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DH stormed off again - reducing medication(29 Posts)
Once again, DH - who is diagnosed as having depression and prescribed ADs but has independently decided to wean himself off them - has volcanically erupted over something minor and stormed off out of the house. No idea where he is (he's been out 3 hours now). Before he went, he just lost it - swearing and shouting at the top of his voice, kicking and slamming doors, blaming me for him getting angry. It's happened before. I don't know what to do. I've told him before that it's unacceptable (it's like he goes from 0 to 100 in 5 seconds) and that I think it's abusive. He minimises it by blaming me.
I've thought about contacting his doctor to talk about his medication reduction (I still think he needs his ADs but I appreciate it's not my call) but I don't think they'd discuss it due to confidentiality.
I guess I have to somehow deal with the situation now. Previously, he's eventually returned, locked himself in the spare room until he's felt better. Now, I have no idea at what stage his weaning off has reached - or if it's been too quick (his behaviour indicates it has). I doubt the police will act so soon regarding him going missing as it's only been three hours. Do I leave things until he returns or should I act in some way?
This is only a suggestion since I don't know you
Don't look for him or report him missing unless you really think he is a danger to himself or others. It sounds more like a bad mood than depression. Being depressed does not cause rages. It makes you lethargic and unable to face the world. He may be depressed but this incident is about his nature, not his condition
If the ADs are partly to manage his temper, he absolutely should not be cutting the dose without consulting the GP
You should go to your own doctor, tell her what has been happening and about his medication. If it's the same practice she may choose to speak to his GP. Or not. It's her call
He sounds abusive to me. Stay safe
In a previous rage, I asked if he was still on his medication and he said no and that apparently his dr had told him he could start cutting it down when he felt better. I have no idea if that's true or if he misinterpreted it. I do know that once he cut them out before - just stopped one day - and his responses were very like this - completely disproportionate to whatever the incident was that set him off. After this, his dr told him it was dangerous to suddenly stop. I thought the uncontrollable rages may be something to do with a sudden imbalance of chemicals in his body that were caused by him reducing the ADs too quickly (or completely stopping like before). Could this not be the case?
If you're on ADs then you should be slowly weaned off them with the help of your doctor.
Im on 40mg of citalopram and I stupidly went to 30mg by myself and to say I was a mess is an understatement. Its absolutely the chemical imbalance that sent me spiriling but not to aggression, to utter hopelessness and feelings of failure.
Does he still blame you when "the fog" has cleared.
Is/was he abusive generally?
To be honest, it's probably better just to focus on his behaviour. Leaving your partner without a clue where you are for days on end is just shit behaviour. My dh has done this - once - when he stopped taking his meds one day - and without the rages, although he behaved pretty strangely in the run up. If he had continued to behave in those sorts of ways, i couldn't have gone on living with him as I wouldn't have been able to stand it and that would have been my choice. As it happened, dh decided to take meds again, and has never stopped since.
It's OK to leave if you can't live like this.
I can't leave. I feel utterly stuck. I have no independent income and two dcs. When he calms down, it's even worse as he behaves as 'normal' and expects us to fall in with that (but we're still reeling with trying to come to terms with the latest volcanic rage and find that very hard). If I broach the subject of it being unacceptable, it either gears another rage or he blames me (thus minimising his own choice to behave in that way, effectively not therefore accepting responsibility for his own actions). Very occasionally does he say he shouldn't rage and that he hates being like this - but mostly he excuses it away by saying it's my fault. He's had counselling which I was initially supportive of but it merely seemed to give him a platform to blame me once again. He's never really been able to a) take adult responsibility for (a whole variety of) things, or b) deal effectively with disagreement (tends to fall into victim mode - which is often just another way of him not accepting responsibility to act/negotiate/resolve). I'm not sure if I'm explaining this clearly but he's in trouble at work too these days for not doing things he needs to do (and which aren't that difficult or for which there's support to help him do it), like, uploading information on to the system as is necessary. He hates change and new technology (refuses to learn and is seen as a 'stick-in-the-mud'/stubborn because of this at work).
OK perhaps I was wrong to say focus on his behaviour - focus on how his behaviour makes you feel. The classic relationship counselling formula of 'When you X or Y I feel A or B' is something that is a little harder to argue with because what you feel is what you feel.
