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Recognizing When Something Is Not Right – THEY TALK SERIES

Recognizing when Something is Not Right – THEY TALK SERIES

Something is not right

The mind could be very tricky. It’s fascinating yet very complicated at the same time. There is so much to digest that we may never fully understand, at least not in a lifetime. I guess that is why we leave it up to the experts to get the answers. This is how I recognized when I felt like something is not right.

Four years ago, my wife and I moved from our first home. To give some background, we hadn’t been living there long. We were just miserable as there were so many unknown issues we experienced after getting the home. Neither of us was handy, and we felt like we were taken for a ride. We moved here not long after my father died. A few years later, my maternal grandmother passed away. We put so much money into our home that we weren’t even enjoying it. Each time we turned around, something else was going wrong. We had little to no emergency fund, and I always felt broke. This really makes life difficult to cope with on top of depression.

Anyway, back to our move from the house. We had initially planned to move to a townhouse that was being built located close to work for my wife and I. However, that plan fell through due to zoning issues and pipelines that were supposed to be put in. So we found a townhouse for rent about a mile down from where we lived. We were still close to our family and not much changed. The move was hectic as we had late-night moving stuff back and forth, even right up to closing on moving day.

This move was only to be temporary until we found a new home. We really did not want to have to rent again, but we were actually saving some money here. It then turned out that there was not enough space for all of our belongings, so we had to get a storage unit. A lot of boxes had to be left around for us to get at because there was not enough room to put everything. Being uncomfortable did not help to adjust, but as I said, this was not supposed to be permanent.

Shortly after the move, something unexpected happened. I was going through some boxes in the basement when I stumbled across some old photos of my wife. Most were from high school and were of her and friends, including some guys she dated. I had seen some of these pictures as we’ve been together a long time before we got married. So I just placed the photos back in the boxes.




Feeling uncomfortable

Over the days ahead, I found this need to look at them, again and again, each time I was in the basement. I don’t know why, but it gave me an uneasy feeling. Why was I so concerned about this now? I actually felt jealous too. I didn’t know my wife in high school but I wish I did. Well, there was nothing I could do about that. I didn’t understand what my mind was doing. Like a disruption in electricity flow, something was not right with my thinking.

One night at dinner, I broke down to my wife what I have been doing. I just started crying. I knew I was with her now, but it’s like I needed reassurance. She was understanding, and it felt better after we talked. I thought all was well.

I was not sleeping well. I would wake up early before the alarm and not fall back to sleep. I kept thinking about the men she dated before me. The mere thought of my wife being with another guy was too much. I knew she was, but my brain was just not registering the here and now. I didn’t feel right.

I was asking her questions from her past, and she would answer. After a while, she started getting irritated. I couldn’t blame her; I don’t know why I was doing this. The thoughts continued throughout the day at work, and just all the time. There was no relief. This had now been going on for at least three weeks, maybe a month.

Seeing the counselor

Finally, one morning after hardly any sleep, I stayed home from work. I couldn’t keep this up. Enough was enough. I contacted the employee assistance line for a referral to see my therapist as it had been a little while. My plan also allowed up to three visits at no charge per year. The counselor I spoke with was so helpful. I called my therapist to make the appointment. He happened to have an opening that day, so I went to see him, where I found out I had a major depressive episode. I always felt better talking with him. But this wasn’t enough.

I contacted my primary care physician. He listened very closely to me and found I had a chemical imbalance. I was taking an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, so some adjustments were made to the dosage to the antidepressant. This did help a little. During the next few weeks, I had seen my therapist regularly, and my doctor had me come in for at least two more visits. To help with some of the anxious thoughts, my anti-anxiety medication was increased.

Soon after, my excessive thoughts decreased significantly. I was able to sleep better and was much more focused on work. I wasn’t bothering my wife with constant questions from her past anymore. I was starting to feel more like myself again. There was finally peace of mind.

Always reach out for help

I followed up with my therapist and doctor as needed. It took about two months until I was stable, but I haven’t had another major depressive episode since. I am so glad I had enough willpower to pick up the phone and make those calls when I did. Otherwise, I hate to think what might have happened if I just let things go. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out for help when you feel something doesn’t seem right. It could be something or nothing at all, but it’s always best to get properly evaluated. I knew I had too much to lose than to let depression take over me.


*Stories on Mental Health and Depression by people who experience it.

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