It has been a year since my "perfect marriage" crashed, my wife and I have come a long way since then, we are both working on our issues and I believe she's actually happy now...
But I am still having major issues with anxiety and depression now. I have been getting help for these issues, but I am frustrated that, after a year, I still can't sleep correctly and I am still so down sometimes.
I have toned down my passive aggressive anger and I do a lot more to help out around the house and with the kids, I don't know if that has something to do with it or not? I feel like I am no longer a strong man sometimes, I have really down days where I nearly can't take it, and I never had that happen before now.
Does anyone else deal with this? If you do, how do you get through it, or more importantly to me, is there anyone who "cured" their problems?
As one who is going through this also, I am on Venaflexine. It has helped with the lows..namely they don't hit rock bottom as often. It has also helped a bit with the sleep issue. I would suggest a trip to the doctor and continuing counseling.
I was put on Celexa last April, during the worst period of my life, when I first realized how unhappy my wife was. They also gave me Ambien, but I can't sleep well on Ambien. I fall asleep but then I'm wide awake at 3 am after 3 to 4 hours of sleep and that's it for the night.
A little more work with the counselors and the psychiatrist and they decided to approach the anxiety side of it, and I took propranolol "as needed", that really helped a lot. I started sleeping better, but made the mistake of thinking I was okay to go off all the meds and quit counseling.
After I slipped I went back on the Celexa in October and I've stayed on it.
They had tried guanfacine, but that was horrible, seemed to actually make things worse, and it gave me god awful dry mouth, just horrible.
A couple months ago they shifted to Lorazepam, not really sure why they went away from propanolol, it was working, but the Lorazepam can be habit forming so I'm trying to be careful not to take it unless I really need it. It works awesome though.
Most recently they gave me Seroquel, after I told the doc that I had taken the Lorazepam 2 times a day for 3 days straight (had a bad week). I have taken the Seroquel twice in the 3 weeks I've had it, the first time it knocked me out so bad I slept for about 12 hours, the second time I got a massive headache and broke sweat all night long as though I was breaking a fever, to the point where I thought I had wet the bed and had to get another blanket. I am not sure if it was the Seroquel that did that but I'm a bit hesitant to try it again.
As far as the actual counseling, we had a great marriage counselor (after the first one was a disaster), but he took a new job and we weren't able to see him anymore. As our marriage has been going better, we haven't been to another one, although we went to a marriage retreat put on by the military last weekend and it was awesome. I was seeing one psychologist but she kept going on and on about "child parent relationship" and I didn't seem to be getting anywhere with her.
The guy I'm working with now is a counselor who specializes in stress and worry management, he is doing okay, but I've now gone to the VA to get a little help because they think I've got some strong indicators for PTSD from my deployment to Iraq 7 years ago.
A couple of other issues that may be affecting me are that I will be 40 in September, and that my job isn't exactly "stable" any longer, maybe a 50/50 chance that by October 1st I will no longer be employed.
But I was always able to handle issues like that before I deployed, and before my marriage problems. Even though things seem to be going great in my marriage now, I am still having issues with being in this funk, especially in the morning, it is so hard to get out of bed...
I was depressed to the point where I had a week of suicidal thoughts. I went to the doc and told him I think I’m depressed. He told me to take an on-line assessment (gave me the website) and if it came back that I was depressed I was to see him again. I asked him what happens then and he said “I give you some pills”.
I never went back, determined never to take a pill for what I saw as a life situation(s) problems that I was struggling to cope with. After reading your post I’m glad I didn’t take any pills. For me that would just be a whole of other stuff to deal with.
What a good friend told me was that she welcomed Mr Depression at her dinner table as an honoured guest because he’s there to tell her something is very wrong in her life. And so she listened to him.
The first thing to do is to write down all your problems. You must know what they are, even though at the moment you may not be able to resolve them. Be exceedingly candid and honest with yourself. This is the time for truth.
