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Depression/Mental Illness

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Gemstone posted 3/6/2014 09:13 AM

Just curious as to how many of our partners have been actually diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness, either before during or after the affair. (as opposed to self determination of depression)

There is NO WAY I am allowing these as an excuse or reason for their behaviour, just wondering.

to start the ball rolling, my husband has been diagnosed with Cyclothemia, which is similar to Bi-Polar but not such extremes of behaviour, depression to highs, but cycling between the 2 at a faster rate, even hour to hour. My husbands depressions(moody, argumentative etc) were the strongest, with his highs only appearing as 'being in a good and productive mood'

Williesmom posted 3/6/2014 09:17 AM

My wxh had depression, as did his affair partner. They bonded over their shared use of the same medication.

It went like this:

"You use Effexor too? Omg! I think I love you. It must be fate - we were meant to be together!"

Later, they both used the depression as an excuse for their unacceptable behavior.

Being around those assholes made me depressed.

Gemstone posted 3/6/2014 13:00 PM

Yes, mine tries to use it as an excuse sometimes as well. Thats not going to happen though.

tl502 posted 3/6/2014 13:12 PM

Yes, wh was dx with depression after dd, but I now realized he has dealt with it as long as Ive known him. He's never attempted to use it as an excuse though. Thankfully, it is well controlled now.

naivewife posted 3/6/2014 13:15 PM

I suggest to anyone who has a WS who was taking an antidepressant before the A, or was messing with the dosage around that time to Google "SSRIs and divorce." These drugs affect the brain, especially the "give a damn" judgement (which is why they work) and ability to love. There are a hell of a lot of stories out there (mine included) where the use or changing of dosage seems to have flipped a loving spouse into a cheating, unremorseful a-hole. It is worth consideration.

naivewife posted 3/6/2014 13:22 PM

This is written about those discontinuing SSRI/SNRI's, but much of the thought process stuff can also apply to someone newly taking the drug, whose mind/body doesn't handle it well.

What you might see if your friend or family member has a severe adverse reaction when trying to stop taking SSRI/SNRI antidepressants…

1.Your loved one begins to feel sick. Physical symptoms such as flu-like aches, dizziness, nightmares, heart palpitations, headaches, brain zaps, etc. appear. Depending on the half-life of the specific drug, this can occur even within a day or two.

2.He/she might express shame and embarrassment or anger for having ever taken the drug. They might talk about feeling like “a druggie.”

3.Anxiety and confusion set in along with an inability to focus. Your loved one starts to act and look a little lost or muddled. They might worry that they’re “crazy.” They worry they’re going to hurt you by making you “go through this” with them. You can see an inability to connect thought patterns or thoughts with emotions as the abstract thinking process is compromised.

4.Their dreams become more vivid and often disturbing if they’re able to sleep at all. Insomnia can get brutal at this point.

5.Aggression, irritability, homicidal and suicidal thoughts and actions can pop out of nowhere – and you’ll be stunned. Personality and attitude changes become very apparent to you because you’ve been close with this person, but co-workers or casual friends might not see anything wrong.

6.Gaps in memory begin – very often memories that were formed while taking the SSRI or during withdrawal are the ones that seem to go. You might bring up the movie you saw with this person the day before and be told you've gone out of your mind! Emotions reappear in sudden, intense bursts and rollercoaster the person between uncontrollable crying fits and anger. You might seem them sob for hours then turn and want to rip someone’s head off. Preferably whoever prescribed the SSRI in the first place. ;-)

7.Your loved one suddenly feels the need to make big decisions, life-altering changes, keep moving - this symptom is called akathisia. The “fight or flight” mechanism has completely malfunctioned.

8.The person feels depersonalized and disconnected from him/herself or reality. You might hear he/she "feels nothing" as emotional responses are flattened. They might say they feel like they’re “floating outside” their heads. They usually still have an awareness of something wrong at this point.

9.Your loved one might eliminate input from those nearest (including you), often stressing independence and competency to an unreasonable, paranoid level. He or she now appears selfish and arrogant a lot of the time.

10.Manic and psychotic episodes can come and go at random intervals, triggered in part due to severe insomnia. Perceptions of people, timeframes and events can become skewed and completely inaccurate.

11.The person’s connection to the consequences of his or her own actions is severed. Conscience and compassion disappear. That awareness of "something wrong" may disappear, too.

12.The person vilifies and pushes away the people they care for the most, almost always including a spouse or significant other first. The person in withdrawal might start to believe they never loved their partner, shifts blame to them for events that may or may not have happened, or fails to recall positive, defining events in the relationship. Duration or quality of the relationship seems to have little bearing on this response.

13.Autistic responses kick in, meaning physical contact and affection become repugnant.

14.Your formerly calm loved one can display unusual impulsive behaviors such as promiscuity, impulsive spending, drinking – even if they never did these things before. The five senses shift into overdrive.

