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AIBU to ask how your dh supports you through depression?

(26 Posts)
CatRen27 Sat 17-Mar-18 03:37:33

Just that really. I don't feel I'm getting the support I need from him and dont have a clue what's reasonable to expect from a dh while going through this. I get a lot of angst, 'fixing the problem' and stony silence, and feel a loving response would look different to this. Help?

Chocywockydodahhhhhh Sat 17-Mar-18 03:52:40

By telling me he loves me, giving lots of hugs and telling me I am doing fine. When we are out a squeeze of the knee or a reassuring smile.
He also encourages me and when I am having a bad day he says right let’s turn a bad day into a better day by doing something little like going for a walk.
When he comes home from work and I have not moved from the sofa he walks in and says hiya babes and kisses me on the head and gives me a cuddle.
He says having a tidy house is boring if I can’t being myself to do anything.
Slowly I am getting there and it’s mainly through his help. But he has been there himself so understands what i am going through.
You need to tell your husband what he needs to do. A friend of mine took her husband to a GP appointment and the GP told him why is was not a quick fix and why my friend could not just pull herself together and why his attitude would not help and actually prolong things. He is much better now

Chocywockydodahhhhhh Sat 17-Mar-18 03:53:58

Also flowers and a cake. You will get there I promise

Northernparent68 Sat 17-Mar-18 06:47:51

Supporting someone with depression is exhausting and relentless, whatever you do it’s never enough or the right thing to do, and expecting support makes the other person responsible for your happiness

VeganCatLover Sat 17-Mar-18 07:03:16

He doesn't he's making it all about him and it's making me worse. Right now I don't want sex and he won't let me watch tv, read, join the gym, go for a walk, even walk to the school. Because if I have the energy for that I have the energy for sex. He's only happy if I'm eating lots as in a whole tube of Pringles or packet of biscuits. I go swimming in the day but that's becoming a huge issue.

Chocywockydodahhhhhh Sat 17-Mar-18 07:08:57

So you should just not bother then Northernparent68. I am very grateful for the support my husband gives me and I supported him when he had a breakdown.
I know some people can’t be helped if they don’t help themselves but it doesn’t sound like this applies in the OPs case.
VeganCatLover that is not a case of no support that is abusive

VioletteValentia Sat 17-Mar-18 07:19:07

Wow Northern I’m glad you’re not my partner!

Mine does the menial tasks when I’m feeling low and reassures me.

GreatThingsWork Sat 17-Mar-18 07:27:33

Mine has been a bit of a prick. Saying things like how can I love someone who doesn't love herself and low level anger most of the time. I long for him to hug me and tells me he loves me.

hotcrossbunsandtea Sat 17-Mar-18 07:48:22

I think @Northernparent68 has a valid point.

It's seen as wrong to talk about it but it's bloody hard to be the partner of someone with depression. To try and try and get nothing back, because that person just ultimately feels hopeless. I've been on both sides and when I had depression I remember being really angry with my partner because I felt he wasn't sympathetic or nice enough.

But when I was the one caring for a depressed partner? I totally got it. I detached because otherwise I was dragged down too. No matter what I did, it wasn't enough. They still felt upset, hopeless and not good enough. They weren't interested in sex, any kind of intimacy or even spending time with me. And even though I know that's all part of the illness, it's still bloody hard on your self-esteem when it happens day after day.

gamerwidow Sat 17-Mar-18 07:59:57

northernparent is right though. I’ve been on both sides I’ve both suffered from depression which I still take medication for and I’ve also supported my DH, DM and DSIS through depression. Until I had depression myself I had no idea how delibilating it was and used to get really angry and frustrated with my Mum because I thought she was ignoring my advice and refusing to help herself and should make more of an effort to ‘get over it’. Now I’ve been ill myself I understand that it’s not that easy and am much more understanding and supporting. Even so it still can be exhausting and fustrating.
Your DH doesn’t know what to do. He thinks he is helping by suggesting solutions to problems and probably thinks you are rejecting him by refusing to listen to his advice hence the stony silence. You need to let him know how he can help you. If he does try to help say I know you are trying to help and I appreciate it but this makes me feel worse because of x, lets do y instead. If you do this instead of saying of you never help etc. you will both be able to work together instead of both feeling ignored.

LifeBeginsAtGin Sat 17-Mar-18 08:01:35

I agree with @Northernparent68 too, living with someone who has depression can be very controlling for the rest of the family.

