Serious question - anyone here tried counseling?

Thread Starter

BelleFixer

Joined Jul 21, 2016
26
My husband recently got laid off from work and he's been very depressed. Anyone here tried the counseling thing? I'm seriously considering doing the couple therapy thing with him so that he'd feel that I am supportive but I don't know how to open it up.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,921
I've done it; it helped me. For it to work, you need to be willing to make any necessary changes.

You'll probably need to do individual sessions first so the counselor can get an unfiltered view of the situation.

Has your husband seen your personal physician? They can prescribe medication; some therapists can't. All have terrible side effects. If you need them, you want to do whatever you can do to get off of them as quickly as possible.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,667
My husband recently got laid off from work and he's been very depressed. Anyone here tried the counseling thing? I'm seriously considering doing the couple therapy thing with him so that he'd feel that I am supportive but I don't know how to open it up.
Depending on how long he was with a particular job a layoff can bring some depression. This is normal and only you and your husband combined can decide if he should seek counseling. Should you decide something needs done I would start with your primary care physician. I doubt anyone here knows your husband or sees the symptoms of depression you are seeing.

I have seen the reverse of a layoff depression in one of my co-workers. Dick had been with the company for 40 years and 30 of them in a department we shared. Myself, I was in the department for 25 years. Dick was 70 when he retired and when he was planning to retire he called me into his office one day, my office was beside his. He confided in me his plan to retire but mentioned he was seeing a psychologist because of apprehension and depression over his impending retirement. I simply couldn't relate to it. I set up my retirement for May 1st and it was January. I went out at 63 and May couldn't come soon enough.

My sister Jackie was laid off at 60 just recently and she knows age discrimination is alive and well but I have yet to see her show any signs of depression. She knows getting a new job at 60 is not likely but she does not seem overly concerned or depressed about being unemployed right now. If I saw any signs of depression I may or may not suggest counseling but I would certainly leave such a decision to her primary care physician.

Ron
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
From the title of the thread, I thought it was about getting marriage counseling and I was about ready to reply "Just go get a divorce and be done with it". :p

However, on a serious note, I've never gotten depressed enough to feel the urge to go to a shrink. I guess it's because may life has been so dysfunctional that nothing bothers me that much anymore.

In fact, the San Francisco Bay Area (and the entire state of California for that matter) is so riddled with endless socio-economic and environmental problems that I'm getting used to living in the dysfunctional place. In fact, there's a joke that "Politicians are now a worse problem in California than earthquakes".

However, I'm going to stop talking about it before I start blurting out political comments right and left and get kicked off AAC. :p
 
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I don’t know you and I am not a Psychiatrist or a Clinical Psychologist or a clinician of any kind. What’s more, I can’t even answer your title question with a yes. But, I want to respond to your post.

Here is my thinking…as I am typing, I have a bad toothache…got it filled last week only to learn that it needs a root canal. I am taking antibiotics and some mild prescription pain relievers and have to hold out until the root canal appointment. But, I am hoping that I will benefit from the treatment …. Nobody is going to get me a brand new tooth, but I need help with this and I know it.

Now, why not seek help for other kinds of situations, like grief and depression?

Barely a month ago, you posted about the loss of your Dad. Now, your husband has lost his job. These are tough cards to play for anyone. You and he may be feeling pretty low right now, but that does not mean those feelings have to be forever. My two cents is yes, seek some help, for him, for support of him and for you.

When you say “….but I don't know how to open it up”. Well, look around and you will see plenty of these:

CRISIS LINE

+63 2 893 7603 || +63 917 800 1123 (Globe) || +63 922 893 8944 (Sun)

Depression Grief and Loss Relationship Issues Substance Abuse Sexual Assault Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation School & Career Issues Thoughts of Suicide.

..call one, maybe call a couple, ask some questions…get some answers…
 

Thread Starter

BelleFixer

Joined Jul 21, 2016
26
Now, why not seek help for other kinds of situations, like grief and depression?

Barely a month ago, you posted about the loss of your Dad. Now, your husband has lost his job. These are tough cards to play for anyone. You and he may be feeling pretty low right now, but that does not mean those feelings have to be forever. My two cents is yes, seek some help, for him, for support of him and for you.
I grew up with my grandmother and she's a very open-minded person. She taught me that it's better to talk it out, then to keep your feelings bottled up which is why I don't mind going to therapy or counseling. What I meant by I don't know how to open it up - is to my husband. He has this thinking that people who talk to therapists are "crazy" - the stigma, and I remember a few years back, we were talking about his cousin who went to see a counselor for personal issues. He mocked him and said - He always had a screw loose. That wasn't the case. His cousin has Bipolar 2.

