I need help dealing with a depressed wife

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  1. profile image51
    Educatethepublicposted 12 years ago

    My wife is severely depressed. I can't seem to help her. In fact, the more I try, the worse things get. I have heard that I am the worse one to help.

    Short story...4 years ago our youngest daughter died from Ulcerative Colitis.  We had a mis-carriage since.  After the mis-carriage, I didn't want to try again, afraid for the health of our unborn.

    So, my wife thinks I don't care, life is unfair, and everything we do is for other people, not her. 

    I am seeing a counselor to help me out with this. But, any other advice?

    1. soldout1 profile image59
      soldout1posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I am so sorry for the loss of your family. When I lost my daughter to crib death I still had a 2 year old daughter. The pain of losing my baby girl cause me to be detached from my living child. Crazy I know. Never fear what the future hold. You cannot  continue to reflect the past pain in your conscious, it will only produce this same outcome. Love your wife and the connection of conception wil be made.  Conception starts in the mind. Do not allow the pain of your wife to over shadow your mind. You can not see the future  through her pain. It sounds as if the loss cut a little deeper with you .Which would cause a sub-conscious withdrawer. You will get through this my friend, its time to re-connect. It will happen through  the conception of love, without the interverence of the pain of the past. I'm sorry for your past lost, but the future awaits you both.

      1. Diane Inside profile image74
        Diane Insideposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I wouldn't even know how to advise you on this one because you both have suffered greatly.

        I just want to say my deepest sympathies and I hope you are able to work through this.

    2. Maya Work profile image60
      Maya Workposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry for your loss. Get help for both of you; change the counselor until you feel comfortable and see some progress. Don't give up. There is a reason for everything. The pain for the loss of a child will never go away, but you are here. Live the moment. Get help for your wife and try to explain to her that you feel the same pain that she does, that maybe you express it in a different way, but you suffer as much as she does. Best wishes.

    3. etna5678 profile image74
      etna5678posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      My sympathies.. I'd say 4 years is a long time in therapy, may be you guys do need to change your therapist. In addition to that you might want to take yourself to the counselor as well.. Family counseling might be advisable.. Do you and your wife spend some time together each day indulging in activities you enjoy? Taking long walks in a peaceful setting TOGETHER helps..... Preparing and eating healthy meals together is also a great idea.. You might want to try and redo your room or house...Exercise...take your wife out ... drag her if you need to...no you aren't the worst person to help her...you are the best, if and only if you aren't depressed yourself... Try joining a meditation group... all these little things may bring back a bit of cheer into your lives... wish you both a bountiful life.

    4. csmiley profile image60
      csmileyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have not suffered such a loss, but I know a lot about depression. I can't even begin to think how I would react to losing one of my children. But it sounds as if you both may be clinically depressed. Four years is a long time with a therapist, and it don't sound like it is helping very much. I would seek the advice of a psychiatrist, and possibly some medication to help get the depression under control. There are several wonderful medications available today. Once you get on more stable emotional control, then you will be able to get more out of your therapy. Depression is an illness as much as diabetes is. There are two components to treatment of it, one is clinical, the other is dealing with the causes. But once you hit a certain point in the depression, it seems almost impossible to pull yourself up out of it. I speak more from experience of clinical depression, than I do of an expert. But I hope this helps some.

  2. JOE BARNETT profile image60
    JOE BARNETTposted 12 years ago

    you both got married to build  a family right? so build a family. that was tragic what happened . . . and i know the feeling, very painful. but get back upon that horse and ride again and give your 4 year old a sister or brother

  3. KCC Big Country profile image83
    KCC Big Countryposted 12 years ago

    Joe, I think you may have mis-read Educatethepublic's post.  If I'm reading it correctly, they have now lost 2 children and have none. 

    Is your wife getting counseling?  You both need it.  I lost a son and I understand the pain associated with that.  Four years may seem like time enough to have dealt with things, but it's not necessarily enough time when there are multiple things going on.

    1. JOE BARNETT profile image60
      JOE BARNETTposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      kcc-  i lost my 3 yr old daughter to drowning. the pain is extreme and traumatizing. but the sun should come up again. i had two others a boy and a girl.

      i didn't know to what stage the miscarriage went. you said 2 children. i was thinking one. it looks like the depression is coming from them both. hers for not having but wanting to try again  it sounds like he has post traumatic stress disorder( any situation that resembles a past negative experience sparks the same feeling). the world turns and one tragedy is not connected to anything else.these are the random events of life and we try not to live life based on unconnected events. if there are no medical problems that forecast the future,then . . .

      this is also a very private issue and by no means should be seen as a reflection of insensitivity from me, i do understand and am sorry.but advice is what he seeks. i agree counseling would be good because the protection that he says he seeks for the unborn,i suspect, is actually for him. counseling and or group therapy will show them how to get over this, smile again and move forward. it will also show them that they are not alone. counseling does work! i hope i better stated this, hope this helps and wish them luck!

