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My husband...Cleopatra?

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as in Queen of Denial! (Or King in his case)

Quick background...married 18+ years, hubby has been hospitalized 4 times for mania/psychosis. Never stayed on his meds or did follow up treatment until his last episode 1-1/2 years ago. Now he is finally keeping up with tdoc and pdoc...but has been in a serious depression for several months. Had some med changes, still not well, but waiting for lamictal to kick in...SO...

I have researched all his medication, joined this board and been an active participant, read all new medical developments and papers I could find, and feel like I could get a psychiatric degree without attending a single class. And hubby? Nope. Doesn't know shit about what he is taking, stopped by Crazymeds once, wont check out the forum, doesn't read articles I forward to him, barely follows his tdocs instructions (he is taking his meds, but there are a lot of behavioral things his is supposed to do but keeps avoiding), and changes the topic or cries every time we talk about his illness or treatment.

I know this is not a fun thing for him to experience, but being a support person is no fucking picnic either. I feel like I have invested more time and effort into his treatment and wellness than he has and I resent the hell out of it. He keeps saying we need to get our future (mainly financially) worked out, and I keep reminding him that that will be impossible until he is stable (we can tread water for several months without troubles). This is usually when he changes the topic or goes outside to smoke. He keeps talking about the same things over and over again...past mistakes, bad choices, etc...and how our future is screwed (no 401K, debt, etc...), but he wont deal with the freaking PRESENT!!! I know this is the depression talking, but I have had the same conversations with him over and over again for months! Nothing is getting through to him. ACK!

I know we will have some stuff to work out with tdoc once he is stable, but as long as he is depressed, we wont be talking my feelings because they will NOT help him at all. I feel like my head is going to explode!!!!!!

Anyway...is this typical or is my hubby exceptionally stubborn? Any recommended reading for him? (If he doesn't read it, I can alway beat him over the head with it if it is thick enough!) Any coping ideas for me? What has worked for your significant others?

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Have you mentioned couples therapy to him ? That could be helpful. He would probably be into the idea, since he is familiar w/ ther. You need wupport too. Keep posting and try to find support for yourself anywhere you can. You need to take care of yourself while you support your dh. Hope this helps. mel

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I can relate to your husband's difficulty dealing with things and inaction.  If this makes any sense to you...

He is depressed and it is overwhelming, the past failures, the futures that will never happen, the personal guilt, the shame of having the illness.  In a better mood one could think about the issues briefly, then set them aside (compartementalize) and go on to other things.  But here, the thoughts just go on and on.  Ruminating is the term (I hate it though because it makes me think of cows digestive tracts).

Well then, if the future and past is too much to handle let's take care of something here and now!  The depression sets off the panic and anxiety alarms.  The brain's organizational skills are totally fuddled.  Prioritizing tasks requires monumental effort.    I know this sounds incredibly bizarre, but I can recall being unable to make a sandwich and giving up in frustration and tears. I was going back and forth across the kitchen between an open refrigerator and the cabinets trying to do something so simple.  But trying to find ham, cheese, bread, a plate, mayo, a knife, glass and milk in the right order was unatainable.  Taking out the garbage put me in a panic and might require three days of thinking about it before I could do it.  How stupid do I feel?

You and I are people who research, love learning and have to know how things work in order to feel in control. Your husband probably isn't one of those people, and that can be ok if things are going well. The depression may may affect his interest in the issues.  He may just be in denial as his way of holding off the stress and pain of being ill. 

I think keeping him up with the Tdoc is very important and can help in so many ways the meds alone can't.

Best, A.M.

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