Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Husband and MH/Work Issues(14 Posts)
Bit of background info... DH has never really been much of a worker. He's often taken sick days for minor things that I wouldn't dream of having time off for, and in past jobs has gone down to part time hours because he just didn't like work. He's been in a full time job for 4 years now, and has taken ridiculous amounts of sick leave, often for minor ailments.
For the past 3 and a half months, DH has been off work. He's always struggled with his self esteem and has difficulty communicating on the phone, which has led to me ringing work for him etc. However, my main worry is that he's been off due to his manager's husband (who also works in the same workplace) making a snide comment that he couldn't just take in his stride or stand up for himself. He's been off sick since.
He sits at home on the computer, is often not out of bed until after midday, has nightmares pretty much every night, overeats and will often not go out, not even to help me walk the dog, for fear of bumping into someone he knows.
We've been to the Drs and he's going for counselling, but now his work have referred him for occupational health. Which is fine, because we can get support, but his work are being difficult by saying he's made no attempt to get in touch with them etc. Which is true. I'm doing all the leg work by arranging the appointments, attending them with him, liaising with his workplace on his behalf (work think he's emailing them when it's actually me. If I didn't he'd be in trouble as he won't even read their emails). I'm doing as much as I possibly can as well as working 45 hours a week and keeping the house in order.
Work is making him miserable and he needs a new job. I went so far as to write out an entire job application for him for something else, only for him to refuse to let me hand it in.
I'm 4 and a bit months pregnant. We found out just after he went off work sick, and he's over the moon. I'm terrified as I don't know how we're going to manage if he doesn't keep his job/can't keep a job. I'd be happy to go back to work but the other day he ignored the dog when he was whining to be let out for a wee (I was on the loo, otherwise would have done it myself), so can I leave him with the baby? I know in my heart I can, but I'm so worried he's not going to cope.
I should probably add I'm over the moon too about the baby. I was told I couldn't conceive naturally so he or she is a little miracle.
Congratulations on your pregnancy motherduck.
Is your DH on any medication at all?
No, no medication. I've been to the doctor's with him 3-4 times in the last 3 months and nothing offered at all. It was just recommended he go for counselling and try to sort his work situation out.
has the dr been told about how his every day life is? Obviously I'm not a dr and they are the people who really know about things, but your DH isn't actually functioning day to day. There's something that doesn't quite sit right…Do you think worrying about work is the root of your DH's problems or something else? You say that he isn't a worker…is he usually content/functioning outside of work bar this recent episode?
Huge hugs to you. I've been where you are now except I wasn't pregnant so can understand your worry. I'm surprised that he hasn't been offered any medication in conjunction with the councelling. Does his GP realise the extent of how this is affecting him day to day. Do his occupational health offer any councelling or cbt as this is likely to be a lot quicker than nhs.
Hi. So is your DH off work due to stress, bullying, or sickness? He must be getting sick certs from the GP, no? What reason does your DH think he is off work for? I do sympathise with you, as you are managing everything alone, have you any support for yourself or someone to talk to in real life about it?
Thanks for all your support. He's getting sick notes, signed off with stress. I think we may have to go back to the GP and think about meds though due to day to day impact.
I agree with sadie9 that it sounds as if you could use some support for yourself, particularly as you are pregnant - congratulations on your pregnancy! Soon, though, you will have an utterly dependent baby on your hands. It sounds as if you are already doing a lot of caring for your DH. One option for you might be to your GP yourself and ask for a carer's assessment. You could also talk to your midwife about the situation, at your next antenatal appointment. It does sound as if you are doing a lot of caring.
You wrote that you are doing all the leg work vis a vis arranging all appointments and so on. What would happen if you stopped doing all of the leg work? It would not have occurred to me to do this, when my DH was depressed.
To compare my situation to your situation, when, a few years ago, my DH got really quite depressed and I got very, very frightened and convinced that the marriage would be over because the deterioration in my DH mental health was really quite sudden and happened soon after we got married:
I asked DH recently "what was it that made you take some action (e.g. see GP, seek counselling) when you were depressed a few years ago?" DH's answer was along the lines of that he felt ready, that he had had enough of being depressed. My recollection of the time is that I told him, shortly before he sought help, I issued some sort of ultimatum: either you do something about how you are feeling, or I will arrange for the two of us to go to couples' counselling, because I am not prepared to live like this. DH went himself, in the end. I did not arrange appointments for him though or go with him.
