Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Living with depressed DH

(26 Posts)
sooperdooper Mon 04-Feb-13 22:35:35

I'm struggling, my Dh is depressed, he sits in separate room playing computer games or watching dvds for dats on end. It got to a point 2 weeks ago he hadn't slept or eaten for 4 nights, he wasnt making sense, like a bipolar high, ranting and shouting things incoherently

I called an ambulance, he was seen by the a&e and psychiatric team and discharged with sleeping tablets

He's been to see the doctor and they've given him some tablets but last night he went up on his own again and is still there now

I made dinner, he won't eat, I ask him to come down, he says in a minute and never does. I try and talk to him and he says to give him space, but I've already been out of the house at work for 12 hours and then sat on my own all evening, I don't know how I can give him more space. I've asked him what is wrong and he says he says he needs to get used to the tablets but I don't see how sitting alone can help, he slept up there last night again, he won't listen

I want to cry, I feel so alone, I don't know what to do

sooperdooper Mon 04-Feb-13 22:36:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Feb-13 23:24:23

He needs to keep going back to the doctor and I'd suggest you go with him. He may need to be admitted to hospital in order to be stabilised and you may have to push the GP to get that referral. Giving him space is not working... he needs treatment. Good luck

4amInsomniac Tue 05-Feb-13 06:33:13

I agree.

Whatever meds he has been given, he needs more than just that at the moment, and the professionals won't know this unless you tell them, as it sounds like he won't.

I guess you know that staying upstairs (in bed?) for 24hours is not 'normal' behaviour, and he must be feeling pretty bad to be doing that.

sooperdooper Tue 05-Feb-13 12:17:50

Yes, I know it's not normal behaviour, he seems to get himself into a pattern and not get out of it, I asked him to go back to the doctors but he said that he wants to give the meds a few more days and he's waiting for an appointment for CBT therapy.

He's staying upstairs in the spare room, not even coming to bed, he went up there on Sunday night and hasn't been down since

He had that before and it helped, but I don't know how quickly he'll be given his first appointment

I'm going to the doctors tomorrow anyway (same surgery) for something different, I know they can't discuss his treatment with me but I'm going to tell the doctor what's going on and see what she suggests I can do

I can just see him spiralling downwards and need to do something but he won't listen to me sad

sooperdooper Tue 05-Feb-13 12:18:31

Sorry, that didn't make sense, I meant to say he has CBT therapy before and it helped

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Feb-13 13:46:29

I'm glad you're going to talk to your doctor. I think you have to get across just how acute his behaviour is. Press them for action, don't be fobbed off with 'wait and see' or sleeping tablets. You're suffering as a result of his illness.

sooperdooper Tue 05-Feb-13 19:28:20

So it's like groundhog day, I've come in from work, he's still in the spare room, I've been and spoken to him, he said he agrees that he knows being alone isn't helping, he promised to come down in a bit, that was over an hour ago sad

So he's been there since Sunday evening, I can't do this, I don't know what to do to get through to him.

I'm going to the doctors tomorrow (for a smear and to talk about my pill, oh the joy), so I'll talk to the GP then and see what they suggest, I don't know what he's told them but this isn't normal, I can't see what else to do

And he's not eaten either, he said he had, but when I've gone in the kitchen he's put some on a plate, and left it in the microwave, probably had a couple of bites, and he didn't eat anything yesterday, and only a little on Sunday

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Feb-13 21:25:44

Ask your GP to come over and do a mental health assessment.

rhondajean Tue 05-Feb-13 21:35:00

Oh sooper.

I posted on chat last week because I am really worried about my own DH, I am sure he is depressed although he is still functioning well, so I have a little bit of understanding of how you are feeling.

You need to get him medical help. If its depression it's extreme and it might be another mental health issues too tbh.

I'm lucky my DH after shutting down almost completely on me last week has let me back in again, but it's still really hard and really emotionally wearing.

The other thing is, you need to remember to look after yourself in all this, there is only so much you can give before you make yourself ill too.

grumblinalong Tue 05-Feb-13 21:46:20

There should be a 24 hour mental health crisis line in your area. You could phone them and get some advice. I have clinical depression and have had a series of major depressive episodes where eating, sleeping and communication were really difficult. I was given anti psychotics and temazepam to 'support' my AD'sm

I'm prob going to be on anti depressants for life, which is depressing! The waiting for AD's to kick in bit (4-6 weeks in my case) is actually the worst bit. It seems to be the biggest dip and suicidal thoughts tend to become acute at this point (IME) so you are right to be worried and I would seek professional help. Also I've just been on the Mind website and it has sections for those living with people who are mentally ill. This could be helpful for you to reassure you a bit.

mrshectic Wed 06-Feb-13 00:24:44

How long has he been depressed for? My dh has been depressed now for what seems like an eternity, but its only 2 yrs since I finally got him to doctors. He has episodes where he is in bed for days at a time, not eating, etc.

