Define them

Everyone can view a ‘term’ or terminology differently. I want to try to analyze my own terms, or definitions, of things that are experienced in this life.

Many years ago, I remember my husband sitting on the couch and he started to cry. My husband doesn’t cry, not even at funerals, so I knew something was wrong.

As we sat there for hours together, talking about what he was going through, it was evident that he needed help. Help that I could not provide. We decided to get in the car and drive him to the local hospital. However, prior to getting out of our vehicle while in the hospital parking lot, my husband was having doubts about being confined to a room (he is very claustrophobic) and not being able to leave on his own accord. Instead, we called the veterans suicide hotline to see if there was someone he could talk to or make an appointment with. Things didn’t go as well as planned with that phone call, and by now, my husband has decided to not admit himself to the hospital. He did, however, agree to contact the local psychiatry facility first thing on Monday morning.

In hindsight, I wish I would have made him go to the hospital, but I respected his decision. He did contact the psychiatrist and ended up seeing a counselor for a short period of time. My husband is the brightest man I know. Unfortunately, he used this in the wrong way. He knew how to talk himself out of ‘needing counseling’. He knew how to trick his counselor into thinking he was ‘healed’.

I don’t recall at what point he was prescribed medication, but he was ultimately diagnosed and treated for Major Depression Disorder, also known as Clinical Disorder.

“Great, things will start to turn for the better now that he is on medications” …at least that is what I hoped and believed to be true. It wasn’t.

Here we are in our marriage 25 years later, about 20 years into his depression, and we are still worse than ever. Let me clarify, our marriage is and has always been fantastic. We rarely fight. We always communicate. We are each other’s best friend. But the demons are here and don’t ever seem to go away.

‘Depression’ in our home is viewed as so many things. I call his depression ‘the demons’ because they never go away. They drive him to the edge. They have taken all his hopes, dreams, and desires and filled them with regret, disappointment, and anger. The most recent description he has given me is that he no longer has a purpose to wake up in the mornings.

Just this year, we learned the word Anhedonia. Wow, does this describe my husband to a T. Anhedonia is the lack of interest in activities that he once use to enjoy and the inability to receive any pleasure from that activity. For instance, we loved camping, kayaking, and backpacking. Those are now viewed as chores, rather than enjoyable activities. Unfortunately, the only thing on that list that he will consider is camping. And even when we go camping, it is not enjoyable for him. He cannot relax. He worries about everything. He sees it as too much work. And the just continues.

After researching Anhedonia, he told me that one of the ways to help with the situation is for me to pick an activity and make him do it. He is unable to decide what he wants to do each day since there is no pleasure in it for him. He has requested that I help by telling him that we are going for a walk or hike. The goal of this is so that once he is out performing whatever activity is chosen, that as time goes by, he will either realize he no longer has enjoyment for this activity or that he will slowly rebuild his desire to try it again. Only after multiple attempts, will he realize if he can find newfound pleasure.

Suicide. Most of us know that suicide is when an individual attempts to take their own life. Twice now, I have had to go through the emotion of not knowing if the next person at my door is going to be my husband returning home or the local police needing me to identify a body.

To be continued…

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