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My man seems depressed after losing his job

Dear Dr Nekia,

Since my man has lost his job, I think that he has gone into a bit of depression. He drinks far more often and seems unhappy but will not admit that he is not himself. It is starting to affect our household in more ways than just financial, because he is sometimes snappy or withdrawn from family activities. What can I say or do to snap him out of it?

Sincerely,

He Is Depressed

Dear He Is Depressed,

It most certainly sounds as though your man is in a slump because of losing his job, but you may also want to see if there are not other factors involved. It is true that men find it difficult to cope with the reality of not being able to contribute to a household ­— however, you will want to be sure that his sudden unemployment is not simply the icing on the cake, so to speak. Men tend to hold in their emotions and experiences, and if you want to be the best help that you can be to him, you will have to make him feel safe, accepted, and appreciated enough for him to open up to you.

There may be nothing that you can do to find him new employment, but you can be very supportive, understanding, and patient in these times. It will not be easy, but remember that you probably know him best so you know his intimate needs.

Overall, never come across as being expectant, critical, or frustrated because this will only validate his feelings of inadequacy. Look for opportunities to encourage and praise him.

Revisit memories of when he felt wonderful about himself and his accomplishments while sending a strong message that alcohol abuse will not be tolerated. Use quiet, intimate moments to embrace him. Chances are he is just feeling wounded; however should things continue in this direction or should they get worse, please seek out professional help. He may not need medication, but there are resources and tools that can be used to bring him out of this funk.

Dear Dr Nekia,

Is it true that women have a yearly sex cycle as well as a monthly period?

Sincerely,

I Can't Believe It

Dear I Can't Believe It,

Yes, this is true. Lesser known and obvious to us is the human yearly fertility cycle. Like other mammals, we follow a seasonal cycle which has an ebb and flow similar to our monthly menstrual cycle. Both men and women tend to be more fertile during certain times of the year, versus others.

When this time is exactly depends on a number of factors such as diet, stress, climate and individual constitution or physical health. Many of us will find that we are most fertile during times of moderate climate, such as early and late summer, which will produce births in the spring, while others will find that they are more fertile during the rainy or cooler months. One indicator of our fertile months would be that we will generally have a desire to be even more sexually active than usual. If one was to chart their days of sexual arousal, he or she may be quite surprised by the monthly and yearly pattern that it will reveal.

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife and I are expecting our third child. We recently got blood work done and our doctor has informed us that there is a great chance that our baby will be born with Down's syndrome or some other form of mental retardation. Of course this has devastated my wife. She is no longer embracing her pregnancy and wants to terminate, however I do not. How can we come to some agreement on this?

Sincerely,

I Love Our Baby

Dear I Love Our Baby,

I am saddened to hear of your ordeal, but the only way that you and your wife will reach common ground is to experience things together. It can become so very easy for a woman in her situation to want to withdraw, but try your best to keep her engaged.

Make sure that she is still giving her and the baby the proper attention, care and nutrition that is needed until you can reach a decision together.

Compromise is needed here. I would suggest that you seek out other parents of children born with Down's syndrome here on the Island. See if you can talk to them or visit them to get an idea of what it is like to parent a child with challenges.

You may realise that it is too much too handle or your wife may realise that it is not as bad as she thought. Speak with multiple healthcare practitioners, read up on the condition as much as you can. Even try YouTube for gathering visual information on the life of parenting a child with Down's syndrome.

The key here is to do these things together and have open dialogue about your feelings and your reactions. If an agreement still cannot be made as to the fate of the unborn child, you may want to seek mediation. You may want to consider what it would really be like to care for a child with mental retardation and other health problems without the full support and love of the mother.

She is already at risk of depression, and will be likely to suffer from post-partum emotional instability and rejection of the baby if she feels she is forced to carry and birth the child.

Please approach this situation with compassion and be sure to become well-informed of the important health, emotional, social and financial factors involved before making your decision.

•Want relationship advice? E-mail nakedtruth@royalgazette.com.

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Published August 10, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 10, 2015 at 2:27 am)

My man seems depressed after losing his job

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