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Tips for coping with a depressed husband

(25 Posts)
Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 12:06:51

I'm fed up. I realise that makes me very callous but I'm just hating life at the moment. DH is prone to depression and lost his Mum at the beginning of the year. We were all devastated as she was a very much loved part of the family. He was obviously gutted so that followed by lockdown, followed by him being a peripatetic teacher and not being able to carry on a normal routine, I've kind of been waiting for this.

He's great usually and is doing his very best to still function well and he is, but I'm just so bored of it. I'm bored of hearing about how he's not sleeping, of how miserable he is, of how anxious he is and I'm fed up with feeling like I'm the one having to keep everything going. DS started secondary school this year and that's been like walking a bloody tightrope. DH has been on anti-depressants for about three weeks and they are not touching the sides. I made him call the GP again and apparently they can take up to 8 weeks to kick in. 8 weeks.

The final straw was this morning when I had a call from my boss cutting my hours by two days a week. I've spent the morning trying to secure work for those two days as I know that DH won't cope with getting another job at the moment. In true form (for someone with depression) he hasn't even asked how I'm feeling about it.

Our sex life is non-existent and that's my fault because I don't think I've ever found him less attractive. I do realise that I am being very unfair and very unkind.

So yeah, tips for a. me being a nice, more understanding human being and b. for helping him, would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 29-Sep-20 12:12:30

Has he had CBT? Does he exercise? Depression is awful but he needs to find a way of coping that isn’t taking it out on you. You shouldn’t have to make him call the GP. He needs to take responsibility himself OP.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 12:13:50

He is having counselling and exercises regularly and vigorously, always has.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 29-Sep-20 12:16:47

That’s good news. What else can he do when he gets anxious? Or could you set aside time each day to check in with each other and then you get to say what’s bothering you and he’s not telling you again and again how awful he feels. You have my sympathy OP. I’m on the other side of this. I’m the one with anxiety and depression. sad

Sunnydaysstillhere Tue 29-Sep-20 12:20:08

Have you got a ddog? When my exh had depression his GP told him getting out with ddog was an important tool to use....
Exh wasn't up for self help unfortunately and used it as an excuse to be an utter twat.. Beware of the fine line op..

Ohalrightthen Tue 29-Sep-20 12:20:38

Tbh you sound like you're being pretty damn unfair to him OP. He's had a horrific year, he's got a mental health condition, he's getting help, doing all the right things, so i don't know what else you want him to do?

It sounds like you don't really like him tbh, let alone love him, and I'm sure that can't be helping the situation.

Lovingmylife Tue 29-Sep-20 12:22:19

I hear you. My DH has suffered with depression a while really but didn't really face up to it for a while until February when he just crashed really. He wouldn't get up or go anywhere, barely acknowledged the kids etc. He saw the GP but decided against ADs and had some rubbish counselling as he won't talk about the actual issues and deflects by blaming others e.g. talking about ds having a bad tantrum rather than the fact he doesn't want to spend time with the kids. He is such a negative person now and angry but won't accept any responsibility..it's draining. I've told him to go back to counselling, CBT and see the GP but he won't. Instead it's my fault for not keeping the house tidy enough, the kids fault for fighting and not helping, etc. It's so exhausting and I keep explaining he needs to help himself more. I got him back to an exercise class once a week which is good but he is just so disinterested in anyone else really.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 12:23:04

Thanks @Sunnydaysstillhere. He's not a twat, he's really not. He's a lovely, kind genuine man but it's just so difficult to see that at the moment particularly the longer it drags on.

Yes, we do have a dog (in fact I recognise @Wolfiefan from the dog house!). I'll send him out with the dog, it will give us both a break!

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Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 12:24:39

Ohalrightthen

Tbh you sound like you're being pretty damn unfair to him OP. He's had a horrific year, he's got a mental health condition, he's getting help, doing all the right things, so i don't know what else you want him to do?

It sounds like you don't really like him tbh, let alone love him, and I'm sure that can't be helping the situation.

I do love him very much. I don't like how he is at the moment, it's true. Hence my request for tips to help me be a nicer person towards him.

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Lovingmylife Tue 29-Sep-20 12:25:34

We have just bought a sad lamp and I am going to keep encouraging him to see friends as I know it's a dip for him and things will improve again. Have you got much support for you or things you do that are outside of the home? Self care is really important and will help you support him more and feel less resentful.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 12:29:22

Lovingmylife

We have just bought a sad lamp and I am going to keep encouraging him to see friends as I know it's a dip for him and things will improve again. Have you got much support for you or things you do that are outside of the home? Self care is really important and will help you support him more and feel less resentful.

Thanks. Most things have stopped due to Covid - which I don't think is helping anyone at the moment really.

He has one good friend who he sees, and he has just spent the weekend with his brother and seemed better for that but has now gone downhill again. We'll get there I'm sure, it's just frustrating.

I'm sorry you're finding yourself in the same boat.

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Nsky Tue 29-Sep-20 12:34:27

Believe me not all anti depressants work , on my 3 rd lot, hormonal depression.
Finally ok, and took a while to get right dose.
It’s taking too long go back to the doc

spookmeout Tue 29-Sep-20 12:35:10

Sympathy for you OP. It's not easy being the one holding everything up.
You're allowed to have problems too and to talk about them here.

You will get people pouncing on you because MH trumps everything without acknowledging the long suffering partner.

I think you need to find something for yourself, something that makes you happy. I know it's not easy in these Covid times but even a dog walk in a favourite spot can help with head space and lifting the spirits

Wolfiefan Tue 29-Sep-20 12:41:00

Oh OP hang on in there. And you send him out with the dog. Then you take the dog out too. Double the break. wink
It took me a long time to find the right anti depressant but it’s been a lifesaver. I wish you all the very best.
Also look after you. Where’s your downtime? Who’s your ear? Your shoulder? flowers

ConcernedAboutWarrington Tue 29-Sep-20 12:41:53

You can say to him that he's not responsible for his depression, but he is responsible for how he deals with it, and for his behaviour towards others, no matter how down he feels.

