Depression Episode!..How to help my Aspie Husband?

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Clueless2017
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21 Nov 2020, 9:44 pm

I am so sad this evening...Non-autistic, here, happily married to my beloved (undiagnosed Aspie) husband...My husband is high-functioning...At present-time, he works with cattle during the night...Plus, he works some days in agriculture during the day for extra monies... Tonight, however, he struggled to get out of bed to go to work...He did not eat, which is not unusual...(As long as he eats one meal a day, i am ok)...He texted me that he felt like "flying" away...(He lives a healthy life-style, so his need to 'escape' should not be confused with the use of illegal drugs)...

He also wrote to me that he wonders what love feels like...That i am so tender and loving...That i don't deserve him...That i deserve someone who "feels" like me...That sometimes he feels that he is a bad person...And that even i have believed that in the past...That i will never understand him...That he suffers...And that sometimes he cries...He also said that his mind was 'blank'...

I soon realized that he is going through one of those deep depression episodes...And i countered with positive talk as best as i could...At the end, he proposed that we travel to Florida, a long-time dream of his...I agreed to it...With the only condition that we have our mechanic check our vehicle first...A used car we just purchased...I then looked for him to hug him and to offer to drive him to work (for my own peace of mind), but he declined and drove himself to work as usual...

Other than his high-risk job, we have been in a strict quarentine throughout this pandemic...We live in one of California's hottest spots for Covid 19...And frankly, i don't like the idea of traveling during these dangerous times...However, in the moment, i felt compelled to agree to the possibility of a long-distance trip to comfort my beloved husband and to give him something to look forward to before he headed to work...

Now, i am here wondering what, if anything i said or did, triggered this latest episode of depression...Just previously i had sent him via WhatsApp a link to one of my favorite love songs, ONLY YOU by The Platters...And i also sent him the lyrics, and traduce these to Spanish...My beloved husband and i never had a wedding reception...One of my dreams since i fell deeply in love with him has been to slow-dance this song with him...Now i feel guilty, because my well-intended romantic gesture may have triggered his latest episode of depression...

How should i proceed now???...He just called me to let me know that he arrived safely to work--as he always does per my specific request...I am so-o-o mad at myself right now!! !...By nature, I am a very thoughtful and romantic NT...But i am willing to change my thoughtful ways if these make him feel inadequate in his role as my husband...The wellbeing of my beloved husband is most important to me!! !...On the other hand, i should clarify that most days, he reciprocates my love with small and big acts of kindness towards me...

I joined this forum for support...In fact, it was recommended to me by a professional...I was told i would find a friendly audience here...And since September i have confirmed this...I welcome your advice...Sound and specific advice that may help me better understand what my beloved husband is going through right now...Sound and specific advice that may help me support my beloved husband to overcome this latest episode of depression...Thanking you all in advance... :cry: :cry: :cry:



Redd_Kross
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21 Nov 2020, 10:16 pm

Depression just IS.

There isn't necessarily a reason.

It is very easy to dive head-first into searching for one, and that can be a cause of great guilt and frustration.

The best thing to do is be reassuring. "I know you don't feel happy right now, but I will be here for you whatever". Just be around, without causing a fuss.

Little distractions can be helpful, too. A walk or a card game or maybe some nice food. But nothing that feels like a Big Deal, as if he's already feeling guilty and not good enough, that could add to the pressure. Little things work better than major ones, very often.

I know when I am very depressed I lose the ability to make decisions. So I dread having to go to the store multiple times a week, for example. Agreeing to only go once made me a lot happier, I just wanted to get everything done and go home knowing we wouldn't be back for a week. Sounds silly but it made a big difference.

My preferences won't be the same as your husbands, but you seem to understand him very well and I'm sure you'll be able to figure out low-key ways to help and show you care without creating any guilt. Depressed people know they're gloomy and withdrawn and potentially a bit of a "burden" and that knowledge becomes part of the problem.

