Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:39 PM
My MIL and husband are the only ones who know so far.... no one on my side knows yet. My husband doesn't really understand.... he knows all about the illness. But I dont trust him and I can't really make him understand that my lack of trust actually has nothing to do with him. So my question, or questions, are as follows:
Is there anyway that I can help my husband be able to cope better with having a depressed (actually its angry) spouse? Any books he can read? CD's he can listen too? Online communities for him?
Is there anything that can help the rest of the family understand my illness better?
How can I be a good advocate for myself and my treatment when it comes to other people trying to get involved? Without being a total bitch? (I was never good at being assertive or fighting for my needs.)
Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:02 AM
I'm afraid I don't have direct answers for any of the things you asked. But I wanted to tell you that I just felt quite in awe of your posts, the way your mind works. You just seem so very perceptive and intelligent and articulate. I love that you have been able to sit down and identify all these different aspects of your situation and to start proactively looking for ways to work on each one.
I know there are online communities that offer support to people whose partners suffer from depression. If I'm not mistaken, I think our community would welcome any questions from your husband if he chose to post here, although that might not be ideal from the point of view of each of you being able to express yourselves freely without worrying what the other was reading into it. But he could certainly post and ask for advice on any other depression forum I should think. I am sure there are ones with specific forums for partners and family though. I just haven't participated in them and wouldn't know which to recommend.
I wish I did know of a book or other resources that we could just hand to our family and friends to help them understand. I don't know if one has been written, although it wouldn't surprise me if one had been. One thing I would suggest is doing some writing about it yourself, perhaps. If you could express your feelings and what you go through, and what you need from others, and have it all written down, it might help you to explain things to them more easily when you are in conversation... Or you might find that you can put something in writing and hand it to them to help them understand. Some people bring family members along to see their doctors or counsellors, who can sometimes help to explain things a little differently than we might.
I find it interesting that you talk about being angry and worrying about being a 'total bitch', and yet that you have trouble being assertive or fighting for your needs. So I guess that's how it happens, isn't it, when we're not good at asserting our own needs and position, we tend to internalize all the frustration and sense of not being heard, until we feel pushed completely to the wall and it blows up as anger. I can relate to that! And I guess a big part of my personal growth over the years has had to do with learning to assert myself and have the confidence to say what I think and what I want, without imploding and going to pieces inside myself, or exploding and being angry with someone else. I am still working on that! I find that it has a bit to do with patience - trusting that I do have something valuable to say, but waiting and thinking it over carefully and preparing what I want to get across, so that when the right moment arrives I can deliver my message very clearly and meaningfully to the people who need to hear it. It is easy to get lost in the frustration and anger phase, and end up feeling so mixed up and upset that the message gets lost.
Keep sharing and perhaps we can help you come up with more ideas.
p.s. Sorry I took a while getting to this! I read your post the other day but haven't had the chance/brain to respond till today.
Edited by listener, 12 May 2012 - 07:47 AM.