The Bottom of the Mountain

Harry's Story

Depression is a terrible disease for the patient and an emotional, energy draining monster to those around her. My wife has just recovered from her fifth bout with depression. Each time it has been like going through hell.

I want to share this story from a husband's point of view because I don't think a wife's depression is something any man is prepared to face. I know I wasn't.

The First Time

My wife experienced her first depression in 1987. She was 45, our daughter 11, and our son 9. At first I thought that she was just getting lazy. She wouldn't do housework, cook dinner, or go anywhere. She told me often that she just wanted to die.

"Marriage means two people stay committed, through good and bad. This certainly qualified."

I didn't understand the disease back then, and so I was frustrated and angry with her. I once talked to a good friend and said, "If I had known she was going to be like this, I would have stayed single." The friend replied, "But then you wouldn't have your daughter and your son." That comment turned me away from my self-pity and frustrations. I had removed my wedding ring for several months, but after that conversation I put it back on. Marriage means that two people, once committed to each other, stay committed through the good and the bad. This certainly qualified.

Treatment

So I decided to help my wife fight her depression. We started going to all sorts of doctors in our area, including three psychiatrists, but she couldn't develop a rapport with any of them. Then she began complaining about her stomach, so we went to see a gastroenterologist. After examining her with an endoscope, he said, "There is nothing wrong with your wife's stomach. She has depression." He made an urgent call to a psychiatrist friend of his and set up an appointment for her. Surprisingly, she developed a rapport with this psychiatrist. With the help of this doctor, anti-depressants, and prayers she slowly recovered, after suffering for one and a half years.