You probably notice that despite the severe depression crisis last year and the current recurrence, I am generally focussed on doing what I can to support my wife and I’m generally hopeful that we’ll be able to grow together through the challenge.
But, gosh… it’s exhausting. I can handle the low mood and irritability, I can provide reassurance for the general anxiety, but the paranoid delusional thinking, with anxious rumination is really wearing me down. I feel completely trapped with no good options available As she sinks deeper, even the fleeting insights she had seems to have weakened. She has extreme fears of reaching out for support from friends, for fear that they’ll spread personal information about her. The inner anxiety is expressed through compulsively searching the internet and personal journal writing to understand her pain, or obsessively want to explain to me why the particular incident at the school is so significant. Validating her feelings does not relieve her pain, and attempts to change the subject always lead back to that issue. I feel stuck.
As it happens, I noticed that Fast/Preston (Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder) refer to this type of situation as “The Bipolar Conversation”. I thought I was being sensative enough to my wife’s perspective, but it seems I have alot more work to do, to find the right words and support, to respond and not react. This is definitely never easy. Compounding the challenge is our reduced sleep from my wife’s early morning waking. The last couple days, I feel the supportive, trusting connection between us is being strained. I fear I won’t have the strength to hold our family together, if it gets much worse. It’s certainly not at ‘panic’ levels like last year, but I think I need minimum committment to stick with a process of doctor appointments and therapy.
Despite my wife’s strong reluctance, I am certain we need more support. She agreed that reaching out to a friend who has been through her own experience with depression seems worthwhile, but this clarity fluctuates with her mood. I will encourage her to follow through with this – maybe she can provide enough reasurrance for my wife to stick with the treatment process.