15.The "going back in time" phenomenon appears. The person reverts to anything "ex," grasping mentally and emotionally to people or things they were attached to prior to their first dose of the antidepressant.

16.Waves of rebound depression, anxiety, etc. hit. If a health care provider is unaware that withdrawal symptoms mimic bi-polar disorder and other mental illnesses, a new diagnosis can result in further medication, trapping the person in an endless cycle of psychotropic drugs.

17.Physical symptoms subside gradually. The person often doesn’t have a full awareness, sometimes for months or even years at this point, that many of their behaviors and decisions are a continued result of withdrawal. They believe their thoughts, memories, feelings and actions are absolutely correct, and no one can tell them otherwise.

18.People begin to experience "good days" or "good weeks" only to have a bad episode hit weeks later out of the blue. Sudden downswings in emotions have been repeatedly noted at the six- and nine-month marks following the last dose. This, too, shall pass.

19.At 1-3 years out, folks are reporting sudden intense neurological twitches and muscles spasms. Very scary, but they seem to self-correct.

20.Final Note: Every brain is chemically individual. The severity, order of symptoms and duration of withdrawal vary from person to person. Some experience a handful of symptoms. Others experience every symptom imaginable. Others experience very few or almost none. Cold turkey or abrupt withdrawal drastically increases these symptoms.

[This message edited by naivewife at 1:28 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]

naivewife posted 3/6/2014 13:27 PM

So basically, I know it's easy to dismiss depression as a factor, but please keep in mind if your spouse was on a mind altering drug, their mind was indeed altered, and the effect they have from one person to another varies widely. An 80 mg dose may not even be enough for one person, while it can throw another person into a state of hypo-mania. No doctor or pharmaceutical company actually understands how exactly these drugs work. No one dose is "safe and effective" across the board.

Allornothing posted 3/6/2014 15:38 PM

My WH has had ADHD and severe depression for as long as I've known him. Unfortunately, depression is extremely common in people with ADHD.

His two sexual encounters with OW (4 years apart)both occurred when she and other "friends" of his convinced him that if he didn't take his meds, he'd be able to drink with them and have "fun". The downside, of course, is that self-medicating with alcohol made his ADHD and depression worse.

Hello, stupid decisions!

I don't see his condition as an excuse for the A either, and neither does he; he knew he needed his meds, but it does mean that recovery, for us has to be handled slightly differently, because the way he processes information and feelings is very different to others.

I sometimes find it hard to remember that whilst I am hurting, he's also going through his own type of hell, getting his medication levels right so that he can feel "normal" again.

(((hugs))) and best of luck to you, Gemstone


RippedSoul posted 3/6/2014 15:51 PM

Before the A (and trysts w/escorts), my SLAWH was diagnosed as a depressed sex addict. He'd been on meds (never finding the right dosages) for 7 years when he first cheated. All his acting out before had been excessive porn/masturbation, constant fantasizing, and compulsive flirting/boundary breaking. :(

Kelany posted 3/6/2014 15:57 PM

My husband was diagnosed during our false R.

Personality disorder with 90% narcissistic traits 90% obsessive compulsive traits
Sexual compulsive behaviour

Sleepy312 posted 3/6/2014 17:44 PM

Curious what the thoughts are for those of us weaning off and are the BS because I feel a lot of the same things, but I'm not using any of it as an excuse to sleep with someone else or an excuse to escape my husband.

That's all interesting. I think I will do some googling.

IsthereEVERanend posted 3/6/2014 23:12 PM

Ffw was not on meds prior to affair. She was 40 years old at the time and eventually was diagnosed with BPD type 2. Firmly believe that her affair was because of lack of treatment for this mental illness. After posting this I an see that its possibly a little off topic but I will leave it as just a side note to the above discussion.
It was because of her remorse for what she did that we became determined to find the cause and treatment and were successful finally.
I only wish that she had been communicative to me of things that she knew were not normal so the whole damned thing could have possibly been avoided. I know if she were to post here, she would be in full agreement with me.
Very interesting information in this post.
Thanks so much.

Gman1 posted 3/7/2014 06:51 AM

My FWW was diagnosed with depression about five years before we met. She took medication to help and she never had any severe bouts while we have been together. She does, however, sleep like a teenager which is an indicator that her depression is present. Last winter about this time, she slipped into a deep depression although she hid it and didn't let me know. During this same period, the son of a family friend began messaging her on FB. This turned into a long distance EA which turned into a weekend PA in April. She had everything any person could ever dream about and yet, through her depression, only saw darkness and despair. Add some former family issues with her father plus the depression and boom, an A. This in no way justifies her actions but it certainly was a major factor in her A.

