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Is there a thread on here for support for wives and girlfriends of people suffering from depression/anxiety?

(158 Posts)
Biancadelriosback Sun 13-Jan-19 17:42:51

I know this is self centred of me but it's really difficult! DH has some days where he cant handle being around us. He isn't a dick, he is really depressed. When DS is having a tantrum or just being a difficult 2yo, sometimes DH just can't do it. He's burst into tears over nothing. Some days I spend my whole day being a mum, and looking after him. I can't rest. When there is housework to be done, he can so easily lose his shit over nothing and he gets so worked up that I have to send him away and do it myself.
He hates himself for this. I know he has had suicidal thoughts. He's been to the drs for help and he keeps getting fobbed off and given a number to call for CBT, he did and is now waiting on them to schedule his first session...he's been waiting for over 2 months. It eats away at him that he can't enjoy things anymore. He gets so worked up and stressed when we try to do something that he just breaks down.

I'm at breaking point. I'm exhausted. I've got a false smile plastered on my face at all times because if I'm having a bad day, it sets DH off. I am trying to keep things normal for DS but it's crushing. Last night I told DH I was going for a bath, but really I sat on the floor of the bathroom and drank a bottle of wine.

But DH needs support and help. I love him so powerfully and I know he loves me the same. He hates what he is doing to us which sends him on a downward spiral if he knows I'm upset. He never blames me and tries to hold as much in as he can but then it explodes out.

I just want to make happy memories (I know we all hate this phrase on here), when I look back at photos I don't want to be reminded of the struggle we had just to leave the house. DH won't speak to family or friends about it, he doesn't want to look weak, he doesn't want to show how much he is struggling. He says he feels emasculated.

I'm so scared I'm going to lose him, but I'm also worried I'm going to fail and ruin DSs childhood. I feel so helpless

Satwatchinganotherswimlesson Sun 13-Jan-19 18:27:47

I’m a long time lurker and joined to reply to this. My husband had always suffered from underlying mental health issues, however this significantly worsened about 2 years ago. It’s has been awful. I looked for support groups for partners and couldn’t find one.

At its worst I felt like I was trying to rescue a person who was drowning and they were dragging me under with them. I was lucky and had a friend who had been through similar. The best thing she said was “it’s not my fault”. Whenever he was really upset he would try and blame me. I now reflect this back and tell him that it’s not my fault and he feels like that because of his depression etc.

We were lucky enough to be able to pay for some private intervention that significantly helped. My husband didn’t want the online course provided by the nhs or a group session. The turning point for him getting help was me breaking down in tears and telling him how miserable he was making us all. That I loved him and needed him to get help.

I’m not sure what the point of my post is. I just want you to know you aren’t alone. Living with someone with mental health issues is bloody hard work, especially when you can’t share it with anyone you know in real life.

We are having more good days than bad now. We are both better at understanding what makes it worse (lack of sleep, poor diet, no quiet time) and things that improve it (swimming and walking).

Things will get better. He needs to recognise he needs more help that you can offer alone. It’s such a common illness now that he will find lots of people he knows have experienced it. Make sure you take measures to protect yourself.

avocadoincident Sun 13-Jan-19 18:30:09

I'd like to be on this thread please

PurpleWithRed Sun 13-Jan-19 18:40:40

DH has suffered from depression and anxiety for most of the time I’ve known him: we are lucky in that his profession and his previous military experience are increasingly focused on mental health issues; it’s OK for him to talk about issues to his colleagues and he has had access to support. That said, it’s not always been the right support for him. He has also found a GP who he feels gets him.

I work a little in this field too and know that one thing that really helps is finding someone - a gp, a counsellor, a therapist, a charity worker, anyone - who they feel understand them.

Even with his self awareness and his determination that his health won’t impact on our life we have very difficult days.

Like Satwatching says, recognition that external help is needed for all your sakes is important. Do not attempt to soak this all up yourself, he is still capable of seeking out help on his own behalf. flowers to those of you in so much a harder place than I am.

Liberated71 Sun 13-Jan-19 18:49:49

As someone who has experienced depression and who's partner is currently battling anxiety and depression I'd like to stress the importance of medication alongside other interventions. It can take a while to either take effect or find the right type and dosage but I wish I'd taken it earlier than I did.

RolandDeschainsGilly Sun 13-Jan-19 18:57:27

DP has depression, anxiety and is pretty much house bound due to an injury. He is on a lot of meds which he takes on time, all the time, has done CBT and other therapies and sees a Psych once a month. He does most of the house work, cooking etc. He actually enjoys it and says it gives him a sense of accomplishment because he can do it and he can do it well (because he can’t work at the moment - he’s always worked and it crippled him having to leave his job but he was suicidal and I was fucking terrified of losing him, he’s evened off a lot since he’s left.)