Ask him whether he is really invested in getting better. Like really, really invested. Like his life, and your families lives depend on it. Because they do.

And then encourage him to concentrate on all of the stuff that helps to improve life day to day. Routine. Getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time. Sufficient physical activity so that he's physically tired at night. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Eating well. Only consuming positive TV / social media. Distracting himself with inherently useful things when he's feeling anxious or down (get the ironing out, get the radio on).

and THEN... thinking about what sort of talking therapy might help because you need a lifelong commitment to staying on top of this. And of course he needs to stay on top of meds / appointments too (and not tell the GP that 'I'm fine, really it's not too bad' if that's not the case and you're all dealing with the fallout from his behaviours).

All I expected of my DH when he was very unwell in this way was that he was making whatever possible effort he could to address it, pretty much all of the time.

In turn, that helped me to relax, and some things got done around the house too.

Look for his commitment to doing the hard work at getting better. Then you will have your answer.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 13:31:22

Thank you so much everyone. I do really appreciate the sympathy and advice. He is doing so much to try and get better but it's just frustrating that it's taking so long, and I do know that I need to have more patience. He is still engaging with the kids and doing a lot of the stuff around the house, so he's still "functioning" in that way for which I am eternally grateful - he just very sad and tired (due to the insomnia) and I'm sad for him as well.

I've just hit a low point I think due to my work call this morning. Everything seems so very uncertain and I would just love to have DH back as the life partner that he always used to be, rather than someone I actively have to look after and protect.

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Wolfiefan Tue 29-Sep-20 13:46:03

I hope you do soon OP. He’s obviously working to get better and is engaging with the medical professionals so that’s great.

Embracelife Tue 29-Sep-20 13:55:41

Ger coun selling yourself for depression fallout.
Get your breaks.
Get support for you
Look after yourself

He is getting support right?seeing gp getting therapy and ADs
So you get your support
It s not selfish to look after you and set your boundaries. Because you need to keep well

LadyCatStark Tue 29-Sep-20 14:08:28

Get him a weighted blanket. Sounds flippant but Oh. My. God do they work. Only let him use it in bed at night though or he’ll spend too much time being still underneath it and it’ll lose its effect anyway. The effect it has continues into the next day anyway and it should help with his insomnia too.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 14:11:16

LadyCatStark

Get him a weighted blanket. Sounds flippant but Oh. My. God do they work. Only let him use it in bed at night though or he’ll spend too much time being still underneath it and it’ll lose its effect anyway. The effect it has continues into the next day anyway and it should help with his insomnia too.

Really? Ok - anything is worth a go! Thanks.

@Embracelife - thanks. I might consider the counselling. I just need to offload to someone - and that someone always used to be him.

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Wolfiefan Tue 29-Sep-20 14:13:02

Mindfulness?

Mischance Tue 29-Sep-20 14:28:46

Living with a partner with depression can be hell; and the fact that you as the partner are expected to be unremittingly saintly and sympathetic is very hard indeed. And totally unrealistic. You do not stop having needs just because he is ill - you cannot be all give, give, give without beginning to crack round the edges.

I know of what I speak! My DH sadly died in February after years of PD, and prior to (and during) that he was a very anxious and at times very depressed man. It nearly drove me nuts - I felt like shouting "I want to have some fun!!!" Don't misunderstand me, I was not unkind or cruel to him in any way, but it undoubtedly took its toll on me. Every single thing that we did was walled around by his feelings of misery.

At least your OH has acknowledged that something is amiss - believe me that is a huge step in the right direction.

I have seen this from the other side, because I suffered a depression following some surgery - I really know that feeling of utter despair - of feeling so very ill that you just cannot find the energy to go on. So I know what your OH is going through.

I came to the conclusion that the only way I could deal with it all was to make time for myself. To get out and do things that I enjoyed at every available opportunity. I know that this is very hard at the moment because of Covid. I am a singer, and went to every choir going - I ringfenced that time and took every bit of help going with the children so that I could continue to do this - honestly it kept me sane! Sometimes I simply could not listen to the litany of misery any more; but if I knew a practice was coming up I could take a deep breath as I knew that there would be these moments of enjoyment to savour.

I do not know what your "thing" is, but grab it with both hands and, above all else, make it a priority - because YOU are a priority, not just the ill person in your household. When I finished up nursing my OH through his last years, I still sang - I paid people to be with him. I absolutely knew that if I did not make that time for me the whole pack of cards would come tumbling down.

I remember so well when he stopped work because he could no longer cope - he just made the decision, and it was expected that I would simply make up the shortfall somehow!!! It is a big burden.

Do not misunderstand me, he was a lovely man - but he was an ill man.

So.....please remember that you matter. Make a time space for yourself that is sacrosanct and take heart from it. Just because someone in your house is ill, it does not mean that your needs can be jettisoned. In the long run, you are doing him a favour by looking after yourself.

Seriouslymole Tue 29-Sep-20 14:52:22

@Mischance - I'm so sorry, your situation sounds as if it were unbearable at times and I'm so sorry for your loss.

I miss my choir so much - we are not yet meeting due to Covid. It makes me sad!

Thank you for your kind words.

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Mischance Tue 29-Sep-20 15:05:27

Thank you.

Please make time for yourself - YOU matter too. Doing that does not make you unkind or unsympathetic - just someone with a desire to stay sane! smile

Embracelife Tue 29-Sep-20 19:48:29

Plenry of online choirs
Join one make that time for you
Can be local or far away

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