Gemstone posted 3/7/2014 07:22 AM

Thank you all for your input,

Naivewife, - i hope you don't mind that i have copied your comments, they are extremely helpful and I would like to show them to my husband, who doesn't use this site. So many of the points you have raised fit exactly what he was like before the diagnosis and before he was on meds especially points 5, 11, 12 (and 14 although this is what led to the affair so I didn't see it at the time)

His doctor has said it may take time to get the meds right and at the moment he is trying to reduce slightly as they were making him too tired and with no 'go in him' at all which is making running our business etc a bit difficult. I will watch out for any of these symptons appearing and will read as you have suggested.
Thank you, while I am still not at a place to let him use this illness as a total exscuse, it has given me food for thought to maybe be a litte more understanding

solus sto posted 3/7/2014 07:36 AM

Trac-Fone was diagnosed with depression many years before d-day---he has a serious physical illness that I thought triggered it, but in retrospect, leading a double life likely contributed. In addition, he is personality disordered (diagnosed after the last d-day), and is among the subset of personality disordered individuals who is aware that he is different from others. Further, when his depression is well-controlled with medication and therapy, he experiences dysthymia---a low-grade mood depression that prevents him from ever feeling good. When he's NOT depressed, he's depressed!

I do think that the personality disorder fed the entitlement, and the mood disorder fed the jonesing for ...anything that felt good. Unfortunately, part of the "high" (which was pretty damn low, in reality) was trashing me---that was part of the sport of infidelity for him.

These are not excuses. It's just who he is. People say, "It's not really him, it's the illness," but in the case of personality disorder, that's not really true. It IS him. It's his character.

Unfortunately, what is also part of his character is wearing a Nice Guy costume and lying; I had no idea who he was until after d-day. I was left living with a complete stranger who I didn't like at all. Now, I can spend a few minutes with him---even a graduation dinner or something---and be all right. But it's never far from my mind that this guy is a cipher. I have no idea who he is, other than a man who is capable of portraying himself in a variety of ways, in a variety of (often sordid) situation, and convincing those around him that he belongs.

It's quite bizarre.

As for the SSRI/SNRI excuse, it doesn't fly for me. When therapeutic level is reached, the brain produces neurotransmitters at a level consistent with "normal" brain function. For some, this means that depression is not experienced. For others, it means that it is ameliorated to a more tolerable level.

The changes in neurotransmitters that occur during withdrawal from SSRIs/SNRIs are in NO way illustrative of anything that occurs, in the brain, when therapeutic levels are achieved.

If you want to argue that someone in the midst of SSRI/SNRI withdrawal is not him/herself, I will wholeheartedly agree. I would also argue that someone in the throes of untreated depression or mania is not him/herself---and a person who is experiencing severe pain, or has unusually high blood glucose and needs insulin, or has just had surgery is not him/herself. But a person whose depression has been successfully treated with therapeutic levels of an antidepressant? THAT is when s/he IS him/herself. THAT is what helps him/her ACHIEVE the state of mind that is NOT altered by illness.

Just my 0.02.

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:38 AM, March 7th (Friday)]

HormonalWoman posted 3/7/2014 08:41 AM

My wh was diagnosed with depression a couple of years after his A and a few mths after dd. They also think he has ADD.

He's never used depression as an excuse but thinks
it's a factor in why he did what he did. It makes sense, as an affair is often about getting that boost because they don't feel great about themselves.

AppalachianGal posted 3/7/2014 09:20 AM

My fWH was diagnosed with PTSD and major depression in 2010 (see my sig line). He was put on Celexa and had a psychotic break in Dec 2010. He was completely off his rocker while on this medication including suicidal and homicidal! Once removed from it, he has been a completely different man. Mine also self-medicates with heavy alcohol use and did this in 2010 far more than I even knew about. There has also been talk at the VA by his psychologists about "possible personality disorder" but no one will give me a diagnosis. I believe he is borderline PD and maybe even bipolar. Since being off all anti-depressants (he was put on Zoloft after Celexa) he seems to have his head on right now. SSRIs don't agree with everyone.

Garnet posted 3/7/2014 11:48 AM

My H was diagnosed with severe add shortly after dday. I feel add/affair were directly related!! People with undiagnosed add feel worthless because they can not function like a normal adult, they act like a child. So the ap showers them with compliments, how great they are , how lucky your wife is!! It all feeds into them feeling worthless!! But the wife is home taking care of everything and I mean everything and is extremely annoyed with this adult child that can't do anything to help with life in general. Is he a kind, good, understanding father & husband ?? Yup!! So sad!!

Support1107 posted 3/7/2014 12:24 PM

I understand where you are at. Just curious, was your husband taking any medications prior to the diagnosis?

Garnet posted 3/7/2014 13:41 PM

No he was not!! After diagnosis he started taking adderal , and you can really tell the difference. I see your fairly new here, this forum will be a life saver for you!!

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