I have just realised I am suffering from depression

Hi everyone, I am not sure form where to start and this is my story. But my story involves my past, my current marriage and the effect of depression. Sorry my post might be very long and I do really appreciate taking your time reading it. Any advice would be very helpful. Sorry there might be some gaps in the story, any questions or confusions please ask and I will try my best and clarify it.

During my childhood we lived in Nigeria. I am from Lebanon but grew up in Nigeria.

Since I was living at home with my family, in Nigeria. I have two younger sisters and my mum was a housewife. I have been very sad, not happy with my life, didn't. The reason is because my dad use to abuse me, beat me up a lot, beat me up in front of my class and friends, at home, if I get a bad grade in school and get kicked on the head. My dad is an alcoholic, so when he drinks he just beat me up for no reason.

Therefore I have lost confidence in me, very shy, very sad and scared to talk to people, worried. As I grew older my confidence been getting better. But never knew anything about depression, and I thought I was moving on from this bad experience.

So came to England for my studies, was very happy, specially been away from my dad. Studied and I did my bsc and masters which was something very positive in my life. Then along the way I met Rayna, my wife.

We both loved each other and made each other very happy, I have never experienced that much happiness in my life before. We loved each other, 4 years later we got married. We were both happy.

My sister came from Nigeria, moved in with us, so she can study and me looking after her. My parents asked me to look after her and help her out. My wife met her before and she liked her. So there was no objection having her around.

AS she started living with us, Rayna started to see the ugly side of my sister, and she didn't liked her. Rayna has been begging me to let her move out. but I felt I was in the middle of it and I was scared of my dad. And I didn't put my wife first and her needs first, my wife hated me for that. Ever since our relationship going downhill, I was feeling very sad because of this and at the same time I was in denial about my depression. I was using gadgets on all the time, keeping busy, buying stuff like gadget to make me a bit happy as my marriage getting worst and worst. Me and my wife we always talked and she suggested me few things to try, I do them for a month then I stop and I couldn't figure it out why I stopped. That has been happening repeatedly over the past 3 years.

I was trying to be supportive, during these 3 years, trying to put her first every time, I was supportive during her masters studies, I was trying to be very nice to her and please her. Nothing seems to be working well enough. I must be doing something wrong, sometimes I do say things I don't mean it that way as well. I don't compliment her, I don't hug her, I say things sometimes not very nice. It had a massive effect on her. I didn't even understand what depression is like, I was on denial and though I was fine, and always though the problem not me but my wife. " She suffers from depression anyway and she isn't on any medication but she knows how to deal with it." she has been depressed all her life, but when she met me, we made each other very happy.

I have done horrible thing to her, she knows it is unintentionally, but she had enough of me and wanted to split with me this January 2015.

I have begged her so we can give it a go, and she agreed, but during this period I have been making things worst and worst. I have stopped eating, drinking. I have lost 10 kilo in a space of a month. We are currently going to a marriage counselling ( it is our both ideas) , we have been in twice. We are now at a point now I have made her so angry that she hates me. I have been doing things behind her back, for example wasted a £1000, joined a porn dating website for no reason. I have been very hasty, angry and not thinking straight not knowing what I am doing. And Rayna on her end she is suffering so much because of me specially now. After she discovered the porn subscription, and the thousand pound wasted, she was so furious at me. She said she hasn't been that angry or upset since she was 16. I always find excuses about my actions. I haven't cheated on her, ever and never considered cheating on her. We both been very faithful to each other. But the day Rayna got really angry, we did talk that evening, I did realise actually I think I am depressed. I still couldn't understand these recent actions and the past actions either. I usually don't do anything without my wife permission. Last night had our 3rd counselling session, and she made me realise I am actually depressed. she Discovered me using gadget and buying things as a hide out as I mentioned earlier. She made me today to call my GP urgently, got some anti depressant now. Rayna at the min still feels strongly that she wants to leave me which I understand why. After all she is not happy, been ill for a months now, her cold won't leave her because of the stress of this. At he min marriage is almost ending now, the only hope there is, is for me to get better, and make her happy again.

