Depression in older adults like my husband!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by pepperidge, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Those of you with some experience of depression perhaps you can give me some perspective. My husband (age 61) has always had a tendency towards depression, also high anxiety. He is a bit obsessive. And a very nice guy. It saddens me to see him depressed and sometimes I feel like I am just getting pulled down by my difficult children moods and husband's.

    His depression seems to have been getting worse these past few years, more irritability, goes to bed early, less joy. Of course two difficult children entering teenage hood don't help either. Alot of exercise has helped in past. In the past couple of years docs put him on Effexor and then Wellbutrin, neither of which helped. Recently he seems to be suffering from more a certain flatness/lack of pleasure in anything rather than black hole type of depression, which he has had spells of.

    doctor today gave him prescription for Zoloft so he will try that.

    I am curious about whether people with a tendency toward depression tend to get worse as they age. Seems to me I read something about older people being depressed more.

    Don't know whether we can do anything more on the difficult child front. They are right now not in crisis mode and are making some progress. Hoewever one is still pretty irritable and the other is pretty nasty when he doesn't get his way so sometimes home life is not a whole lot of fun. Kind of falls on me to try to be the upbeat one, but I'm more the kind that likes to be by myself when under stress. I'm trying to make more of an effort to reach out and connect emotionally but its hard logistically and also hard for me when all I want to do at the end of a difficult day is just to escape.

    Anyway, don't really know what I am asking for, just hoping that someone can maybe give me some perspective on what my husband might be going through and also some perspective from those of you that live with depressives and how you cope.

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't know if you've thought of it, but it might be a good idea to get husband into the fam doctor for a check up. Make sure things are ok there before assuming it's depression due to history. Vitamen deficiencies, hormone changes can alter behavior as well, not to mention high blood pressure and other things.

    My husband is a surly man with no umph. He's also 61 but he's been this way for many many years. He took trazadone due to a surgery once. The change in him was nearly immediate and drastic. OMG It was wonderful. No more surly. The guy could laugh and smile and joke and MOVE. lol I could actually tolerate living with him.

    BUT (there is always a but lol) husband hasn't taken it in about 2 yrs. I can't seem to get him to get his fanny back to the doctor either. And I know in his case high b/p and hormones are also a factor.

    So we're back to surly and no umph.:faint:

    Sorry. I know I wasn't of much help. Just mostly wanted to let you know you're not alone.

  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Daisy has some great food for thought.

    I have read that as we age, our personalities become more 'pronounced'. That is if you tend to lean toward depression, that trait will become more evident with-age. I also think that aging, tends to bring all sorts of physical, emotional, sexual, etc changes that can be very frustrating - which in turn can lead to all sorts of depressive feelings. Lastly, he may be thinking about 'end of life' issues. If (statistically speaking) he lives to be an average age - he probably is thinking that his years on earth are numbered. I don't mean to be macabre - just offering different ideas in regards to his mindset.

    My own dad (who is 65) is beginning to talk about 'years gone by' - etc. I am with him enough to know that he is thinking about end of life stuff.

    Plus - 2 teenagers? Tough stuff.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would think a tendency towards depression just that...a lifelong concern. And generally speaking, as people age, depression can rear its ugly head. Therefore, in a certain way, this makes some sense that he would have a bigger battle at thistime.

    Has he had a phyiscal lately? I like the idea of trying a different medication...particularly the one you mentioned.

    Men often are veryconcerned about loss of libido and the medication you mentioned doesn't have as many side effects.

    Additionally, more and more we realize that good health practices help men with this and overall energy....particularly its vitally important not to give this up.

    As we reflect on certain losses over time, sometmes these realizations hit us hard. Having difficult children in the mix, likely does not help. Would your husband consent to therapy?

    Would you consider going to the gym with your husband? Walking with him regulary? I go to a gym two days a week, do yoga once a week, and I also walk with- husband a few mornings a is WONDERFUL! PLUS, morning sunshine is verydhelpful for depression. Consider walking wih him a pair of shorts/adidas t shirt...something like that. Perhaps go together to Sports Authrity for running shoes. It would be a fun "outing." Even if he has these things, chances are there is something he needs to update.

