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Question
Posted by: GB2 | 2007/03/28

Message posted earlier...

Hi CS,

My SIL sent this message earlier ... still not going good. Any advice. I don't think it is depression, I "think" anxiety attacks??? But you are the pro ... :-)

"Hi there,
I'm worried about my husband. He started a new job in December 06. We were ellated as we'd just found out that I was pregnant with a third baby (completely unplanned) and this job he found was going to ease the financial stress, we could move into a bigger house and it was also going to be an excellent career opportunity for him.

However, he is now more than 3 months into this new job of his and from the outside he is doing really well - his new boss keeps telling him what a great job he's doing and he's not making mistakes and hasn't been in trouble about anything. So it all should sound perfectly fine.

However, he is so completely filled with anxiety, panic and stress that it's completely affecting his personality. He is under an incredible amount of stress - workload wise. He sees people getting fired all around him for making silly mistakes and he's not able to deligate - the people that work under him cannot take responsibility (they are jnr people) and he puts a huge amount of pressure on himself to do everything perfectly, and under all of this he is still worried about making mistakes.

I find him crying in the mornings before he has to go to work and when I speak to him on the phone he sounds like he's going to be bursting into tears any second. This is SOOOO not like him. I'm worried sick. It looks like he's spiralling downwards and like he feels like he's sinking into a deep black hole. I convinced him to go to the GP 2 weeks ago and ask for something to just help him cope while he's looking for another job (the last job hunting expidition took him more than a year to get the job he has now). The doc prescribed prozac which he said should start taking its full effect within 2 weeks. However it has done absolutely nothing for his state of mind. In fact on Monday and Tuesday he was so stressed that hy physically couldn't talk - his jaw went into spasms and he kept throwing up because he said it feels like his tongue is too big for his mouth and keeps getting in the way of him swallowing and speaking properly.

This does not sound normal to me - something is seriously wrong and although he's still quite young (27) I believe he may be at risk for a heart attack if he keeps stressing like this. Shame, he's always been my rock and my pillar of strength and he feels guilty about not having enough time with the kids and not being involved in my pregnancy but I understand all that - all I want is for him to feel better. He is not depressed as far as I can tell, but the current state of anxiety that he's in is bound to lead to some form of depression if it doesn't get treated properly.

Should I get him back to the doc and ask for an alternative medication? What would you suggest? Please, I'm feeling quite desperate and I love him so much - he's such a wonderful hubby and he needs me but I don't know how to be there for him except to listen... ????"

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
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Sounds primarily like stress and anxiety more than depression --- he should see a good local CBT style counselor / therapist and could more rapidly regain control over all this, and this would be greatly more helpful than medication.

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