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I am married to a woman with clinical depression (diagnosed)...

<< Back to: alt.support.depression FAQ Part 5[5]

Question by Damo
Submitted on 3/14/2004
Related FAQ: alt.support.depression FAQ Part 5[5]
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I am married to a woman with clinical depression (diagnosed)She has suffered for most of our marriage (13 years) my problem is that she blames me for for it, together with her codeine addiction and alcoholism. How can i help her when she wont discuss it with me or respond to my suggestions. What outside organisations can I contact.

Answer by auntiecarole
Submitted on 4/29/2004
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The truth of the matter is you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, and even then- you may not be able to help. They have to do it because they want to do it, and it has to be for themselves, not to please you.

You need to take care of yourself in this situation. I would recommend a local chapter of alanon. You can also go to the library and check out books on co-dependency for some ideas on how you can deal with the situation. Many times we unknowingly add to the problem. These resources will open your eyes and give you a new way of looking at things.

Good Luck!


Answer by Barbara
Submitted on 11/29/2005
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You must be a saint for putting up with this for so long.  I have been dealing with the same illness for just over three years.  I'm not sure from day to day if I will be able to continue to live with it but I am holding on right now with white knuckles.  

A very wise man recently said to me "If you keep doing what you are doing, you will just keep doing what you are doing."  This statement changed the way I handled this illness.  He chooses to blame me for him having to take the medication.  Periodically he would ask me when he could stop taking it and then get very withdrawn because he had to keep taking it.  

I was allowing him to blame me for the medication and that statement opened my eyes and I took action.

In our case, my husband had a heart attack, then bypass surgery and was told never to smoke again or he would have another heart attack.  He choose to smoke causing another heart attack that triggered the clinical depression.  I finally understood what was happening and sent him an email stating that he smoked our family into this situation thus causing him to take the medication.  I told him that he had choices to make and that I also had choices to make.  If he chose to stop taking his medication that I would choose to not live with him, period.

A support group for spouses of clinical depression is desperately needed, we can not do this on our own and too many families are going to be torn apart by this illness.  

You need to stand your ground and make it known that you did not cause any of this and you will no longer be her dumping ground.  That you are her partner that has stood beside her through good and bad and are looking forward to the day that you can both appreciate what you have accomplished because you never gave up on her.



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