Husband Won't Admit He Is Depressed

Updated on January 06, 2013
A.G. asks from Highland Park, IL
16 answers

My husband needs anti depressants but won't admit he has depression. He argues that it is situational and once he gets a new job everything will be different. This has been going on for years and I can't get through to him. We keep going around in circles. Any suggestions short of secretly drugging him?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It may well be situational. But there is no shame in getting help to deal with this situation. He could try the antidepressants (or whatever his doctor recommends), and then, when the situation changes, he and his doctor can re-evaluate and talk about discontinuing them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

Does he do any kind of physical activity? Maybe exercise or even a long walk could help. Also, try D3! Most people are deficient in D especially in the winter.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Redding on

There is such a thing as situational depression.
How long has your husband been out of work?

You obviously can't secretly drug him.
Maybe you can convince him to go to the doctor for a work up.
My friend's husband exhibited signs of depression and in fact, what was wrong with him was that he had very low testosterone levels. He received injections and his energy, stamina, and labido were restored. It brought him out of his funk.

My point is that it could be something besides depression that's affecting him. You can't make him admit he's depressed if perhaps that really isn't the root of the problem. He could have some physical or metabolic levels that are out of whack. Don't harp on the depression thing. Encourage him to go to the doctor and check for other things.

Just my opinion.

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answers from Biloxi on

Since secretly drugging him is not really a good choice :) How about looking at some natural "remedies" to see if that helps improve his mood. A muli-vitamin may help, also some tweaks in his diet. St. John's Wart is an herbal remedy for depression.

I quick Googled some information - but suggest you do further research if you go the diet route.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Men are not likely to admit to medical issues. I personally do not believe in anti-depressents, though. Unless he is being a threat to himself or others, I do not see the point. You can't force him to do what you want. My suggestion would be to back off. Have you tried changing your behavior? Leading by example is the best way to see change. You have not given any examples to indicate why you believe he is depressed. But perhaps he just needs a change.

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answers from Portland on

Depression is a hard one to deal with, especially between the masculine "I should be able to fix my problems and get over it" and the whole "just think positive!" attitude that's somewhat permeated our culture.

Guys don't like to admit that they need help. One thing to consider would be going to couples counseling. If he's severely depressed, it may be that you are doing the majority of the parenting and household work, I don't know your family's situation. However, if he's unwilling to go to counseling with you, I would press on for YOU: "I need to go talk to someone, because I'm really struggling right now with this situation. You won't get help and you aren't getting better. I know you say this is situational, but when this has gone on for years, it's not situational, and it's affecting my life too. I need some support."

Will this light a fire under him? I don't know. But at this point, you have tried to change what he's doing and it's not working, so I would advise you to get help and support for yourself. This doesn't mean that he's the 'bad guy', just that you don't know what to do, you feel stuck, and you need some support. There's *nothing* to argue with about that.

ETA: While some might not 'believe' in anti-depressants, they do work and help some people tremendously. I want to be clear, too-- I do not think YOU are the problem, but do think that support would help you going forward. I also agree that a physical and having his hormone levels checked is a great idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

It's so tough with guys, they just don't like to admit to things and ask for help. Sweet of you to want to help him. I would first make sure he checks out physically fine (if you haven't already). Get him to go for a physical and they can check his thyroid and testosterone levels, which are common to change in men and can look like depression.

If everything checks out fine, go about it another way. Start by finding out some relatable celebs who suffer depression. If he likes sports, there are a ton of athletes who suffer depression, especially once leaving the game. Rick Springfield is another celeb who went public with depression. Google celebs with depression and casually name drop or if they've written a book, buy it for him. Also maybe get pamphlets about depression in men and leave one out for him. You get the idea, drop some hints to plant a seed.

Ultimately, you can't make him do something he is unwilling to do. But you can let him know you are concerned and want him to be as happy as possible. So after a while, maybe say that if he will go to see the doc and talk about depression, you will let it go after that (for at least a year or something!). It's probably a lot easier to get him to talk to your regular doc than to convince him to go to a therapist. And his doc can certainly prescribe meds if necessary.

Good luck, it's a long road, even longer with stubborn husbands. Don't give up on him! And don't nag, just support. :-)

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answers from Sacramento on

Depression can be tricky. Apparently I have been depressed my whole life, but it was a "low-grade" depression. Most of the time I was ok, but then I would have times when I would become very depressed and definitely not be ok. I never really thought of myself as being depressed.

My best suggestion is to see if he'll go to therapy. A good counselor can get to the root of why he's depressed or help him determine whether it is situation and either help him though it or recommend that he try medication.

Good luck~



answers from Bellingham on

I went through this for years with my husband. He was very depressed and life was horrible. I feel for you.

I just kep talking and talking and talking about it with him. Eventually (after years) he agreed to see a doctor.

I also agree that if you subtly get him to join you in exercise it could help.



answers from Los Angeles on

Be supportive. Be supportive. Be supportive.

Explain to your husband how his mood affects your marriage. Explain to him the impact it's having on your children (if you have children). Try and lay it out for him, but be concise. Don't lecture him. Tell him that you love him and offer to support him in any way he needs it. Depression can be a very difficult thing to acknowledge. Especially for men. If you need to, go and get therapy support for you so that you can take care of your own emotional needs, while being there for him.



answers from San Diego on

OMG I just posted an answer to wrong post!!! I'm soo sorry of anyone saw that.



answers from Dallas on

Suggest couples counseling or something for him that can support him while he is unemployed. Unemployment is hard, and situational COUNSELING will give him/both of you support during this tough time. That way, you can use the unemployment as the excuse, and not make him feel "less" by trying to get him to admit he's depressed. The unemployment related counseling will help him stay on the ball re. job searching.



answers from Dallas on

If his issues are long term and he is adamant that he is fine, there might be bigger issues with his mental health. Throwing antidepressants at him can cause more problems. He needs a bigger picture than just a snapshot.

Since he won't go for help, look for quizzes and questionnaires on mental health web sites. You may find giving him better information will help him find the words to talk to his doctor.



answers from New York on

As others have suggested counseling sounds like a good start, especially couple's counseling. Unemployment, long-term, can wreak havoc on mental health and just unloading can lead him in a new direction. Anti-depressants may help as well, but usually they work better in tandem with counseling.

Physiologically, depression is a lack of serotonin, the feel-good chemcial, also produced by Vitamin D.

While others may poo-poo antidepressants, they do help those of who may have low serotonin, seasonal affective disorder, etc. Situational depression can definitely mess with brain chemistry.

Good luck in your journey.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Could you offer to go to counseling together? IMO, drugs should be a last resort, after counseling has been explored. Often drugs have side effects that can be as bad as the original problem.



answers from Chicago on

My husband was struggling for a while. Always tired, sad, no energy. I thought for sure it was depression, but he did go to the doctor and it turns out it was his thyroid and testosterone levels. He is now on thyroid medicine and we both see improvement.
Maybe explain to him that it could be his thyroid or testosterone levels and no amazing job offers or other good things are going to fix it. If he just goes in for a blood test, they can at least rule it out.
I also agree with the posts about you seeing someone if he doesn't get help.
Good luck to you.

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