But the past 2 days, I have been crying non stop, no appetite, started to struggle concentrating, my body ache, haven't been sleeping well, been doing some reckless behavior (like wasted £1000), my mood changes, I get angry for no reason, I do lose concentration sometimes, the guilt in me is unbelievably strong and this is one of the reason I am crying because the way how I have treated her. She is suffering because of me. She is very patient, faithful, loving, lovely, very special, and I am surprised after all this she is still around. Even though she doesn't love me anymore, she is till here. And I just can't believe it how I treated her, that's why I feel so guilty, and I do feel I don't deserve her. I have been selfish, not putting her first. I feel I am a bad husband, bad person a failure basically. And Most of these feelings I mentioned earlier I have been feeling them in the past 3 years but ignoring them. And looking more back, I have been feeling the same when I was back home. I have been always depressed but never knew it. It is very complicating. Rayna has nothing to do with it, it is all my doing. And I don't know what is going to happen in the next few weeks, I do hope I do get better soon, and fix what is wrong with me.

Thank you all for taking the time reading,

5 Replies

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  • I understand what your going through and believe me I know its hard and you feel as if your in a dark place I am going through depression and anxiety and i couldn't understand why then again I was sexually abused when I was young and I never got help I just didn't want to talk about it I recently see that person and I am not sure if that triggered it of. Now I have a family of my own a beautiful boy his 1 and I recently got engaged I thought I was really happy we recently moved out of my partner's parents place in to our own. All of a sudden everything changed I had a panic attack it felt as if i was having a heart attack so I went to hospital for them then had them for a few weeks I have recently started to control them. But my depression gets worse each day I went through days where I would eat nothing and now I cant stop eating for comfort I can't concentrate everything felt like a blur and steel does. I constantly cry my eyes out because I know I love my partner and my son but every time I look at them I don't feel anything but I want to its just how I'm feeling at the moment and I hate it. Also I have been getting horrible thoughts you might have not felt the same but I would like to know if it's normal. I feel as if I'm becoming a horrible person I just snap and burst into anger I'm either angry or sad never happy I just hope this passes and I hope it does for you as well :)

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being so honest and open about everything. It sounds like you are a very good man who is ill because of things that happened in the past and you are doing the right thing to get help and also with your wife you must try and repair as much as possible and apologise very much for the internet porn site; that will be the thing that has upset her the most I expect as she maybe thinks you don't love her. You need to keep telling her how much you love her and that your behaviour at that time is not your normal character and it will never happen again and the spending as well, it is not your normal character and it happened because you were ill at the time.

    I feel you need some professional help to deal with the depression. It may be worth seeing your GP and getting prescribed some anti-depressant and get proper diagnosis. The anti-depressants can take a few weeks to work and at first you may feel more ill , a bit sick, headache, that sort of thing but in the long term after a month or so you may notice your mood is better. You may need some counselling as well to talk about your past as well as the marriage guidance counselling.

    Wishing you both well.

    Gemma X

  • The main thing about depression is that you have identified that you are a sufferer.

    Now if not already does your GP know that you are having a problem and what does He say regarding this problem what has He suggested to do, Have both you and your wife had any form of treatment, even your wife needs to understand what is the cause of your ailment. It takes two to tango

    Sad to say we all eventually understand that we have a problem and then we need to try and put it right. That is the clever bit.

    You need to understand when we get that low we attack the person we love in so many ways, not normally attack using force but using mental anguish. The problem now is can you stop that habit for both your Wife and Son

    One problem you will most probably have is the problem you had with your Father, are you man enough not to let that happen again. .

    Both you and your Wife are both bright people and many would say what caused all this anguish and sadness. There must be something more than the purchase of a dirty nightclub membership. All I can say here is I can imagine what my Wife would say if I did that.

    You both have your qualifications, do you feel you three would be better off in the country of birth ? I understand it is not a very happy place at the moment, do you feel the UK is the wrong place to live, or are things so bad you wish to suffer here

    Do you feel if you stay here, to live in a different area, the three of you living as a single family unit That consists of only the three of you ??? .

