I am married to my wife for almost 20 years now, and our relationship is something that I always take into consideration. Every decision I make, I make sure that it doesn’t affect the way my wife and I would handle our marital lives. However, these past few weeks, I noticed something different about her and it somehow scared me.
How It All Started
Looking at things, I wasn’t sure what has been happening to our marriage. It seems that it is suddenly falling apart. My wife experienced a lot of mood swings that were entirely out of control. Sometimes, I admit that I can’t take it anymore. She became aggressive and seemed to get quickly irritated for no apparent reason. At some point, she seemed to be pissed off about something that wasn’t even a big deal at all and that caused enraged arguments between us inside the house. I thought she just had a rough day that’s why I didn’t put too much concern about it. But then, she continued to get an increased level of anxiety, and that’s when I thought I had to do something before it even breaks our marriage.
The Signs And Symptoms
Since I was getting frustrated by her behavior, I tried to ask her to consult a therapist. She was diagnosed to have clinical depression, so I thought I hit the jackpot and started convincing her in taking medications. However, though some of her depressive behavior changed, her physical aspects were telling a different story.
It took me a few months before I entirely noticed different signs and symptoms. She drastically lost some weight even though her appetite was intact. Her eyes were bulging and seemed to be out of its normal position. I thought it was just because she had a sleep disorder that made her eyes look like they were popping out. She sweats a lot even if the temperature was at a normal degree and became too sensitive to heat. She seemed to be very restless and she often complained about it. Then she experienced an unusual lump around her neck. I didn’t put effort into assessing those symptoms at first because I thought those were normal. However, eventually noticing those physical symptoms, I knew that there was something wrong with her and it was definitely not just a common cause of depression.
When we consulted a doctor for the 2nd time, we found out that my wife was suffering from a toxic diffuse goiter most commonly known as Graves’ disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that is somehow identifiably the same as hyperthyroidism. It causes too much production of thyroid hormones that cause inflammation of the thyroid gland. It’s pretty much complicated to identify because the behavioral symptoms are common to anxiety and depressive disorder.
After the diagnosis, I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to help my wife in her situation before it even got worse. I felt so stupid for not addressing it in its early stages and disregarded the small signs that my wife experienced. Because of that, her disease is now taking control of her.
I know this is a battle that my wife and I will have to deal with. I don’t want to lose my wife. I want to help her get over Graves’ disease. I want to save my marriage.
Allow me to share some positive comments and statements from counselors:
- “Honor the past, learn from it, accept it and let it go. Don’t obsess or worry about the future. Life is more manageable when you are grounded in the present.” – Alison Thayer, LCPC
- “Being positive impacts your life in many ways” – Nicole Martinez, Psy.D, LCPC
- “It’s great to surprise someone with an appreciation or to just say hello. Our technology while connecting us — also isolates us. The gift of eye contact and a smile is far-reaching.” – Andrea Kane Frank, MS, LCPC, CAPP