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family support except for depression issues

newhouse17nnewhouse17 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Depression and Coping
My family is great when it comes to my back issues and not be able to do things. They help me so much without a single complaint. Lately Ive oticed that when I start talking about my feelings and how depressed I am everyone leaves the room. No one wants to talk about the fact that moms depressed, if we ignore it maybe it will go away.Ive talked to my hubby about it and he's one of those who say this is what life has given you and you need to deal with it. He's very supportive in everything else except this area. I have talked to him about meds,therapy or support group and he is against it. He is afraid that the med will change my personality. He says that if I need to talk he is there for me but when I do I get the "you'll be alright" or "it will pass", he's definately a tuff love person. He says that he doesn't care that he has to do everything, hes thankful that I am alive and if he doesnt care than why should I. We've had this discussion so many times I sound like a broken record.Do I be put on an act of being happy for the sake of everyone else?How do I deal with this?


  • Hi Newhouse..Sorry to hear that this is happening to you..They probably dont mean to do it but they probably dont really know how to help you..

    You shouldnt try to be happy because thats what everyone expects, be your true self and if your depressed and in pain, dont feel guilty..I used to do the exact same but you shouldnt have to hide how you truly feel..

    I found a great piece of writing on the site called "Letter To Normals"..Do a search on the site and it should come up..It truly is briliant and Ive used it to help a few people understand what we go through daily.. >:D<

    Take care
  • Most people, even family who should know us better than anyone else, do not know how to communicate with someone who is depressed.

    It would be good if somehow you could convince your husband how much better you will feel if you got some counselling help and possibly medication. Antidepressants are not meant to change your personality, but to help you cope. And actually, your true personality comes back as depression affects that greatly.

    Best wishes,

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  • I too have held in my emotions alot. Who do you open up to when you are down. I do alot of pretending that I am ok. I do talk to my husband yet he is disabled with a heart condition and also has depression. Our pain and depression goes hand in hand. However, I did open up enough to realize I could not handle this by myself. My husband goes to all my appts. and my dr put me on Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant which is supposed to help pain issues also. I made the step which I never thought I could do and joined this wonderful support group. I find no matter what there is someone in this forum who is or has gone through what we are. I can open up alot more than I used to and it does help. No one judges you and the love and support is just wonderful. I think we try to hard to protect our loved ones. They can visually see we are in pain or weak or tired. But depression is a whole different situation. I learned that it can make my pain worse and that is not good. Perhaps taking your husband to your appts. would be a great start. Also sitting him down and having a heart to heart.
    If I were more financially secure I would be all means go talk to a counselor or a psychiatrist. But by taking my antidepressants and being open with my husband, also if I am having a bad day opening up on this forum has enabled me to handle my issues in a much more positive way.
    Good luck to you. If you ever need a friend to talk to feel free to PM me. I am a good listener and I'm sure we could help each other.
  • normal people }without pain } dont know how to deal with a person in pain all the time ..in my opinion you dont require counselling just talk to each other . CP is a very hard thing to live with but its doable just dont let things get out of hand and talk about anything that 91551ng you off.dont bottle it up .maybe by your other half read some of the post the spoon analogy and the letter to a normal post is a good started and you could also have your other half post a question for us to read and we could explain from our perspective maybe that may help ??here to help anytime {a quick typical incident is when someone has terminal cancer and no one in the room want to mention the c word! its a bit silly but talking helps .i have found SPINE HEALTH a tower of strength and the people and moderators an excelent
  • Most people do not know how to deal with the issues when a loved one is depressed. If you're in pain, you may have an injury that caused it, if you have surgery, you've got a scar... when you're depressed... there is nothing for them to "see" or "get"...

    For most people, that do not have experience with depression, they don't even understand what it is and/or why you can't "just talk yourself out of it"...

    They aren't trying to be mean or ignoring you... they may have outdated thoughts about what or who depressed people are....

    In this, I'm going to say, I would think you will benefit from seeing someone specifically to deal with these issues. You may even want to go on your own to the first appt...if only because you will be able to say things that maybe you wouldn't normally want to, in front of your husband, or you may want him to go with you regardless of what he thinks of it all at that point.

    I am one of those people that don't really"get" depression. If I'm feeling down, I think of something else, or try to do something to get away from the feeling... so I'm often confused with real depression, the kind that you can't get away from. When my mom started feeling depressed about her medical issues, she saw a home visit social worker for a few visits and slowly began to understand what the person was explaining to her... To this day, I can't honestly say that I "understand" it, but I am grateful for the help and healing it brought to her. My mom now talks to her GP about meds and issues sometimes... he's an awesome guy/doc and is so empathetic with his patients (sorry about the spelling, I need spellcheck :P)

