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He's depressed, I'm depressed, we're depressed

Community Member
I am so lost at the moment.  I have recently been diagnosed with, and medicated for depression.  I am busy, we are all busy, I really need to find a counsellor but Dr Bulk Bill was none too interested in that. I cry a lot still, but the gnawing and churning of angst has settled.  I work, I run a house with an active 12yo and 16yo and everyone thinks I've got it all together.  Except my husband.  We've only been married since April.  He has chronic pain caused from an episode of shingles not caught soon enough and resulting in post hepetic nueralgia - like a tooth ache in your ribs, 24/7.  So painful a shirt hurts some days.  He is only high doses of nerve pain medication.  He too has recently been diagnosed with depression and is having lots of suicidal thoughts.  He is going back to his doctor again this week for a change of anti-d and referral to a psychologist for some cbt for his pain and also to address the depression.  His situation is far worse than mine.  He has just shut down.  We have little emotional intimacy.  We used to talk and talk and talk for hours.  Now we can be completely silent for hours.  If I cry he doesn't notice.  If I do all the chores he doesn't notice.  If I dress for him he doesn't notice.  I am so lonely and have lost my best friend, lover and husband.   I have gently tried talking about some of this, but he just is in a world of his own.  We both work longish hours and I know it helps him to be able to exercise too but I do all the shopping, cooking, washing and cleaning and am overwhelmed. I don't know how to help him or help myself.  I fear for our marriage.  
2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Clarity1964, welcome

I wrote an article a while ago called "who cares for the carer?". you might find it on google or search. Essentially it is a little different in that it is referring to one healthy person (the carer) and a partner with mental illness.

It says that if a sufferer can make themselves a cup of coffee during the day and take a phone call and chat to a friend then why aren't they capable  of offering the carer a coffee when they walk in the door after a hard days work and chat with them like they do their friend.?

Essentially some sufferers take their carers for granted. HOWEVER in this case it seems a good example of why you should be more tolerant of his condition because it seems to me he isn't well at all and is not, in a few months, anything like he was when you married him. I suggest you give him time and wait for his medical team to help him. If he is very unwell then that explains why he doesn't notice your effort in dressing up for him.

We cannot generalise all the time. Sometimes there are unique circumstances and this is one IMO.

Take heart. To give it your best shot allow him time to recover. Once he has improved for some time then you might want to consider relationship counselling.

Finally, be radical if all else fails. Spontaneous decisions like a hot air balloon flight, camping even just overnight with take away of a campfire are two suggestions to reignite the spark. One smile and its a success.

Good luck

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Clarity,

You need to  go easier on yourself and your relationship. It's hard to help someone else when you yourself are treading water. I know that from my own experience. I have a family member who suffers chronic pain, the world can become so small when pain is always there. Much like depression, you're just trying to get through each day. Take 10 mins each day for yourself so you don't go mad 🙂 And reward yourself, it sounds like you're doing a remarkable job keeping the household running smoothly.