anybody living with a family member whom is clinically depressed?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by kareninthesun, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    My DH is on meds, about 2 years ago when I gave him a choice to go to the Dr's or I'd leave him. His normal self was going though some big changes, he was unable to deal with stress, became moody and dramatic. He had just lost his job, his Dad passed away. It took a lot out of him and it became very, very serious. Some of the things he told me demanded that I do the shocking choice in order to save his life. I am not qualified to make decisions on depression, but he really needed to go to a specialist. He's diabetic and has high blood pressure. I don't keep junk in the house, but he isn't a kid and comes home with ice cream, sodas, beer. Again, this is not the norm for him. There's good days and bad days. But lately he's been acting odd. Today he got up, ate breakfast then disappeared. Went back to bed. I asked him if he was ok, he said yes, just tired. Slept until I woke him at 9:30 tonight. I reheated dinner for him, asked if he had his meds (he acted puzzled, then said yes). Then he disappeared again. Thought he went upstairs to take a shower (was still in his pajamas). Instead I found him sleeping in the guest room downstairs. He goes to the VA and I think I may need to contact his dr myself. When he first started taking the meds and going to therapy, we made a pact, that I'd stay as long as he was getting help. There's a good man in there. He's gone from being outgoing and loving to be around friends and family to 'acting' outgoing until he's by himself, then I can see how much effort it has taken for him to do so. And when we do things together as a family, his mood swings go from high to wanting to put himself as the center of attention. He just can't seem to relax. He gets angry at me if I ask if he's taken his meds, (most of the time he hasn't) and gets huffy, saying that that isn't why he's acting the way he does. It's just that this whole thing, it isn't normal for him. I've even noticed his driving has changed. He'll start to move over a lane, and it's like he can't make that decision, wiggles the steering wheel around. Or if he asks me a question, he'll look at me like I'm nuts in answering it then gets frustrated, saying I didn't answer it the way he wanted. What? And in conversations, I've noticed he has problems following some, gets confused and asks questions that are pretty basic. He's only 57. He tells me that he will have good days and bad days, which I understand, but this is different. I'm thinking its a either a combo of his sugars being out of wack or needing an adjustment on his meds. AND...he's on new sleeping meds. He says that it is the first time he's been able to sleep well at night, and at the same time he'll wake up in different rooms with no recollection of getting up and going there. (he took it last night, but not today). He's also spending more time looking at old photographs of family, checking out sites to reconnect with Marines that he was with, and these guys he hasn't connected with in many many years.

    Any ideas on the best way I can lend support to him? It's kind of a gray area in figuring out what's best, a cheerleading attitude, tough love to get him going. Ignoring him when he's going through this doesn't seem right, giving him space, yeah, but where do you draw the line as acceptable at that time?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  2. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Many. But, off the bat, this doesn't sound like depression to me. Or, if it is, depression is often comorbid with other issues. I would get him diagnosed officially first, preferably with second, third, and forth opinions.
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Sounds like somethng medical is going on with him... Depression is depression... you dont really get that confused and "out of it".. like he is sounding to be. Sleepy/un-involved with life.. yes... but weaving/wiggling the steering wheel around... eh....
    He needs to be really, really checked out.... med levels (blood work ),.... sugar levels... maybe some type of brain scan to see if something is going on ...
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  4. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Many people also exhibit those actions when they are over medicating themselves with scripts, or alcohol, or both combined. Some meds can have wicked side effects and especially more so when combined with alcohol, especially if there's already existing medical issues. No matter what, agreeing for the need for a full evaluation...being sure than all doctors and their scripts are included....many times spouses and other close family members are not aware of the number of doctors they are actually seeing and all the scripts being obtained from different pharmacies, local and online. Not saying that is the case. [​IMG] Just something to consider.
  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Some of these meds, especially sleep meds have side effects like sleep walking and tiredness during the day. But, it could easily be something else. If he is on multiple meds, acting odd, and having mental health issues the only real answer is to get him to a doctor, and get him talking honestly about how he takes his meds. Something like 60% of people who are prescribed daily meds do not take them correctly.

    Another frustrating thing about mental illness, is many of those suffering from it see no need to medicate. They feel perfectly normal, for them, and everyone else has a problem.

    Some of the other things it could be, considering the things you have mentioned: stroke, sleep apnea, misdiagnosed mental illness, diabetes complications etc.

