Question Okay, I'm 22, and I am a dance teacher. My fiance, Robert, is 25. He is from Sweden and he moved here with his parents when he was 18. We met at college my first year there and immediately hit it off and started dating. We moved in together when I was 20 and we got engaged about 3 months ago, and I couldn't be more excited to marry my best friend. He is sweet and understanding and he always makes me laugh, but he has a lot of problems with anxiety and depression. He is a graphic designer, so he works from home a lot. Sometimes, he is just fine, and he likes to go out with our friends and have dinner and be social, but he'll have these days where he doesn't want to leave the house because he is so depressed and so anxious. It usually lasts about a week where he'll sort of hibernate and he won't go anywhere. He'll work only from home, and he'll stay up after I go to bed for hours playing video games or watching tv because he has some problems with insomnia when he's depressed.
He has tried a lot of different medications, but he says he doesn't like how they make him feel. He goes to counseling, but it doesn't seem to help him. I don't know what to do for him. My family isn't very understanding about mental illness and they think he's just lazy and that I shouldn't marry him because of his problems, but he isn't lazy at all. He works really hard and makes decent money and unless he's feeling depressed or anxious, we go to the gym together almost every day, and we do the fun things together. We go out to eat and go to the movies and go to the zoo or six flags or something fun on our days off. He isn't what they think he is. But I don't know how to help him. It breaks my heart when he gets into these ruts where he doesn't want to leave the house out of fear and depression. I don't know what to do for him. I just want him to be happy. What can I do? I feel helpless.
Answer Help him understand the content of his depression. Is his internal dialogue negative? Suggest how he can change his negative self-talk into positive encouraging self-talk. Negativity and self-criticism are food for depression, so an important approach is to transform the inner voice.
I am able to answer questions about relationships, parent, child, self-help, marriage, counseling, depression, sexual abuse, rape trauma, bereavement, grief, death of loved one, child abduction, conflict at work, separation, divorce, break-up, fear of remaining single, infertility, childlessness, anger management, verbal abuse, family violence, repeating unhealthy relationships, substance abuse, addiction, childhood abuse, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, co-dependency, porn addiction, religious alienation, bi-polar disorder, homelessness, anti-social personality, foster care, borderline personality disorder, psychology, mental health, counseling skills, adoption, bankruptcy, insomnia, agoraphobia, social anxiety
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"Effective Counseling Skills" at http://tinyurl.com/yen574x and
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Education/Credentials MSW in psychiatric clinical social work