Depression can be a nasty disease that takes over not just your life, but also affects the lives of those around you. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to deal with someone with depression. Some people get scared and cut off all ties with that person, who is left guilty for something they can’t control. Here, one man opened up about how despite the fact that his wife’s depression affects him and their family, he understands she can’t control it and refuses to let it ruin their marriage.
Depression. Cody Mullins writes via Your Tango about how although his wife’s depression has taken a serious toll on their marriage, he refuses to let it fall apart. Instead, he’s doing what he can to understand her disease, and to be there for her as much as possible.
Marriage. Mullins says that ever since the beginning of their relationship, his wife Casey has struggled with depression. However, in the beginning it was hard for him to understand what she was going through. But after 13 years of marriage, Mullins has gotten a grasp on it
Struggle. “Making it to our 13th anniversary wouldn’t have been possible had I not tried really hard to understand having a depressed spouse and deal with my wife’s severe depression. She’s been struggling with depression for the majority of her life,” writes Mullins, via Your Tango.
Random. Mullins explains how like most people, his wife’s depression doesn’t come and go at certain times. It’s random and can last between just a few days, to months at a time. Luckily, Casey has the support of not just her family, but her doctors and the medication they prescribe her to keep her going.
Tears. “The first time I experienced my wife’s depression was a few weeks after we met. She came over to my apartment late at night, and without much warning or reason, burst into tears. She cried ‘ugly tears,’ as we called them, with every bit of energy within her. I pulled my soon-to-be wife into my arms and we sat together on the couch (while she sobbed) until we both fell asleep,” writes Mullins.
Not a choice. Like a lot of people, Mullins admitted to having no idea what depression was or anyone who suffered from it. In his mind, people either chose to be happy, or they didn’t. But now, he realizes that depression isn’t something you chose in the least bit.
Episodes. “The beginning of our marriage included many tear-filled episodes. Throughout the entire second year, my wife stayed home (voluntarily — she wasn’t fired or unable to get a job) mostly because of her depression. Getting out of the house to do anything was too much for her, and most of her days were filled with tears and sadness” writes Mullins.
Suicide attempt. Things truly took a turn for the worst when Mullins came home one day to find a then pregnant Casey unconscious. She’d taken a bottle of pills, almost killing herself and their unborn child. After going to the hospital, she was placed under psychiatric care.
Signs. “I don’t know when the light bulb finally came on. When I look back now, I can’t pinpoint the moment when I finally began to understand the disease. There was no Oprah ah-ha moment. I didn’t go to a class on depression and I didn’t read any books on depression. Instead, I started to recognize the signs of my wife’s different stages of the disease, and through trial and error, started to notice which actions actually helped and which ones made her depression worse,” writes Mullins.
Wake-up call. The suicide attempt— albeit traumatic, was also a huge wake-up call for Mullins: he needed to be there for his wife, no matter what. He saw that it was unfair to blame her for being unable to get out of bed or for not showing affection, and instead started to change his perspective.
Unfair. “Her inability to do things like dress the kids, go to the grocery store, or even something as simple as showing love isn’t her fault and it isn’t her choice. She isn’t choosing to feel the way she feels and allowing something that she can’t control to damage our marriage is unfair to both of us,” writes Mullins.
Single parent. Mullins admits that at times, things get tough, especially when it feels like he’s raising their kids on his own. Other times, his wife’s lack of affection makes him feel less than. But at the end of the day, depression turns his wife into a completely different person, who isn’t his wife at all.
Disease. “And it isn’t always easy to take an objective view of my wife’s depression, but understanding her disease has allowed us to work through the episodes and come out of them without much marital damage,” writes Mullins, via Your Tango.
Questions. Now Mullins says his daughters are starting to become more aware of their mother’s condition, and are starting to ask questions. The only thing Mullins can do is keep them informed and be there for them as well.
You. What do you think of this husband’s devotion to his wife? Do you think you could be this supportive of a suppose with depression? Why or why not? Let us know what you think!