Spouse with D&A

I am new here. I am the wife of a man that has depression and anxiety. Today is hard. We have plans this weekend, and as usual when we have plans, the anxiety flares up and he says he doesn't want to go. So I say I will go alone, and he feels like a failure. It is really difficult for me to cancel plans with friends or skip out on show tickets at the last minute. It is a hard situation to be in because he feels like he either has to white-knuckle it and pretend everything is fine and go, or he stays home and feels more depressed and more like a failure because he made me go alone. Anyone else have this struggle or have suggestions on how to help him? His D&A affects me tremendously, but I feel like if I share my struggles with him, the depression and anxiety twists it and makes him feel I am blaming him or unhappy with him. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is the most wonderful man in the world, but this mental illness affects us both. How do I help him know it's not his fault, while still being able to do daily things and keep commitments?

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  • What I think of 1st is why does he stay this way and has he been seen by a doctor? What is he doing to get better? This should be a temporary state, not a constant how-to-manage-it-state. Is he on medication? How long and what drug? If not, why not? This is a serious problem requiring medical management. While waiting for a drug to work you could cut down on outside social commitments and potential problems because they are no-win situations, as you have observed.

    Your husband also needs the other half of his healing, which is talk therapy. Counseling by a skilled therapist. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. There's plenty to learn about his depression and anxiety and coping with both and learning the triggers and how to handle them, how to work himself down from anxiety that is too high and so much more.

    Ideally your husband should see a psychiatrist who is the expert in selecting an antidepressant that is right for your husband, but sometimes a GP can get by with this job. Then you still need a recommendation for a therapist. Ask every doctor you know, and your friends and family members' doctors, too. I applaud you on your wonderful attitude with your husband's troubles. He needs your support and you have so much to give and it's so appropriate. He's a very fortunate man. I trust you'll help him get the best care for his needs.

  • All you can do is LOVE him. I am exactly like your husband, I want to go out, but I need the time alone to Meditate and make myself happy! Remember that YOU are the only person who can make you happy, and he is the only one who can make him happy. So, smile, make your plans, buy your tickets, and GO, Happily 🌺 One day he will say, "Could you buy another ticket for the Concert?".... or NOT. He'll let you know when he's ready.

    Hope this helps a little.

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