I find it really quite strange that you would fill in a job application for someone else, but I am not you, so maybe that is not that strange, really.
I am not sure if that is any use? My DH and I are in some sense sort of chronically independent of each other, which causes its own set of issues, as you might be able to imagine. When I was not well, DH talked about moving out for a while, because it was a bit too much for him, living with me. He didn't move out, in the end, but I did understand why he felt like he wanted to. It was all a quite dramatic, but we are still together and still living in the same home, no DC yet.
DH and I both have ups and downs with our mental health and we try not to both go down together. We usually succeed, but we are both very aware that when one of us goes down it can easily pull the other one down with them. Depressed people are depressing to be around, let alone to live with or be married to. So I guess I am trying to say, take care of yourself in all of this, and do not underestimate the toll that it might take on you.
I too have filled in job applications for my DH in desparation a few times. I think what PPs have said about you getting support and taking time out for you is very important. It's very easy to fall into doing everything for someone. I know I've done it. But if you are doing it all then where's his motivation to take responsibility. His CPN has said that by doing everything I was actually disabling him. Leaving him to sort stuff doesn't always work out. He has at times ended up jobless with us in a financial pickle. But he is learning how to handle stressful situations better. The right medication and support from the mh team has been key to this though to get him in the right place to be able to start to deal with things.
So if you DH thinks he's out on Stress leave, what plan has he to get over the stress? Has he actually started the Counselling sessions and how many has he had? Do you mention the work Depression at the GPs?
However, my experience of stress at work, I used to be a manager, if it is say non-complicated stress, is that it is like having a longer type of flu. The person gets overworked and under pressure, it comes to a head with the person crying easily, being extremely sensitive to others, feeling like they can't do their job or 'not up to' the job, etc...but resolves fairly quickly once the person is at home away from work. They do 'recover' back to their old selves fairly fast with that type of plain vanilla stress and can take a balanced perspective of themselves and the workplace again at that point.
Your DH's problem looks exactly like depression, as he is off now for say 14 weeks or so and is showing no signs of change or improvement away from the Workplace. So the workplace cannot be cited as the 'reason' for the stress. Is he afraid of meeting someone from work, or just anyone at all? People who have had bouts of depression in the past are more easily triggered by less significant events in the future. So work may have provided a trigger that has set off another episode of depression.
You say his work is being 'difficult'. Is your DH on full pay?
From an employer's point of view, the employee is not at work, they are citing stress (which indicates it is caused by their work or workplace), yet the employee won't engage in discussion of any kind. The workplace is legally obliged to be sympathetic and to do everything it can to support your DH. But in order provide support, your DH has to engage with them. So I imagine the employer would say your DH is being difficult.
It's not unreasonable for the employer to want to engage with your DH. They may be able to provide workplace counselling and or a phased return to work, or some other solution.
Daily exercise has been proven to be as good as anti-depressants for mild or moderate depression, especially in men. Would he undertake joining a gym and giving that a try every morning for say 3 weeks? Or does he just respond to such suggestions with 'there's no point' or ten other reasons.
That, along with the counselling, might bring about a real change.
To help get across the point to him that he has a relapsing type of illness called Depression and that it's nothing to do with the type of person he is. He is as good a person as anyone else, no worse nor no better, and is a person struggling with depression. And anyone who had that type of condition would be feeling exactly like him right now.
Does your entire household's talk and most of your energy go on supporting him? Is he as supportive of you, or is he just not capable of offering you support...like it's tough when your spouse/OH is the 'problem'.
I agree I think you need to go back to GP with DH and talk about medication. There are lots of things he can do himself to feel better but sometimes medication can provide the initial 'push' to get him going.
Medication. Your DH sounds exactly like me when I was in the grips of severe depression. I actually ended up losing my job because I couldn't communicate with work at all. I couldn't answer their calls or read their emails. I know it must seem hard to understand from the outside - someone making things so much more difficult than they need to be - but I just couldn't cope. Going outside sent me into a paranoid panic as I'd be looking around, terrified of bumping into someone I knew. I couldn't cope with anything. A variety of things helped me get through to the other side but anti depressants definitely gave me that initial bit of motivation to get the rest of my life sorted. Your DH needs help and support - this isn't just work stress.
I think you should go back to your doctor and ask about medication, it could totally transform his life. It has done for me. Tell them how badly he is not functioning in his daily life.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.