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Thread: Husband's Depression

  1. #1
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    Husband's Depression

    I have no idea who to talk to about this - so here goes!

    My husband was injured about three years ago in a motor vehicle accident. Since then he has frequently said that he wishes he had just died in the accident and that life would be much easier for myself and our young daughter if that had happened. I try my best to reassure him that is not how I feel, but I cannot change how he feels about it.

    Well, the other day he went out with another paralyzed friend of his and came home and told me that he and his friend had decided on the '50 and Out Plan' - that meaning that if their SCI was not cured by the time they were 50, they would kill themselves. He was very logical about how he told me this - that he would not want to do it now because our daughter is little and it would traumatize her, when he is 50 she will be an adult and will be able to handle it. (How about traumatizing your wife by even having this conversation??). I asked him if he was suicidal today and he said No, but my thought is if suicide sounds so great at 50, why not 40, why not 35? (By the way, he is 31 right now.)

    He also informed me that he has stopped taking the anti-depressant that his doctor has prescribed. He said that they do not make a pill that will make him feel better about living in a wheelchair, so there is not point to it.

    Anyone have a similar experience? I have no idea who to talk to about this???

    After watching my husband & my family struggle with this SCI over the last three years, I would not wish any of this on my very worst enemy!

    Jen

  2. #2
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    I have no doubt that I will be considered "COLD", but I have lived with the depression and almost daily suicide talk. I hear daily how I would be better off if he and my mom were gone. Well that is probably true, but I love them, want them in my life. But I also get ticked off that he would WAIT for a few years down the road. I have an attitude, if you are going to do it, do it now. Why waste my time. And as far as your daughter is concerned, I don't agree that there is ever a right time for suicide not to be traumatic. Certainly she will be effected at any age.

    My husband begged me every day to let him die, for two years. I finally said, OK. I contacted the Hemlock Society, they put me in touch with a group in Switzerland. He was accepted. He NEVER NEVER said that to me again.

    I agree with you that this is a hard job. Nothing fun nor happy about it. Fortunately I am tough. But I am tired.

    I love my husband. I have no plans to leave him. I put him to sleep at night rubbing his little bald head and watch him while he sleeps. I miss him.

  3. #3
    Jan, I'm sorry. You know, it's kind of funny in a weird sort of way - when 'outsiders' think of the problems with SCI, they think primarily of the paralysis - wow, he can't walk. We've come to realize over time, with the complications my son has had, that the paralysis is really the least of the problems.

    Depression is nasty; you can't put a finger on it; it's not visible; it doesn't manifest by bleeding, or physical pain, or a black and blue mark on the body. It's in that 'outer space' zone of the mind, and that makes it even harder to deal with.

    I would suggest you talk with everyone you can about this - your pastor, his doctor, and try to get some counseling for him - and maybe even for both of you - with a person who's experienced in SCI issues. Where did he do his rehab? Can you call that facility and get him seen there, or can they give a referral?

    Does he come to the forums here, even if just to read? He can hear so many more positive points of view here.

    I wish you well; please keep in touch with us, even if you just need to 'vent' a little.

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  4. #4
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    Jen, it may be just a way to get reassurance, who knows? Counciling may help. But if he refuses, there's not much you can do. In my case, I just don't buy into it, but my bro is TBI so that makes a difference. He doesn't really go there much, but does tend to just wait to be cured.
    Shabu you are a smart cookie! Was he bald before you started rubbing? HaHa.

  5. #5
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    [Originally posted by lilsister:

    Jen, it may be just a way to get reassurance, who knows? Counciling may help. But if he refuses, there's not much you can do. In my case, I just don't buy into it, but my bro is TBI so that makes a difference. He doesn't really go there much, but does tend to just wait to be cured.
    QUOTEShabu you are a smart cookie! Was he bald be]fore you started rubbing? HaHa.[/QUOTE]

  6. #6
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    Lilsister, I was trying to respond to your post and certainly screwed it up. Yes, he was bald before. I love the sense of humor.

    I truly am not advocating that everyone handle depression and suicidal threats the same as I did. I think I just reached the point that 1) I was sick of hearing it 2)I worked my butt off all day feeding, cleaning, etc. as he is 100% dependent only to hear the wish to die at the end of a long day.

    It is hard to know how I would feel if the shoe was on my foot. But not only would I not wish this on my worse enemy, I question if I would ask someone I love to do what we do.

    Again, he is my buddy. I took care of my dad for four years while he was dying of cancer, my mom, still, after 5 strokes, and my husband. I am NOT by nature a caregiver. But as long as this old body holds up I will do what I do.