The doctors are not likely to take it too seriously unless you really push them too. Its really hard, and its not much help I know to say I know what you're going through.
get him into the local mental health clinic and make them see how serious it is, they have special doctors that can help with meds etc.

X

sooperdooper Wed 06-Feb-13 11:45:19

Thanks all smile I'll look at the Mind website, thank you

The episode which led to him being in hospital was nearly a month ago, but he had had episodes of depression in the past

I spoke to my GP today for some advice and he said he thinks DH needs to see the doctor again but then the receptionist couldn't give me an appointment until next Thursday!?

But - they do have emergency appointments each day, so they've said to call at 8am tomorrow and get one & if he gets really bad between now & then call the Crisis team or even go to A&E

I've told DH that I've spoken to the doctor and he's advised that if he's still feels the same this evening he should go to the docs tomorrow which he's agreed to, he seems to talk more notice if I can say it's advice from the doctor rather than just what I think.

He promised me last night he would come to bed, but he's been up all night again

funnymum71 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:49

I really sympathise with you, not because I have had to look after someone depressed, but because I have major bouts of depression and it really is such a selfish, self-obsessed illness it has an awful impact on the people around you.

He does need to see a doctor, but if he won't go, then one needs to come to your house. I am wondering if he has actually taken the meds prescribed to him as when you get to the real nadir, you may not take any medication as you don't see the point as you don't believe anything can make it better.

One thing that you DO need to do is to go and tell him what an impact its having on you. I find my DH doing that when I'm depressed helpful as it can snap you out of your self-obsessed train of thought. Have you told him what impact its having on you and how you are feeling, not just saying that you're worried about him? If not, do.

I really hope that he accepts medical help to get out of this, for your sake, not just his.

2rebecca Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:26

Is he on antidepressants? If so they all take 2-3 weeks to work and nothing can speed that up. There isn't an instant happiness pill.
He has to do his bit by trying to sleep and get up at normal times though and going out each day even if he doesn't feel like it, plus looking at his life and seeing if there are any factors making him depressed and if so what he can do to change them.
Ranting and shouting incoherently doesn't sound like depression though. Is he drinking or taking drugs if not the diagnosis may be wrong. Would he let you go with him to the GPs to give your view of how he is? I'd try and persuade him to reduce the computer usage as well.

flippingflup Wed 06-Feb-13 12:59:19

I think CBT is great for behavioural problems, but recurring depression suggests he really needs some deeper counselling, not more CBT. Hope he goes to the dr tomorrow!
Can you afford an appointment with a private psychiatrist to speed things up?
Really feel for you. Living with someone depressed is devastating, and their depression rubs off on you. I'm sure you don't feel like it, but can you get out and see people/ do something fun? Have you got someone to lean on yourself? Xx

sooperdooper Wed 06-Feb-13 14:09:20

Yes you're so right 2rebecca - I'm trying to make him see that he needs to try and sleep/get up in the day and try to do something, even just take the dog to the park for half an hour. I'm hoping to go to the doctors with him tomorrow so I plan to ask the doctor about that type of thing, if he hears it from the doctor and not me maybe it'll sink in

I told him last night and this morning how it was effectig me, how stressed and unhappy I feel right now, I feel totally cut off from him, like he's a total stranger to me

The shouting and incoherance was after he'd not slept for 5 nights, the hospital said the lack of sleep was down to anxiety/depression and that led to a psychosis caused by sleep deprevation, after he'd slept he came out of it but I'm worried he's just going that way again since he didnt sleep last night

sooperdooper Mon 11-Feb-13 23:59:45

I thought we were getting somewhere towards the end of last week, and we went to see friends and to a christening on Sunday, but when we got home he went to play on the play station in the spare room and he's still there now sad

He went to the doctors today, they've stopped the sleeping tablets but he's got anti depressants to take, but I'm struggling do much with this

I made dinner when I got in from work at 7 and he said he'd come down 'in a bit' and have it, I gave up at half ten and came to bed. I just went to speak to him and remind him there's dinner and ask if he's going to come to bed and he say 'in a bit' and I got really frustrated with him, said this was making me miserable and I know he's feeling bad but sitting alone, not eating and making me feel so alone isn't helping him, or me

I know he's ill but this is so draining, we've only been married 6 months, I know it sounds awful but this isn't how I imagined life 6 months into marriage, I don't feel like this us a marriage right now I feel completely alone

sooperdooper Tue 12-Feb-13 00:02:02

I don't really know what I even expect anyone to say, I just need to rant, I want up do something but I don't know what??

