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Depression

Question:

I am a 26 year old. My fiancee is a very nice person. We are to get married soon. But the problem is that he is suffering from depression since 2004. He is 28 now. I do care for him and want to help him but at times his behavior appears weird and irritating. He did tell me about his illness during the initial days of our courtship but I didn’t quite understand about this illness. He takes medicines everyday. I am still so unsure exactly what kind of ailment it is. He says he takes three medicines, one antidepressant, another mood stabilizer and one to lower anxiety. I am very scared. Our families are involved now. I cannot ever think of leaving him but when I think of a future with a depressed person it scares me. My parents don’t know about his condition. I don’t want them to know cause it would make them sad. i cannot ever hurt him, i don’t want to leave him. But is it fine to marry such a person? Can we lead a normal life? Is there a possibility that our children will suffer from mental ailments as well? I want to help him. I want him to become normal.

 
What do i do? I am very much stressed right now.

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Answer:

Based on the types of medicines you mention my guess is that his illness is Bipolar Disorder. If this is true and based on what we know about the illness at this point in time, he will have this the rest of his life. Of course, no one knows what the future will hold in terms of further research and improvements in treatment.

If he does have a Bipolar Disorder it will mean that his moods will swing from very depressed to elated and even manic at times. I don’t know what you find irritating about his behavior but it may have to do with this.

People with Bipolar Disorder do marry. Medications can keep the symptoms under control but you have to think about the fact that this illness will not go away and will be part of your relationship. If he stops taking his medications he will get much worse and you need to know that. Frankly, people I have known who are married to someone with this illness do not have an easy time.

It’s concerning that you want to keep this secret from your family. Secrets never work and are not a way to start a marriage. Lot’s of people have this illness and there is no shame in it. Some of our most brilliant artists, composers, musicians and popular singers have bipolar disorder.

With regard to what your children will be like if you marry this man, there is evidence that this disorder runs in families. Yes, your children could inherit this. However, we also know that how children are raised plays a vital role in how they will turn out. A loving and caring family can go a long ways to preventing illness. A family where there is lots of fighting and abuse can cause lots of mental health issues. Both genetics and family must be considered.

I always advise people to follow their instincts or their “gut reaction.” If you are this upset about the thought of marrying him then, perhaps, you need to listen to your emotions. Also, talk to your family rather than keeping this a secret.

Best of Luck

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