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What can I do?
May 8, 2001
8:10 am
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nan
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My husband, who has been treated for depression for years with prozac, has decided to go off his med. He's disenchanted with the psychiatrist he was seeing (and I agree; She had put him on some horrific meds that caused nasty side-effects, then rescheduled an appt for a month later!) So he's decided to abandon all meds. I'm already seeing the intense anger and reactive behavior return. I want him to stay on the prozac and find someone else, but he's resistant. The psych. was just for med. maintaintence, not therapy. There's no way we can afford therapy--not covered by insurance and we can barely make ends meet with four kids to support as it is. What do I do? What kind of boundry do I set in this? I don't want to have to leave with the kids: It's not to that point yet, I think, and there's no place to go. He can be so nasty to all of us, no one wants to be around him. But... I can't see my choices. Anyone?

May 8, 2001
9:31 am
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Lydia
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Nan,

First and foremost, assess whether you or the children are in any danger with his escalating anger and reactive behavior. The safety of you and your kids is of paramount importance.

I am curious to know if the Psychiatrist he was seeing was offering him counseling or just giving him medication? Was his bloodwork being monitored? And, finally, was he drinking while taking the Prozac?

In my neck of the woods, free couseling is available if you can't afford it or at least based on a sliding scale. My brother needed help at one time and after a few phone calls, I found a PhD. willing to counsel for free. I understood that they all took a rotation schedule as part of the mental health community.

You need to set boundaries with him for the sake of everyone in the household. With his changing serotonin levels from stopping the Prozac, you can expect mood changes. At what point will he concede to obtaining help? Is he able to work and function throughout his depressive state?

Obviously, you've considered leaving with the kids. Have you thought about him leaving as an alternative if he is upsetting the balance of your entire family, perhaps until he gets the help he needs?

I emphasize the importance of safety. Certain choices are difficult to make.

May 8, 2001
3:09 pm
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Gateway
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Nan,
I agree with Lydia wholeheartedly. First and foremost is your safety and that of your children. If your husband is having these anger attacks, you don't want the kids to see their father,whom I'm sure they love very much, become this monster in front of them.

I was perscribed meds by my family doctor when I went to her about insomnia. She diagnosed it as anxiety and perscribed Paxil for me. At first it was wonderful, but the side effects started to become more of a problem. She changed my meds until we found something that I could live with and the side effects were minimal. My doctor monitored my blood levels regularly, which was highly recommended. As with any medication, side effects are common. Some are tolerable while others are not. Ask your husband if he would be willing to try something else.

You have to set boundaries!!! (listen to me being big and brave here!) It's important to your sanity and his as well. If he crosses the line that the two of you have set up, then he needs to know it. Sometimes we all need reminders when we get off course.

About counseling. I don't know what part of the country you are in, but you may have to go thru the phone book, one number at a time, and ask about free or sliding fee therapy. A lot of churchs offer free counseling as well.

Don't give up, but don't give in. Hope this helps.

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