    Talk to your Wife, you need to sort out what your needs are, also understand what you both want Everyone who is married needs to consider the partner, although you have to consIder what your child would feel as well as that is part of the discussion.

    When I met my wife we lived together for several years before marriage. When we eventually married we where not blessed with children, and now we have moved into a new area away from a controlling family. That is why I am asking what do you want to do. ??.

    Marriage is not an easy place to be for anyone. We all have arguments and fall out, we learn to make way for each other and try to understand why your Partner is bending your ear, the same thing applies to me. and we need to understand when to back of and understand what the other partner needs.

    I am registered disabled and now we have moved away into an adapted cottage for my ease of getting around. So you will need to make these type of decisions at some time of your life, ask yourself are we adult enough to make decisions not only for myself but also for others who love us.

    All I can say is discuss and look what you really want out of life, also give and take, if you do that you are a good way forward for a long marriage

    It is always to easy walking away, the only one who cannot do a bunk off if the child who is stuck in the middle. No choice there.

    We have been together now for about 40 years

    BOB

  • Elias, I really feel for you, Gemma & Bob have said very positive and sensible things. I hope that your sister has relocated regardless of whatever thoughts your father may have. He's had his time and proved to be a useless role model. Do you feel that you may turn into him? is this making you sad too. You won't because you have recognised his failings and you are sensitive enough not to follow in his footsteps so do not worry.

    You have to 'woo' your wife back, saying sorry is one thing but getting her know that you mean it is another. Take her to the park with your son, hold hands, smile at her, tell her how lovely she is and how lucky you are to have her. Get a babysitter and take her out as a treat once a week, it doesn't have to be a costly exercise as once you have her on your side supporting you, you will gain inner strength which in turn turns into confidence and therefore you are breaking a pattern.

    You say that she suffers as well from depression so this 'change' will help her too. It is hard enough to cope with ones own depression let alone a partners as well and she also has the added responsibility of being the main parent I expect.

    My husband moved us to Spain to help me recover as the weather is more conducive. When I return to the uk I feel suffocated as everything is grey, sky, buildings, pavement and even peoples faces so maybe a different climate may help BUT no where near your father.

    Take care of yourself, I have only recently joined this site and feel lighter in mood from the kind words of wisdom from everyone on here, Dens

  • Elias,

    I agree with the others - see your GP and see if you need medication for your depression. But there are a couple of other things you can do outside of that, at the same time. See if either of these 2 things rings true for you.

    1. Being a good husband and father is something you have to learn to do. You don't suddenly acquire the knowledge when you reach a certain age or life event. Some men are lucky enough to have good dads, and were able to learn without even trying by watching their fathers. To these men, being a good husband and father feels effortless. Unfortunately, you weren't so lucky, and I imagine you probably don't want to be like your dad. However, you ABSOLUTELY can still learn to be a good husband and father; you will just need to work harder at it. And it will be so worth it!

    You will need to 1st, figure out what good husbands do, and 2nd, work really hard to begin doing those things, ALL THE TIME. This can seem overwhelming, but if you tackle one thing at a time, you will find it's not so hard.

    For the first part, figuring out what good men do, you have several resources: There are some good books out - buy at least one and read it. Think about your friends - which ones are good husbands? (If NONE are, you NEED to get some friends who are good husbands.) Look at what they do that makes them good husbands. Talk to them about how they make their wives happy. A good counselor can also help you figure some of this stuff out. Your wife can tell you (and probably already has told you) what makes her happy. Write out on paper the the things you need to do differently. Prioritize them: Which are the most important? Which are the easiest? Post this list on your wall. This list will change over time - that's ok.

