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Severe depression + divorce, how to manage?


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Hi all... well I have pretty severe depression and ADHD (which I think more and more is at the root of the depression), and now it looks like I'll be probably getting a divorce. I have two young kids, 9 and 6, and both of us would prefer joint custody at this point. 

TBH, I'm scared to death. I tried posting about this on a divorce forum and got destroyed because they don't understand depression at all. But I'm really only semi-functional.... what the hell do I do now? Moving in with my parents isn't an option, so I'll be on my own.

I'm just terrified. Even though I'm the one who manages the finances and all that stuff, so it's not like I don't know what to do, I just have no confidence in my ability to manage my life... I mean right now I can't even stay on top of laundry! We split household chores mostly, and it's not like dividing hoses divides the responsibilities... I"ll pretty much have twice as many things to stay on top of.

Not to mention that I've struggled with careers, and always relied on two incomes, of which his was far greater. When the pandemic hit I switched from my toxic job to a freelance home business, but it's finally getting off the ground right now... I have no idea what even defines being financially stable at this point or with this kind of job.

I'm trying so hard to imagine being a strong, independent mom who can manage all this stuff, but what if I just can't?? I'm probably just scared, but it's so hard to rely on myself when I've struggled so hard for so long.

I'm just afraid everything is gonna fall apart... I want to keep it together so badly for my kids, but I'm afraid I won't be able to do it.

Is there even help for this kind of thing? I mean I don't think I'll need to be hospitalized or anything, but even with a partner, I'm nearly drowning trying to take care of everything that needs taking care of... are there like people you could hire or something? I have no idea what it looks like I guess.

I mean I suppose there's housekeepers, laundry services, paying the neighbor's kid to mow the lawn, etc., but considering I've never been able to afford those things on two incomes, I doubt I'll be able to do much with one. 

Or for example, older people who are still mostly independent but need help managing the household or something, are there people that do that? Forgive my ignorance, I feel so silly asking these questions.

I'm probably looking for a safety net that's not there... but I feel like it's sink or swim now, so I'm gonna look everywhere I can for help.

I'm probably being ridiculous, I feel like I'm acting entitled, honestly... like I'm giving up and expecting other people to rescue me or something; I will do whatever I have to do and whatever I CAN do for my family... I'm just so scared that I won't be able to. I don't know how much of a mess you can be and still keep your kids, and I don't want them raised in a mess, either... I feel so powerless right now.

Thanks for reading if you got this far... I'm just clueless and scared right now. But if anyone has thoughts, or even general tips/advice for divorce or starting over, feel free to share! TIA

 

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I'm sorry to read of your problems. I've been having a depression  episode since last April or so. Comes and goes in how extreme it is, but it set in really bad at New Year's so I went back to the doctor to get back on the meds. I would suggest starting with your family doctor. And give the meds time for the side effects to go away/diminish and for the med to work before jumping to another one. Another piece of standard advice, that I can vouch for, is don't make any big decisions right now. See if you can postpone the divorce until your depression is, at the very least, manageable/under control. And then don't stop treatment until you are completely over it, otherwise you will be at great risk of remission. [Note to self: I need to follow my own advice.] Stay active, if at all possible do the chores. And for Pete's sake keep a routine, (set a wake up & bed time. Make a written schedule then stick with it. [Note to self: previous note applies. I'm having a hard time with this, but I've read that it really helps.]) But first see a doctor.

I just reread this and I think I'm coming across as a know it all. I am not trying to lecture you, I've lost my confidence this year too. You sound like you were "on top of it" at one time and I'm sure you can be again.  Mainly these things are what I'm trying and having problems doing.

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Oh I apologize... I forgot to explain that my depression is treatment resistant, and also doesn't come in episodes, I've had it for 15 years. I think my sig still says what I've tried so far, but at this point, I have to work WITH my depression, not against it.

I'm kind of amazed that even on this board someone would say stuff like that... I understand you didn't mean anything or anything, but it's just funny how people just assume that you can treat depression. It's been so long since I thought that way that I just forgot.

So I understand it's not a lecture... I'd love to take that advice if I could.

I guess I need to find a place for people like me who don't have any treatment options, becaues we have to approach depression in a different way.

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4 hours ago, climber47 said:

Oh I apologize... I forgot to explain that my depression is treatment resistant, and also doesn't come in episodes, I've had it for 15 years. I think my sig still says what I've tried so far, but at this point, I have to work WITH my depression, not against it.

I'm kind of amazed that even on this board someone would say stuff like that... I understand you didn't mean anything or anything, but it's just funny how people just assume that you can treat depression. It's been so long since I thought that way that I just forgot.

So I understand it's not a lecture... I'd love to take that advice if I could.

I guess I need to find a place for people like me who don't have any treatment options, becaues we have to approach depression in a different way.

@climber47 have you totally given up on looking for new med solutions? I am only asking as to not be annoying by talking about stuff that is off the table for you. 

my first pdoc really sucked and gave the impression (I was barely 15 and not too informed back them) that meds would fix it all... “you’ll probably never need inpatient, these episodes always remit blah blah”... as you can imagine it didn’t work. My next pdoc was the first to tell me that some of my symptoms will never go away no matter what treatment is used. Some shit will stick and you just have to learn to deal. This info was actually quite liberating to me. It was kind of helpful to understand that handling my illness wasn’t all about chasing the next shiny new treatment. When I made this shift in my therapy I found that acceptance and distress tolerance became a huge part of dealing with my shit, even more than meds at some points. I am not trying to equate the severity of your illness with my problems, but I just want to say that I understand where you’re coming from in regards to sometimes seeking out more medical treatment is not the best way to go. I used to hate it when pdocs would gloss over problems as “fixable” when I knew what I really wanted was affirmation that  it was ok to accept these problems as a part of me and that I wasn’t just “giving in” 

Unfortunately, beyond empathy I don’t have any brilliant advice, and I am sorry that you’re feeling so much stress... also I admire your level of self awareness when it comes to your condition and symptoms, hopefully that will make navigating your situation a little easier 

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