    Get him to a doctor.
  6. Gen9

    Gen9 Songster

    Jun 1, 2011
    I agree with what has been said so far, he needs more testing to rule out anything else. It could be a number of things, maybe a drug interaction or an underlying cause. From my personal experience, I would definitely recommend to take him to a neuropsychiatrist and have an MRI, or if the VA has something like that. I'm still waiting on my application to be approved so I can receive VA care for my disabilities and it's been over a year since I've gotten anything in the mail. If this is his case, then he can get help through social services in the mean time. I'm not sure how the VA is running now but they did a number on my grandfather with the prescription drugs and the military docs did the same to me. He'll get better help outside the VA in my opinion. I think he isn't happy with himself that is why he is taking his anger and frustration out on the closest person to him; you. Depression sucks [​IMG] I'm sorry you both are going through this.
  7. ChickyLove

    ChickyLove Chirping

    Jun 2, 2011
    Springfield, MA.
    Has his thyroid been checked at all? I know that when my Mom was dealing with her thyroid going out on her, she had many signs of depression, but she was also confused and very very tired almost all the time. Will be praying for swift answers and a resolution to this whole situation!
  8. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    I should have been clearer. He has been diagnosed as clinically depressed. Some of his meds are for this. Since he goes to the VA, he has two drs, one general, one head. It was required that he join two therapies, one group and one on one to deal with stress associated with his time in the military. He was encouraged to come in whenever he felt overwhelmed, and I was encouraged by the dr to help by 'leading' him in this direction. However, when he is currently swinging in the lows, emotionally he doesn't see it as such. Then when he swings back to norm, he brushes it off. He's on 16 different prescriptions, both are aware, including heart meds. He's also had an ulcer located between his stomach and artery that broke, between the timing of the paramedics and emergency crew, his bp threaded to zip. Barely made it. He's had various other surgeries, but always was able to bounce back. I'm a jogger, but we made time to go on daily walks together. He's stopped doing that. During conversations, he says that all I have to do is 'make' him come out of his cave, by demanding. This doesn't feel right, but short of wrestling a 6' 4" guy outside or interested into hobbies, if the problem is deeper, how does one do that? He's required to monitor both his sugars and his bp daily. He's flat out told me that he doesn't think it is needed. What scares me the most is when he gets to the darkest of these spaces, he does not want to live, and has said so, which is why I took the drastic measures of forcing him to seek complete care. The therapy has been weaned down, no group, and one on one to a quick fix where he's in and out in 15 minutes every three months, so he may be giving the dr the short and sweet version just for refills. He is even disinterested in fishing, camping, going to the beach, all the stuff he usually loves that costs nothing but time. I've even "kidnaped" him after packing up the truck for camping, drove, set up everything myself, he was overwhelmed when more than two or three tasks are availabe. This normally would delight him.
  9. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Songster

    Feb 5, 2011
    first off his having those problems is not normal he should see another doctor or better you you both should becuase he might not even notice anything is wrong and you can tell the doc whats been going on.

    second im 23 years old and i suffer from BP disorder, BPD,and self mutilation.
    so perhapes i can help you a little bit understand what its like for him.
    dont use tough love ever tough love is for teenagers who are trying to get away with crap. showing tough love to someone who is suffering from depression is like telling them yo u want them to go and kill themselves how do i know? becuase my current bf does that. he tells me "if your not going to be happy around me i refuse to be around you" and he cant figure out why i dont feel that he really loves me.
    of coarse you should not just sit back when he is being lazy and depressed and allow him to be.
    when depression hits it hurts not just emotionally but physically its hard to get out of bed you have headaches,stomch aches its hard to eat its hard to walk over and pick somthing up becuase it hurts. when my bf needs help and im depressed if i stand up i feel sick im afraid i might vomit my head spins so all i want it to lie down.

    get him to talk to you when he seems depressed ask alot of questions gentley if he becomes defensive tell him you genuinly care about all of the things your asking. dont push blame (your ruining my life acting this way i cant stand it! your hurting me by doing this your making me feel bad)
    the last thing we want to do is make anyone feel bad or upset and when we learn we are we feel lower then low.ask him about how hes feeling and if he knows why if he says he doesnt know why belive him!

    try to do things together try showing that you love him give him a hugs thru out the day ask him if he could give you a hand with somthing and let him know how helpful he is.

    and thats about it really those are the things that make me feel better when im depressed all i really want is for someone to show that they care or that i matter to them becuase when your depressed you dont feel it you need constant reassurance that you matter for somthing anything

    also DONOT let him get rude with you or put you down in anyway if he gets snappy and calls you names or tells you how worthless you are yes hes upset no he isnt really trying to hurt you but get his own frustrations out but let him know that your NOT going to put up with that tell him flat out "i dont care how upset your feeling you donot have the right to make me feel bad i will NOT tolerate this behavior from you and if you do it again i will leave" then walk away and ignore him for a while.

    i wish you both the best of luck and try not to get to the point of feeling overwhelmed its no good for you or him so try to take care of yourself too
  10. Gen9

    Gen9 Songster

    Jun 1, 2011
    Some antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts. He's been seeing the VA docs for 2 years for it and he's getting worse? My opinion, it's time to take him somewhere else - 16 prescription drugs??

    Here's a resource for you if you haven't got it already

    really really hope you both are able to pull through this [​IMG]

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