Pilgit Tue 12-Feb-13 08:54:37

It's bloody hard and my heart goes out to you. Speaking from the other side of this - I can only tell you what worked for getting me moving and getting me out of my shell. I was at the deepest of my depression in my last year at uni. I came home to mum and would have done exactly the same as your DH had it not been for my mum. My mum is not someone you say no to and got me into a routine. I was 'made' to get out of bed each day (she just would keep breezing into my room cajoling until I gave in for the peace and quiet!) I was allowed to watch TV IF I was dressed and was not allowed to lie down (and therefore wallow). She also marched me to the doctors and insisted that there was something wrong and I needed help. The routine really helped. I was not allowed to not wash, to not eat. I had to get out of the house and go for a walk everyday, find a job. She also made me do something productive - I have always loved to knit and she got me doing it.

The dynamic with a partner is very different (and my mother is a force of nature!) but it helped that I did see that it was a good idea to do these things as it was helping myself. At the moment everything will be feeling really difficult for him. Depression robs you of the energy to do basic things. Washing is too much hassle, why eat or eat properly? too much hassle. Why engage with loved ones as you can only see the pain you are causing (on a good day) or on a bad day you cannot care about them as you don't have the capacity - this is scary as you know that you do care! It is easier to hide, which is what he is doing.

He needs long term coping strategies - CBT can help with this. It's hard to describe, but what works for me is to have external things that I know to be true. e,g, children thrive with their mothers. Therefore despite the fact that i feel my children would be better off without me, I know that the evidence of statistics etc says otherwise. Therefore my thinking must be wrong and I should ignore this feeling.

IF you haven't found it already Spike Milligan wrote a great book called Living with the Black Dog which has helped those around me live with me.

sooperdooper Tue 12-Feb-13 11:01:36

Thank you Pilgit

Yes, I'm trying to help him keep a routine, which is why I'm hating it when he takes himself off to the spare room and does nothing but play computer games alone

Unfortunately the doctor he spoke to yesterday has told him that if 'chilling out' keeps him feeling calm and less anxious he's fine - which I find so frustrating, because he's taken that to mean he can continue as he is, which isn't chilling out, it's shutting off, it's not the same

I'm pushing him as far as I can for him to get up, have a bath, walk the dog, eat something, but failed miserably last night

I said to him, I know he feels bad, and I know he can't change that right now, but he can decide to get up and leave the room physically and do something, but he says yes yes yes, in a bit and then doesn't actually do it

I need your mum!!! smile

I'll look that book up, thank you

sooperdooper Tue 12-Feb-13 11:03:38

How did she get you to eat? I've made food, but said that he needs to come downstairs to eat, I don't want to get into a habit of taking him food in the spare room because it feels like I'm saying that's an ok place to be, which it's not, but then he doesn't come and get it, he didn't eat anything yesterday

cestlavielife Tue 12-Feb-13 14:18:09

do you know if he is taking the tablets?
call his GP and tell them you still worried. has GP made a referral to psychiatrist? there should be follow up since the admission? if he was discharged, was there not a follow up appt with a psychiatrist? if not, ask GP to refer.

call also local MIND and RETHINK .
also ask GP for MH crisis team number.

if he is able to cplay computer games it isnt the same as him lying down and doing nothing... can you remove the computer from his room?
put it in living room so at least he has to come there to play...

watch out for your own health - you can get depression fallout there is a good board on the site www.depressionfallout.com/ - and the book is v good tho hefty .

living with black dog matthew johnstone is less wordy - but if he is open to discussing with you is good start...www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Black-Dog-Matthew-Johnstone/dp/1845297431/ref=pd_sim_b_1

i take it no dc yet ?

cestlavielife Tue 12-Feb-13 14:22:13

also Gp can prescribe active health sessions at local gym - this can help ?
and keep asking when the cbt sessions will come thru- tell them he can take a cancellation appt?

Pilgit Tue 12-Feb-13 14:58:10

eating - with my mum the power of expectation meant it was the easy route!

Doing things to relax and find calm is different from shutting things out and hiding. But it is a fine line distinction. I presume he hasn't got a job to go to , hence the hiding for days on end?

small targets are the way forward but he has to want to do it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now