On the other hand you are human too and I don't suggest tip-toeing around him too much. You won't have done anything deliberately to make him feel down and you don't hold a magical key to fix him either. Be supportive but still be yourself. If you like to sing and laugh then continue to do so. Remind him of positive times in the past, and things to look forward to in the future. Depression typically clouds judgement so everything seems rubbish, even when that's blatantly not the case. Keep chipping away at that, and don't get drawn into it.



jimmy m
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21 Nov 2020, 10:56 pm

Depression is a form of distress. Stress builds up in the body like water filling a glass. When it reaches the top of the glass it can flow uncontrollably over the edge of the glass. It can move a person into a state of distress. A very minor stressor can become the last drop before it overflows. So in reality it might not even be about something you did and it may be very minor in nature.


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Mountain Goat
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22 Nov 2020, 6:59 am

You are such a blessing to your husband. I could not think of a better wife for him.

The holiday travelling idea sounds excellent. I have to go on driving trips for a day or two to keep my self happy. I will do all I can to de-stress. Knowing there are many appointments looming up stresses me especially if they are not in my control. I have no wife. I live with my Mother. She gets easily talked into things and going places so I have whole days eaten up like this as she does not drive. My Mum and I are close as we are on a similar wavelength so it is very likely that if I am on the spectrum, that she is as well even though I tend to think more in pictures and my Mum thinks more in words.

I find that when I am feeling right I can tackle things in life. When I am not, everything is a struggle. It is important for him to have holidays (If he is like me) in places that will de-stress him. Days of relaxing and enjoyment. Try to avoid stress while preparing for them. Have a routine of preperation planned.
Why this is important, is all work without these breaks brings stress and too much stress brings burnout.
Burnout is a horrible thing. I hit the last burnout badly in late summer of 2019 and I am still not right yet. It effected my ability to do things. Even my hobbies (Special interests) have been put on hold.
Burnouts effect me in a physical and mental way, so it is why it is important for him to have these relaxing care free times with you. Depression is an indication that the stress build up has reached a high level.

Routines are important while working and sudden changes outside these routines bring stress. One automatically tends to make ones own routine in ones mind and sticks to it. Sudden unexpected changes can bring me shutdowns be they partial or full, so any new plans should be introduced and planned in advanced.
I say this because it is through my experience of what works best for me. Farm work has routines. It is all about routines. A certain time for feeding. A certain time for milking. A certain time for mucking out and then pressure washing. A certain time for spreading a thin sprinkle of lime and then straw on top for their bedding etc, etc, etc. Even the cattle know these routines. Routines are good.
Stress comes when extras are forced on top of these routines, as extras are extra. The routines still need to be done. (Iam saying this as a general guide to farmwork. I did not realize how routine based farmwork has to be and I grew up on smallholdings, where they have routines, but farmwork is almost all routines and routines tend to be good for those of us who are on the spectrum... (I am waiting an assessment so I don't know if I have many traits or if I am on the spectrum)).
Sorry. I type a lot as my mind wonders...

But routines without recharge times (E.g. holidays and breaks) brings on depression and this turns routines into boring drudgery which is when toutines can turn on you. (Talking trough experience).
I find personally that though I dreaded new enviroments, I had to keep changing jobs every two years or so due to masking. The cracks would appear in my masking and I had to get out and start again, so though it would be a stressful time of learning new routines in a new work enviroment, it was better t
hen the dreadful stress and anxiety that came on me when the masking started to break down and the bullying started as co workers started to see the real me through the cracks in the mask and felt betrayed. (They may not have known this or why they would turn on me, and even if they did not and were nice, when I hit this stage, I would have the stress and anxiety hit me full force as if my body and mind were expecting it, so every day life would be living "On edge" in a fight or flight type of mode, and I would hit burnout before I know it, or I would be in a battle fighting it off if that makse sense? So I had to chenge jobs but stay in my special interest line of work, but that is my personal story. Your husband may be quite different where the thought of change may bring dread and stress. I am only mentioning how things hit me personally incase it may help).

