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I'm really struggling with DP's depression

(15 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Fri 22-Apr-16 19:08:41

We've been together for 15 years and have two DCs. He's recently been diagnosed with depression by the GP and is on medication and seeing a counsellor. Thinking back I think he's been depressed for quite a long time but as it was getting worse very gradually I probably either didn't think it was that bad or buried my head in the sand about it.

He always used to be very confident, went out with friends, was very attentive and great with the DCs, etc. He's now lost touch with almost all his friends (apart from the ones we see as a couple who I've kept in touch with). He hasn't seen most of his old friends for about five years. He's stopped exercising, and eats in secret (although he had told me about it, and hates himself for doing it).

So he basically goes to work, comes home and sits on the sofa in front of the telly. He doesnt seem to enjoy time with the DCs, although he still helps with bedtime, etc, but he's very disconnected from them, eg, he normally has his headphones on listening to something else while he's getting them ready for bed or eating a meal with us.

He's getting lots of niggling little illnesses as well, he's had a cough for months, he doesn't sleep very well, and he has occasionally been sick for no apparent reason. He's put on a lot of weight and gets wheezy quite often.

The GP can't find anything physically wrong with him (apart from the depression) and has changed and increased his anti depressants over the last few months as they didn't seem to be helping. He's seeing a counsellor privately as the NHS waiting list was over a year.

I've suffered with depression in the past (still on a v low dose of citalopram) so I know how awful it is, but I'm really struggling to support him. I've started to dread coming home from work because the atmosphere in the house is just so sad.

I feel horrible saying it but I find it much easier when he's not here. I feel as though I'm going to go back into my depression if I'm not careful.

I done really know why I'm posting, I guess there isn't really any answer, I just feel sad and wish things were like they used to be.

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Apr-16 19:18:01

The thing is that if his depression lifts, yours will, too. There are so many people on ADs because their partner is depressed.

I think you should go to the doctor with your husband and insist on a referral to a hospital consultant. This is something that is clearly not going to go away with the treatment he's having at the moment. Just taking that action can help a lot, I think. It sounds as though life is very flat for him and you are suffering, too, as a result.

flowers

goddessofsmallthings Fri 22-Apr-16 20:01:30

The GP can't find anything physically wrong with him

What tests did the GP run? Has your h's blood been tested for vitamin & hormone deficiencies, hypothroidism, impaired liver function etc?

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 22-Apr-16 20:02:27

Thanks, you're right, I think he needs more help than he's getting at the minute. I know there will be a very long waiting list for a referral, no idea how we're going to get through these next few months.

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 22-Apr-16 20:04:00

goddessofsmallthings no he's not been tested for any of those things, he's been concentrating on the cough and reflux, and said can't find anything on his chest and he's got tablets for the reflux and indigestion.

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Apr-16 20:34:49

There won't necessarily be a long waiting list. You can ask the doctor for a more urgent referral.

I'm going to PM you, OP.

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 20:45:11

Sounds like he is just getting older. I think most of us do not get out much as we get older

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 20:48:06

Reflux do cause a lot of coughing and extra weight make reflux worst. My husband cough a lot too when he was having reflux issues. It got better

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 20:51:58

" he's very disconnected from them, eg, he normally has his headphones on listening to something else while he's getting them ready for bed or eating a meal with us. "
Being disconnected from your family is concerning

Pilgit Fri 22-Apr-16 22:50:30

I am a depression sufferer. I Find myself hell to live with. Christ only knows how my family cope. You need a support network around you and to make sure you're keeping up with your own self care. He is getting help. Getting better needs three things - time, tablets and therapy.

Don't hide your feelings from him - i need my family to be honest with me so that I don't get self centred and forget that my behaviour impacts them. It's okay to feel like this. It's okay to not know how you will cope. It's okay to hate what it is doing to him.

tickory2 Sat 23-Apr-16 08:26:09

I feel for you. My dh has had a couple or three bouts of anxiety and depression. The last episode, a couple of years sgo, lasted quite a few months. I can relate to your dread of yhe atmosphere. It is very hard knowing that you can't just jolly them along etc.
Is your dh trying to get some exercise? Is there any way you can insist he gets out to the park, goes for walk with you and dcs?
Does your family know or help? Don't be afraid of telling them or your friends, you need to be able to talk to people about it too and have a support network.
It will get better, just keep that in mind.

pocketsaviour Sat 23-Apr-16 15:07:45

When did he start seeing the counsellor/therapist? Does he feel like he's clicked with them and it's working, or is it too early to tell? If he doesn't feel it's improving things then he can switch to someone else with a different approach (the beauty of being private.)

Is his therapist suggesting action plans of ways he can make himself feel better? EG going for a walk, participating more in family life?

Does he enjoy his job or could that be contributing factor?

goddessofsmallthings Sat 23-Apr-16 17:31:22

Having used a stethoscope, the GP won't "find" anything else on your h's chest without the use of X-rays and I'm surprised your h hasn't been referred to your nearest hospital's walk-in X-ray department to rule out conditions that can be seen by the machine but not heard in a doctor's surgery.

Similarly, if reflux is a continuing issue for your h, he should be referred to a hospital for further investigation.

Vitamin deficiencies, particularly the b's d, and ferritin deficiency can cause depression as can impaired hormone levels and hypothyroidism which can also cause weight gain.. A liver that isn't firing on all cylinders can cause a drop in energy levels which can, in turn, cause depression when a general feeling of malaise overwhelms a previously physically/mentally active individual.

I suggest your h goes back to his GP and asks for the necessary referrals and blood tests. When the results of the blood tests are back ask for a print out and post the numbers on the General Health board as what's regarded as 'normal' in the UK often merits treatment in many other parts of the developed worl'd.

iwouldgoouttonight Sat 23-Apr-16 18:26:44

He's seen the psychologist three times so far. He said he thinks it's helping. He obviously hasn't told me what he's talked about in the sessions but he says it makes him feel wiped out and he has to have a bit of time on his own afterwards to 'recover'. He saw a different one before who he thought made him feel worse.

He knows he should do some exercise but he's struggling to motivate himself to do anything. He is doing short walks in his lunch breaks and he will sometimes come out with me and the DCs at the weekend but he won't walk far.

It does sound as though he needs to go back to the GP to ask for more tests, I will try and pursuade him to, and maybe see if I can go with him.

I have some support from friends, my close friends know and have been really good at listening to my moaning, and helping out with practical stuff. I'd like to tell my family because we see them a lot (they help with childcare) but I don't think they'll understand. When I was at my worst with depression they said I had nothing to be depressed about and didn't understand it.

iwouldgoouttonight Sun 24-Apr-16 19:20:51

Just sitting here sobbing. DP has barely said two words to me today. He's made a bit more effort with the DCs but he's been so detached. He's gone off into a different room this evening.

I feel I should talk to him but I just haven't got the emotional energy to cope with it at the minute.

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