Confused and heartbroken

I’ve been in a marriage for six years. My partner who was mentally amazing and stayed by me through my illnesses (both physical and mental) for years, is now mentally ill. It’s been horrible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been yelled at. He’s starting to do the work but it’s been so hard. We’ve had many hardships that would make anyone depressed, but it also really got worse with the pandemic. Some days I feel like the strongest person ever for being a partner through thick and very thin, and sometimes I feel like a total idiot for staying. The yelling has become less and they end up sobbing in my arms after. I am just so so very tired. Anyone been through a bad depressive episode to make it through the other side? He started CBT therapy, and we know antidepressants are an option. I’m just also scared of antidepressants because five out of my eight closest friends are on them and aren’t doing much better. Depression seems like the next pandemic.

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Jonze

Aug 30, 2022 at 5:54am

Antidepressants can be really helpful for some folks, whether it’s a long term or short term solution. I think that therapy can be really effective though, as it will allow you to vent and maybe provide further techniques for coping. Also, don’t be afraid to use phone lines like 310-Mental Health. Sometimes speaking with a stranger who will not judge you can be really cathartic :)

7 1Rating: +6

Anonymous

Aug 30, 2022 at 6:23am

You don't think they didn't feel the same while supporting you? Perhaps they were being too strong for you and allowed their own mental health to be put on the side burner.

11 5Rating: +6

Don't blame the pandemic

Aug 30, 2022 at 8:25am

The problems may have seemed dormant pre-pandemic, but the pandemic itself is not to blame. Far too many people are taking the one step approach to making all negative outcomes in their lives a blanket statement through the pandemic. Marriages breakdown. Such is life. The new wave of thought is to blame everything on mental illness's as well. Take ownership. It might not have been the fairy tale you think it was.

7 5Rating: +2

Complex mental health issues here

Aug 30, 2022 at 9:05am

My two cents: getting to the source of my anger helped me a lot with depression.

It took years, as a lot of therapeutic and medical interventions, including CBT, encourage people to suppress or bypass difficult emotions in order to manage behaviour and function better in (capitalist) society.

The things that were causing me anger-related depression included class and gender issues, family stuff that I had suppressed, exploitative work culture, ableism, medical trauma, spiritual exploitation, etc.

So I started researching all of these things to get a better handle on them. I also read books on the nature of anger itself to better understand this emotion, and learn how it can be both a generative and a destructive force.

This, alongside monthly check-ins with a therapist, has helped me attain a better level of awareness about what is going on emotionally inside of me and what is going on societally around me that supports stasis in depression/anger.

This is a long and rocky road with a lot of two steps forward, one step back, but one that I found necessary after years of bandaid solutions and buying into the popular lie that if I just changed my mindset, everything would fall into place.

Regarding meds, I’ve heard mixed reviews. Antidepressants didn’t do much for me, but others have reported that taking meds gives them the relief they need to focus on their immediate needs and their healing process.

I hope this comment provides some helpful food for thought. Wishing you and your partner all the best as you walk this difficult terrain.

15 1Rating: +14

Be kind to yourself

Aug 30, 2022 at 9:07am

Give it time. I imagine that’s very difficult. Take care of yourself as well as them, best of luck. It’s been a difficult time for everyone.

10 1Rating: +9

Get out

Aug 30, 2022 at 4:05pm

Worry about your own mental health because I know the whole story!!

0 2Rating: -2

All My Relations

Aug 30, 2022 at 8:02pm

Much or most of what's called mental illness is caused by childhood trauma and the increasing pollution of the industrial poisoning of our food chain and the increasing pressures of what Vancouver's internationally famous Dr. Gabor Mate Md. titles in his new book: 'In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts'. Which incidentally is an ancient Buddhist term. Dr. Mate is making the point that mental illness is actually a spiritual illness so, as they say in Jamaica: "Be careful of the shadows after dark." OCM Sto'lo Coast Salish salutations

2 1Rating: +1

Oh OK

Aug 30, 2022 at 8:16pm

"My partner who was mentally amazing and stayed by me through my illnesses (both physical and mental) for years, is now mentally ill.....and sometimes I feel like a total idiot for staying"

So hubby stands by you for years, puts up with your stuff.... but when he needs you you're thinking of ditching him.

Wow..just wow.

8 1Rating: +7

OP

Aug 30, 2022 at 9:00pm

Wowza! What interesting mixed responses.
@jonze, complex, and kind- thank you for realizing there’s a human on the other side of the screen and giving genuine thoughtful responses.
@anonymous- it actually has occurred to me, however having seven surgeries in eleven months and almost dying twice I was a bit preoccupied :) thanks though

@dont blame the pandemic- Yes it’s not the whole picture but it certainly didn’t help. I think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that peoples mental health suffered but koodos to you I guess? Never said it was a fairy tale, I just know that people are complicated and it’s been a struggle and I can’t sum up the value of a human and a relationship in a one paragraph post.

2 3Rating: -1

I hear you

Aug 31, 2022 at 4:29am

It’s so tough to be in a committed relationship and yet feel it’s so unhealthy at times. I am now in a similar situation. Roughly 20 years together. Your illness was super hard on you both. I’m so sorry. Yes, your partner probably had a rough go during yours and now you want to try to help them through theirs… That is hopeful that the yelling is less right? — Now that I am in a similar situation to you where one day you feel so committed and the next, so doubtful, I have to say keep finding breaks for yourself, keep calling those mental health helplines or finding ways to get things off your chest. Then you can be better equipped for the tough days. Only this year after so long have I been adamant to my partner that I need that walk on the beach alone, or maybe some creative time for pure enjoyment. During those times you’ll be able to breathe and remember why you fell in love. I don’t have the drug experience to speak about but the CBT seems helpful if your partner is willing. Honestly at this point my partner doesn’t seem willing to admit they have a problem, so if yours is able to acknowledge and work on it, there is a little hope right? I hope you can get out for a calming walk or coffee with a friend today for a break.

4 0Rating: +4

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