    If it isn't a money/insurance issue, what can it hurt to go see someone ? Maybe someone that deals specifically with chronic pain patients, so they are more aware of what goes on with you? It can't hurt and it might help you feel a bit better.
    Take care and I hope you are feeling better all around, soon.
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  • so he will understand that this is not something you can control and that you probably need something to help you and someone to talk to. I'm thinking I am a little bit like your husband. I know when hubby is feeling 'down' but I can't do anything about it and that frustrates me to no end. I am doing all I can and doing it willingly. I cut the lawns, take care of the garden, dry his back, get his meals etc without any 'poor me' attitude. He is not one to talk out his feelings but I really don't know what I would say if he did.
    I think you should see an expert in this. I have several friends on anti-depressants and they are just themselves only a bit more able to cope with the realities of today's stressful living. But I really don't think your husband will ever be able to talk with you about this as he simply does not know what to do and he hears the same thing every time. And he can't FIX it so that is stressful for him. Poor dear does not realize that you know he can't fix it- you just need to vent.
  • My hubby is going to the doctors with my on Sept. 1 so we can talk about the depression associated with CP. He says he get everything, the pain, moodiness and not be able to do all the things I want to do. He doesn't mind having to do everything for me but he just cant wrap his head around the depression so he wants to talk to the doctor with me. Maybe the doc can explain it to him so that he will have a better understanding of what Im going through.I told him the meds wont change me and that they will help me get my spark and sassiness back instead of a blubbering mess all the time. We'll see how it goes. Will keep you updated.-kathy
  • That is Excellent! sounds like you've got a real keeper there... someone more than willing to help AND learn about what he doesn't understand. I wish you luck with your appt and your continued treatment.
    This could be the start to you feeling better in all ways :)
  • They are scared because they are as clueless as you are as to how to fix it. Plus depression, like suicide, is one of those things that people imagine is contagious. In a way they are right. If they took on what you are going through it would be nearly as depressing for them, so they ignore it. Not because they don't love you or don't want to help you. That is the only way they can cope. I used to get angry at my parents for not relating to me when I am get really angry and consequently depressed. Then one day when I confonted my dad he told me that he just couldn't handle it. He asked me if it would help if he was depressed as I was. I said no. Then he explained how if he felt like that he probably wouldn't be able to go to work, and would feel as hopeless and powerless as I do. He asked if I wanted him to feel that way. I said no. Sometimes people don't understand that you want them just to say 'I'm sorry, that is horrible', and to validate your feelings and let you know it's not your fault, that they too would feel the same way if they wore your shoes. But to understand and help you people think that they have to have the answers, and therefore they have to go through the same thing themselves. It's not so much that they want to deny your experience. But dealing with your depression means they have to examine their own feelings and assumptions, the kind of thing that happens during a mid-life crisis. People usually don't want to consider what life would be like if they were stuck in unbearable pain and were powerless to get better. It is too scary for them. People don't imagine themselves in Haiti or Pakistan because they don't want to accept the fact that they could end up miserable even though they did everything they were supposed to. It's a hard reality that most people simply cannot face, won't face because they don't have an answer for how to be happy in such a situation. Don't take it personally, be happy they don't have what you have. Go to a doctor and get help, you NEED it. It's not selfish or sick, it's doing what little you can to get yourself better and be the best you can be for the rest of your family. You don't have to take anything you don't want to. And if you just take antidepressants like cymbalta, you won't notice a difference except for the fact that you don't get as low as you normally would. Trust me it's not cheating, it won't solve your problems for you. Love and accept yourself right now, it's more important than ever. Don't deny that you are in a crisis, you need help and understanding. If you don't get it at home find it elsewhere. In the meantime communication is the road to understanding in your family. Sit them down and tell them in an unselfish way, not blaming or accusing them of doing anything wrong, that you are hurting and are doing the best you can to get better, but that it is the hardest thing you have ever faced. This can be as painful for them as it is for you. Trust that they love you and don't know how to help, show them what you need and watch them try the best they can, but don't expect your hubby to go down the pit with you, it would destroy what he needs to keep supporting you. He says touhg it out because that's what he would try to do if in your shoes. Of course it wouldn't work and you would be there to tell him it's okay not to win, sometimes these things are more powerful than willpower, something most men don't like to admit. You have told them already how depressed you are, it probably sounds to them like nothing new, they already know, and it's a burden for them to think about it over and over. Of course they leave, but it's because they can't handle it either, it's not selfish its a knee-jerk reaction. You should find a group or a counseler. Even if they put all their effort into understanding they won't get it nearly as much as someone else who has CP or depression. Good luck and don't forget to take care of yourself. Remember getting better is not selfish or weak, it is what you need to do because you are a good mother and wife.
  • I have had the same feelings that you have. It's odd being a patient and a social worker all rolle dup into one, as I can see both sides now. Depression is such an odd "thing" to them, as they are used to dealing w/ pain - that had a clear cause. Now, they cannot see that you're in pain - so it's hard to know what to do and/or say. Seeking an outside opinion, or even someone to vent to is the best thing. I often turn to some of my coworkers to vent (and they do the same w/ me), as I worry about overloading the Hubby w/ all of my concerns/thoughts/moods. Hes been such a godsend for everything I need help with - but he's a such a typical guy ! In my experience, guys just don't how to help you, without fixing things... even if you just need someone to listen to you.
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