Sorry. I have written too much. I write too much! :D

I hope all goes well and you two have a well earned break and come back fully re-charged from your little adventure!


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holymackerel
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22 Nov 2020, 7:25 am

Apart from being supportive and being there to give him a different viewpoint on his problems, I think a lot if it unfortunately is out of your control. Maybe some things about his autism are getting him down and unfortunately there is not much you can do about it. Its great the you are so supportive and hes a genuinely lucky guy to have met someone like you. I would just say keep an eye on it, if it is long term or severe, I would say seek mental health services and maybe look into medication and therapy treatments.



nick007
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22 Nov 2020, 2:41 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
You are such a blessing to your husband. I could not think of a better wife for him.

The holiday travelling idea sounds excellent.
I completely agree that Clueless is a great wife. Lots of times when we hear about an NT in a relationship with an Aspie it is not a positive one. It's great to hear from an NT who really appreciates her Aspie & that the Aspie is trying to make things work.

I would NOT recommend traveling now. My state which is Vermont just initiated another travel ban & everyone entering or leaving Vermont who is not doing so for essential business has to to through a quarantine period. I s#ck in geography but I do not think Florida is next to Calie & I also do not know if other states currently have travel bans or if they will implement them. I would highly recommend checking for possible travel bans for any states you plan to drive through to get to Florida. Try telling your Aspie you want to postpone the trip for a while due to Covid but be clear that you do want to go but the timing rite now is horrible.

I wonder if your Aspie is going through a burnout. Perhaps he's been pushing himself too hard & things just piled up & became too much for him. If he's been working very hard lately, he may need a break like a little vacation or a few mental health days. Maybe instead of traveling to Florida he could do some things closer to home instead. Perhaps indulging in some interests or hobbies. Or maybe doing something different.

BTW Is your SN a reference to that movie :?: I haven't seen it in AGES but I did like it. I also liked the TV series they made after.


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Clueless2017
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23 Nov 2020, 5:10 am

THANK YOU, ALL for your replies...I am elated to report that my beloved (Aspie) husband is doing much better as of yesterday...I know this, because he was able to eat and because he was chatting with long-distance friends and family...

He is, however, somewhat disappointed...Because he mentioned to me, yet again, the possibility of traveling to Florida; and i suggested that we postpone it...As i mentioned all the complicated logistics due to Covid 19, he soon told me to stop the planning of it...What a relief!! !...

Anyway, each and everyone of your comments above-mentioned are very insightful...And will surely help me to be a supportive wife...I am so-o-o grateful to you all :heart: :heart: :heart:



Clueless2017
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23 Nov 2020, 5:36 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
You are such a blessing to your husband. I could not think of a better wife for him.

The holiday travelling idea sounds excellent. I have to go on driving trips for a day or two to keep my self happy. I will do all I can to de-stress. Knowing there are many appointments looming up stresses me especially if they are not in my control. I have no wife. I live with my Mother. She gets easily talked into things and going places so I have whole days eaten up like this as she does not drive. My Mum and I are close as we are on a similar wavelength so it is very likely that if I am on the spectrum, that she is as well even though I tend to think more in pictures and my Mum thinks more in words.

I find that when I am feeling right I can tackle things in life. When I am not, everything is a struggle. It is important for him to have holidays (If he is like me) in places that will de-stress him. Days of relaxing and enjoyment. Try to avoid stress while preparing for them. Have a routine of preperation planned.
Why this is important, is all work without these breaks brings stress and too much stress brings burnout.
Burnout is a horrible thing. I hit the last burnout badly in late summer of 2019 and I am still not right yet. It effected my ability to do things. Even my hobbies (Special interests) have been put on hold.
Burnouts effect me in a physical and mental way, so it is why it is important for him to have these relaxing care free times with you. Depression is an indication that the stress build up has reached a high level.

