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Looking after ourselves

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Self Esteem and Self Worth

Hi Folks, I am new to this site today. In fact this is the first time I have contacted a third party on this topic.

 

My wife has been living with depression since she was 16. She has been on an off her medication over the years and is now 41.  We were married in 2012 and have two beautiful kids together (ages 6 and 3).

 

Most of the time she is in a good place and happy however after being in this place for an extended period of time she decides medication is no longer required and under medical supervision she starts to ween herself off of her medication.  She is doing this again and I believe she is now 100% off of her medication.

 

When she is in this state she has significant mood swings where one minute she is in a good place and then ten mins later completely uncommunicative as she becomes overcome by rage and anger. She does not get violent and the only abuse that takes place is verbal towards me.

 

I know this is her illness coming through and try to provide her with love, reassurance and support. That being said she continues to attack me every day and blames most of her (our) problems on me. Going home to her each day becomes difficult now given the verbal barrage I know that I will face. I start to question myself, my worth and if I really am the root cause to her problems.  We have gone to marriage counseling and a lot of what we discussed is in practice already but back to square one it seems as though.

 

I need to look at this from another perspective and was hoping someone here could provide me with their own experience and how they deal with this. I exercise regularly, eat very healthy, try to get sleep (have two little kids and puppy though), and am trying to make friends (new in Oz).  I have a very demanding but enjoyable career that I love.

 

Any bit of direction or advice would really be appreciated.

 

thanks,

Brian

6 REPLIES 6

Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

hi @WayneOZ and welcome
your situation sounds tough.
I was wondering if she has any other diagnosis besides depression?
Im a carer myself however im also someone who suffers mental health issues myself.
the rollercoaster emotions and mood changes sound similar to what I have which is borderline personality disorder and possible bipolar disorder. I wondered if having a chat with her gp and a talk wth her while shes in a good state and mention maybe having another opinion from depression? you can find plenty of information on both these mental health conditions online.

do you think something like relationship counselling or counselling for yourself would also be beneficial for some support for yourself?
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Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

Hi @WayneOZ 

 

It is tough going at times, the doom and gloom can get us down too.

*sighs

 

Yes, when our loved ones are unwell we are often blamed for anything and everything and often do not have the insight or emotional strength to contribute or doing what it takes to maintain relationships (not only intimate ones but with family and friends too)

[Edited] Marriage counseling when our partners are unwell is often not productive and can cause further angst.

 

Having our own counseling however is often very helpful as a therapist can help guide us through the issues we are facing.  Keeping ourselves healthy both physically and mentally helps us through when our partners have rough patches. Self care is a major theme in helping us cope with life as a caregiver, the goal being not to let our own mood be determined by theirs. 

 

Providing gentle encouragement to our loved ones to take responsibility for their mental health management and engage with treatment whether it be medication or therapy is important, understanding that voluntary participation leads to the best outcomes, some partners manage this on their own, for us teamwork was helpful, things improved for us when I started working with Mr Darcy, listening to his concerns about medication/side effects, helping him understand the benefits vs risks and empathising with him but also reminding him of how much better things are now he is on meds if he complains about having to take them. Understanding the limitations of medications is helpful too. 

 

We are not super human and often we feel the onus is on us to fix things, which we cannot do. Cultivating and maintaining a sense of humour, having family outings or date nights if you are able, (plenty of free stuff around if budget is a consideration), having an interest of your own so that you have your own reasonable amount of "play" time, encouraging your wife to have some child free time to enjoy a hobby she has, encouraging her own self care ie regular hair cuts, genuine compliments when she does achieve things or even for routine stuff that can go unnoticed are some of the helpful things that we can do, but understanding that when depressed, appreciation for the things you do will likely not be forthcoming and may or may not be down the track.

 

There are a number of discussion threads in relation to general self care, specific hobbies - including diet and exercise as well some social threads where you can enjoy a smile with others who understand.  I personally have found a sense of humour to be invaluable and am grateful that now I am able to see the lighter side of things and not let things get me down. 

Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

hello and welcome @WayneOZ 

how is your wife when she is on the meds ?

my husband has bipolar 2 and has had depression and anxiety all his life as well as inherited depression and other diagnosis

he decides he is not taking the meds anymore and within days i can tell the difference , and over the years i now say " i think it is better when you ae on the meds " and he says relly and starts taking them again

he keeps doing  this , last time i said write down the pros and the cons of taking the meds and which is better

@Darcy, @outlander 

and our self care is important too , my self care goes ups and downs depending on the week we have

Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

Hi @WayneOZ , 
I have family members with mood disorders and I suffer some anxiety myself. Just had a few thoughts when I read your post.

 

Reading your post I am wondering why your partner has stopped the medication. I understand that medications come with side affects, such as weight gain, which can be difficult to deal with. It would be helpful to consider this aspect.

 

If you are living in a new place and trying to make new friends I am wondering if your partner is in the same boat. Stuck at home with small children and a puppy most of the day . You might try encouraging them to do something they enjoy. Having some time just for themselves.

Some people have a lower happiness set point. Your partner might never be as cheerful as you are. I have found that some people are content with being more moody than I would like. 

Sorry if this isn't helpful. All the best.

 

 

 

Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Apologies for the delayed response.

 

I believe her only diagnosis has been depression. I know she was on a mood stabiliser for a period but this was linked to depression (not bipolar). 

 

We are at a point that she won't speak to me much let alone allow me to see her GP or have a discussion on the topic. Everything seems to be my fault and I "make her act" the way she does.

 

She has a lot of friends locally that she confides in and also goes to counseling on a regular basis.  She has stated that she prefers staying at home with th kids / dog as she is in a solid routine and that thought of going back to work (even temporary) creates a lot of anxiety for her. She has taken up yoga / exercise which is very helpful for her after the kids are off to school for the day. I try to support her in all of this as much as possible and give her plenty of alone time on the weekend to recover from the week with the kids.

 

I have taken your advice and made an appointment to get myself some counseling. I start on that tomorrow. I believe I need some concrete next steps with her that I am struggling to establish.

 

thanks again for your advice.

Re: Self Esteem and Self Worth

Hope it goes well for you @WayneOZ 

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