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DH, depression and communication problems


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So I've been on Emsam for 10 days now. Days 3, 4, and 5 I felt an increase in my mood and energy. I told DH about it and he was happy that there was an improvement. Day 6 to now I have felt a decline in my mood. I've gone back to sleeping much of the day. Day 8 found me searching Final Exit material and day 9 was worse. Today I spent much of the day sleeping but I was able to get some work done, first essay in a month. Go me.

I don't want to be in a decline so whenever DH asked me how I was doing I said "fine" and didn't elaborate one way or another. Today I confessed that I hadn't been doing so well and he just sort of shut down and stated that I had been lying to him this whole time. He stopped making eye contact and conversation. He just sort of sagged back into his chair and withdrew.

Part of my problem is that I don't want to be in decline so I don't admit that I am and the other part is that I often fall into the 'fake it 'til you make it' school of thought. I WANT to believe that this time the drugs will work for me and that I just need to push through until they do. I don't want to say that I'm not doing well to other people because it undermines the faking it part.

I know all this leads to trust issues with DH, I know I'm not doing a good thing here and I know that in the past* he has had reason not to trust me to tell the whole truth on how I am. *Past in this case meaning near present.

I am projecting all these feelings onto him, too. Like I'm sure he feel helpless when I tell him things aren't going well. I'm sure he is frustrated that I'm not just fixed yet. How long can he put up with me being a mental mess?

So maybe I am a Lying McLiarson who lies through my lie hole. Maybe I didn't have the best intentions in mind I just wanted to evade reality. Maybe I can do better.

How do you approach the day to day of mental illness with your SO? Can I 'fake it 'til I make it' and still keep DH in the loop? I don't know how to do this, but I know I'm damaging our relationship.

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First, I would say it would really help for you and your husband to get some couples counseling with a therapist who has experience working with people with mental illness. I think this is almost necessary for any couple where one or both members have some sort of mental interestingness going on.

Second, I think you need to be realistic about your recovery and communicate that to your husband. 10 days on a med isn't going to really show you how it will work long term. Even if it's going to work well for you, you have to expect a good 4-8 weeks at least of getting a good sense of where the new med is going to leave you in terms of symptom control. A lot of meds are very uneven at startup, and it's really important that you not get yourself set so quickly after a day or two of really good or really bad. You really need to sit back and watch for a few weeks. This is the type of thing you need to be talking about with him.

You're going to be living with this man for a very long time. Learning how to communicate honestly and effectively is something that is only going to strengthen you as an individual and hopefully your marriage. In my opinion, trying to be a "good wife" or whatever and not being honest about how you're feeling is detrimental to you both as individuals and as a couple. If it's something he can't deal with, well, that's what the therapist is for. Setting a pattern of dishonesty will eventually dissolve a lot of intimacy.

I don't know, a lot of this just sounds like issues that you need to work on in therapy both individually and together.

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I agree completely with Muriel. I know what you’re feeling like or I guess I think I do. My husband (although not always behaving himself like recently with trust issues) has been through 5 hospitalizations, couple counseling, separate counseling, my crazy moods (one day wanting to kill myself, one day not moving, the next conquering the world). You really have to put a lot of effort into your relationship (I know that feels extremely hard to do right now). Go to counseling. At least then you can work on a way to communicate without feeling like a burden. At least that’s what I feel like most of the time. DON'T "Fake it"..It will only make things worse..Believe me been there done that! I hope you start feeling better! AWESOME job on getting that essay done. I got a test done today for school and it felt great-but the journey to complete something can just be agonizing sometimes

Best of luck!

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If I were your husband, desperately wanting this to be the drug that worked, after all the heartache, and you led me to believe it was, then confessed it wasn't, that would bring back all my frustration with the illness and it would dash my hopes. It would have been much kinder to be honest with him and keep him in the loop, it shows that you trust him and are being real with him. He wants to walk through this with you, he needs to know that he is trusted. He wants to comfort you when you're ill, not have you cover it up. You have to let him be there for you, or the illness will drive a wedge between you if you deny him the chance to really love you.

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similar problem here. i hate that my husband feels helpless and frustrated and worried about me, so i never want to tell the truth. i want him to be able to stop worrying for a little while. problem is, he eventually figures it out anyway.

last week i told him something weird that seems to be helping me (i dunno if it's helping him, he isn't complaining so i'm assuming it's alright). i told him how terrible it feels to have to answer the question "are you okay?" with a "no" over and over and over for so many days and weeks and months on end. i feel guilty that i don't often say "yes", and i feel like if i do say "yes" then it sets him up to be excited that maybe things are getting better, when that is often not the case (i just have a good day thrown in here and there, and it means nothing really).

anyway i asked him if he could stop asking me "are you okay". i was in a desperate mood and did not want to either (a)lie or (b)feel guilty anymore. i told him i wouldn't say anything unless i WAS having a good day, then i'd definitely tell him! if it's a really bad day and i'm concerned, i'll tell him that too. but in the meanwhile, just assume i'm the same - depressed.

that might not be the greatest solution but it is SOOO working for me.

