Answers

By   •   September 1, 2004

Q:

My husband has been almost like a different person in recent months, with wide swings in mood, going from deep depression to excitement with lots of activity, then back to depression—all in the space of a few weeks. He refuses to see a doctor, and says I'm just out to get him. What can I do?


A:

I am not a psychologist, of course–but your husband is clearly showing signs of a serious emotional or mental illness that needs treatment.

From what mental health professionals have told me, problems like this seldom vanish on their own and, if left untreated, may even get worse. While I don’t want to alarm you unnecessarily, problems like this can even make a person suicidal (as may have been the case with King Saul in the Old Testament).

Although he may resist, your husband needs help, and you should do everything you can to get it for him. Get in contact with your doctor or pastor, or someone else who knows what resources are available in your community. They also may be able to suggest ways to get your husband to agree to seek treatment. You may need to involve other members of your family or friends he respects, who can urge him (or even require him) to get help.

You carry a heavy burden right now and my prayer is that you will seek God’s help and wisdom during this difficult time–both for your husband and yourself. Pray for him and pray for yourself as well. God loves you both and His Word is true: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

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