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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » My husbands Crohnís disease is making me depressed


 
12-01-2017, 10:43 AM   #31
London
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Wifey
My husband is like you! He takes care of me and does everything! I struggle with depression and crohns. Definitely file for disability for him! You can do the paperwork. Before I got crohns I used to work for the county and have helped people and family members file for disability. You have to get a disability lawyer donít do it by yourself. As far as my husband, heís Italian and so we have open communication. It really helps. Sometimes we get mad but generally we find that itís because we are both mad at the disease not each other. Donít be afraid to start the dialogue... we always feel better after talking frankly. Just donít take things personal. Believe me your husband is depressed, angry, frustrated and a host of other feelings. Itís nice to have a spouse that you can talk to and let it out. You have your own feelings too! If he wasnít sick your lives would be different. This disease rules your life or at least thatís how it feels!!! Take your life and marriage back!!!
12-03-2017, 06:58 PM   #32
MizzSarah
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016

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Sighs---this topic touches close to home for me. I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2014 but long before I was diagnosed, my father has had this disease since he was in his early 20's. He has now 53 and my mother has been his caregiver for as long as they've been married. My mother tries to never complain about how emotionally and physically exhausting being a caregiver is but I can tell.

I know this has to be exhausting for you and frustrating. Especially if perhaps your husband is in a pretty dark place right now. Unfortunately Crohn's is a disease that keeps on giving. It comes with all sorts of added features and it's never pleasant ones. There's so much that changes that your husband has every right to feel how he is feeling. And you have every right to feel the way you do. Neither of you are wrong.

I can say from my experience that my dad is not the most pleasant man to deal with. I know he's exhausted from his long battle. I know he is frustrated that his life has not went the way he wishes it could have. He always tells me he once had a dream to fly a plane. He wished he could have gone to school to get some form of college degree. His Crohn's has never allowed him to meet his life dream and when he is frustrated---it's always about the life he wishes he had.

Your husband is probably feeling the same way which is why he seems unwilling to try anything. My dad is the same way. He does not like change. He gets anxiety going to doctors. All of these fears---stems from the disease. It is not him as person.

I wish there was something I could say to help you here but this is going to be one long journey. You will both have to sacrifice alot. But I believe that if you really find some way to take care of yourself---it will help you cope. You need help coping as well. You need a support behind you and you need to have hobbies outside of your role has caregiver.

One of the things I wish my mother did with my dad many years ago was find away to form her own identity outside of being a caregiver.
__________________
Crohns Disease
2014
Meds: Humira & Entocort
2nd Gen affected
12-03-2017, 08:49 PM   #33
AreWeThereYet
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington
Hi Wifey

I'm the patient, my partner my caregiver. Together 6 years w/ active symptoms throughout, and the past 2 years near constant EUAs, abscess surgeries, and diagnostics. In the past year, I have spent 50% of my time in surgery or recovery from. Blah blah blah.

Here's the thing: For most of that time, I was a really crappy patient to care for. I battled anxiety, depression, and just plain exhausted nihilism. I was sick of doing nothing, sick of feeling sick, and sick of having to explain evetuthing to so many doctors...over and over again. I threw tantrums and screamed and cried. I felt frustrated that I had to ask for help with everything, and resented my partner for our moderately messy home, because I keep a very neat home when I am mobile.

When the most recent flare started and our first appointment with the surgeon was complete, I watched him crumble inside, then deliberately rebuild himself, firm his resolve, and turn to me. I realized then that this might not hurt his body like it does mine, but he feels it in many other ways. And I could see he was afraid for me...but also for himself. Afraid, I think, of being helpless in the face of my frustration and screaming agony. Frustration for opportunities lost and adventures missed. Sadness that I was suffering.

Empathy finally got through my pain. The next day, I made an amazon care package for him with a couple charming comic books, his favorite tea and chocolate bars, and a simple game we can play togethet, even when I'm too sick to get out of bed.

I am encouraging (almost insisting) that he find something to do out of the house every week. I have even chatted with his best friend to ensure he finds an excuse to go out. I have intentionall put more effort into touching and caressing my partner, and telling him how loved/cared for/safe I feel when he is caring for me.
I have even accepted that the house is kept in a different way than I would.

You see, his needs, the sick persons needs, can't always come first. Where will HE be if you don't care for your own needs? Tell him you feel sad and helpless and need support. Tell him you understand that his disease and his depression are debilitating, so you are learning how to seek help and do self care.

