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Depressed husband

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hello...my first ever posting in this forum and hoping someone can give me advice on how to prevent my husband from plummetting into the same depression as he did last year for a 12 month period. All the signs are that he's spiralling downwards again and I feel powerless to help. This time, he's unwilling to go on medication, seek any professional help etc as he says nothing helped last time. Any advice at all would be appreciated.


Staff Alumni
It is so difficult to watch someone deteriorate and they not allow any help...is there anyone in the family that he considers wise to help you present to him the urgency to get help? Sometimes, hearing the message from more than one person allows us to take it in...so sorry you are going through this and please continue to post...we are here to support you...J


Well-Known Member
Depression makes people push away loved ones - like depression is trying to create its own environment to push your husband down and down deeper into a black hole.

You help just by being there - taking care as much as you can.

Sadly, its not something that a bit of love and reassurance from even a husband or wife can remedy at times - your husband does need help and should try some other medication if previous ones never worked. After all there are about half a dozen common ones out there - each one can be a toss of the coin - and you really would be fortunate if any med worked first time, without increasing the dose.

Counselling might work IF your husbands depression is related to some specific reason, bad childhood, things of that nature - but often depression has no cause as such - or the cause is some biological one as yet not quite discovered. We know that various functions in the brain can just go wrong - its a disease like heart disease or whatever - but the social stigma stops a lot of us men from seeking the help or trying the meds out.

Keep a diary for him as regards what meds he takes - you will see that most medications are low doses of 5mg and upward, going up to maybe 60mg. A person trying out a med will take a small amount and build it up so as to ease any side effects. Many people forget that it might take 8 weeks to work - you have to commit to that long at least - longer usually as you would increase the dose just to know you can discount that medication if it does not work at higher doses.

Getting the dose right is the key.

Your husband is lucky and hopefully he will get better if you encourage him with a few of the tips we can give you.

Has he any other family who might be able to visit and talk to him?

Good luck and God bless - keep up the good work and hopefully hubby will see the light and seek help.

Its worth taking meds if life is so bleak he cannot feel any joy or motivation.

Regards from England.


Active Member
Check out these books. They may provide you with some strategies.

Is He Depressed or What?: What to Do When the Man You Love Is Irritable, Moody, and Withdrawn by David Wexler.

Loving a Depressed Man: Understand the Symptons, Find the Help He Needs and Maintain Your Morale by Douglas Bey Jr.

Also try a Google search on "loving depressed man"



Good luck


Well-Known Member
Maybe you should offer him support. Ask him what makes him happy. Ask him why he is depressed. Instead or suggesting therapy, why not be his therapist. Be someone he can trust and share his feelings with without having to do it with a stranger. Good luck.
If I was you I would talk to him and see whats getting him depressed and also tell him that you are there for him if he needs everything. Also hugs help I've never had a girl care about me but if I had one and they wanted to help that is what I would want her to do.


Well-Known Member
First things first. YOU. You are first, if not, there will be nothing of you to help care for him. Find a co-dependent group. This kind of group teaches you how to care for yourself AND stay sane while you live with another who you cannot control.

That said, the one thing you most likely have control over is the food menu. Create a menu of dinner meals for the month (to take away the stress of what to fix) and repeat meals are fine. This is easy to do when you make a list of your favorite meals and then insert them into a calendar. Use the same menu for each month. Don't repeat a meal in the same week.

The menu needs to consist of as few of non-processed foods as possible (i.e. no instant or quick fix anything). Vegetables for every dinner meal, frozen are just fine but not canned unless that is all you have. Roast all meat in a roasting pan on a rack. Our carbs are pasta, brown rice (easy to cook in a rice cooker and is very tasty), or multi-grain bread for hot sandwich dinners. We don't like to mess with fish so I buy albacore tuna in a can (it is of higher quality).

We use the plate method for portions, 1/2 veggies, 1/4 meat or other protein, 1/4 carbs. I am diabetic, my husband had high cholesterol and this is a great way to eat for health and eat foods you like. We shop once a month and break our meat packages into meal servings. We spent about $200 US dollars a month on food for the month. We save a lot of money shopping according to our menu.

Beyond this, don't expect him not to be depressed. You'll be disappointed and it will show. Keep a record of his moods on a calendar to look for a cycle. Use an up or down arrow to do this. Log events like visitors, pay day, etc. This can influence a depressive's mood.

Encourage, but don't nag. Love, but don't be at his beck and call. Sometimes it's through some suffering that a person will say to their self that they are tired of this and look for a solution.

If he says thinks like: if I had this or that, DON"T get them for him. He has to do that for himself. I say this because wishful thinking is entertainment for all of us. I use to do this and my husband would get mad because he really didn't want it.

I wish you all the best.
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Many thanks for all your comments. I'll certainly try any strategy that has a chance of working. Getting him to talk isn't easy, hence his refusal to talk to "strangers" (counsellors, doctors etc), which he did try last year. His theory is that talking didn't help last time, so forget it this time.
Thanks again for all your helpful comments and suggestions.
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