Anyway, you are all right. It's not easy to deal with life changes and the problems that come with it. I do think I also need the help. WE both need someone to help us deal with our problems. I just want him to feel that I am by his side. We sleep in separate bedrooms for months now and I don't want that to persist. Yes, there may be other issues involved.

It says in Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/marriage-counseling/about/pac-20385249) that if you have a troubled relationship, you must seek help. I consider this troubled. Or am I just overthinking? I don't know. I have read so many articles in various sites like psychtoday, huffingtonpost, regain and more and I feel we both need this. I just don't know how to approach him as he will really tell me to suck it up since he "doesn't have a screw loose." Maybe I should go by myself.

Thanks for letting me rant and for taking me seriously
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,921
This turned into a very long read. Don't try to digest it all at once. Scan for things that might be helpful.
It's not easy to deal with life changes and the problems that come with it. I do think I also need the help.
It's not a sign of weakness to to know when you need help and to seek it. Not seeking help for severe depression can make things worse because he'll keep spiraling down and could take you with him.

Losing your job, particularly at an older age, can be devastating. If your Husband was the sole breadwinner, his sense of self worth will have taken a severe blow. If you're working and are now supporting the family, that would be another blow to his ego.

It seems that the biggest problem for your Husband is that he is biased against psychiatry. He'll have to get over that before he can be helped.

He needs to accept that he's depressed, or anxious, (only a professional can diagnose this), acknowledge that psychiatry can work, and do something about it.

Until he does that, you can go to counseling yourself. Maybe a therapist can help you to help your husband deal with his issues, but your husband needs to man up and do what's necessary for him to get on with life.

I had been through several episodes of experiencing severe loss when I was a teen, or just a few years older, I was sad but it never occurred to me to not go on living my life and doing what my parents would have wanted me to do. The episode I couldn't deal with myself occurred when I was in my 50's. I had a Wife, 2 kids, a mortgage, my company was laying people off so I felt that my job was at risk, the economy was going through a recession, stock/retirement accounts had taken big hits, my Father-in-law had just passed away, my Wife needed comforting so I couldn't talk to her about my problems, and I was the sole breadwinner. I couldn't bring myself to talk to my Wife about the things that were concerning me, and I spiraled out of control.

When the tiniest thing would set me off crying (I never cried when my parents passed away), I knew I needed help (my Wife and kids had never seen me cry because I hadn't cried since before my Parents died). My Wife thought the death of her Father was bringing back unresolved issues from when my Parents died and said I needed to see a doctor; I agreed with her that it wasn't something I could handle on my own. I went to our primary care physician (PCP). She diagnosed me as being depressed, prescribed drugs, and told me to see a psychologist. I did and the psychologist diagnosis was anxiety. The drugs used are the same. I took a leave of absence from work, went to counseling, and the therapist was able to help me understand the real issues and how to deal with them.

For your Husband to get help, he'll need to admit that he needs it, go to the doctor, and do what he needs to do to move on. If he can't, or won't, do that, there's only so much you can do to help him. You can't do it for him.

If your Husband won't accept you going to counseling to help you deal with your anxiety/grief/depression, you can try sharing your feelings without the help of a professional. But, you could make things worse. The best thing would be for you to go to a therapist and get some ideas that would help you help your Husband get over his barriers that are preventing him from getting the help he needs.

The drugs they use to tread depression/anxiety are terrible. The side effects were frightening. My personality changed, and my Wife and kids didn't think it was a change for the better (though they didn't tell me at the time). Even with no feedback, I knew something was off. I discussed it with the therapist, and she sent me back to my doctor to have my dosage reduced. You have to follow doctors' directions when taking those drugs because they can make you feel even more depressed/anxious (even when they're supposed to do the opposite). Suicide is a potential side effect.
 
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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,402
Seeking professional help to improve one's situation in life is perfectly normal and sensible. Right now I'm watching a team of guys build an addition on my house. It's probably something I could have done myself, given enough time, but these guys are experts and will get the job done quickly and, hopefully, correctly. Most people go to the doctor if they need stitches, x-rays, or whatever else warrants a visit to a professional. We seek help if we have to appear in court.

