Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with depression more than 20 years ago. When I was in high school, I was hospitalized for close to a year. Because money and insurance have been sporadic, I have been on and off of medication. Plus, once I get on a good medication, I start feeling that I don’t need it anymore. Last year, my husband lost his job, so I have no insurance and have been off of medication since.
Annie, my depression feels like it is crushing me. I am tired all the time and not interested in doing anything. I interpret everything my husband says as insulting or angry, although I know it isn’t. Part of the problem is, we haven’t had sex in three years. He says he just doesn’t want to. So I feel pretty worthless.
I fantasize about dying. I feel this dark cloud hanging over me. I try to put on a happy face, but it doesn’t help much. My husband knows about my depression, but there isn’t much we can do without money. Please help me. — Tired of It
Dear Tired: There are resources for you. First contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at 800-950-NAMI. You also can find a listing of free or low-cost health centers in your area through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (hhs.gov) and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (pparx.org), which also can help with medication. And don’t overlook your local community centers and nearby medical schools for low-cost counseling services. Just writing us shows your commitment to getting well. Hang in there.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have a friend who was given an award a few years ago. Many of us attended the event, and friends from afar sent congratulations and accolades. Since then, however, “Ralph” brings up the award at every occasion, showering everyone with photos and bragging to the skies.
This is getting rather tiring to the rest of us. Some people have made a few comments to him, saying it’s time to “let it go,” but it doesn’t help. Ralph thinks he’s truly hot stuff now, and it’s become unbearable to be around him. We all enjoy the company of his wife, who unfortunately doesn’t try to curtail his boasting, but we certainly don’t wish to be around Ralph anymore.
Is there any polite statement we could make to get him to stop the ego talk? — Had It
Dear Had It: Poor Ralph. This is obviously the only thing he has to brag about, and he’s not going to stop as long as he thinks he can still get mileage out of it. Try to be tolerant. When he mentions his award, plaster a fake smile onto your face, pat his arm and say, “Yes, Ralph, we know,” and then change the subject or walk away.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Some Talk, Please,” who reports that her husband is otherwise a good guy, but rarely talks to her and sulks for sex. She also said that one of her children has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. I would like to remind her that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
If they have a child with Asperger’s, it is possible that her husband may have the same diagnosis. This was the case with my son and my husband. I strongly suspected my husband had some form of autism. He was gracious enough to see a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with Asperger syndrome and schizoid disorder. My husband truly is clueless about intimacy.
There are resources available on the Internet for spouses of people with Asperger’s and also for those who want to learn how to be intimate. I let my hubby know I am grateful for all he does. I also let him know that when my emotional needs are met, then I will engage in sex. — Been There, Done That
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.