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Husband is very depressed and withdrawn


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I feel really sad right now. My husband is struggling with depression and anxiety and it’s really crippling him and our life together.

We’ve been married for 8 years and I’ve never seen him like this before. He moved from Ireland to Canada 9 years ago and he says he feels depressed because he is lonely (doesn’t have any friends or family here) and he absolutely hates his job. He wants to quit his job soon but has no idea what career he wants to do. We recently bought a townhouse that we will be moving into next month and the mortgage is quite expensive. 

Sometimes he will say things like “I want to just end it” or “If anything ever happens to me, don’t ever blame yourself”. It makes me feel so helpless and scared. I don’t think he would ever really hurt himself though..I’ve asked him if he has an actual plan to commit suicidal and he doesn’t. I think he just says these things because he’s so miserable.

He says nothing makes him happy anymore.. that he has nothing to look forward to. I tried to encourage him to get some hobbies but he doesn’t want to. And he’s been to 2 counselling sessions with a therapist but now he says he doesn’t want to go anymore because it’s not helping him. He refuses to go on antidepressants as he says those can be very addictive and harmful to the body. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. I wish he could have some friends here but I don’t really have friends either. Most of my friends have moved away for work or school but I don’t feel miserable and lonely in the same way he does. 

He comes home from work and just sits in the dark in the bedroom. He won’t really talk to me and is just depressed all the time. I just want him to be the way he was before… but he seems so out of reach. 

Also I just wanted to mention we just recently bought a townhouse which should be very exciting but he says he could care less. It’s like nothing makes him happy anymore.

What should I do? I am 30 and husband is 32 years old. 

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1 hour ago, Ezzie said:

Sometimes he will say things like “I want to just end it” or “If anything ever happens to me, don’t ever blame yourself”.

This is extremely troubling, OP. 

I would not assume he won't act on these thoughts, nor that he doesn't have some sort of plan in place (even though he denies it) If he mentions this again, contact emergency services or crisis intervention. That will send him the message that you take this very seriously and are not going to let his suicidal ideations wash over you. 

He is sliding quickly to the point of no return. I would sit him and down and explain how concerned you are and that you two need to organize professional help for him, and he needs to commit to it. No more excuses. No more dropping out. He needs the sort of help you cannot provide. If he won't do it, you have some bigger choices to make. 

Are you in contact with any of his family in Ireland? Does he have a history of mental illness? It sounds like he's deeply unhappy with every aspect of his life. Do you get the sense he wants to return to Ireland? Why doesn't he have any friends there, after 9 years? I also live abroad, for what it's worth, so I understand the struggle in settling in a new country...but 9 years is a long time to not have formed any connections. 

I am really sorry you're both in this position. 

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1 hour ago, Ezzie said:

We’ve been married for 8 years and I’ve never seen him like this before. He moved from Ireland to Canada 9 years ago  I am 30 and husband is 32 years old. 

Has he visited home lately? Why did he relocate to Canada?  Have his friends or family visited?

Does he drink? Use drugs? 

You say you've "never seen him like this before".  Are you sure? How come the discussion of antidepressants was introduced?

You seem happy about the townhouse, he doesn't.  Are you making plans sort of unilaterally regarding the house, finances planning a family, etc.?

He sounds suicidal. Call a national mental health hotline and talk about what's going on. 

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I would also call his physician and express your concerns -obviously there are confidentiality restrictions but the physician is of course permitted to hear what you have to say.  Also does he exercise? Can you make time to go for a really brisk walk with him outdoors or even do like mall walking? And I am not a doctor but no -prescribed anti depressants are not addictive from all I have heard (never taken them myself, know many who have).  

Would he be willing to talk to someone at your place of worship if you have one? My suggestion is to marshal outside sources/resources ranging from professional to trusted friends/family members so that you are not alone.

I'm sorry you are going through this.

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If he doesn’t want to take any action you will have to. Call his doctor’s office. The next time he threatens to hurt himself call an ambulance. You don’t get addicted to depression meds. The body has a bit of dependence but you can get off them with a doctor‘s help . But it is not addiction. My husband has been on SSRI’s for 20 years and is doing awesome. He used to be crippled with anxiety and now he is ok. Call his family in Ireland and tell them everything. 

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My heart goes out to you and your husband. Consider contacting your local hospital for resources to develop a care approach, or even an intervention. Another source for local referrals might be a suicide hotline on the web.

Point is, you cannot help husband alone, so shift your focus onto finding help for yourself first.

From there, you'll have some options from knowledgeable people rather than a bunch of strangers on the internet.

Holding you in my thoughts.

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From what you are describing, your husband needs serious medical intervention asap. This is not a situation that can be helped with some fresh air, friends, and therapy. I'd go talk to your GP and find out what you can do and how to go about it. If they don't know, they likely have resources they can point you to so you can get help on the how to's.

As for his family, how well do you know them? Are they the type to step up and help and possibly even come over to assist? Or are they the type to deny and ridicule mental health issues and make the situation worse?

Even if your friends are scattered around the country, do you have anyone you can call on to come and support you and help you for a few days?

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Your husband is seriously, medically depressed. If he expressed the things he's said to you to his doctor they would absolutely strongly recommend immediate help.

I agree with the others. The next time he mentions feeling like he doesn't want to live anymore please call the emergency line (not sure what it is in Canada but in the US it's 911) and tell the operator your husband is expressing suicidal ideation. 

I too was extremely depressed and anxious. The difference was I didn't want to be that way. So I sought and received ongoing professional medical support. I also was on medication for about a year and was easily able to wean off of it. I am now much, much better. I still receive ongoing professional support but on a much less intensive level.

I wish you the very best and I hope your husband agrees to receive professional help.

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