Introduction and advice needed — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

Introduction and advice needed

I gave birth in Nov 2011 to my first baby girl.  I have a lifetime history of depression and anxiety and had been taking Wellbutrin before trying to conceive.  After I gave birth I felt fantastic-never better, up until 1.5 weeks ago when LO started sleeping through the night for 8-10 hours.  My hormones seems to suddenly shift back to normal (which for me means feeling depressed and anxious and wrestless). 

 The advice  I need is in regards to DH.  He is a mental health counselor-so he KNOWS about depression, but he's never experienced anything like it, especially a depression that is so closely linked with biological factors and not situational factors like death, etc.  There is no REASON I'm depressed-I just am.  Instead of being supportive and checking in on me, he runs and hides and stays away from me like he's scared.  If I put up walls because I don't want to be vulnerable he takes it personally and gives me the silent treatment.  I've tried to outright tell him I need him but then he gets overly sensitive and thinks I'm criticizing and turns the conversation into being about him.  He's a very sweet guy, but this one area has him completely dumbfounded which has left me feeling abandoned in my biggest area of need for support. 

 So, those who have been there-what do you say to get your S/O to understand and to snap into it?  I can't go through life fighting depression on my own, especially not with a baby.

Re: Introduction and advice needed

  • If I didn't know better, I would seriously think I wrote this post. My DH is a mental health counselor as well, and he too just cannot stop turning these types of conversations back on him. Must be something with these male counselors, huh?

    The only thing I can suggest is (ironically enough) counseling for both of you. I still go on my own, but every other week we do couple's counseling and DH did agree to go, and it has helped a lot. We still get in these same arguments, but less frequently, and are better equipped to handle them. And, we get to hash the issues out with a counselor, which can be quite helpful.  Do you think your DH would go with you? 

    Also,  have you gone back on your Wellbutrin? Was it helping at all? I know I had to discuss a med change with my doctor because I was having such an extra rough time. It started when DD was around 4 months, and it just kept getting worse. He changed my doses, and added a med, and I feel much better. I hope your DH can get on board. I have told mine the same- it is so hard trying to deal with the depression, anxiety, and a baby; I needed him to be there for me more than anything. Good luck, and I really hope things turn around with your DH soon! 

  • DH had a hard time for many, many years. But then again, I did too. We still get in fights over nothing, but way less often now because I can tell when I'm just angry because I'm angry, and angry for a reason. Before I start criticizing or yelling I try to think about why I'm angry or sad and if I really am angry or sad because of that or if I'm just using that as a way to express my depression. More and more I end up saying, "I'm just mad because I am, and have no reason for it, but today it just pisses me off!" This helps us because DH knows it's not his fault, even if he did leave the milk out.

    Then again, DH isn't in any sort of medical field. He works with computers and that might make it easier for him to understand.

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  • Maybe because they are in the field (our DH's) they just feel like they shouldn't have to "deal" with it at home too.  This morning I just outright said "I need help."  He finally asked sincerely what he could do to help, and after thinking about it I asked 1.) for a hug 2.) I need affirmation.  The baby woke up screaming, he went and got her and then he sincerely pointed to the clock to show me he was really running late and asked if its ok if he went to work.  I said sure, but asked if he could please just write me an email when he gets to work. He said, "of course."

     He didn't, he called to check on me.  Which I appreciate...yet once again he's "helping" me in the fastest, most convenient way for HIM and totally ignoring the answer that I gave him when I said I need to be affirmed and wanted him to write an email.  Once again my actually needs were unmet and our relationship stayed on the shallow level that its always on.  I just wish for a second he would step out of his world and into mine. 

     Thanks for the suggestions about counseling.  We went for 3 sessions right before the baby was born and after 3 he said it helped but that's enough.  I feel like real progress doesn't happen in 3 sessions...  Now it just seems like such a hassle with the baby being here and I'm not working so its not really in the budget.  Stupid excuses, I know.

    As far as Wellbutrin, I was able to get it called in last night so I will start taking it again.  It will help, I'm sure, but these deep relationship issues will only keep coming back.  I feel like DH only knows my face-he doesn't know my heart.


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