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evansmommie

Husband Is Depressed Because My Son And I Have Celiac

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Last night, my husband told me that he's deeply depressed. One of the main things that bothers him is the fact that my son and I have Celiac Disease. He said it upsets him that we're "sick." (I also recently found out that I have narcolepsy. It's very mild and, as long as I take my medicine, I'm fine.) He said it bothers him that we can't go to McDonald's or eat "regular" food. And it upsets him that sometimes I don't feel well.

I've been gluten-free for over two years and haven't had much issue with the diet. It was hard at first, like it is for everyone. But, I just adjusted because that is what makes me healthy! I've even had several people tell me they're impressed at how well I handled the transition. But, like a lot of you guys, I felt awful and had endured a broken hip at age 28, due to bone mass loss thanks to mal-absorption. My three year old also had a fairly easy transition to becoming gluten-free. He started the diet in March of this year.

So, how do I handle my husband? He still eats gluten. I haven't ever asked him to go gluten-free with us, so it's not that he's missing the food. And my son and I are healthier than we've ever been! I just don't understand it. Part of me thinks he just needs to knock it off. I know that isn't the nicest route, but at the same time, I feel like if I can handle it, he should definitely be able to. Especially since I don't care if he eats gluten or not. And I'm not very happy with being labeled as "sick" either. I know that some days I don't feel well, but I still work full-time, take care of the house, and take care of our son.

How can I help my husband feel better about this? I almost feel guilty because I have health issues!

Thanks!

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I can see how your husband wouldn't like it that you and your son are sick (even though you're doing better). However, I don't see how that would be enough to make him depressed. Depression is deeper than being sad about something.

Would he be willing to give St. John's Wort a try? It really helped me when I took it for depression for a few years. He may say he doesn't need it, I felt that way, too, but friends and family could tell when I would stop taking it, so apparently I did need it.

If he does try it, check for interactions if he's on other medication.

I would give St. John's Wort a try ... if it doesn't work, I would see a psychiatrist who can maybe prescribe something stronger. Depression and sadness are not the same thing.

If it's just sadness, maybe a support group would help him.

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I agree with Carla. Depression is not just about something it is, in my opinion, a state of mental being.

My husband suffers from Clinical Depression and requires drugs to keep the depression at bay. Don't be afraid to consult with mental health professionals. My husband consulted a psychologist first. Then on her recommendation went to the medical doctor to have the drugs perscribed. At the very least a psychologist can probably help him cope and accept having two celiacs in the family.

Best of luck.

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I think you should also consider a psychologist. I'm sure it is difficult for him to watch the two of you dealing with the ups and downs of celiac, but to be very depressed about it could be indicative of a larger issue that he may not even realize. The celiac might be the most obvious stressor in his life and therefore the thing that he thinks is causing the depression, but there's often many more reasons for depression that are not as easy to pinpoint. Good luck to both of you.

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I'm not an expert or anything but I've heard that clinical depression can be induced by stressful situations. An ill spouse and child could definitely count as a stressful situation. Try to get him in to see a counselor or at least to talk to his doctor. Maybe you could approach him in the spirit of keeping him well so that he can help you and your child.

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Perhaps there's also a bit of upset on his part now that you're no longer as ill as you were, and he's not needed as much. Maybe it's hard for him because he feels like he's being left out or is worried because you won't need him anymore? Just a few ideas, obviously I don't know your husband, but perhaps he is telling himself you're still sick so he'll still feel needed. Definitely should work it out with a psychologist though.

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Part of me thinks he just needs to knock it off. I know that isn't the nicest route, but at the same time, I feel like if I can handle it, he should definitely be able to. <sniip> How can I help my husband feel better about this? I almost feel guilty because I have health issues!

"Knock it off" was my first response when I read your message, but unfortunately, it's not the appoach that's likely to help him. I agree with others who say that there's probably more going on with him than being upset about yours and your son's celiac disease. Maybe he doesn't even know what's really bothering him. The other part of your post that struck me was the last sentence - you should *never* have to feel guilty about your health issues! It sounds like you have a glass-half-full approach to dealing with yours and ds's celiac disease....and that your dh is seeing the glass more than half-empty. He needs to talk to someone other than you about this....because it's grossly unfair for you to have to carry any - even a hint - of guilt. Good luck to you, and to him!

