depression help for family member – experience/advice?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@sugarcube:  Regular exercise (30 minute minimum, 3-5 times a week) and supplements (fish oil and a B6+B12)

He can also take St John’s Wort (I couldn’t–hormonal birth control)

Post # 4
Member
1749 posts
Bumble bee

Since he won’t go to therapy, maybe you could find some phone numbers and websites for support groups and counselors and give those to him. Don’t try to make him use them, just give them to him so he has them. If he has those on hand, he may come around one day and call or go to a website for support. After a while, he may use those instead of going to friends and family all the time. 

If he keeps bringing this up to you, just write down, e-mail, or text the phone numbers, websites, books, or other options you think will help him. Don’t get into long conversations about it, just give him the information. 

 

This is a frustrating situation, so there’s no need to feel bad for feeling this way.

 

I hope things turn around for him. 

 

Post # 5
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@sugarcube:  

First – Always remember that there is nothing you can really do, other that to be there for him, if he does not want or realizes that he needs help.

Second – Know that this is most likely not anyone’s fault and it is definitely not your loved one’s fault. People, as you know, do not choose to be depressed; depression is something that happens regardless of their wishes or thoughts. It is a just as much a disease as cancer is, you just can’t really see the physical symptoms a lot of the time. And, like cancer, depression can sometimes be treated successfully. . . but only if the person is willing to try.

Third – “i feel horrible for saying this, but i am so annoyed. i feel like im talking to a wall, and hes not listening and its getting worse.”

It’s completely normal to feel annoyed when you have been spending so much time trying to help someone. And I don’t blame his wife whatsoever of getting sick of listening to him talk about the same stuff constantly. I highly urge you to continue to be supportive and tell him to get counseling. There is nothing worse than feeling more isolated than you already do when you are battling depression. . . but also take time for yourself to recharge when you need it. Do not allow yourself to be dragged down with him (this can actually happen).

Fourth – Have you and his other loved ones tried having an intervention of some sort? Do any of you know when or how his depression was first set off? Has he tried counseling in the past and found that it didn’t work for him and does he need his meds changed? What about his parents and the rest of his family? Does he have a support system other than you and his wife to rely on?

Fifth – If the worst does occurr, do not blame yourself – and, if at all possible, try not to blame him either. Depressed people who go that far don’t do it to hurt anyone else, but out of a sense of desperation; they are so desperate to make the pain stop that they make an irrational choice.

I wish I had better advice for you, I really do. I battled depression myself for several years and I came out a stronger person. . . the same can’t be said for my Aunt, who killed herself 20 years ago. The one thing I’ve always known is that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want it. My thoughts are with you.

Post # 7
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@sugarcube:  It is really sad. I think you are 100% correct when you say he is trying to reach out for help; it could be that he is just too scared of having another bad experience or that he is scared to be seen as “weak” (which sounds ridiculous, but it’s very likely this is the case because he is male).

Maybe the next time he starts asking you that stuff in person you can grab the phone, type in the number for a therapist (or a suicide hotline), and hand it to him. Tell him that he can learn those skills from someone trained to help and all he has to do is press send; that they speak with people all the time who feel sad and that it is a safe space to discuss his emotions. Continue to give him those pushes towards getting help (especially with a well respected therapist that speaks his native language).

I know it seems like he isn’t doing much, but when you’re depressed just waking up every morning can feel like all the effort in the world. It sounds like he’s doing his best just to try and get through each day.

And let him know about the exercise and vitamins a PP mentioned. It can wind up helping to an extent.

Do his children know what is going on? I know that it may be tough depending on distance and the fact that they have their own families, but I feel that they have a right to know their father’s condition.

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