I reported dh missing within 12 hours I think because it was so completely out of character - 3 hours seems a little early but if you want to, do. If the police spot him they won't bring him back as he is an adult but it might add to the picture if he is behaving oddly, for example.
annandale - he wasn't abusive in the past, no. Nor is he typically controlling. He is passive aggressive though at times which is interspersed with these volatile rages. During these he throws things (not at me, just on the floor) and does stupid things like grabbing my laptop (he can't get into it as it's password-protected. He knows this). It's almost like a spur of the moment release action for his rage. I've wondered if it's along the lines of 'I want to do something to hurt 'Whatdoesntkillyou' but obviously hasn't or wouldn't cross that line of physical harm - so he grabs something that belongs to me instead. I just calmly ask for it back repeatedly till he gives it me. Slamming and kicking doors feels like a similar release I guess. I'm trying hard to understand it here, though I hate it at the time.
Do you know of the book, 'Why Does He Do That?' By Lundy Bancroft. There are some posts about it on the relationships board
If you read it you quickly understand that abusive men don't abuse because of depression, drink, drugs etc. They use those things as excuses for their behaviour
Ask for this post to be moved to relationships, or start a new thread there, for more input
I did wonder if this was better placed there Marchete but his rages have synced with his depression diagnosis. Before this he would describe himself as laid-back - for which I now think was a synonym for 'I'm taking responsibility for nothing'.
Depressed or not, his attitude is ruining your relationship. Why not keep this here and post a new thread on relationships, see how it goes?
And I'll try to link some references to the book if I can find any
Let me know if this works
Yes, thanks so much Marchete. Will have a read.
Has your dh had any sort of psychological assessment? Sounds a bit more like emotional instability than just depression in which case he needs specialist help. I know it is hard being on the other end of it - I have left on numerous occasions when things got too much but thankfully dh realises it isn't me it is my condition. Hope he is home now and I definitely agree about telling your own doctor so she can decide what is best. Involving families in care is quite usual so maybe your dh would agree to let you talk to his doctor?
I agree with the PPs who say this is abusive behaviour. In a way it doesn't matter what's causing it, although depression is an unlikely cause (and a common excuse) for aggression. Either way it's completely unacceptable. It seems like you're minimising it as well - just because he isn't attacking you or throwing things at you (yet!) doesn't change the fact that he is being physically violent and intimidating.
Check out these signs of emotional abuse and see if anything sounds familiar. I suspect you might be surprised to find that some of it does.
"I've wondered if it's along the lines of 'I want to do something to hurt 'Whatdoesntkillyou' but obviously hasn't or wouldn't cross that line of physical harm - so he grabs something that belongs to me instead."
This is the bit I meant when I said you're minimising it. It's pretty chilling actually. Also you say he "obviously wouldn't" cross the line - how do you know? Why is it obvious? Most if not all victims of abusive partners believe that their partners would never physically hurt them - until they do.
Anti-depressants can be very difficult to come off.The process can induce rages/hysteria/anxiety/depression/despair.
All of that is very hard to cope with, and that's why coming off them should be done under medical supervision.
What is NOT a reaction to the medical situation, is being unable to talk about it, picking on YOUR stuff rather than indiscriminate flailing, saying it's your fault, even when calm, and then pretending that it never happened.
There are people who are abusive and have depression (or any other medical condition), but the number of abusers with depression is no higher than in the general population.
Also - the reaction to coming off anti-D's is unlikely to have a very obvious pattern to it. So knowing that you can't talk to him, or he'll blow up again, is him reacting and choosing to behave like that. I once sobbed like a baby for several hours over a stupid yogurt, ffs! But could then have a rational discussion about the problem later (and then went back to the doctor, with DH to explain just how serious the problem was). I clearly was depressed, and not trying to be controlling (although DH has never since taken the last raspberry yogurt).
Even if it is all 100% medical, he has a responsibility to his family (as we all do) to try to get the right medication and treatment, not to blame you for it. That bit just sounds nasty and controlling.
I'm not sure I'm minimising. Not really. I've emailed and explicitly told him it's abuse and is unacceptable. I think posters are right when they state that, whatever the problem, he chooses to rage in that way. He wouldn't as much with others I suspect. But - I can't leave. The only way of getting him to leave is to present it as in his best interests. It's a long game but I've asked him to leave before now as his actions were damaging me and the kids, and he refused. If he can see a way of him benefiting from leaving, he will. I need to try and effect that, I think.
This is a direct quote from Lundy Bancroft which I've copied and pasted from the Abuser Profiles thread:
THE MENTALLY ILL OR ADDICTED ABUSER
This last category is not actually separate from the others; an abusive man of any of the aforementioned styles can also have psychiatric or substance-abuse problems, although the majority do not. Even when mental illness or addiction is a factor, it is not the cause of a man's abuse of his partner, but it can contribute to the severity of his problem and his resistance to change. When these additional problems are present, it is important to be aware of the following points:
1. Certain mental illnesses can increase the chance that an abuser will be dangerous and use physical violence. These include paranoia, severe depression, delusions or hallucinations (psychosis), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and antisocial personality disorder known as psychopathy or sociopathy). These psychiatric conditions also make it next to impossible for an abuser to change, at least until the mental illness has been brought under control through therapy and/or medication, which can take years. Even if the mental illness is properly treated, his abusiveness won't necessarily change.
