Living with husband who has depression, SADD and chronic pain
My husband has suffered from depression since his twenties. We're both in our mid 60's now. The depression gets worse when the days get shorter (seasonal affective disorder) so I'm walking on eggshells at this time of year. To top it all off, he has chronic pain. He hasn't been able to work for years and has been home alone during the week up until this year when I retired. He seems to be doing better mood-wise now that I'm home with him. He had a depressive breakdown last November and stopped taking all of his medications and stopped eating for 3 days. Thank goodness he got through that nightmare, but he still isn't on antidepressants because they make him feel like a robot. I'm wondering how he'll do as we get more into the holiday season, which is usually hard for him. Who can relate to some of this and wants to talk in this group or privately?
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I suffer with depression and live with my partner who is very tolerant. I am also in a lot of pain with neuropathy. Like your husband I am the same. I am 65 years of age and have been in a low mood for months now. I used to get highs but not anymore. I was and probably still am bi polar are you sure your husband hasn't got that? It must be hard for you as it is for my partner. My depression is anxiety as well so I don't know if your husband has that too. Like him I don't look forward to holiday seasons or anything that involves socialising. This has got worse. It's a no win situation really.
It sounds like your partner is in the same boat as me. Its a difficult life for both of you. I don't think my husband is bi-polar, his diagnosis is MDD (major depressive disorder). Something that might help you is TMS (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/about/pac-20384625). My husband had that treatment in 2020 and it helped for about a year and a half. I keep asking him to have some maintenance treatments done, but he just won't make the effort. To qualify, your doctor has to document that you've tried a certain number of antidepressants with no positive results. Medicare covered treatment.
My best wishes to you and your partner.
When I read the beginning of your post, I thought maybe I had joined the group and posted and didn't remember doing that! Seriously, my husband of 52 years is bipolar, has fibromyalgia, late stage 4/early 5 kidney disease, a pacemaker. He is in chronic pain, sleeps or sits a lot, and is very depressed right now. He has just been referred for an evaluation for a kidney transplant.
Over our entire marriage, he has suffered through mood swings in the spring and fall, and also when there is a big event coming up. At times he gets very angry/hostile about something that I don't see coming. Because it is unseeable and unstoppable. I can think about all possible scenarios and try to smooth the future for him, but then he reacts with huge anger about something I never even thought about. It is a volcano of emotions and there is no way to predict or stop it.
I would be honored to talk with you privately because it seems like we are both trying to cope with a very similar situation. I do want to add, that my husband is a very funny, caring, intelligent, creative and loving person when he is not depressed. We have learned many healthy ways of dealing with this, so it is not all gloom and doom.
You may want to look into a light that provides the daylight/sunlight effect. I do ok on sunny days, when I can be outdoors a little, but on all cloudy days, this time of year, I sit in front of my light and drink my tea for 10-12 minutes in the morning. It has really helped and I have experienced SAD for a lot of years. I’m 77 and do take an anti- depressant. It’s the generic Welbutrin. I had to try a few before I found one that just makes me feel normal. I hope this may help a little.
I sent you a private message.
I have adhd since I was a kid and married over 30 years
My wife has been incredible dealing with ME with anxiety getting ready to go away (or anywhere for that matter) preparing for the holidays preparing for dr visit dealing w the results of said appt. Fluctuation of emotions endless diatribes about nothing happy angry sad etc she is there. Not to mention dealing w emotional fluctuations So often I interpret statements of fact as a put down and easily can go down a rabbit hole
I still frequently have to remind myself something isn’t directed at me as a put down
She constantly has to read the room of my fluctuating emotion's, thinks what to say to keep me even all the time
I do understand what a huge undertaking it is living with me. And they often get the brunt of whatever dissatisfaction we have at the moment. Whether complaining about pain our frustration and emotions big and small
I can relate to your wife for sure. It's good that you understand what she goes through to accommodate you. My husband knows that he's hard to live with, but I don't believe he understands the depth of sadness, frustration and anxiety he causes me. This Thanksgiving week was a perfect example of how I had to tiptoe around him, keeping his stress level down while we had visiting family here for a few days. It all exhausts me. I wish I just had a "normal" life sometimes.
@grandma88 Your husband has a lot to deal with, but I’m so glad that you want to help him. I, too, suffer from SAD. It was especially a problem whenever we lived in states that didn’t get sunshine in the winter. But, a doctor recommended that i buy a special lite to help with SAD. The following article talks about the lights.
The doctor recommended something called a LiteBook which i have used successfully for years. Just 20 minutes in the morning while i eat my breakfast! The use of light has made it possible for me to deal with my other medical problems.
Do you think your husband would be open to trying this?
Yes, in fact, I purchase a Verilux Happy Lite for him a few weeks ago and he's been using it. I think it's helped ease the insomnia that he has in the winter and maybe some help with mood. I think the stress he puts on himself with all the extra people in the house makes his chronic head pain (NDPH) spike and his mood goes downhill because of it. Thanks for your recommendation.
My husband has depression and used to drink too much to handle it. He drank way too much if we had company. So, at 72, he understands that the drinking is hurting him. He has fallen down and had to call for help to get him up. He was very embarrassed and so decided to stop drinking. However, in order to avoid social stress…no more company, which for me is hard. I like a party. We just limit it to visits from our sons & grandsons. So far it is working…good luck.