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How can I help my DH with depression

(11 Posts)
glorious Thu 09-Jan-14 12:28:25

DH has just been diagnosed with depression though I suspect he's been unwell for a while.

I've asked him if there's anything I can do differently to support him and he can't think of anything. I'm encouraging him to look into CBT or some other talking therapy as well as the pills he's been prescribed, and maybe some exercise. But mainly I'm trying to reassure him that I think he's wonderful, that it's ok to be feeling how he is but that he can and will feel better.

We have a non sleeping 11mo who I deal with in the night but that takes a fair bit of my emotional energy (well, energy full stop!). I'm due back at work soon so I'm worried I'll be even less use to DH then.

Obviously everyone is different but does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you

Iwasinamandbunit Thu 09-Jan-14 17:04:13

I think what your doing is really great. I have been unwell for a long time but have a different diagnosis from your DH. My partner has always been quite supportive, not perfect but pretty good.

Sleep is very important and also eating well and also avoiding alcohol as it acts as a depressant. I am literally teetotal, it is irritating but just not worth the risk for me personally.

If he needs space then he may need time alone, obviously this is going to be very hard with a baby.

He really may not feel like doing anything sometimes, it isn't laziness.
In all this please make sure you have some support for yourself as there will be pressure on you.

I recommend reading the Mind website.

LastingLight Thu 09-Jan-14 17:18:09

Keep doing what you're doing, it is what he needs. Talk therapy is very important because the pills help you feel a bit better but doesn't teach you how to solve any problems you may have.

glorious Thu 09-Jan-14 20:44:35

Thank you both, I'm so glad you think I'm on the right track. I'm desperately sad for DH and trying so hard not to show it and to be strong for us both.

I think you're right that I'll need some support iwas, to be honest I'm a bit of a wreck myself from sleep deprivation and worry about going back to work. I feel like a lot of people need an awful lot from me.

I'll keep encouraging the lifestyle stuff. He decided this evening that he'll give up alcohol for the moment. Plus I'm helping him follow up on options for accessing some talking therapy.

I'll pop over to the Mind site now, don't know why I didn't think of that.

glorious Thu 09-Jan-14 20:45:38

Oh and the bit about wanting to do nothing really resonates. I have been finding it frustrating so I'll try to understand a bit better.

Iwasinamandbunit Fri 10-Jan-14 09:30:09

Well the not being able to do anything will be annoying for you , no doubt about it. I absolutely understand why a partner could become resentful. When very ill I can go without washing myself for days let alone doing housework.

To help take the pressure off we hired a cleaner who has been with us a few years now. She knows about my illness and when I have been shut away indoors and unable to leave the house she has been one of the few people I have seen. If there is anyway you can afford a cleaner even if temporarily then do it. A decent cleaner can do far more than a regular person cleaning in an hour or two.

I'm naturally an extremely tidy person who scrubs the skirting boards every other week so it is really obvious when I'm unwell.

Mind are a brilliant charity and I have used their site loads.

All the very best to you and your family.

Glenshee Fri 10-Jan-14 09:53:09
glorious Fri 10-Jan-14 22:12:11

iwas I've never minded him doing things to relax as he has a stressful job but I did find the faffing about (as I saw it) difficult when I'm run ragged. But knowing it's part of the illness helps a lot.

We did have a cleaner until I stopped getting paid so fully planning to have one again when I go back. We're lucky we can afford it as I agree it makes a huge difference. It's amazing how much can be done by someone who's good at it!

I'm sorry you've been so unwell and I hope you're on the mend. Thank you for the good wishes, they mean a lot thanks

glenshee thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a look.

SilverStars Fri 10-Jan-14 23:15:34

Like others say find a friend or family person if possible to offload to about the things that irritate etc. it can be hard working, having a child no matter so resentment can build up anyway - it was refreshing to hear other working mums say that with no ill adults.

Definitely a cleaner!! And for me I found churning out meals really difficult so found had to be organised and batch cooked and froze every 2 weeks for ds at that age and tried to menu plan and again make one meal last two nights to help. It was the simple things that can break us I found so thinking ahead and even if things cost more then buy the way out of the tiredness!! I had a friend who struggled so every so often had her child to stay over for a weekend so they both got a decent rest. You may have family to help occasionally. Sleep was vital for us both!

Iwasinamandbunit Fri 10-Jan-14 23:48:49

I am doing okayish at the moment but under MH services again. When DH and I got together he knew I had been in a psychiatric hospital but he saw through that. We did have an absolutley dreadful patch years ago when our marriage was really under threat.

I also have a friend that took youngest dc for one day a week though the whole summer holidays this year.That was incredibly helpful as it gave me a day of total quiet.

glorious Sun 12-Jan-14 09:37:04

Thank you silver. Batch cooking is top of my to do list, and luckily I will enjoy it smile I'll need to see how DH would feel about me talking to someone we know about it, he's extremely private so I suspect he'd be very reluctant.

iwas I'm glad you're not too bad, hope you can get back to normal soon. I have a good friend who has spent much of the last 10 years in hospital for her mental health condition and it can be so grim sad

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