  7. #7
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    Shabu, it worked for you guys, that's the important thing. Would probably be called "tough love" by a daytime talk host, but it sounded practical and honest to me. Many people don't have access, funds, insurance or acceptance of person involved for therapy or counceling. I don't think it is out of line to set your limits or expect that they honor our requests occassionally. It is one thing to voice a feeling, another to drag others with you. It could become like an emotional blackmail or manipulation.
    My husband is bald and beautiful also, maybe from pullin' his hair out over my constant redecorating schemes! He swears I've painted every room in this house at least twice. When he gets in late I have to leave the lights on so he doesn't trip over the rearranged furniture! But after all, we have lived here 5 years. And wait til he see's my new plan for the kitchen.........

  8. #8
    Shabu - awesome post. You're right, maybe not traditional but it works for you - kudos. I also got a hearty laugh out of "little bald head" - Thank You.

    Jen - ok, I hear you. Let's break this thing down. A) He's 31. B) He's got 19 yrs before he's 50. C) A lot can and will change during that time physically and emotionally. D) He should come here and correspond with some of us who think the same things yet continue to move forward and help speed the process towards recovery. If he wants to rid himself of paralysis then ask him what he's doing to solve the problem instead of complaining about it? Lots of talk, sounds like no action.

    Paralysis sucks. There's not a moment that goes by that I wish none of us were here. But, we are. So, do we fight or flee? (I think that most members here are fighters) Are we (the sci'd patients) selfish enough to huddle in our little corners shutting the world out or are we brave enough to let the world in and try to make the best out of a bad situation?

    I don't know what kind of person your husband is but my guess is that he would benefit from staying as physically healthy as possible, keeping up his meds (despite what he says), staying as busy and productive as possible (idle hands are the devil's playground), focus on you and his family (we the injured often do better when we deflect the attention from ourselves) by showing the love he has for you, your daughter and the sanctity of marriage and commitment. I would also encourage him to read "Cure" related articles since he and his friend seem fixated on this. Along with this time is on your side. 19yrs could be a 180 degree turnaround. Hell, two years could be. Focus on the realistic and the positive while trying to stay away from the doom and gloom.

    The sci'd are a funny bunch and I'm sure very similar to other sufferers of other maladies. We're generally, from what I've encountered, either "poor me" or "oh well". Its tougher to find those with balance between the two. In four years of my injury I've only discovered three who as sci'd think and act like I do.

    Three yrs ago when I was quite fragile and a quiet suicide seemed like the best way out I found CC. And although this place might not have quite the same magic it once did I'll bet that your husband and his friend might just benefit from taking a peek inside for a week or so to realize that hope is alive and well, there are greater days ahead, science is on the cusp of curing us and that the only thing holding us back is ourselves.

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It is also, imo, man's most selfish act which leaves an indelible(sp) and senselessly tragic ripple effect that has a greater negative effect than a positive one.

    Leaving is not the answer, staying is.

  9. #9
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    jstenerson
    My husband was a c5-7 injured on 6-6-02 and he hated being in the wheelchair. But he hated the pain he was in worse at the time. We did find out that when I got hurt and had to stay off my leg for a couple of weeks, Some of his depression went away. Because his was brain was busy on something other than him and his problems because we have two small autistic children that are very rowdy and someone had to chase them. Just the thought that he was needed still and that he really could help and do things other than just sit there was a big help you him. I know he made the comment that we would be better off without him and I can tell you for a fact that he was wrong.


    God will only give what we can handle.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Hi, Jennifer--thanks for your post. You can never tell who is out there that needs to hear what your issues are, and who might be helped by having the question aired.

    My husband was injured 3 and a half years ago in a skiing accident. He's had substantial recovery, and our kids are teenagers, so our situations are not exactly the same . . . still, sci is sci--a horrendous, infuriating, frustrating mess.

    My reaction to your husband's threat was: Hey! Tell him that you're on the 5 years and out plan yourself. Tell him that you can't put up with this kind of crap, and that if it goes on too long, you'll be the one with the suicide agenda, and he can figure out all by himself how to do right by your little girl.

    I don't, of course, recommend that you say any such thing. But I thought you'd want to know that some of us out here understand how unfair and crazy it can get.

    I'm writing just as a person--not as a moderator, or somebody with special authority or knowledge. I say that because when I was new here, I thought the moderators had been, like, chosen because of their special expertise and trustworthiness. We weren't! We're just regular members who happen to have the time to monitor the forums. Anyway--thanks again for your thoughts, and keep us posted.

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