We have been married for 5 years and I have known him for 11 years. Over that time I have witnessed him suffer with bouts of depression… which he has always managed to overcome without medical help, until quite recently, he is going through one of his bouts of depression but is just not pulling himself out of it, as he has in the past.
He refuses to go to a doctor and get medication, as he has a mental block about taking antidepressants. He believes that whatever triggers his condition is something that he himself can eventually manage but this time it is not happening.
He is sad, withdrawn and not motivated to do anything outside of going to work each day. I worry that he will become so bad that he won’t be able to go to work. I don’t know whether to leave him alone in the hope that he will come back to ‘normal’, or make an appointment for him to see a doctor and try and drag him along.
I want to make it very clear that I totally believe in antidepressants as a remarkable and extremely effective treatment for many people who suffer with depression. However, I am against the misuse of medication when it is being handed out to people who believe they have a biological condition, when in fact the antidepressant is being used as a band-aid to cover an emotional problem that keeps reoccurring.
In some cases medication is essential to the well being of the person but in many cases the best course of treatment is a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapists teach people about themselves and look at past behaviors and negative decisions made as children growing up which become blocks in our lives and often manifest into anxiety and depression.
Psychotherapy helps people understand themselves and change the negative beliefs into positive ones. There are many people like your husband who have an aversion to taking antidepressants, there are alternatives to the medical model with some products for anxiety and depression sold in health food shops, but I caution you not to take them without checking side affects with certain drugs and conditions.
In my practice I use a combination of psychotherapy and EEG Neurological Biofeedback, which is a program that regulates brain waves without medication. People, who are anxious or suffer with panic attacks, usually have overactive brain waves, conversely, people with depression usually have under active brain waves or people can have a mixture of both. To learn more see www.eegneurologicalbiofeedback.com I suggest you show your husband your email and this response. Explain how concerned you are about him and show him that he has many options.
Through talking to a professional who understands behaviour, he may find that he his depression reoccurs through different stressors, and so can learn skills to deal with them. He may also realize that if he has to take an antidepressant, there is nothing to fear in doing this.