    Does your husband have any hobbies? WHat is he good at? Fathers Day is coming up. Many anniversaries are coming up. These are things that can be encouraed with upcoming gifts.

    One more thing...seeing a nutritionist is NOT a bad idea. I just realized...our stories are a tiny bit siimilar. MyDH is gettng up there in years.WE have an adopted difficult child. Recently, her behavior started to "get" to husband. I put him on a vitamin routine and spoke with him and it seemed to help.

    Ater age 50, we just don't have the same ability to produce and/or store vitamins as we once did. Some of them are vital fo our overall health and energy. Two that come to mnd are B12 and CQ10.

    I have a girlfriend that is over 60, and she was sufering from fatigueand depression, and I suggested she take a B50 (sort of like a B multi) and a little extra CoQ10, and Centrum Slver, plus swich her dailywalks to mornings, and in about 10 days...she is/was a NEW person...vitally alive, energetic and happy. When I talk to heron the phone now, I barely recognize who she is I saw her the other day, and she had a whole new outfit on...including GOLD little sandels! LOL! So adorable (and modern!) LOL!
    (He would STILL absolutely need to take all his medications!!!! And if his tummy bohers him from the vtamins, he might have to take a little somedthing, esp. at first. The Vitamins should be fine...but it might be best to double check with- the doctor).
    Lasted edited by : Jun 6, 2009
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would encourage a check up. I do know that depression is more common in older adults, mainly due to the problems that everyone else listed. The depression you are talking about, the black hole flatness, that seems pretty serious. Since he has always had problems with that is there any way to get him to see a therapist or psychiatrist?

    One of the ladies has a difficult child, and she got pretty depressed. I guess they now use small doses of abilify for depression. It made a huge difference in her, and helped her with her obsessive tendencies also. I believe Lamictal is also used sometimes.

    Just some more info incase the zoloft does not work out.

    Hugs. It is hard to be what I call a 1 1/2 parent household with one difficult child, let alone 2. Not sure if summer makes things easier or harder, but here's hoping it makes it easier.
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Thanks ladies for your insights.

    He did go the family doctor (that's how he got the prescription for Zoloft, we'll see if that helps). He is also considering seeing a therapist here (he has in past elsewhere, just needs a gentle shove in that direction I think). Maybe both will make a difference.

    I'm also going to encourage him to take B vitamins, thanks Nomad. He goes bicycling a lot outside, so its not lack of exercise, I am going to try to go with him more (though I can't keep up), maybe something for us to do together. But hard in summer since one of us basically has to be home if our two kids are home alone. The daily verbal abuse from difficult child#2 takes a toll, particularly on my husband who tries so hard with him (takes him fishing etc etc).

    I found a suicide note that he had written a few years ago (scared the &(#)(@ out of me) when I was looking in his desk drawer for a checkbook, but he has never tried and claims not to be that depressed anymore. He doesn't threaten or take about it at all. But is is a constant niggling worry in the back of my mind.

    Sometimes (ok a lot of the time) I just want to run away from husband and the difficult children. Do you ever just think, how am I going to get through the next ten years with my own mental health intact?

  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    P, there are many times I want to run away. I have been known to take long drives when I get really stressed out. Usually about 100 miles one way. Sometimes it is just too much. I started seeing a therapist myself, and it helps more than I thought. I have to talk myself into going each time, as I feel like I should be able to cope on my own. BUT I can't. I can't and remain sane at all.

    Are your difficult child's able to handle any summer activities at all? Something to get them out of the house so you and husband can get a break?
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{Pepperidge}}} I think this often, VERY often.

    I think a full physical is a very good idea. It certainly cannot hurt and at least you will know that you've done something. Also, speaking with a therapist is a good idea. Outside of family living, what do you or H do that is just for you or him for him? Living with my H, who is so totally and completely focused on work and only work, also leans towards depression and there are definitely times when I wonder how I will keep my own sanity after the kids are gone. Everyone I've spoken with has encouraged me to encourage him to take up a new hobby or go back to an old one. H is resistant and just thinks if he works harder, he will overcome. Ugh.

    Anyway, just mostly sending support and hugs~