    For the second part, pick one or two things that you're going to do differently. The first things you pick should be easier - give yourself the gift of success. Then work on doing them. (Don't try to do everything at once - it's not possible and when you fail you'll just hate yourself more.) Put a chart on the wall and mark how you do each day. Make it your number one priority. Do it no matter what happens each day. For example, you might decide to work on complimenting your wife at least once each day. Then do it no matter what. Even if the feelings aren't there, do the action anyway. Even if you're angry with her, find something to sincerely compliment her about. Even if the house is a wreck, and she looks horrible, and she's been grumpy, and she threw a plate at your head, you can still find something good to say about her - you're intelligent - figure something out. Then mark it on your chart. Give yourself a star if you did something spectacular that made her smile. Do it until it becomes a habit. If you mess up, just start over. This stuff is hard - if it were easy, you would already have done it. It's ok to mess up and start fresh.

    Doing this stuff might feel weird and stupid at first. Do it anyway.

    Tell your wife what you're doing and show her your chart. Women can be really patient when they see that you're really doing something, and that you're making progress.

    2. About guilt. Guilt hurts like crazy, as you know. And when you've hurt another person, like your wife, every time you look at her you remember how guilty you feel. Pretty soon, the sight of your wife reminds you of the pain of your guilt, so you associate the sight of your wife with pain. Then you get mad at the person that causes you pain. And you want to hurt that person. It's completely natural. Think about what I've just said, re-read it, and see if it makes sense to you.

    It's a vicious cycle. And the person that bears the brunt of it is your wife, and there's not much she can do about it because it's stuff that's going on in YOUR head. It's easy to see why someone would want to get out of that situation.

    There IS a way to stop this cycle. The good part is that it's completely under YOUR control. The way to break the cycle is to apologize immediately after you've hurt someone, or as soon as possible after you realize it. Doing it quickly is for YOUR benefit - that way the guilt and pain don't have time to build up so they're overwhelming, and you don't have time to get angry at the other person. The other part is that it needs to be a GOOD apology.

    What is a good apology? Apologizing well is something that needs to be learned. I would bet lots and lots of money that your dad NEVER apologized to you or to your mum. Some men have even been TAUGHT they should never apologize; this generally leads to a horrible family life. It's possible you may have never seen a man apologize. (I was lucky enough to have a father who apologized when he was in the wrong, and I can't begin to express how much I admire, respect, and love him. He's 81 now, and I still ask him for advice and want his approval.)

    There are several good resources on what a good apology looks like. I googled "good apology", and found this site. At the bottom of the page, it lists some things a good apology has, and some things a good apology has to leave out. Print it out and study it.

    nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/...

    Basically, you should only talk about what you did wrong, list the ways in which it hurt her, and tell her how you're going to avoid doing it again in the future. You should not talk about ANYTHING that's her fault, and should NEVER say she made you do anything. Even if you FEEL it's her fault, don't SAY it!

    You will need to practice. A counselor can give you a safe place to compose some apologies for different situations, and practice delivering them. When you apologize to your wife the first few times, you may want to write out the apology first then read it. (Tell her why you are doing it - I think she will understand and approve.)

    An example: Suppose you and your wife have an argument. She calls you names, hits you, throws things at you, goes out to a pub and flirts with other guys to get even with you, and burns your toast the next morning, on purpose. You've also done a couple of not so nice things. Now it's time to make up. Your complete apology might sound like, "Sweetie, I'm really sorry I raised my voice to you and called you a name. It was disrespectful and I know I hurt your feelings. In the future, when I feel myself getting that angry I'm going to try to take a walk around outdoors so I can cool off." Then you STOP TALKING and LISTEN. Even if the list of things she did to you is a lot longer than what you did to her, and worse, DON'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Really!

    It takes a strong, determined, courageous man to be able to do this. You need to set aside your pride. You need to decide, in the moment, that peace in your family is more important than being right or than fairness. I believe that you are that kind of a strong, determined, courageous man. You have demonstrated that by surviving your childhood, then going to a different country and doing your bsc and masters. You have demonstrated that your family is more important than your pride by coming on this website and asking for help. I took time out of my day to write this note to you because I believe in you. I know that you are a good student, and I believe that you can use the skills you have developed in academia to learn to be a better husband, as well.

    I hope that some of this can be of some use to you. Good luck, and I'll be thinking of you and wishing you success.

    -K

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