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Old 07-22-2022, 10:15 AM   #1
RDMercer has no updates.
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Default POSSIBLE TRIGGER - marriage and parent issues


I've posted a lot on other boards here.

My wife and I have longstanding issues in our marriage. She has dealt with deep depression and physical pain and illness for a long time. That pain was released as anger towards me for probably 10 years. I was blamed for big things, including her inability to complete school and find work. The insults have been really bad at times.

I've kept a lot together for years, including largely raising kids that speak openly about emotions, and who have reached their teens and maintain good friendships, no drugs, ok marks in school. I've stayed employed. Our home is clean and vehicles are running.

My parents have been a big support and source of positivity. They've extended huge financial help at times we needed it. They have ALSO been hyper religious and judgemental. They live hours from us. Their health is failing.

I'm also helping an elderly aunt and uncle with no kids that needed help for a number of health reasons in recent years.

Today, and in general:

- I feel like a failure for needing parental financial support during times my spouse wasn't working. My spouse wouldn't apply for benefits as that was confirmation of their inability to work which was too hard to face. We were going to lose our home.

- feel like a failure for not helping my parents.

- Feel like a failure for not helping my aunt and uncle more. I love them and have appreciated their unquestioning moral support.

- I often hope I'll pass in a few years. My youngest will be graduating by that time. I'm insured like crazy. My family will be fine financially. I'm beyond exhausted.

- I don't do anything for me. There's no time or resources. As my elderly family pass on, I don't know who I will have emotionally; hopefully my kids. I'm not hopeful my life will change. I'm not hopeful my spouse will treat me better. Leaving will bankrupt us both. We genuinely will not afford to live.

I take an antidepressant that helps a lot, but this all remains.

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Old 07-22-2022, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: POSSIBLE TRIGGER - marriage and parent issues

I'm sorry you are suffering. That is heartbreaking.

Comparing people with depression to people without depression seems to me like comparing apples to oranges. Depression is a HUGE burden to carry and crushingly heavy at times.

When other burdens are added it, I think it is understandable that we cannot succeed at everything. Even people not afflicted with depression don't succeed at everything they try.

So I think you are quite a heroic person. And I see you as a person of dignity and moral stature. Situations less than those you have faced have put me in a psychiatric hospital.

I don't think it is right for people to have the same expectations for people with depression that they have for people without depression.

No one would expect a completely and incurably paralyzed person to climb Mount Everest.

But people without depression can have very unrealistic expectations for those of us who do and they can wrongly see our losses and failures at various things to be flaws of moral character when they are more realistically and more fairly seen as effects of profound illness.

Sometimes it is not the case that we have broken some rule. Sometimes the rule is wrong or that the rule requires exceptions for certain groups of people.

What is realistically expected of normal people cannot realistically and fairly be expected of say a person totally paralyzed. Does that make a totally paralyzed person into a failure or does it rather reveal that others who see him or her in that way have unrealistic expectations given the conditions.

Depression affects different people in different ways and in different intensities. I have known people with huge depressions where the act of just getting out of bed in the morning was unbelievably difficult and heroic.

Depression has been linked in some studies to profound disabling effects in the brain: atrophy of certain vital areas of the brain such as the amygdala and hippocampus. Losses of mass and density in certain areas of the brain through atrophy has been seen to reach 25% in some cases.

Microscopic analysis of brain tissue in persons with depression shows profound pathology: loss of protective glia cells, atrophy of brain cell dendrites.

Brain scans of persons suffering depression have shown evidence of reduced regional cerebral blood flow and energy utilization [glucose metabolism] of a profound nature. These are not little or insignificant things.

So I think that, under the circumstances you have lived quite a heroic life. And I am sorry that those near and dear to you cannot for whatever reason appreciate you.

When I was in a psychiatric hospital for depression, I had this conversation with a psychiatrist: He said: "You are going to have to say "no" to a lot of people if you don't want to end up here again." And I said: "If I say no, I will be a failure as a person and I will let everyone down." He told me: "You are not 'letting them down'. It is their unrealistic expectations about you that are causing them to feel let down and judge you harshly. That is also why you judge yourself harshly."

Now I am not in your shoes, but from my perspective you have done a lot and certainly more than I could have in the circumstances. So I can only look up to you, only look up to you in amazement, admiration and deep respect.

Wish I knew what to say to be truly helpful to you . . . helpful to you real, practical terms, but sadly I am somewhat in the same boat as you are in and a fellow struggler.

Hopefully others here with more understanding, compassion and wisdom will see your post today and respond with things truly helpful to you.

My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Yao Wen
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Old 07-22-2022, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: POSSIBLE TRIGGER - marriage and parent issues

Thank you Yaowen.

I appreciate your kindness greatly.

I didn't know about the effects of depression on physical structures of the brain. I find that very interesting.
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