Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Giving Up - Dad Of Three - Sep 15th 2008


OK, I read the article and some of your comments. I am a single dad rasing three kids. I have been battling depression for years now. I lost my wife and most jobs. I actualy hit rock bottem. My kids were in state custody for 2 years. I have fought like hell to get to the point I am at today. It’s taken me three years now. I Just can’t seem to keep making myself go on. At 38 I feel as though I should be on the top of my game. I am not. I find myself yelling at the kids more and more and finding it harder and harder to go to work. (I love my job at least) but still, why is it so freaking hard to just be normal (If there is a definition for normal)? I have been through sevral clinics to get help. I am in a very tight situation. If I go get to much help I loose the kids. If I don’t get some help I lose the kids and everything again. God Help me I am falling apart here. It seems I’m in a no-win situaion. What can I do?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Indeed, it does seem that you have struggled with depression for a long time. One of the characteristics of depression is that it causes to people to think unrealisctically. Those unrealistic thoughts, like, "I am in a no-win situation," make people feel more depressed.

Therefore, the first thing to correct is this false belief of yours that, if you go for help for your depression you will lose your children. I cannot think of anything that could be further from the truth? What Judge, what Court, would fault you for seeking and getting psychiatric health for yourself so that you could function better as a worker and Dad?

I am not sure but I suspect, educated guess-wise, that for some reason you have not been able to get the correct help that would really relieve your depression. You mention going to "clinics" but I am not certain of what that means? If you go to a clinic that specializes in mental health and psychiatry, then you should be able to get the proper help. In my opinion, as far as I know thus far (and that is very little), you need to be seen by a psychiatrist for an evaluation of your diagnosis. For example, do you suffer from Dystymia, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder or something else? Once the diagnosis is made you need to be started on the correct medications. This takes time so that adjustments can be made until you are on the correct dosages. Then, you also need to see a psychotherapist.

In terms of psychotherapy and assuming your diagnosis is major, it would be important for you to see a psychotherapist who specializes in either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT has the advantage of helping you learn how to calm your emtions and achieve some stability when dealing with work and children. That stability would be a lot better than yelling at the kids.

In any case, you need to act quickly in getting help for yourself. Remember, medication alone is not the answer. You also need the psychotherapy. You also need to start reminding yourself that you are NOT in a no-win situation, you just think you are. Act now and get help.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand