Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can you "catch" depression?

"Waiting for life" wrote:


I knew I could not be alone with this..although the last post was over a year ago. My husband was diagnosed type 2 12 years ago. Probably had it for 18 months undiagnosed based on the jerk he all of a sudden turned into. I had about three years of normality before that. i cannot now remember how I felt for that person,he rarely shows up that way. We are finally living somewhere where the drs are better; but it seems too little,too late. i did not put my foot down 10 years ago(well, i tried,, but he knows it all..stop nagging,yada yada). Now his neuropathy has him in total pain, just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and we are trying to figure out how to pay for the omnipod(he is unwilling to mess with tubing). He has a sixth nerve palsy(stroke of the eye) that will supposedly cure itself 3 mmonths-1 year. I think the worst part is the depression that he refuses he has. It is catching..I left one time to try to save myself, but only moved a few miles away and got sucked back in when the economy tanked. Had devoted myself to taking care of him and found myself unmarketable. Am thankful every day that we were somehow unable to have children-would hate to have them subjected to this. I stay for my dogs and because the whole situation has isolated me so much that i would have no support system to try it on my own. lately he has threatened to drive his car off a cliff and make it look like an accident; i say nothing. I do not see the dr myself(except gyn). It is all about his health;quite frankly I am scared, cause they always find something wrong. People that do not know a diabetic are useless to talk to about it. They ask questions like how is he feeling? how do i answer that? Noone asks how am I feeling? I am just trying to hold on to myself so there will be some me left to go on after. My worst fear is that he will continue to live forever and I will be taking care of a blind amputee with alzheimers ( and of course, diabetes)

WOW! I had never stopped to ask the question....can I "catch" depression from him?  But you know what, I think you can - to and extent.  I think the nature of living with another person who is always in a depression can bring you down.  I have learned how to fight it and refuse to allow myself to sink into that hole with him.....but I didn't always do that.  I would find myself being so "sad" when he was "sad".  I turned quiet when he got quiet.....I think it's the nature of being married - you do things together.

When he was diagnosed with depression, I realized what had been happening to me and snapped out of it.  How?  I found something else to do with my life to keep me busy, I set goals for myself, and I started working at helping other people outside of our family circle.  It worked!

Over the years, I have turned to art, genealogy, history....groups that involve these topics.  Once you join and become active in a group (serve as an officer or volunteer on a committee) you meet other people who have a similar interest.....and these groups are completely outside the world of diabetes.  It's been refreshing and inspiring!

Yesterday, I spent the entire day visiting with an 81 year old woman, helping her seek down her family tree.  She was thrilled with what we found and we set up another date for next week to do some more research.

I've also started a huge genealogy project that may well lead to writing a book about the project.  I find that the more I delve into something like this the less his diabetes interferes with my life.

BUT....on the other hand......this ongoing problem he is having with his digestive system is keeping me up at night.  Seems like no matter what he eats, he has explosive diarrhea all the time.  And the smell is horrible.  I no longer invite anyone to come here. I go "there" wherever it is.  I haven't slept all night since I got home because of the sounds and smells.  I asked him last night if he would go to the doctor and he said, "I'm thinking about it."

Sigh.

Today, I am rewording our wills - it's been 10 years and it's time to just update them.   Reading though the medical power of attorney, I see that we need to make some changes and will get that done.  I'm hoping that each of you has an updated will in place including a DNR, medical power of attorney, financial power of attorney - everything in place in case it's needed.

DW

4 comments:

tomswife said...

Hey DW -- just so you know, we can't read the other person's comment. the right side of the sentences are cut off.

On the other hand, the point is clear.

The depression question is interesting because I have a diagnosed case of chronic depression -- not related to another disease. Fortunately, Tom does not have depression related to his illness. When I am not on medication (doesn't happen anymore) my life becomes horrible and so does his. fortunately for me -- Tom does not fall into my sadness with me -- he pulls me out

It scares me that he could become so medically ill that he could also become depressed then where will we both be? something to think about....

Diabeteswife said...

Think I've fixed the formatting error so you should now be able to read the comment made. Thanks for letting me now!

Lilly said...

I believe that being around a depressed person all the time can be
"catching." I am constantly trying to avoid sliding down that slippery slope of depression. We all need to learn to be very good to ourselves, especially in the midst of so much negativity from our spouses. Otherwise, what is there?

Mary said...

I believe that I have situational depression. I am depressed because I live with a depressed and negative person.

Dh has his highs and lows with his diabetes and I have to deal with his bad behavior, out-of-control spending, and mood swings.

When I am away from him I feel so much better. As soon as he comes home I mentally retreat and do not engage him in any way because I never know what kind of mood he will be in. He is on so many medications plus his diabetes meds.

I am unemployed at this time so the days are very difficult and lonely. Some days I think that if I could support myself on my own salary I wouldn't even be here reading about this horrible disease and how it affects the person and their family members.