  4. Mighty Mom profile image79
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    I am sorry for your two losses. That's a lot of pain for both you and your wife in a short period of time. That pain has got to be enormous.
    Glad you are getting counseling -- you need to sort through your own grief. But you are not in charge of your wife's.
    The person who said you are the worst person to help your wife is right (and it has nothing to do with how much you love her).

    Anyone who is that severely depressed is incapable of climbing out the depression on her own. She needs a rope or a ladder.
    She also needs counseling -- on her own and also with you.
    She might also benefit from seeing a good psychiatrist and doing a course of antidepressants.
    Group therapy for parents who have lost children are available. For one thing, it will allow her to hear other parents' stories and learn how they are coping.

    It's also been my experience that when live on the pity pot we magnify the worst of our experiences.
    The best tonic in the world is to out of your head, get out there and engage/assist other people. Volunteer. Something that takes you out of yourself when you realize other people's stories are way worse.

    Good luck to you both.MM

    1. profile image0
      DoorMattnomoreposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      This might sound awful, I am not sure how to say it right, but like MM said..you can't help. Not really, like...you can not fix her. You can support, and love, and be there for her and try to understand. You can listen and encourage...but getting better..she has to do it. It's good you are getting counseling, she should have it too. What works for one person doesn't work for someone else, its hard to say specificaly what actions she coudl take. All of the suggestions so far in this thread are excellent ones. Maybe a support group could help some? To know that your not alone, and perhaps find some coping tools others have used that you hadnt tried before? My heart goes out to you both, I wish you the best.

      And also KCC, Joe, and Team A.

  5. fucsia profile image60
    fucsiaposted 12 years ago

    Maybe help others can help her. Probably her does not see a meaning in her life now, but give her love to who is sick or unfortunate may aid. It is just a throught.
    Good luck

  6. Team A profile image60
    Team Aposted 12 years ago

    My wife and I were married for 10 years to be exact. We had our first born, a baby boy 6 years after we got married. For 6 years, we both know that something is missing. 6 years we prayed, we tried work ups on how to have a baby until we have him. You wouldn't see how happy she was when we had him, I guess kids really complete the essence of being a woman. Couple of years later, she got pregnant again and had a miscarriage that change the her temperaments. But seeing our son around helped us to recover easy than we expect. We pray for another baby, hoping for a baby girl and another year later, my daughter was born and that perfectly completes her. She said she couldn't ask for more. So my advice is to continue trying and praying and in God's perfect time you'll have what your hearts desire. And while you are waiting, just be with her and understands her and be patient.

  7. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 12 years ago

    Time heals a lot of wounds. If you cannot have a child - adopt one. But you have to try to have a child no matter what. A child will cure her, has to! A child changes a woman. I suffered a lot in life, and only my children saved me from despair and depression. I just could not afford being sick or unhappy. Get up and go! They made me stronger, and better I should say.

  8. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    5-htp has helped my wife.  It doesn't control but gives grace to control one's self.

  9. profile image49
    Librathangposted 12 years ago

    The loss of anyone that close to you can cause emotional health issues for anyone. Overall it is good that you guys are getting help, but my advice would be (though I'm no expert) for you to let your wife know that you support her.
         It usually helps for a person in mourning to talk about the deceased. So if you could get her to open up and talk about whats on her mind that might help.

         Don't force her, or give up on her either. I'm sure she needs you to play your role as a man and be strong. Do what ever you can to brighten up her day,every day, if she likes it or not. Love conquers all.
         Staying stuck in the past and living in fear can make matters worse. Don't be scared to live alittle have another baby... Maybe now is the right time.

        Everything else that has happen will only make you guys strong, faith also has a lot to do with that as well.

    Ask yourself. "Do I have Enough Faith??" Be honest then do what you need to do:)

    Hope my advice helped:)

  10. Lisa HW profile image64
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    I'm sorry to see that you've had such awful loss.  I wouldn't presume to give advice, but I'll "presume" to offer a thought or two here because it's such a serious thread:  It strikes me that calling your wife "depressed" is, maybe, the wrong term.  Based only on knowing how long it can take to get over losing someone close, I think she's still in grief.  Maybe she's farther along now than earlier, but I think it's still grief (not "depressed").  I know most people use the word "depressed" to describe all kinds of unhappiness, but maybe if your wife knows she's still dealing with grief, and if she's having people call it "being depressed", maybe just that much makes her feel as if others (you, maybe) don't understand what's going on with her.

    A family member of mine lost her second child at 20 months old.  She said it was so absolutely unbearable (of course) that she and her husband thought the only thing that could possibly make life more bearable was to have another baby, because having a new baby might bring joy in "high enough levels" to at least kind of approach "balancing off" the degree of sadness they felt.  She said relatives got angry and said they were planning to "just replace" their little boy.  She said "It's not that we think we can ever replace him, and we wouldn't want to.  It's that we need something big and happy in our lives."  They had their third little boy, who did have some health problems but is generally fine (and in college now).