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Titania expresses a lot of what I want to say. You husband loves you and is hoping against hope that this med will work for you. So he gets his hopes up thinking that things are getting better only to find out that things are not going as well as he thought. He's dissappointed and worried. He's really not angry at you for not being honest. That's secondary. He wants you to get well. And when you fail to make progress, it upsets him because he's worried and he loves you.

Don't worry about not telling him the truth about how you are feeling. As I said, that's secondary. But both you and your husband need to get realistic about how psych meds work. They don't work over night. As Muriel said, it takes 4 to 8 weeks to really feel the benefits of an antidepressant. It's not unusual to have a roller coaster ride of up days and down days when starting up. And don't you yourself lose hope. It takes time.

ETA: I've been on both sides of this situation so I know the emotions involved.

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I do a month-by-month honest check-in with my family. As opposed to day-by-day. I do it on the same day as I see my pdoc, afterwards. I told my family a while back that I wasn't going to do day-by-day check-ins with them anymore re my illness (although I do talk about everything else daily). Day by day is a unreliable snapshot in time (can only be true for that moment) compared to a month-by-month film. There is too much variability on a day to day basis.

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If you guys have trust issues from something that happened it the past. Counseling might be a good avenue, but if I was asked how I was feeling all the time it would really push my buttons. Even if it was my SO. It can become a reminder of our MI.

He totally over-reacted when you told him how you were really feeling. That is his issue and he needs to sort it out. It sounds like your trying to take responsibility for the way he feels about your illness.

My SO and I are very close. I feel like I can tell her anything without her judging me. And it goes the other way around too. It is important to discuss things openly and honestly. That includes feelings about how what they do makes you feel.

In this instance you may want to say something like, "DH I appreciate the amount of care and investment you have put into my recovery. I feel guilty* when you see my symptoms as a result of how much I love you. I am managing my illness the best I can and do not always have the ability to communicate my feelings well. Please know that I will inform you when I feel that self-harm is the only way out!"

*added guilty* but you can add a feeling of your choice. You can also add an I love you somewhere in there (if you do, lol)

But remember if you make a promise like this you have to keep it. The first step to building trust back is to do what you say your gonna. And if its too big to handle in the long run see a counselor.

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D, I think the mood tracking is a good idea.

Me and husband have done lots of counseling plus he's had a lot of BP ed, and has come to dr and therapy appts with me. It's really a marked difference in how he handles my bipolar. Which at times, I am sure, makes me difficult to live with.

I am completely open with him, even though I'm sure at times that is difficult. But he is part of my support system, and he'd really rather know, I think, that I am planning to take all my meds to Nogales, abandon car, bike into wilderness, abandon bike, walk into the wilderness, then take everything and put a plastic bag over my head, the let the coyotes eat me so everyone can have life insurance money. He uh, really really would. I mean, it's stressful, but not knowing is a) unsafe for me and b) isn't going to make him trust me when I tell him things. He gets to hear all my crazy bp thoughts and talks me down from the edge many times.

That said, yeah, I'm sure its stressful. Coming from the other side, he is now dx with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, so he gets it more from my persepective now and I get to be part of HIS support system. Again, we are pretty open and stuff. I put up with his sx, he puts up with mine. This is because we love each other and care.

But good communciation strategies are key. One for me is "just venting" then Mr. A knows I'm not going to act on anything. We have lots of tricks an tips, and do a lot of validating of each other (we went through a specific relationship enhancement/communication skillls book) it was really helpful.

Try not to worry about husband wanting to be with you. I know that's hard when you are depressed and feel like no one SHOULD be with you. He's there, so he wants to be there. My family loves me despite my illness and accept that when I'm not myself, I cannot help it.

Anna

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Damik -

Ten days is probably not a long enough sampling to know whether a new medication is going to serve you in the long term, so it might be a little premature to be too disappointed that you're having a downward sag - and you say you did get some uplift from it early on, so there is room for you and your husband to take a hopeful view. Perhaps the two of you could agree together that you're going to take a glass-half-full approach whenever possible: You're feeling down again, but you had some good days, and the fact that the meds had a positive effect on your mood is potentially a good sign. And even if the Emsam ultimately isn't your solution, it gave you some relief on your journey to finding the right one.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am personally pretty much unshakably glass-half-empty and have have failed miserably at every attempt to change my point-of-view, but I still think it's a good idea if you can make it work for you. Some people - even depressed people - can, with enough determination.

Cerberus

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