2. An abuser's reactions to going on or off medication are unpredictable. A woman should take extra precautions for her safety at such a time. Abusers tend to go off medication before long—I have had few clients who were consistent and responsible about taking their meds in the long term. They don't like the side effects, and they are too selfish to care about the implications of the mental illness for their partners or children.
3. The potential danger of a mentally ill abuser has to be assessed by looking at the severity of his psychiatric symptoms in combination with the severity of his abuse characteristics. Looking at his psychiatric symptoms alone can lead to underestimating how dangerous he is.
4. Antisocial personality disorder is present in only a small percentage of abusers but can be important. Those who suffer from this condition lack a conscience and thus are repeatedly involved in behaviors that are harmful to others. Some signs of this condition include: (a) He started getting into illegal behavior when he was still a teenager; (b) his dishonest or aggressive behavior involves situations unrelated to his partner, rather than being restricted to her; (c) he periodically gets into trouble at workplaces or in other contexts for stealing, threatening, or refusing to follow instructions and is likely to have a considerable criminal record by about age thirty, though the offenses may be largely minor ones; (d) he is severely and chronically irresponsible in a way that disrupts the lives of others or creates danger; and (e) he tends to cheat on women a lot, turn them against each other, and maintain shallow relationships with them. The psychopath's physical violence is not necessarily severe, contrary to the popular image, but he may be very dangerous nonetheless. Antisocial personality disorder is very difficult to change through therapy, and there is no effective medication for treating it. It is highly compatible with abusiveness toward women.
5. Those who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder have a highly distorted self-image. They are unable to accept that they might have faults and therefore are unable to imagine how other people perceive them. This condition is highly compatible with abusiveness, though it is present in only a small percentage of abusive men. Clues to the presence of this disorder include: (a) Your partner's self-centeredness is severe, and it carries over into situations that don't involve you; (b) he seems to relate everything back to himself; and (c) he is outraged whenever anyone criticizes him and is incapable of considering that he could ever be anything other than kind and generous. This disorder is highly resistant to therapy and is not treatable with medication. The abuser with this disorder is not able to change substantially through an abuser program either, although he sometimes makes some minor improvements.
6. Many abusers who are not mentally ill want women to think that they are, in order to avoid responsibility for their attitudes and behavior.
Substance abuse, like mental illness, does not cause partner abuse but can increase the risk of violence. Like the mentally ill abuser, the addicted abuser doesn't change unless he deals with his addiction, and even that is only the first step. Chapter 8 examines the role that substances play in partner abuse.
The attitudes driving the mentally ill or addicted batterer are the same as those of other abusers and will likely follow the pattern of one of the nine styles described above. In addition, the following attitudes tend to be present:
• I am not responsible for my actions because of my psychological or substance problems.
• If you challenge me about my abusiveness, you are being mean to me, considering these other problems I have. It also shows that you don't understand my other problems.
• I'm not abusive, I'm just———(alcoholic, drug addicted, manic-depressive, an adult child of alcoholics, or whatever his condition may be).
• If you challenge me, it will trigger my addiction or mental illness, and you'll be responsible for what I do.
Although I have focused on the emotionally abusive styles of these different kinds of abusers, any of them may also use physical violence, including sexual assault. Although the Terrorist and the Drill Sergeant are especially likely to become dangerous, they are not the only ones who may do so. Many abusers occasionally use physical violence or threats as a way to intimidate you when they feel that their power or control over you is slipping; violence for them is a kind of trump card they use when their normal patterns of psychological abuse are not getting them the degree of control they feel entitled to. If you are concerned about how dangerous your partner may be, see Is He Going to Get Violent? in Chapter 6 and Leaving an Abuser Safely in Chapter 9.
AnotherEmma - thanks. So much of what you've quoted makes sense - especially the stuff about him not accepting it's abuse 'because of the depression'.
You're welcome. Do you have any support, anyone to talk to about all this? Either way I do recommend you give Women's Aid a call, and/or get some counselling for yourself.
I have friends, but there's a limit I can offload really - and they're joint friends so I feel awkward in doing so. I think he is mentally ill but it does not excise his behaviour. Is there a support forum online, does anyone know, of partners/ex-partners of those with depression?
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