    Another family member (with some early miscarriages but also with children already)wanted to have one more child.  She lost two one baby late in the pregnancy, so I suppose she wanted to try for that happiness of having a healthy baby.  The next pregnancy ended the same awful way.  Eventually, with a lot of monitoring by her doctor, she had her little girl.

    To be honest, I don't know if I would have the emotional strength to do what those people above did (have another child), but when someone has had so, so, much loss so "intimately" as mothers/mothers-to-be do; maybe that's the thing that makes them sad enough that they feel desperate enough to try and go for that happiness again.  (Well, I had a second-trimester miscarriage myself, and all I could think about was finding that happiness of having that next baby too - and I guess, even though it wasn't as bad for me as the people above, I can understand that need to try to "balance out" (sort of - because it can't ever be truly "balanced out" after such losses) the sadness with some happiness.

    How each half of a couple reacts (and often withdraw within themselves) after such loss can be so different it puts a real serious strain on the relationship, as each pulls inward.  It isn't good (needless to say).  All I know is that once someone (in the above cases, at least the women in the couple, if not the guys) gets in that "I desperately need to find some happiness for myself" mode, it's a very important thing to them. People sometimes kind of know the degree and depth of their own grief/unhappiness and know what it would take to make them be able to feel like they had some source of new joy in the life again.

    Once a few years has passed, a lot of people (even those going through grief) tend to think, "Well, it's been five years now.  What I once had was grief.  What I now have is depression that followed grief."  People grieve differently, but a good part of the time what looks like "depression that followed grief" is really just what's left of the "original grief", still requiring yet more time before the person goes to some other level.  Sometimes people find that taking some steps to try to fill the emptiness (even when there's grief still there) with some joy can help move along a process that, left to time alone, takes even longer than it otherwise would.

    I don't know...   Based on some of the times I've had some multiple sources of big grief in my own life, I found that you can feel like you're just kind of gray concrete inside, and the longer you go without finding much joy, the thicker and grayer that concrete gets.  Somewhere along the way, new and small joys seem to grow through that concrete, the way flowers, grass, of even dandelions sometimes make their way through sidewalk cracks.   Eventually, what's growing makes those cracks in the concrete get worse; and one day you don't feel "all gray, concrete" inside.

    Maybe some people want to see that "gray concrete" start to break up, but others may get so used to living with it they automatically aim to patch any cracks in it because they don't quite know how they'll deal with flowers growing through a sidewalk.  Flowers growing in a garden we all tend to know how to deal with.  Those coming up through concrete tend to make us think there's no way they'll thrive.  They can, and do, though - especially if we start breaking up the rest of that concrete once they start coming through.

    Sorry for the length of this post here.  It's just that I that grief is a monster that we all have to fight at one time or another.  Not letting it take more away from our lives than it already has is important.  I guess I think if a new unborn baby would be at risk of health problems, I'd think about adopting.  (One of my three kids is one I adopted from infancy.  I was single and hadn't yet had my younger children when I adopted him, and adopting him was a matter, for me, of helping some of those "flowers coming through the cracks in the sidewalk" grow (for both the baby and for myself)  smile

  11. donotfear profile image85
    donotfearposted 12 years ago

    You're wife is still grieving her losses. Please urge her into counseling. Also, she definitely would benefit from some antidepressants. This could at least balance her emotions to a point where she can grieve in a more healthy way. It's very important to know you haven't given up on her.

    My heart breaks for you, I cannot imagine how it must feel to lose a child. I'm so sorry. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Don't give up the fight...encourage her the best you know & work on yourself too.  But please, make sure she gets the proper grief support she needs. There are many grief support groups out there. She must work through the stages of grief in a healthy way if she can recover.

  12. profile image0
    suarezelec2002posted 12 years ago

    Having worked as a mental evaluator for hospital psychiatrists at one time, from what you state, some of this depression also has to do with your "fear" of losing another child. Some of my answer will also be personal because my first wife had two miscarriages that left her unable to have children. As you can see, she is no longer my wife because she blamed me for all that happened to her and not long after wards began to behave erratically. In my case she became unfaithful to pay me back for the loss of the ability to have children, of which logically, there was nothing I could do or have done. In your case you can do something about it. You can both choose to go to a therapist who can help you regain the confidence you have lost by fearing yet another death. If you don't I can honestly say, it will terminate your marriage as the situation will not get any better.

  13. profile image0
    suarezelec2002posted 12 years ago

    Forgot to state that this picture is of my "second" wife I have been with for over 25 years.

  14. SandyMcCollum profile image64
    SandyMcCollumposted 12 years ago

    Very sorry for your loss. When my brother died it was awful to all of us but worse for mom. May God bless and keep you and may you get the kind of help you need.


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