Nix32 Sat 17-Mar-18 08:19:42

I support him by getting on with life. By taking all the pressure off, by organising everything, by protecting the children from it and ensuring it affects them as little as possible, by asking nothing of him, by encouraging him to do things, by understanding if he doesn't, by being involved with his medication and medical appointments. By accepting that I get nothing in return. It's very, very hard, and I worry that by doing all that, I am enabling him to be ill. It's utterly shit.

hotcrossbunsandtea Sat 17-Mar-18 08:26:34

@Nix32 winethanks

Holycrapwhatnow Sat 17-Mar-18 08:35:29

Vegancatlover it sounds like he is actively preventing you from doing things that would help you you recover. Does he have form for being this controlling?
I've tried to support a depressed partner and like the others say it is incredibly hard - however your DH doesn't sound like he's even trying.

zeebeedee Sat 17-Mar-18 08:43:34

I could have written the same post as Nix32 I do everything I can to take the pressure off, looking after the kids and apologising/covering for him to everyone else, talking to his GP when he can't, accepting being his 'nurse' or carer rather than partner. It's totally crap.

I'm sorry you're going through depression OP, but it feels here like I can't do right for doing wrong, whatever I do isn't enough, so sometimes I need to just ignore it and try and carry on with my life so I don't get sucked in too.

ArnoldBee Sat 17-Mar-18 08:44:17

I found reading about Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield quite a lightbulb moment. Having a partner with depression is all consuming and you can end up with your life and that of your children disappearing. I guess the question for me Op is what support do you give your partner?

VeganCatLover Sat 17-Mar-18 08:49:47

I've tried to go down the no medication route and do exercise which was working. But I'm far worse than ever now and am going to go to the doctor. I just want to feel happy. I'm counting down until Monday now so I can have my hour in the pool. I love being with my children but I'm not even allowed to walk to the shop alone.

CatRen27 Sat 17-Mar-18 08:59:42

Thanks everyone, I admit I didn't expect to hear I shouldn't be expecting anything from him - in sickness and in health and all that.. instead from half of these responses it looks like my illness is ruining everyones life. Helpful.

I support him through all of his trials and tribulations, with anxiety etc for years, i found it hard but tried to provide him with warmth, love and a trusting environment to talk about his feelings and seek help. I guess that's what I'm hoping for in return.

I was looking for constructive advice from people with supportive partners so thanks to those who provided that

zeebeedee Sat 17-Mar-18 09:10:53

I'm sorry if you feel people were harsh, I for one didn't mean to upset you at all.

But, it's possible that it's the depression making you feel that he's not supporting you the way you would like; it's possible that he he's trying to help but you're not able to accept it because of your illness.

If you know specifics of what you think would help, then tell him - 'I'd really like you to listen and make sympathetic responses, rather that make suggestions to fix it'

If you don't really know what you want from him, but just feel it's not enough; then listen to his attempts, see what he is trying to do, even if he's missing the mark.

Good luck, and things will change - nothing stays the same for ever flowers

Ilovecamping Sat 17-Mar-18 09:21:36

My partner doesn't understand depression, he asked me what he could do to help but when you feel so low you don't know what help you need. He had to encourage me to go out with him, if I needed a hug he was there (he's not a huggy person). I eventually paid for counselling which really helped both of us. I am fortunate he was prepared for me to use him as a sounding board. the only time I felt normal! was when we were camping.

gamerwidow Sat 17-Mar-18 09:22:29

No one has said to expect nothing from your partner. They’ve told you to talk to him and meet each other in the middle. It shouldn’t be all about his needs and he should support you but it can’t be all about you either.

rupertpenryswife Sat 17-Mar-18 09:32:52

This is a really tough one, it is bloody hard on the supporting partner and where possible the depressed person needs to do as much as possible to help themselves too, be that drugs, counselling getting up everyday and not laying on the sofa.

I say this as someone who is recovering from severe depression and I could not have got to this point without my DH I knew I was a burden and felt I should pull myself together. I was lucky to access NHS CBT and mindfulness but I had to work at this, everyday was a struggle, I had days where I didn't want to tell my DH how I felt or what l needed or what I needed him to do, but I only allowed myself that day then I pushed myself to get up the next day and make myself be a part of the family.

Sadly it's more about what you do not your partner, my DH was great no pressure he was just there, he was quite harsh at times but I needed it. Are you getting professional help?

FissionChips Sat 17-Mar-18 09:34:57

I’ve lost about that when on a VLCD of about 500 a day. It willing be as much the following months.

FissionChips Sat 17-Mar-18 09:35:10


FissionChips Sat 17-Mar-18 09:35:40

Oh, ffs, wrong guy thread blush


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