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Can I Help My Wife With Depression?


My wife is suffering from depression, we have recently got married, an event which we thought was causing most of the stress and depression, however that doesn’t appear to be the case. she feels unable to vent her frustrations and doesn’t know what causes the low periods. An overwhelming that she can’t cope worries her. She has been taking 20mg fluoxatine daily for the last 12 months, however is reluctant to go back to the doctor through fear of being given a stronger dosage and becoming reliant on the tablets. Is there anything that I can do to help her to relax and get through this?

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Depression takes a toll on relationships, as the first thing a depressed person typically does is get irritable with people around them and withdraw. You’re to be commended for seeing through this to the issue at hand – a brain that isn’t functioning properly. Certainly if your wife has not benefited from her Prozac dosage after twelve months, it isn’t working as it is intended. She’ll really need to go back to the doctor and explore different or alternative medications and dosages. Reassure her that anti-depressant medications are not habit-forming. They are not abused on the street and this is because they don’t get anyone ‘high’. Some of the medications do seem to produce a limited ‘withdrawal’ syndrome that can last for a few days – but this can be minimized under a doctors instructions. In any event, the advantages of being on the anti-depressant meds (when they are working) far outweigh any disadvantages. If one medicine disagrees with your wife’s quality of life, there are a bunch more she can try. The other thing she can explore is Cognitive Therapy for Depression, which is a form of psychotherapy that has been scientifically shown to be as effective as any medication, has no side effects, and continues to work to ward off future depressions after it is done with. A typical course of Cognitive Therapy runs between 12 and 18 sessions (one per week). There is homework, as the therapist teaches the client new ways to think about what they are going through that need to be practiced at home. If you decide to go this route (which I recommend as an effective alternative to medicine), make sure that the therapist you work with has been trained in this modality. There are many forms of therapy – but not all of them are any good at helping depression.

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  • R D L

    First of all I Love my wife very much. She has had deep depression of the begining of our realionship I am 21 yrs older that she how ever we have been very much in Love and I feel we still are. I have a bad Heart (4 heart attaccks. she is a (ER) rn nurse. She is on assignment in VA and this is the first time we have been apart sense Our marriage of 6 Yrs. as June 29 she just turned 40 and so wants a baby and i said no. , therefore we had a very bad argument. before I had to leave and go home. I just found out that she slep with one else. My heart is broken forever i have forgiven her.

  • Anonymous-1

    my wife and i have been together for 3 years and everything has been great. 3 months ago we had a baby and about 10 weeks after having the baby she became very depressed. ok so we are dealing with it and now her sister and boyfriend are breking up and all of a sudden she is even worse. Now she is telling me she is unhappy with our relationship and has been for a while. what is causinh all this? is it just the depression or an influentual factor? very confusing

  • Troy

    I am not a doctor but many doctors like to treat the depression instead of finding out the cause. Depression can be a symptom of other issues. I am not sure how old your wife is but the depression could be a symptom of hormone issues in women and also in men. It could be a symptom of thyroid problems. Many OBGYN's like to prescribe Prozac instead of addressing the hormonal problems or they prescribe birth control to increase estrogen but most hormonal problems are caused by decreased progesterone and too much estrogen. You may want to look for a doctor that specializes in hormone imbalances to see if this is an issue. Many doctors don’t even do the proper tests for hormonal imbalances. They do a blood test and draw the wrong conclusions. It could be depression but chances are it could be something else.

  • Anonymous-2

    My wife and I have been together for ten years, we are 26 and she has been depressed on and off to different degrees for seven years. Her depression makes her physically sick and lately she can barely get out of bed. She spent years jumping from medication to medication. All of which either made her more sick, or more depressed. She eventually went off all medication and actually got better, for a while. Now she is pregnant and she seems as though she's getting worse. I brought it up to her and opened a flood gate of emotions. Now I'm worried that she may experience postpartum depression after the birth. It's got to be one of the worse diseases I've ever experienced.

  • Anonymous-3

    I cannot even touch on the subject with my wife. I love her but I don't know how long I can take being the "cause" of all her problems. Everytime life presents an obsticle for us no matter how small it may seem to me she becomes furious. As her partner I seem to bare the brunt of the anger. I am told I am useless, fat, that she wants a divorce, that I should just leave her alone, she accuses me of being a wimp when I get upset about any of this. It just seems that anger is becoming her overwhelming emotion. I have mentioned getting help a few times but the default answer she gives me is divorce me if you don't like it. Occasionally when she does get upset and tearful herself she wont let me comfort her in any way. I live a long way away from any family and feel totally alone and lost as what to do. She is never going to get help because everytime I try to convince her it just ends up in an argument.


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