How do I help him

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My husband has been treated for depression for the last 6-7 years. Although he remembers feeling suicidal from early 20's. He did try to commit suicide last year and we have not had a good marriage so far. I find him difficult, abusive and just hard work. He doesn't work ( crippled by this) , he doesn't help around the house, he was bankrupt, he doesn't sleep well at night, his dad had bipolar disorder and his family strongly feel he has similar. Although he doesn't experience the really intense highs. More of a hypo mania I think. So, 2 different antidepressants and no change. Now they will change him to a different one but he will hit start it for 6 weeks as he needs to reduce dose of current one by 50 mg every 2 weeks. This seems very slow. Does anyone else have experience of this. I'm dreading it. He isn't good on 200 mg I couldn't imagine him stepping down every 2 weeks with another one in his system. 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    My Dear Micky,

    I feel for you,

    Medicine takes some time to work in Depression, The level of drugs have to build up.

    You have to start organizing his life now, it is upto you, Make sure, He has his day divided into different time periods.

    Start the day with calming breathing Exercises and Stretches, Try to make this a daily thing.

    Start with 5 minutes of each and Build up to 10 min. Slowly.

    Also is it possible for you and Your partner to do a spot jog for 10 min.

    Follow this with a warm bath and some more breathing.

    During the breathing exercise, tell him to think of a pleasant place, tell him to breath slowly, taking 5 sec to breath in to the abdomen, hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for 5 sec and hold for 3 seconds(5-2-5-3), build this up from 5-2-5-3 to


    after this take time till afternoon for reading (Novels, Internet, etc.)

    Over time, he might start feeling better about himself to do Work,

    Start with volunteerships, which can help him feel better in addition to keeping him occupied. Reading to people at hospital, Moving Patients around, 

    Spend the afternoon relaxing, Try to make time in the evening for exercise, 

    Followed by a shower and dinner.

    Maybe a glass of warm milk before sleep.

    No caffeine, No Cigarettes, no other stimulants for nightime.

    Keep Coffee/Tea only for morning time and maximum 2 cups.

    Also try to inculcate a reading habit at night.

    Hopefully it helps.

    Please avoid allergens where necessary in the advice.


  • Posted


    i hope this helps.

    i was diagnosed with depression about 6 years ago, and although it took a while for my medication to work, they did eventually and I had a period of about 18 months whee I felt stable. 

    But, late last year, and in the early months of 2015, my mood swings suddenly appeared to get worse. I would suffer from massive lows, lasting weeks, and then highs lasting weeks as well. I was nevet psychotic, or had delusions, but I felt amazingly good and did stupid things that I would never dream of doing normally.

    anyway, my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed as bipolar type 2. I have slowly been starting a new medication, Quetiapine, for the last couple of months, and she. I eventually get to 200mg per day, they will start to decrease my old anti depressant. I am under no illusions that this will be easy, but so far I feel brilliant. 

    I have never felt so stable in my life.

    so don't worry, if the medication your husband has been prescribed works for him, the you have lovely future to ok forward to.

    Liz x

    • Posted

      thank you both for your responses. I think they are reducing one of his drugs to a really low dose before starting the new one because one is a SSRI and one is a SSNRI?

      does anyone know the mechanics of this? I know I shouldn't be concentrating too much on these things and if a drug works just go with it but I'm feeling kind of desperate. I have seriously been thinking of walking away from this marriage. please don't judge me on this. I feel awful and don't know what to do and feel ashamed to be letting this enter my mind

  • Posted

    Hi Micky 

    Please don't be ashamed of how you feel it takes alot to admit how you are feeling. It sounds like you have been through alot yourself in supporting your husband and you are on this site because you are trying to get help for him.

    Perhaps you could ask for him to be referred to a Psychiatrist for further assessment as there is a history of bi polar.  His meds would then be reviewed and possible be prescribed a mood stabiliser.

    Take a look at the bi polar UK site as there are local support groups that may help you, at least to talk about how this effects you as a carer.

    Perhaps he would benefit from counselling also.

    Sadly it takes time and relationships do suffer but I am confident there will be a solution in site.   

    Good luck x



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