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travelling with husband and depressed - any advice

Community Member

Hi, I am new here, overseas at the moment and looking for advice, or maybe just someone to talk to. Have lived with depression on and off (bipolar) for 20 years. However have been reasonably stable for past 6,7 including the 5 years I have known my husband. After we got married we decided to go travelling for some months (was feeling very happy at this time and it seemed like a top idea) I had a reduction in medication with the thought of maybe trying for a baby. I hit the lows, the worst in years, 2 weeks before we left. decided to go ahead with trip as I thought I would feel better soon as I increased medication. 5 weeks on and I still feel pretty down as well as distant from my husband which is really difficult as we are together most of the time. I am not enjoying the things we are doing, places we are going, socially anxious when staying with relatives- but am trying to make most of it as I don't want to spoil his holiday as well. 

For example - we went to ankor wat and whilst I could intellectually understand it is impressive, my response was the same as if I were seeing it in a magazine, only the effort was far greater and I felt bad that we had spent all this money for me to feel this way (he's already been there) This afternoon, when i stayed in bed with a book I felt like I was having a day off work!  I think travelling together is our weakest point as a couple and I know he really wants me to have a good time, but travelling together in foreign countries whilst I am depressed is really really hard. And now I am questioning our relationship as I do when I am not so good and I can't tell whether it is us, me or?

I've really gotten out of the habit of CBT, relaxation and planning over the last few years and finding it hard  to get in a routine as we travel. started a second reading of the happiness trap, but starting finding it harder to do the exercises, the more down I got. 

 Anybody got any tips to gain an even keel? cheers 

6 Replies 6

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

hello, travelling together with anyone can be a difficult experience, and I do know that a couple travelled os and were very close still after many years of marriage, but their trip made their relationship a shaky one, although now they have settled down again which is good.

The problem was that being in a foreign country only one of them could speak their language, and if for some reason they were split up then this made it so much harder for the person who couldn't speak that lingo, and so in any desperation she found this to be very difficult and she didn't suffer from depression and that includes bipolar.

The idea of travelling os seems a great idea months beforehand, but as the time creeps closer and closer then your bipolar kicks in. This happens to me as I have OCD, and I make plans to do certain things in the future but as time gets nearer then I start to panic, to the point that I then try and find a way of how to get out what I have promised.

I gather that your husband maybe making all the plans, so you go to them whether you like it or not. This will build up the pressure on you and to your marriage, being taken here and there, with his promise that you will love it, but most times you don't, you just pretend to like it, but this only creates havoc with your depression, and in time it may make you fall back into the black pit.

How do you sort this problem out, well you could ask your husband to go and see what he wants to see by himself, then this will relieve time by yourself, or just say 'time out' for a few days, ' I need a rest hubby' but go and do what you want to do, 'I will be OK'.

One thing not to toy with is that you could have spent this money at home, the decision was made and that was past tense. I hope that it improves for you and please keep in touch. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Dear Mrs Road,

You could have had all those same experiences, doubts, rationalisations, etc, if you had spent the holiday at home.   You don't need a keel, even or otherwise.    Just accept that mental health is one big flux of instability and sometimes we do things in support for partners just because they have supported us.

Over scheduling an overseas trip ?   The trap of "enjoyment".Maybe the long term view that your relationship will be there even when ankor wat is gone.  Keep it simple.

Adios, David


Community Member

Dear Mrs On-the-Road,

I'm bipolar and one of things I notice is that the sudden rush to be passionate about something inevitably leads to some sort of remorse and I cancel.   It's almost like saying "Wouldn't exhuberance and folly (in regard to your present trip) be worse than crashing and "I hit the lows" ?

I know this is a different perspective from my previous response.    However, you seem very hard on yourself if you equate a loving couple trying to give themselves a ravishing overseas holiday with "I felt bad that we had spent all this money for me to feel this way", i.e. bad.  After all, there's always the Duty Free to look forward to.

You have more thoughtful and mature outlook that than the "Oh,mate, what a blinder !  I can't even remember what I did last night, I must have been soooo pissed !".   

Also, adjusting medication 2 wks before going overseas..........even if the extra meds are reducing anxiety the constant concern over whether you should have increased them 'more' or 'less' would be a chaotic fumble of thoughts and recriminations.    But then, I imagine if someone said "Well, just come home early and forget the trip if it's causing a bit of grief" you would instantly say "No Way, Hose !" and struggle through.

Adios, David.

Community Member

thanks so much for your reply Geoff, 

It was so nice to receive, I will definitely take on board the advice to stop worrying about the "we could have stayed at home"s.  

next up is how to make the most of each day. you are right, at this stage of the holiday my h has organised much of the trip, he wanted to visit his relatives and we have 2 straight weeks of back to back staying with family. I suggested this might be a bit much, way back when all was fine, but he had said they would be upset if we were in town and didn't stay with them.....so I agreed...Arghhhh  a lesson to remember. And at present they are organising our itinerary...I think she wants to show us a good time and is very generous... This is an added relationship to navigate...

I could write forever, I miss people, feeling comfortable with people. Even if I was at home, when I get depressed I start to feel socially very awkward. Do you feel this too? I haven't emailed my friends as I don't want to lose them by being so down. Is this common do you think? 

Thanks again x

Dear Mrs on the Road,

Are you home now? I hope so because it sounds awful, especially the part about staying with people as I can sooo relate to that. I don't like staying with people at the best of times or having people stay with me(sends me into a mad panic and avoid it at all costs) but especially when depressed Oh my goodness have you done well. Am I right in saying that you had to force yourself to get up each morning and greet them for  breakfast with a great big fake smile and pretend that yeah that would be a great idea for the day when all you wanted to say  was 'you all go do it and ill be right here when you get back' ????

It really is a horrible illness truly. Im new on here and don't feel like talking much today but I wanted to reply as I related so much to that horrendous feeling of staying with people ESPECIALLY when depressed. I could never do it, well done!

I know it's been a while, but I wanted to say thanks David for your reply aswell.

 I have started seriously considering coming home as I keep thinking it would be easier to start a recovery plan at home and also so my h and I have some space from each other.

But for now...its kind of day by day.

all the best from across the skies