- 5 years ago
kind of a sensitive topic – a close family member has been suffering from depression/anxiety for the last three years. as someone on the ‘outside’, it has been both extremely frustrating, and saddening at the same time. he *refuses* to get professional help (therapy), which is what i personally think will really help.
instead, he swings between a “woe is me” attitude by asking anyone and everyone how they cope with hardships, hoping that someone will provide that magical tidbit of knowledge that will pull him out of it, or a defeatist attitude “it doesnt matter anymore, i know my wife will leave me and there will be no point anymore”. his wife has been very patient the last three years, but is reaching her limit on being his sounding board, and being the “strong” one to “counsel” him through his emotions over and over and over.
i am frustrated because its been 3 years, and nothing has changed. if anything, its gotten worse because his friends have gotten sick of hearing the same complaining, and giving the same advice only for him to ignore it and ask them again when he is in another low. and his wife is thinking of leaving, as she is sick of it too, leading him even deeper in the depths of his depression. he has taken prescription anti-depressants before, but they don’t seem to work (and have tried them for extended periods of time).
i have personally tried talking to him, telling him to go see someone, even offering for him to foster a shelter dog to give him something to do. to sign him up for sports clubs, social events, religious groups – with and without the support of his wife so hes not “alone”. 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. he thinks that with enough time, he will just “get better” or someone he’s sounding off to will give him some magical piece of advice that will solve everything. but obviously, its not working.
what do i do? it’s difficult sitting back and watching a close family member self-destruct. has anyone had any experience or advice dealing?
[full disclosure – i suffered from moderate to severe depression during a period of 2 years, a few years ago. i stopped eating for weeks. therapy helped me greatly, as did forcing myself to get out of bed/out of the house. so i feel like i “get” what depression is, but now that im on the other side, don’t know how to help.]