Rho

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I feel very, very hesitant to write this, as I may have totally the wrong impression.

You sound calm and together, and like celiac and the gluten-free diet is not a Major Problem for you and your son right now.

And you write that your husband told you that he is severely depressed, and that you feel guilty. But you didn't write anything about him behaving as though he were depressed.

Honestly, it sounds to me like he WANTS you to feel guilty.

Again, I might very well have the wrong impression here, but my red flag sensor is beeping all over the place, and all I can think is that something is really wrong with your husband (NOT depression) and that you need to get out of there. And you work all day, take care of the house and your son, and he says he's depressed and that it's your fault? He sounds like a major control freak to me.

Please forgive me if I have totally misinterpreted.

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hi there, my hubbie suffers with PTSD and sees a shrink and takes a very low dose of tryclictic anti depressants. i find that some times he gets into "pitty party" mode and when they get like this i find that they can be very selfish and try and make you feel guilty about what you are doing that week in your life. so fiddle faddle i think that you are on the right track in what you are saying. my hubby is doing well for the most part but once in a while i get a bit of a guilt trip from him about being gluten-free. so i would suggest that he needs to start seeing some one and hopefully that person can direct him as to wheather or not he needs to be on an antidepressant. and dont blame yourself it has nothing to do with you or your son, if it wasnt celiac there would be something else in your life that he would be unhappy about. i find that someone with depression could win the lotto tomorow and be grated eternal healthy living ( and remain a size 2) and they would still find something to cry about. im sure your husband loves you and your son and with some help could learn to be supportive all of the time and understand his depression better. GOOD LUCK!!

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I also agree with fiddle faddle. In addition to that, the consumption of gluten can and does cause depression, almost all of us remember those days....

Is your hubby overweight? He might see food as a control issue & with you he cannot control you that way, because you & your son are eating a healthy diet. Does he need someone that is more overweight than he is to blame for his problems???

I would also be seeing red flags everywhere, sounds like he is looking for something to not be right & wanting to make a scene etc.

I would also look to his family situation growing up for clues... Do you know his parents?

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Thanks everybody for your responses! I did talk to my husband about seeing a counselor to help him deal with his feelings. He said he doesn't want to do that, but will talk to our family doctor. She knows me really well, since I go see her ALL the time. :D I think she'll be able to point him in the right direction and he'll listen to what she has to say.

I think dally099 hit the nail on the head. We can be having the BEST day, and he still finds things to be unhappy about. It drives me crazy because I'm generally a happy, easy-going person. He wasn't always this way, so I'm hoping our doctor can help with this. His mom is a major drama queen. As he gets older, I see him being like that more and more. I think he needs a big attitude adjustment.

Thanks for all of your support guys!

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I know this thread has kinda run its course, but as the non-celiac spouse, I wanted to put in a last two cents. While I don't know your husband, and know that things are always complicated, I can empathize with his sadness over the diagnosis. While it might not be the ONLY cause, it might be the "last straw" cause. Guys don't like to feel unhappy, and pile it up. Can't remember when you said you were dx, but we are 3 years out and I still have moments of sadness, down from many moments (but our dx tales are so traumatic that it was a relief)

It is hard to "give up" the dreams I had of traveling effortlessly, the impromtu picnics, the spontaneous dining out with friends.... and yes, the patient gives up those things too, in a much more profound way. But my sadness has a value, too. Life is not a misery Olympics, we like to say.

We can be problem solvers as a couple, we can try lots of gluten-free food, we can be positive. But some opportunities are gone forever, and I think we non-dx people can be expected to feel that loss. Just my two cents.

joanna

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Everybody pulls a physical load. Some of us get ours earlier than others, that's all.

Your husband does sound like he's been pretty upset. I'm glad he started by talking with your doctor.

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