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Old 03-17-2009, 05:28 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hi Sillysquirrel,
My AH's mom has suffered depression in the past; I believe she's maintained a light dose of anti-depressants for years. Before we realized he was an A, he had a few depressive-type episodes, but never did anything about it. Late last year I brought it up to him again, and he went to see a doctor and had anti-depressants prescribed. Neither of us are really sure if the meds did anything, but now we've moved and the meds ran out and he's waiting to get his new health card to go see a dr. again. Point is, after my initial suggestion, I've stayed out of it. And will continue to do so. He's aware now, and the rest is up to him. He didn't like the 'idea' of meds, so in the end, even if he agrees with the diagnosis, he still may not take any steps. Out of my hands.
A friend from Al Anon whose husband became depressed (his dad was the A) did suggest a book called "I don't want to talk about it" (I think it's by Terrence Real?) about male depression. She recommended it solely for me to be informed and more compassionate if I felt AH suffered from D, but NOT for me to push him into anything.

I know what you mean about being a long-time partner with a person so wanting to help them. I am slowly learning the finer differences between having a healthy relationship and codie behaviours. It is subtle. Over these months, and with Al Anon, I have a 'healthy' concern for him. An example is when he complains about something. He'd say that some guy at work is a real deadbeat and not returning his calls on a time-sensitive thing. I'd say things like, yeah, the guy seems like an ass, why don't you send another email and copy his boss, or that if he doesn't respond by x, you'll move on and he'll lose his opportunity to voice his opinion. Seemed pretty innocent to me and he'd just say, yeah, I guess I could do that etc. I look back at simple situations like that and realize I was proposing solutions which took that power away from him. And I bet he wasn't asking me for any solution by sharing. So now, same situation, I say 'that's too bad you had a bad experience with this guy. How do you think you'll handle it?"
I feel better because I've acknowledged his issue, I'm sympathetic and listen. But, I'm still clearly on MY side of the line. I used the analogy of a soccer game to try to explain to my mom (who think I should fix him) - I can cheer him on from the sidelines, but I can't step onto the field and score his goals for him. You can support him in a way that still keeps you focussed on yourself. The 2 things aren't mutually exclusive.
I hope that helps. Do you go to Al Anon?
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:59 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I had a similar experience as silkspin in that I encouraged my XABF to see a doctor.

Before I knew of any other problems, I found out that my XABF suffered from bulimia. I encouraged him to see a family physician, at the very least, to ensure that he was in good health. He did go to the doctor. At the time, he told me that he was prescribed the generic form of Prozac to help curb his urge. He kept this medicine in the cabient and took it daily. What he didn't tell me is that he also was prescribed Ambien to help him sleep. He kept this medicine in his night stand and doubled up on doses.

What is boils down to is that he used the doctor's visit as an opportunity to further practice unhealthy behaviors. He certainly did not tell his physician that he abused alcohol. Otherwise, he would have never been prescribed Prozac or Ambien. He was using the Ambien in addition to and as a substitution for drinking. I didn't find out he was on Ambien until four months after his first doctor visit, and it was not a pleasant experience for me.

Pharmaceutical treatment can certainly help, but I think it's also important to have some sort of counseling or therapy if there is indeed a mental health problem.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:46 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Hi, sillysquirrel.

This is how I felt:

I met, married, and started a family with a wonderful man - bright, funny, smart, loving, committed, open, etc....

Somewhere along the road that man started behaving differently. He was diagnosed with depression in our 5th year of marriage, then with bipolar disorder in our 6th. Each time the doctor would change his medication I would be so hopeful that everything would get back to normal. That he would be happy again, stop isolating, stop drinking so much. In P's case, his binge drinking continued in spite of the medical treatment for his psychological disorders.

I was convinced that the depression was the "cause" of his alcoholism. I spent hours researching medication options for him, investigating new clinical trials that showed promise, etc... I wanted him to feel better - I wanted the old guy back.

I have become convinced that I will never know the true source of P's problems - whether the alcohol caused his depression and wild mood swings or his depression and wild mood swings caused him to turn to alcohol. I don't know.

It doesn't matter.

It is unfair that he changed. It is heartbreaking. It makes me angry.
But it is what it is. There is nothing that I can do to bring the man that I loved back - and there is nothing that P can do to bring the naive, pushover, little girl that he married back. I have changed, too.

My STBXAH has been seeing a psychiatrist and taking multiple medications for his mood disorder for almost 2 years now. He still drinks to excess when he feels the urge. He remains someone that I cannot live with.

P is content to be who he is, and I am not content with him. That is all that matters.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:15 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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My husband is 2 months sober and going to AA. Yes, he is still suffering mood swings and apparently that can continue because his body is still withdrawing from the alcohol for up to a year. I would have left already if it wasn't for the step work I am doing in Al-Anon. I'm learning that his mood doesn't have to be my mood, his opinion of me and my shortcomings is not fact. He hasn't thrown himself into recovery and the negativity is still there in him but I have finally learned that I am not responsible for his happiness. Likewise he is not responsible for my happiness.

To give a concrete example. He'll say I'm fat. In the days before I realised he was an alcoholic, I'd think: I am fat. I've got to exercise more. In the days after I realised he was an an alcoholic but before Al-Anon, I'd think: What a jerk. Why am I still married to him? NOW, he says it and I think: Actually, I look great and if he can't appreciate it, it is his loss. Leaving my husband won't make me look any different. Sure I won't hear the negativity but nowadays I don't hear it anyway.

I don't know how long I want to live in my bubble of detachment but in the same way he takes his sobriety a day at a time, I take my marriage a day at a time and today, I don't need to take any steps to leave it.
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