Routines are important while working and sudden changes outside these routines bring stress. One automatically tends to make ones own routine in ones mind and sticks to it. Sudden unexpected changes can bring me shutdowns be they partial or full, so any new plans should be introduced and planned in advanced.
I say this because it is through my experience of what works best for me. Farm work has routines. It is all about routines. A certain time for feeding. A certain time for milking. A certain time for mucking out and then pressure washing. A certain time for spreading a thin sprinkle of lime and then straw on top for their bedding etc, etc, etc. Even the cattle know these routines. Routines are good.
Stress comes when extras are forced on top of these routines, as extras are extra. The routines still need to be done. (Iam saying this as a general guide to farmwork. I did not realize how routine based farmwork has to be and I grew up on smallholdings, where they have routines, but farmwork is almost all routines and routines tend to be good for those of us who are on the spectrum... (I am waiting an assessment so I don't know if I have many traits or if I am on the spectrum)).
Sorry. I type a lot as my mind wonders...

But routines without recharge times (E.g. holidays and breaks) brings on depression and this turns routines into boring drudgery which is when toutines can turn on you. (Talking trough experience).
I find personally that though I dreaded new enviroments, I had to keep changing jobs every two years or so due to masking. The cracks would appear in my masking and I had to get out and start again, so though it would be a stressful time of learning new routines in a new work enviroment, it was better t
hen the dreadful stress and anxiety that came on me when the masking started to break down and the bullying started as co workers started to see the real me through the cracks in the mask and felt betrayed. (They may not have known this or why they would turn on me, and even if they did not and were nice, when I hit this stage, I would have the stress and anxiety hit me full force as if my body and mind were expecting it, so every day life would be living "On edge" in a fight or flight type of mode, and I would hit burnout before I know it, or I would be in a battle fighting it off if that makse sense? So I had to chenge jobs but stay in my special interest line of work, but that is my personal story. Your husband may be quite different where the thought of change may bring dread and stress. I am only mentioning how things hit me personally incase it may help).

Sorry. I have written too much. I write too much! :D

I hope all goes well and you two have a well earned break and come back fully re-charged from your little adventure!


Thank you for your kind words...Some of the things you mention above confirm what i have come to learn about my beloved (Aspie) husband...About how well he adheres to routines, which makes him a great asset to his employers...This is why at present-time, i am so grateful to God for his night job, where he works with cattle instead of people...Also because his tasks are repetitive in nature...

I especially appreciate your explanation of 'masking'...I am now better able to understand my beloved husband...And i see how desperately he needs a brake...Even if we are unable to travel to Florida at present-time due to the pandemic, i will see that he takes a vacation to prevent burnout...I will do what's in my power to make it happen...

Thanks again for sharing your story...It is a real contribution to my understanding of autistic traits; and in turn, to my understanding of my beloved (Aspie) husband...Greetings from California... :heart: :heart: :heart:



Last edited by Clueless2017 on 23 Nov 2020, 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Clueless2017
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23 Nov 2020, 5:40 am

jimmy m wrote:
Depression is a form of distress. Stress builds up in the body like water filling a glass. When it reaches the top of the glass it can flow uncontrollably over the edge of the glass. It can move a person into a state of distress. A very minor stressor can become the last drop before it overflows. So in reality it might not even be about something you did and it may be very minor in nature.

... ... ...
Great analogy!! !...With this analogy, i no longer feel guilty...Thank you :heart: :heart: :heart:



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23 Nov 2020, 5:48 am

You are welcome. Plan some lovely outings even if nearer to home, and go out and enjoy. :)


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Clueless2017
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23 Nov 2020, 6:11 am

holymackerel wrote:
Apart from being supportive and being there to give him a different viewpoint on his problems, I think a lot if it unfortunately is out of your control. Maybe some things about his autism are getting him down and unfortunately there is not much you can do about it. Its great the you are so supportive and hes a genuinely lucky guy to have met someone like you. I would just say keep an eye on it, if it is long term or severe, I would say seek mental health services and maybe look into medication and therapy treatments.

