Question for Betty.

I am having trouble coping with my husband's depression.  It seems to be highly tied to the summer and winter months, because he is a complete different person when the sun come out in May. Very loving, touching, laughing.  But in the winter he withdraws, has no interest in sex, doesn't want to cuddle or be intimate.  It's like we are roommates.  When I bring it up, he laughs because he thinks that there isn't a difference, but I can tell.  It really bothers me because I want to be happy and balanced, even if he doesn't want to help himself, but him acting like this is really affecting me in a negative way.  It makes me feel ugly, worthless, unsufficient.  I am pretty sure he watches porn in the winters, too, but, I don't think that is the cause, more of a side effect.  I would appreciate some help.

Betty's Answer.

You have concerns with your husband and with your relationship.  These are valid concerns.  Some folks indeed have problems with our short, dark, cold winter days, also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In our closest relationships we are mirrors for each other.  It is very appropriate for you to give your husband feedback on the behavior changes that you are observing. You may want to consider couples counseling, or if he declines help, get help for yourself in dealing with your concerns.  If you are an eligible UAA Student you may call the Student Health and Counseling Center to set up a screening appointment; the number is 786-4040.

Another helpful program for mental health services for students, faculty or staff are the Psychological Services Center.  The Psychological Services Center is staffed with graduate master and doctoral students supervised by licensed practitioners.  For more information or to schedule an appointment call 786-1795.