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Does anyone have dysthymia-chronic low grade depression that has worsened since the death of your spouse and after a 2 or more year period of grieving?

My husband has been gone 26 months. I have taken medication for dysthymia for over 20 years and have continually had to work at staying positive and happy. After my husband died I did lots of grief work and was doing not bad. But since his 2 year angelverrsary  in April I've been feeling so very sad, unmotivated, no interest in anything, and tired of trying so hard all the time to feel better. I'm done. I just want to go and be with my husband. 

How are others in similar situations managing?

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 I am sorry you are experiencing this-

I too suffer from moderate depression, runs in my family (Thanks Grandma!)

Episodes of depression have certainly felt more pronounced since my wife died in 2016. Some days are better. If I can stay busy it helps, but I am retired and the social distancing is not good for me on an emotional scale.

Your statement "I just want to go and be with my husband" is powerful. I get it. I am 65 but if it's my time to go, I'm ready. I never felt like that earlier in life but since my wife died, life has kinda stopped. 

Anniversaries are tough as well!

And I get "Trying so hard." I'm not sure what that's about for me, but I guess I tell myself that after 3 years I should be feeling better every day.

Doesn't work like that.

Thank you for your honest post!

No  way  I would  wish  to  post  something that  might  make  anyone  feel  worse  so  I  deleted  my  comments.  They  were  actually  directed  towards  Maggie  just  so  you  know.    Be  well.    

Thank you Soulmate and Laurajay for your comments. Depression is a difficult thing to address even without grief. I appreciate your thoughts on this.

Hi Maggie,

You are definitely not alone! I’ve suffered depression off and on most of my adult life.  I am currently on medication but I never know if it actually works. My husband’s sudden death three years ago of a heart attack compounded my dark mood. I understand that certain anniversaries, such as the two year mark for you, can be unnerving. I so, so understand the “tired of trying to be positive” remark! I would put that effort on hold for a while.  What’s wrong with taking a step backwards and intensely grieving again? Good for you for doing “grief work” and making a sincere effort to feel better. I have thought and told so many people that I want to be with my husband but we can’t.  I have two dogs and several cats and I am needed by them for their care every day.  It’s what motivates me to get out of bed each morning.  I’m sure you have others who need you.  It sounds so corny but our husbands would not want us to wish we died alongside them!  My hubby told me if he died first to grieve maybe a month and then go enjoy life, get married again.  A month? I certainly haven’t been able to follow his timeline!  Look at it this way, your question and willingness to be vulnerable on this site prompted me to become a member just so I could answer you!  You really helped me just by posing your question because I don’t feel so alone any more.  So you’ve helped me a lot.  I hope this helps a little and keep checking in.

Thank you for your post susiebright. I feel very humbled that my post prompted you to become a member. But I am very glad that you did join. And you are definitely not alone. 

I do have wonderful children and grandchildren who are a huge part of my life. But I don't really believe they "need" me. They are all doing well and busy with their lives, which is exactly what my husband and I had hoped for them. I don't believe my husband would want to me to choose to die to be with him.  I think he would want me to be happy.  But I also don't think he would want me to remarry.   I keep going because I don't believe I have a choice, but I don't like it. So'me days it is really, really hard. Life feels meaningless. And I question whether it's more depression or grief that I am feeling. Many of the symptoms are similar.  I do have good days but I have to work at it and make sure I connect with other people as much as I can, even though this can be exhausting. Life is definitely a roller coaster ride.

Maggie, I find it hard that my children and grandchildren don't need me as much as they used to.  I don't think they realize how lonely I am.  What I have found is that I have slowly come to the point of emotional exhaustion.  I just find it hard to care about anything.  I've lost my purpose.  Many days I would like to join my husband.  This road really is hard without him.  I was better the first few years (I'm at 5 years) and then I just started downward and can't seem to get back up.  The good days I do have are truly exhausting.  I'm just so tired of trying to act normal when inside I am a stranger even to myself.  And then there's the disappointment in myself that I'm not where I should be by this time.  My husband was so healthy and full of life.  He died very suddenly, and I don't think the trauma to my brain has ever healed.  Therapy ( 4 tries) did nothing.  I wish you the best, and just wanted you to know you're not alone.  I don't know if I'll ever get used to this life.



I want to add that when a person has the courage to share a struggle of a personal nature, it gives others "Permission" to disclose their emotions and struggles too.. It makes the support network more powerful-thank you!

"Oh! I'm not the only one struggling with this problem!" 

Thank you, soulmate. That is what I was trying to convey to Maggie. Her willingness to disclose her heartache made me feel so less alone.

Maggie, I understand your struggle.  I too am fighting a chronic depression that despite medication seems to get worse instead of better especially under the impact of the coronavirus isolation.  It will be six years this week since my husband’s death.  I know the anniversary always is a hurdle to get past but it seems particularly intense this year and in a lot of ways I think I am just now and only  now feeling a grief that I am not sure I allowed myself before.  I have no interest n anything, have to make myself do necessary maintenance chores and simply want to sit in my chair and watch television for days on end without the focus or concentration to even read.  I have had a lot of family and financial challenges through the summer and have felt completely overwhelmed by them.  My youngest son lives here in the same town and he has been amazing in his support and I am grateful for that.  My part of the world is one of the worst areas for new cases of the virus.  Since Feb/Mar I have buried one very-long-time friend, two close first cousins, my former secretary, three other friends and hear daily of  others with the virus.  All of that has made it harder to deflect anxiety.  I am 83 and I understand that this is a stage of life when loss predominates.  I am also aware that I am fortunate in having a comfortable place to live, modern technologies that keep me at least loosely connected, food on the table and air conditioning against the horrible heat these days.  What I don’t tell myself is that I should be feeling better—I learned some time ago in this journey that trying to meet some arbitrary schedule of “getting over it” just wasn’t going to happen.  Right now I am allowing the grief to overflow, indulging my need to escape through tv and reading, and holding tight to whatever comforts I can find.  I wish I had  wisdom to offer you in coping with your depression but I hope that at least knowing you are not alone in your struggle can help.  I can say that it does seem to hit me in waves and that there ARE times when it is easier and I am wishing for you that there will be more and more easier times.  At 65 you do have a future that can be more good than not and I hope that in those easier moments you can begin to find ways of experiencing that.

First, let me say it has been quite awhile since I have posted any response. Even now I am very reluctant. My husband passed away April 29, 2018. I came to this site when I was in the depths of despair and it has really been a source of needed encouragement. I read the responses and it does help to know that my feelings are not just some crazy illusion. I dont know what I expected after hitting the two year mark but like many of you I seem to be getting worse not better. We were together for 50 years, married 48 years. From the age of 20 to 70(my 38 year old single daughter reminded me this week that no one does that anymore) he was my world. I am having such a hard time. I am fortunate I know to have loving children and grandchildren and a very wonderful support team of family and friends. But they have their lives and challenges to deal with so I purposely avoid sharing how I am really doing. I have had moments where I have been able to smile and savor some of the joys of life. Usually this is when I am with my young grandchildren. But its not long before reality punches me in the gut. I find myself isolating myself more and more because it is so exhausting pretending to be fine. I literally cry everyday. I think most of you will understand when I say I dont want anyone to feel sorry for me or view these comments with pity. I am truly thankful for the life we shared. I know we were each others one and only true love. Thank you all for being here. May we all find the strength we need to endure this journey with grace and peace.


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