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Pregnant and living with a depressed husband
An_252006 posted:
I am 8 months pregnant, living in a foreign country away from friends and family and also dealing with a depressed husband. He has suffered from depression and anxiety for the last 20 years, ever since he was a teenager, but lately it has been taking it's toll on me.

I feel like I need him to be strong for me, but I feel I can't rely on that support and when I do, feel guilty because I don't want to place any extra pressure on him.

He works in a high stress environment, but when I suggest he changes career and try something he enjoys, he says that this will depress him even more because he won't be achieving his full potential.

Every day I have to try and guess what mood he is in. He is never violent or aggressive, he just withdraws into himself so I'm left wondering. He has gotten a lot better at communication, but I still feel constantly on edge, not knowing how he's going to be feeling from one day to the next.

Sometimes I wish he could just stop being so selfish and focus on our family, but I know it's not that easy. I'm sure he would if he could.
I feel that his depression is rubbing off on me. I can't stop crying, feel anxious and sad all the time, but don't want to burden him with that. I feel like my whole life revolves around him and his illness and I am starting to resent him for it.

We have moments like a weekend away where I'm feeling so happy and when I tell him this, he says, he can't feel happy and was miserable the whole time. That is creates such a lonely feeling. I wonder if I'll be able to rejoice in the birth of our baby with him, or if he'll still be focused on his own pain. I don't know if I can rely on him for support, emotional and practical when the baby is born. I still feel like I'll be the one having to constantly try and make him feel happy and be there for him.

Sometimes I wonder if getting pregnant was a good idea. What if he decides to do something stupid one day and I'm left to raise a child on my own? What if he passes his depression on to our child?

He is seeking help from a psychoanalyst, but I can't see any progress even though he has been going for over three years. His doctor seems to focus more on what has caused this depression; family, past, childhood, rather than working on how to use coping mechanisms to try and get better.

I feel really lonely and isolated, but don't want to discuss this with him as that would be putting too much additional pressure on him.

I am going to start to see a therapist myself because I really need someone to talk to. It's so easy to focus just on the person that is suffering from depression, but those living with it can really start to suffer also. Or am I just being self indulgent?
rohvannyn responded:
Sounds like you are having some real struggles. It's difficult enough living with someone who has depression, the emotional storms and stresses of pregnancy, and the understandable worries, can make everything so much harder. Adding living in a foreign country to the equation and I'd be surprised if you didn't feel as you do.

A counselor can help you deal with your troubles, and can provide some of the coping skills that will help you live a happier life. I personally thinks he needs a new psychiatrist, being with the same one for three years with no improvement because they are dealing with the past, but not changing the present, is unacceptable in my opinion. Not every therapist is the right fit for every person. Have a look at this blog and you will see why:

In the meantime, best wishes, I hope things get better for you.
An_252006 replied to rohvannyn's response:
Thanks Rohvannyn. I do feel that I should be coping better than I am and most days I do, but some days like yesterday, I felt so overwhelmed.

I've been to my GP and they have referred me to a counsellor so I have contacted them.

I agree with my husband needing a new psychiatrist. He has helped my husband in terms of being able to open up more, but he still keeps focusing on the past and blaming his family for the depression. He doesn't seem to look forward and has pretty much told my husband that he will have this condition for the rest of his life. I feel that he has just has accepted it.

Thanks for the link to your blog. I will get my husband to have a look at it also.

Thanks again!
rohvannyn replied to An_252006's response:
One of the hardest lessons I've learned, and am still learning, is that things in my past happened, but I still have control over how I react to them. It's so tough sometimes for me to remember that.

A great quote I read once said something about how forgiveness was a resolution not to carry bitterness into the future, to give up hope for a better past. I've thought about that a lot.

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