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18 Oct 2011

degree of depression
hi my husband recently started working at a sheriffs office which obviously entails him taking furniture etc. away from people who have defaulted on their account payments in some or other way. he has been there for 5 months and in the past 3 weeks have complained that he cant deal with this anymore. he had a serious car accident about 11 years ago and there was some minor damage to his right frontal lobe. since the accident he has had no real issues. it has now cropped up recently. my question is, do you really think it is the job his doing now or is he feeling guilty about something else? i have told on numerous occasions that these people he is taking property from would not be in that situation if they paid their dues, and he must not get emotionally involved. he sees this as me being unsupportive and not understanding. he also thinks i am not sympathetic enough towards these people - i dont know how to help him cope he is very difficult to live with at the moment and very short tempered and shouts and insults everyone in the family. any advice that i can practically apply to alleviate this problem? thank you
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Surely this type of job must be depressing and at least upsetting to any intelligent and normally sensitive person. I don't see why one would assume he needs to have anything else to feel guilty or disturbed about. He is dealing with people in unfortunate situations, some of whom have fallen into debt through no fault of their own, unexpectedly losing a job, for instance. They're not thieves or rapists. and even if what he is asked to do is legal, he knows it will hurt not only the debtor but their spouse and children, and he'd be a rather nasty character if he enjoyed his work.
Its easy and obvious to say that he shouldn't get emotionally involved, but its very understandable that he does. And that its not easy for a basicall nice person to become hard-hearted and callous just because it'd be more comfortable for him if he could do that.
Is there any medical aid asociated with his job ? IF so, especially, he should arrange to see a shrink or other counsellor, to assess how this stress is affecting him, and to discuss th best ways to help him deal with it. And meantime, be more understanding and sympathetic, encourage him to talk about his work, and agree that these are sad and difficult situations. You don't have to feel you're ebncouraging everyone in the country to go into debt by doing this - you;ll be supporting your husband and helping to share the burden he carries.
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