Trouble in Paradise
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Mental illness, depression, and suicide

I have known that my husband suffered from anxiety and depression since very early on in our relationship. He had told me that he had never considered suicide though. We have been through a lot together. We married about 2 and a half years ago. Since then, he had a seizure, we had a major car accident that was the other person's fault, we moved across the country away from our family,and we have purchased a house. All major decisions, we deeply discuss more than once, just to be sure it's what we both truly want. I am a teacher and he works for the DES. About a month ago, I was serving bus duty when a bus driver told me that he spotted an ambulance and a police car at my house earlier that day. I rushed home and was calling the hospital only to find that my husband had tried to kill himself by taking nearly 100 pills. Fortunately, he called 911 on himself. I found out that because it was suicide, they were not allowed to call and tell me unless he specifically said that, and he was so gone on the pills that he never said it. 

Since then, he went through therapy at a mental health facility, but we haven't gotten in to a local psychologist because no one here takes real insurance (we live in a poor community made up of mostly native Americans, who receive free healthcare). Our closest city is an hour away, so it isn't something we have had opportunity for. While in the mental health facility, they found that he has low potassium sometimes (the same thing that caused his seizure) and that his depression medication was no longer working because he had developed a resistance to it. He also doesn't get good nights of sleep because of sleep apnea, which he's been trying to get a machine for it for 3+ months.

Although I know that many of the issues that caused his attempted suicide aren't really an issue as much now, I can't help but freak out any time that he is by himself or is having a bad day. I get a nagging worry that I just can't shake and basically secretly panic all day long. I feel like I smother him because I ask if things are okay and how he is feeling on most days. I know that it often annoys him, but I feel that it is only fair because I almost lost my best friend. I love him. I worry about him, but I don't know how to satisfy my worries without making him feel smothered and like I am overbearing.

Additionally, since his attempted suicide, he has told me that he isn't sure that he wants children (which I don't disagree, is probably for the best). But I have always wanted to be a mom. I can't miss what I never had, so I feel like I can kind of cope with that, but I am afraid that I might resent him someday for it. Even though he has changed his mind, I don't feel like that is grounds for divorce because I married him because I love him. I just don't want to regret things later.

I know that this isn't the place to seek mental health advice or whatever, but I just feel so alone in all this and didn't know if anyone else had gone through similar and how they are dealing with it. Sorry this was so long, but there is a lot of detail.

Re: Mental illness, depression, and suicide

  • I'm so sorry to hear about what you and your H have been going through.  Is he on a different medication now for his depression?  I don't know a lot about depression, but I would think it is important he is under a doctor's care.  Check with your insurance company about the local psychiatrists.  Even if none of them take insurance, I wouldn't be surprised if your insurance company would allow you all to still use those doctors (though it would be out-of-network).  You'd be responsible for paying the bills directly to the doctor, but your insurance company could then reimburse you for their portion.

    Or, if that is a no go, speak to some of the local doctors.  Explain your predicament and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them would offer you a discount/sliding scale on their fees.  If not, than I think it would be worth it for your H to drive the one hour to the bigger city for at least a monthly appointment.

    It would also be a great idea for you to go with him for a few appointments.  They can give you guidance on what to expect and how to best help your H.  They can also help you on controlling your own anxiety over what happened.

    As to the child question, it seems like that is something that should be tabled for now.  Once your H feels better in control, he might be open to the idea again.  But you also need to keep in mind that he might not or that bringing a child into the family might never be a good idea.

    I don't really know how to advise you on that.  For some women, that would be a deal breaker.  And I don't think there is anything wrong with that choice.  But for some women it isn't.  It doesn't sound like it is for you but, if you all get to a point where children are not an option, you may need some counseling yourself to learn how to best accept that.

    As an aside, I always feel a little out of my depth when another woman is talking about her problems with infertility or a reason (like yours) that she might not be having a child she really wants.  I have never wanted or had any urge at all to have a child, yet I can obviously see that many other women very strongly have those feelings.  I swear I am missing some piece of DNA that other women have, lol.  It's like, I can understand logically the intense desire people have for a child, but can't personally relate to those feelings.

  • I'm so sorry you are going through this. My husband has depression and anxiety and is currently weaning off one of his pills because it's ridiculously expensive. His moods are one of the reasons I told him I want a divorce. We have one child, I always wanted another but he couldn't handle it. He once told me if he could've looked into the future to see how it would be raising a child, he would've never had one. I'm an optimistic and happy person but his moods bring me down. Sometimes you need to think of yourself. You have only one life to live and you want to be happy. Divorce is the hardest thing to go through. If it's something Yoj would be considering, make sure you still emotionally support him. I'm in the middle of doing this now. My husband is begging for me to change my mind, I'm trying not to. But I listen to him talk and I told him I would always be Here to talk to. Good luck with everything Just remember, YOUR happiness is what counts
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