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Question
Posted by: Sugar | 2008/10/07

How do I support my depressed husband?

Hi Doc,

I' ve known my husband for 10 years and started dating as students. Through all this time I' ve seen him go through " depressed stages"  a few times, but lately has gotten worse each time he gets such a depressed period. We have started fighting and are having marriage problems. Every time he gets depressed he talks about suicide and how his life isn' t worthwhile. Then there are times when it gets better and we have a happy marriage and family life.

I' ve encouraged him to take anti-depressants, which he has taken twice for a week or so and then he feels as if he is a failure if he takes these type of pills and discontinue using them.

The last time the doctor prescribed him Aropax 25mg, he took it for about 3 weeks, then he felt so much better he cancelled the appointment he had with a psychiatrist. Now he has stopped taking the pills and I can already see the difference in him.

He blames me for everything that is wrong in his life and also accuse me that I am the reason for his depression.

I am trying very hard to support him and always try to be cheerful and I organize things that he will like doing.

Is this bi-polar disorder? I' ve tried to read up on the subject, but decided that I am not able to diagnose him myself. Surely all people go through good and bad periods in their life?

How do I support a person like this if he doesn' t want to take medication? Where can I read up useful information on depression and bi-polar?

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Our expert says:
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The Depression will respond, probably well, to proper treatment, and the marriage problems will respond to marriage counselling. If he feels hopelss and unhelpable when depressed, work on this when he is between depressions. Antidepressants can be very helpful, but MUST be taken consistently for at least 6 to 9 months to produce lasting benefits --- stopping before then usually leads to a return of the depression.
Try contacting the Anxiety-Depression support group ( number on this page ) to get in touch with others and for practical support of the sort you are seeking

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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