... ... ...

Thank you for your positive feedback...You gave me a balanced and realistic perspective...This i appreciate greatly...His depression is recurring and can be disabling at times...For this reason, in recent times, he has sought medical treatment...I get the impression he does not likes medicines in general; so he is reluctant to follow-up once he begins to feel better...Overall, he has come long ways, for which i am very proud of him...He has not experienced any shutdowns nor seizures since the beginning of our marriage appx 2 years ago...(I think marriage has been good for him :wink: )...His strength-training routine, which he has adhered to for appx 2 decades, is most beneficial to counteract his depression...(This is scientifically proven)...I just realized that his present job schedule has prevented him from adhering to it...This is definitely something worth discussing with him...Again, thank you for your positive feedback... :heart: :heart: :heart:



Clueless2017
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23 Nov 2020, 6:47 am

nick007 wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
You are such a blessing to your husband. I could not think of a better wife for him.

The holiday travelling idea sounds excellent.
I completely agree that Clueless is a great wife. Lots of times when we hear about an NT in a relationship with an Aspie it is not a positive one. It's great to hear from an NT who really appreciates her Aspie & that the Aspie is trying to make things work.

I would NOT recommend traveling now. My state which is Vermont just initiated another travel ban & everyone entering or leaving Vermont who is not doing so for essential business has to to through a quarantine period. I s#ck in geography but I do not think Florida is next to Calie & I also do not know if other states currently have travel bans or if they will implement them. I would highly recommend checking for possible travel bans for any states you plan to drive through to get to Florida. Try telling your Aspie you want to postpone the trip for a while due to Covid but be clear that you do want to go but the timing rite now is horrible.

I wonder if your Aspie is going through a burnout. Perhaps he's been pushing himself too hard & things just piled up & became too much for him. If he's been working very hard lately, he may need a break like a little vacation or a few mental health days. Maybe instead of traveling to Florida he could do some things closer to home instead. Perhaps indulging in some interests or hobbies. Or maybe doing something different.

BTW Is your SN a reference to that movie :?: I haven't seen it in AGES but I did like it. I also liked the TV series they made after.

... ... ...

Thank you for your kind words...My beloved (Aspie) husband is a very reasonable man...As soon as i suggested that we postpone said trip and presented to him the complicated logistics due to Covid 19, he directed me to stop planning it...This brought great momentary relief to me...

I say "momentary" relief above, because i am now seriously concern about him experiencing burnout...Plus, my reasonable (Aspie) husband can also be quite stubborn when he really wants something...Traveling to Florida has been a long-time dream of his...He has only made brief stops at Florida airports on his way to his native island in the Caribbean...He is probably tired of all the restrictions in California that kept us confined for months...(Still, we voluntarily adhered to these; because life is precious)...So, i know with all certainty that this is not the last time i will hear about Florida :D

Anyway, yes CLUELESS is a great movie!! !...I own it!...Highly recommend it...And i do identify somewhat with said character because of my legal background...However, the reason that i chose CLUELESS as my username here at WrongPlanet is because it is the best way i can describe myself when i first met (2017) he who became my husband (2019)...Although i had experience working with autistic students, i had never met an adult with autistic traits...In the beginning of my courtship, i mistaken my then boyfriend for a narcissist and even suspected that he suffered from schizophrenia...So yes, clueless described me perfectly...To date, i still consider myself clueless when it comes to the understanding of autism spectrum disorder...But i have the best disposition to educate myself, and learn from you, all, for the wellbeing of my beloved (Aspie) husband and for the future of my happy marriage...Thanks again...And greetings from California... :heart: :heart: :heart: