all his guns to his son and gave up hobby years He has a psychiatrist who just asks how the meds are, suggests alternate ones to try, prescribed and checks in once every couple months .He is useless. In our area absolutely no one is accepting new patients. We have our church but fellowshipping is minimL due to Covid. All his peers who he called close friends are moved or passed away. We live in the country with no near neighbors and our church friends are almost 1 hr away. No one drives out here to visit. Our son is also over an hr away, who wants to help, but my husband won't discuss any of this with him (he is mortified- I have shared my heartache and what is happening with family, but I can't keep burdening them) and our son has a young family, busy with his own life. When we do see them it is usually with a group or special days like this last Father's day, so we do not mar the occasion with depression talk. My husband just tries really hard to not be a sad downer but he also is pretty silent whole time in a get together. No, I truly am alone in helping him.

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@grandmaraines Your husband is blessed to have you in his corner. In reading your posts, it sounds like he is also concerned and would like to understand what to do to ease his burden. To me, that right there is a sign he understands the seriousness and long term effects of this issue. I am glad to hear he gifted his son with the firearms.

Do you have a way to check in with a teaching hospital in your area, and get some answers? SAMHSA [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline may give you some guidance. Also there is the Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://adaa.org/ that might help.

Will you let me know if either one of these help you and your husband?
Ginger

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@marjou

@grandmaraines I live in a rural area and good therapists or psychiatrist are in great demand and short supply. This Mayo Connect has been so helpful for me and people are very nice. There is a chat under Depression/Anxiety that you both might find helpful. Would like to stay in touch if okay with you. Sending blessings.

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Thank you for reaching out. Yes, staying connected would be great!

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