I Am Pregnant and Struggling to Help My Husband Cope with Bad Depression and Anxiety: Advice?

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QUESTION: How Can I Help My Husband Cope with Severe Depression and Anxiety While I Am Pregnant (and a SAHM)?

“I have a dilemma in my household right now. I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby. During this pregnancy, my husband has been dealing with depression and anxiety.

He gets professional help and has been prescribed medication to help his symptoms. The dilemma is that he has hit the point where he doesn’t have energy, wants to sleep in, zero motivation to do anything.

I’m a SAHM to a 4-yo and an almost 2-yo, so there is a lot to get done. I have a history of preeclampsia, and the swelling has really kicked in.

I know I need to take it easy, but how do I do that when I have a husband I’m trying to help through his personal struggles and maintaining the household?”

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I Am Pregnant and Struggling to Help My Husband Cope with Bad Depression and Anxiety: Advice?

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“If he has no energy, wants to sleep a lot, and has no motivation, then his depression is not getting better or is getting worse. His therapist needs to be working with him weekly to build coping mechanisms and he may need either a higher dose or a different medication…

… I know it’s tough on you, but understand your husband is going through a hard time that he doesn’t have full control over. Chances are he feels very guilty for feeling the way he does and that adds to the depression. Sit down together and work out a plan to help each other get through this. You may have to ask for outside help such as family or friends to get some stuff done around the house or help with the other children.”

“Contrary to what some people are saying here, being mean about it is not going to help. Depression is a struggle I deal with EVERY day. Having someone come down on me does NOT help. In fact, it sends me deeper into depression and just generally feeling terrible. If my partner comes and says, “Hey, I know you’re struggling but I could really use your help with X, Y, Z.” That helps me find the motivation to get up and do something…

… If he’s been on this medication for at least 6 weeks and still isn’t getting better, he may need a different medication or dosage and should speak to his doctor about it. Also, YOU would benefit from attending a therapy session with him once in a while so that you can both come together in a safe space and figure out what kind of coping mechanisms will help you both to come through this together and so that YOU know how you can help him without inadvertently making things worse.”

“I agree with everyone in the comments that he needs his medication re evaluated, but finding the correct meds for depression can be a long and hard road. Is it possible for you guys in the meantime to hire some help? maybe a family member that could come over a couple nights a week just to help with the kiddos or clean up? Best of luck.”

“His medication isn’t working. He has to make some effort to help himself. I know it’s hard. But he has to take care of himself first.”

“He needs to have a reevaluation done on his medicine and try to identify/manage the trigger(s) of his anxiety and depression. You cannot do it for him but be a support system for him while taking care of you and the littles. Prayers, momma.”

“He needs encouragement, not help. He can literally only help himself and you need to encourage him to… let him know that you are beginning to experience your symptoms now and that yours are dangerous for you and baby and that he needs to now help you instead of the other way round.”

“Do the minimum to get by. Do dishes when they need or buy plastic dishes and throw them in the bin. Do washing when needed. Get kids to clean toys. Ask family or friends if they can pop over to help. Do as much as you can handle and be gentle with yourself. It’s not forever and you will get through it.”

“I’ve suffered with severe depression and anxiety since I was a child. I get like he does; it’s literally disabling and I can’t function. Cognitive behavioral therapy and bullet journaling is what I’ve found to be the most helpful throughout my years of therapy and experimenting with different techniques and coping mechanisms.”

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