jaminthesky
A:

Hi jaminthesky,

Welcome to Depression Connect. I am glad you are here, and that you reached out with this great question. This is a question that comes up a lot with my clients.

My clients who are living with mental illness often talk to me about their relationships with their partners. Unfortunately, some have partners who are very unsupportive, and even seem to blame them for their mental illness. Others are more fortunate, like you, and they have partners who are not only supportive, but fear they aren't doing enough.

Often, the person who is living with mental illness can help their partner by educating them. I call this "patient" education, being patient as you help your partner to understand what's going on with you and how they can help. Here is a link to the article here on Depression Connect:

http://www.depressionconnect.com/discussions/...

Reassurance can help, just gently reminding your husband that this is something going on inside of you, not something he is causing in any way. He may need to hear this often. Sometimes people just need to hear the same reassurance over and over before they can start to accept it.

I suspect your husband may be feeling helpless, this is a common feeling among family members. He wants to help and doesn't know how to. You can help him but letting him know that just being there is helpful to you, knowing that he loves you and wants to help. That's a lot, right? It might help to let him know that. And reassure him that just being present, listening, helps you during a rough time.

You can reassure him that not only does he not cause the way you feel, but you appreciate how he helps you to cope during a rough time by his presence.

Here's another idea. If you haven't already, you might ask him to accompany you to a doctor's appointment or, if you are in therapy, to one of your therapy sessions, if your doctor or therapist are okay with this. The three of you could talk about how your depression and anxiety affect you, where it comes from, and how he can help.

Again, your husband sounds like a great guy. You can work together to support each other on the road ahead.

I hope you will keep in touch and let me know how you're doing.

Gary

Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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