For some reason, though, there is a stigma attached to getting coaching or counseling. We don't bat an eye when a ball player gets coaching or counseling to become more competitive, but if Joe next door gets career counseling or life coaching, we think that is somehow a sign of weakness. It shouldn't be - it's simply a shrewd recognition that nobody knows everything and that there is expert knowledge out there that you can purchase. If the benefits outweigh the cost, it's a smart purchase.

I doubt you or your husband would regret giving counseling (or coaching) a try. Just the act of taking positive steps to improve your life would help exercise your positive attitude, which is very healthful. If you decide after a while that it's not "worth it", that alone would be useful knowledge.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,315
Here's one possible approach (it may have been suggested already). Instead of trying to convince him to go to counseling with your support, ask him to support your efforts to seek counseling for yourself. In addition, you can soft-pedal it for his benefit by explaining that there have been a lot of changes and challenges in your life and you have come to realize that you probably aren't handling them as well as you could and so you would like to hear some ideas from a trained expert on how to handle them better. But since you are a team, it would be best if he went with you as his thoughts and observations will undoubtedly prove useful, plus any changes you make will be more likely to succeed if he is fully aware of what you are doing and why.

If you do go that route, you want to be careful to not cross the line into blatant deception. What you tell him should be completely true as far as it goes, just not necessarily the whole truth. If he goes initially to support you, then let it evolve and morph naturally into something that you are both doing to help the both of you.

If he is unwilling to go with you to support your efforts to improve, then you probably have bigger problems to begin with.
 

Thread Starter

BelleFixer

Joined Jul 21, 2016
26
This turned into a very long read. Don't try to digest it all at once. Scan for things that might be helpful.

It's not a sign of weakness to to know when you need help and to seek it. Not seeking help for severe depression can make things worse because he'll keep spiraling down and could take you with him.

Losing your job, particularly at an older age, can be devastating. If your Husband was the sole breadwinner, his sense of self worth will have taken a severe blow. If you're working and are now supporting the family, that would be another blow to his ego.

It seems that the biggest problem for your Husband is that he is biased against psychiatry. He'll have to get over that before he can be helped.

He needs to accept that he's depressed, or anxious, (only a professional can diagnose this), acknowledge that psychiatry can work, and do something about it.

Until he does that, you can go to counseling yourself. Maybe a therapist can help you to help your husband deal with his issues, but your husband needs to man up and do what's necessary for him to get on with life.

I had been through several episodes of experiencing severe loss when I was a teen, or just a few years older, I was sad but it never occurred to me to not go on living my life and doing what my parents would have wanted me to do. The episode I couldn't deal with myself occurred when I was in my 50's. I had a Wife, 2 kids, a mortgage, my company was laying people off so I felt that my job was at risk, the economy was going through a recession, stock/retirement accounts had taken big hits, my Father-in-law had just passed away, my Wife needed comforting so I couldn't talk to her about my problems, and I was the sole breadwinner. I couldn't bring myself to talk to my Wife about the things that were concerning me, and I spiraled out of control.

When the tiniest thing would set me off crying (I never cried when my parents passed away), I knew I needed help (my Wife and kids had never seen me cry because I hadn't cried since before my Parents died). My Wife thought the death of her Father was bringing back unresolved issues from when my Parents died and said I needed to see a doctor; I agreed with her that it wasn't something I could handle on my own. I went to our primary care physician (PCP). She diagnosed me as being depressed, prescribed drugs, and told me to see a psychologist. I did and the psychologist diagnosis was anxiety. The drugs used are the same. I took a leave of absence from work, went to counseling, and the therapist was able to help me understand the real issues and how to deal with them.

For your Husband to get help, he'll need to admit that he needs it, go to the doctor, and do what he needs to do to move on. If he can't, or won't, do that, there's only so much you can do to help him. You can't do it for him.

If your Husband won't accept you going to counseling to help you deal with your anxiety/grief/depression, you can try sharing your feelings without the help of a professional. But, you could make things worse. The best thing would be for you to go to a therapist and get some ideas that would help you help your Husband get over his barriers that are preventing him from getting the help he needs.

The drugs they use to tread depression/anxiety are terrible. The side effects were frightening. My personality changed, and my Wife and kids didn't think it was a change for the better (though they didn't tell me at the time). Even with no feedback, I knew something was off. I discussed it with the therapist, and she sent me back to my doctor to have my dosage reduced. You have to follow doctors' directions when taking those drugs because they can make you feel even more depressed/anxious (even when they're supposed to do the opposite). Suicide is a potential side effect.
First, thanks for taking time to read about my troubles; secondly, for your inspiring story, you're one tough guy. And finally for your suggestions, very well taken.
 
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