Go back to therapy by yourself or join a local support group, or both. Find time to do something you enjoy that's for you. Mefitate. Take a day off caregiving once/week-- even if that means relying on friends, family, or a home aide occassionally. Set boundaries for yourself, so you have the space to care for yourself.

As for your partner, recognize he is very likely severely depressed with his situation. Continue to speak compassionately to him, but tell him how you plan to practice self-care, and give clear instructions on how he can help: Turning the TV off while you meditate, for instance, or making dinner on Monday night while you attend a support group. Take the conversation as an opportunity to talk about your (and his!) love languages.

And when he does do something you've asked fot, tell him how it makes you feel: "I really appreciate you making time and space for me to meditate" or "I feel really loved coming home to a meal you made for me." Remind him with your praise that his moods and actions have a big impact on you.

Only when you are healthy and well cared for can you be a caregiver.
12-03-2017, 10:57 PM   #34
Wifey2424
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Sighs---this topic touches close to home for me. I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2014 but long before I was diagnosed, my father has had this disease since he was in his early 20's. He has now 53 and my mother has been his caregiver for as long as they've been married. My mother tries to never complain about how emotionally and physically exhausting being a caregiver is but I can tell.

I know this has to be exhausting for you and frustrating. Especially if perhaps your husband is in a pretty dark place right now. Unfortunately Crohn's is a disease that keeps on giving. It comes with all sorts of added features and it's never pleasant ones. There's so much that changes that your husband has every right to feel how he is feeling. And you have every right to feel the way you do. Neither of you are wrong.

I can say from my experience that my dad is not the most pleasant man to deal with. I know he's exhausted from his long battle. I know he is frustrated that his life has not went the way he wishes it could have. He always tells me he once had a dream to fly a plane. He wished he could have gone to school to get some form of college degree. His Crohn's has never allowed him to meet his life dream and when he is frustrated---it's always about the life he wishes he had.

Your husband is probably feeling the same way which is why he seems unwilling to try anything. My dad is the same way. He does not like change. He gets anxiety going to doctors. All of these fears---stems from the disease. It is not him as person.

I wish there was something I could say to help you here but this is going to be one long journey. You will both have to sacrifice alot. But I believe that if you really find some way to take care of yourself---it will help you cope. You need help coping as well. You need a support behind you and you need to have hobbies outside of your role has caregiver.

One of the things I wish my mother did with my dad many years ago was find away to form her own identity outside of being a caregiver.
Yes, I fear that this will unfortunately be how he views his life, and I hate that! I can only look at your parents with admiration though. We have only been together for 11 years and I know that the journey will be a rough one. I, also in some ways have those same feelings as your father without being the one who is sick... like,ĒI could have done this or that if things were differentĒ but as the caregiver you feel so guilty for even thinking those things... much less saying it out loud. Donít get me wrong, I appreciate everything we have and we live a relatively good life (besides this damn disease!) but you canít help but have those feelings. My main concern is not letting those feelings lead to resentment on either side. I know we love each other very much and I donít regret being with him for a second, but sometimes you can still feel trapped even if you donít want to leave the relationship.
12-03-2017, 11:07 PM   #35
Wifey2424
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Hi Wifey2424,

I'm so sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. Chronic illness is a terrible thing to deal with, I have IBD and have had 14 surgeries on my rear end. My wife left me and took my son with her. I think you are being such a good person to stick with your husband. Have you considered a marriage counselor? It was really hard for me to reach out to receive disability status and payments too because I was ashamed that I couldn't provide for my family. There is no shame for applying to disability for help. Maybe you should let him talk to me on a pm (private message) I would be willing to tell him what I went through and encourage him. You can do it but it really does take an effort.

Feel free to reach out to me on a pm any time you need someone who understands a male point of view. also I may be able to answer questions about, "how guys with IBD/Crohn's think."



I wish you all the very best,

Chris
Chris,

I am so sorry to hear about your situation! It truly makes my heart hurt. My husband often tells me that he canít understand why I am still with him (which is pretty annoying to be honest) but I know he feels like he has nothing to offer. This may be true from a housework/job/being social standpoint, but these are not the reasons we are together. I try to tell him, ďwell, you didnít have a job when I met you and you were never much good at house work so really you just go out a little less!&#128514 I am trying to get him to open up more but, as I am sure you know, itís just hard. I have brought up marriage counseling and he generally agrees with me about these things but agreeing to and going is where we tend to have the disconnect. I struggle to get him to make it out to his doctors appointments so itís just baby steps for now!

Thanks you so much for your kind words and I will be keeping you in my thoughts!
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