Also read Awareness Amazon.com: Awareness (9780006275190): Anthony DeMello: Books. Far better than any pill, Anthony de Mello will teach you how to de-stress simply by taking a perspective, viewpoint that at the moment you don’t even know exists. I found this book incredible. After nights laying in my bed totally unable to get to sleep because of anxiety and stress once I applied what I’d learnt while in bed, sleep came easily.
Books, not pills! I also took up photography again and now I do it as a profession. When you’re waiting pre dawn for the sunrise to get the light for an image across an estuary or some such beautiful place all you can see and hear is beauty all around you. Macro photography as well gets you to see the beauty of the miniature world that’s all around you. And it’s all the while creative, creativity you can get lost in for a while and after time you’ll find that you start noticing all the different subtle tones of blue in the sky.
I was always able to handle anything before, that's the unfortunate aspect of all of this. I would rather not take anything at all, but I wasn't strong enough to get through this without it. I went for close to 4 days without sleep, that's when I finally gave in and started taking medication.
I have found that reading is helping, as is actually communicating with my wife, and oddly enough, reading and responding to other posts on this website.
I appreciate your response, it is good to know that some people are able to get through this without the need of medication. Did you do any counseling?
No, no counselling. I tried one guy but when he answered his door he looked worse than I did! At least to me. The next hour or so wasnít fruitful at all.
Iím in my sixties so I have some idea where you are coming up to forty and without a secure job and problems in your marriage, although mostly behind you. For some of us these arenít easy times and are somewhat a journey of transformation.
Google ďSeasons of a mans lifeĒ. It will give you the bigger picture view of whatís going on. Iíve been through a few transformations. This last one has been transforming from a guy who was married for over 40 years to one living by himself for the first time ever. Itís interesting to say the least but it was and still is a transformation I was literally compelled to make.
Buy that book Awareness. I assure you once you get the concepts and practice them you will get sleep without pills. Thatís what itís all about, been there done that. Itís all in the mind. How we handle these things. I hope Iíve got through to you.
Itís at these times we learn we are not emotionless robots. That we feel deeply about things and that our strength of feelings can actually bring us down. If we are wise we learn all about our emotions and how to bring ourselves back up again. And once youíve learnt how you never ever forget!
I don't think I can live alone... that's one of the major issues I have found about myself. Fear of being alone, major fear of change. I have a wonderful extended family that is doing what they can, but before this past year I was a bit of a loner aside from my immediate family (wife, 4 year old, 2 year old).
I have a lot of respect for you for being able to get past this by yourself. I have found one of my main problems is that I keep thinking "I need to get back to (insert idea of optimum situation here)" when I should be looking at getting TO and dropping "back" off of there. I will never get back to the way things were, I want to get to where things are better than ever. I'm trying to keep that perspective. I'm also working hard to remember that, while this appeared to happen to me overnight, it actually took years to build up, so there is no immediate "fix" for this.
I apologize if this thread appears to be in the wrong place, in terms of depression, but I know that getting my "alpha male" status back in my relationship is very important, as my wife has dealt with anxiety issues for many years, so she needs me to be strong for her.
I know for me nothing helps me boost confidence and feeling more like a man than I have those muscle aches from a good workout and see the effects those workouts have on my body (over time).
Think about what man you want to be, and set small goals to get you there. I'd write those goals down, and if possible have them written out in a place you see daily (next to the bathroom mirror, next to where you keep your wallet, etc...). Have your family or wife help hold you accountable to reaching those goals.
Depression isn't easy to escape from, and frankly you'll likely battle those feelings off and on your whole life. Don't let them get the best of you, when you feel them coming on strong that's when you need to focus all the more on your kids, life and goals.
I normally am in very good shape... I have run two marathons, still in the military, I have maxed the Army Physical Fitness Test for 18 straight years. I can run the two mile in 13 minutes, do 80 pushups in two minutes, 90 situps, although right now I don't know. I have ran less in the last 6 months than at any time I can remember other than the 3 months when I got back from my deployment.
From what I'm reading here and in other threads, it looks like having a journal of some sort is absolutely imperative to getting over these painful life situations. Right now it is hard to get over thinking that all my goals are in peril because so much is related to my job situation, but I need to remember that not all goals should be money related.