I also have depression, anxiety, ADD and I’m medicated. I’m a full time University student. My funding has changed due to DP not working any more and we’re just about scraping by but my course is what keeps me going, and I will have decent salary when I’ve finished.

I’m mild to moderately mentally ill at the moment and he’s severe. When I was severe and he had no MH issues he took such good care of me and I’m trying to reciprocate that now. I can’t stand to see him suffer the way he does and I bloody wish it was me instead.

CardinalWigwamTommy Sun 13-Jan-19 19:26:19

My husband has been suffering with depression and anxiety since a breakdown four years ago. He had a second breakdown in September last year. The main reason was due to him hating his job. But the depression takes over everything and seeps into every aspect of his life now.
It is utterly exhausting. It feels like his depression is contagious. If he is having a happy day, I feel happy and positive. But if he is having a bad day, I just crumble and can't cope. My happiness is completely dependant on his mood. It just zaps the happiness and enjoyment out of everything in our life.
I feel like his depression is a black cloud over our family. Sometimes the cloud lifts and disappears, but it always comes back.
He's told me in the past that he has felt suicidal. So I'm always worried about him having another breakdown and taking his life.

I hope anyone out there reading this and feels the same realises they're not alone. It is a very lonely place to be especially if you can't talk to anyone about it in real life.

Huntlybyelection Sun 13-Jan-19 19:31:45

My DH has had battles with depression and anxiety for a good 9 years now. Longer really.

I find it difficult always having to be the strong one. Always.

Any time I need support we end up talking about him which he claims is him showing empathy but really, it's a selfish trait of his anxiety. It means I never get support.

Any Time he is low or anxious he's like a bear with a sore head and expects it to be ok because it's his anxiety. He refuses to accept that it's not ok. He expects it to be something we work around.

I'm just tired. Of being the strong one. Of being the support. Of being the one who carries the burden of looking after everyone.

Ohanami Sun 13-Jan-19 19:49:28

I've never seen anything similar, but it would be a wonderful help at the moment.

Dh has mild but persistent depression. He's been noticeably better since taking medication and doing a couple of courses of counselling through work, but still tips over the edge when something triggers him (and there are many things that do). He's not in a good place at the moment - Brexit affects his job significantly, there are some rumbling issues with his family that have resurfaced recently, and his current job is extremely stressful (from what he says there are a number of his colleagues struggling with depression and anxiety and the work environment isn't helping). The stress/anxiety is building at the moment and he's irritable, angry, verbally aggressive, sad, hopeless... he can go hours or days without anything prompting an outburst, but when he starts he's just awful. We suspect he has undiagnosed OCD as well so living in a small house with small children and busy lives means he doesn't have the quiet, clear space he needs to clear his head, or if he does go out running or walking it'll be leaving me with yet more of the responsibility for keeping things going.

He wants to see his current project through to completion, but that won't be until the end of the year and I'm worried our marriage won't last that long.

I want to support him - and I see the person I married trapped under the surface- but at the same time he can be downright nasty when he kicks off. If I saw my children in a similar relationship I'd encourage them to leave. But I don't want to give up on him.

30birthdayholiday Sun 13-Jan-19 20:35:47

Yes I would like to join this thread too.

My DH suffers from depression and anxiety, and is very stressed with work.

He is seeing a therapist and it seems to be helping, but it's bringing to the surface lots of hidden feelings from his childhood that he is working through, which is tough.

Like others, his mood affects us all. I find myself tiptoeing around him, scared of what will make him grumpy/ angry again. He can be a right joy-sponge at times. Nice to have someone to talk to about him.

Biancadelrioisback Sun 13-Jan-19 20:45:22

Brexit has nearly ruined us and it hasn't even happened yet. DHs job will be put to the ultimate test after Brexit and there is a good chance he will lose his job. If that happens we will lose our house. The pressure is on. It's basically been the catalyst that caused this. I've been begging him to look for something new and we've both found loads of jobs he would be great at, but he can't even write his CV. He can't sell himself when he hates himself so much at the moment. He spends his evenings absorbed in his phone or lying in a dark room. He doesn't have the push to do it and I don't know what else I can do. He won't even consider medication either as he doesn't want to put "shit" in his body, he doesn't want to be drugged up or dependent on chemicals. He had a friend who suffered from bipolar and took his own life when he came off the meds so that has scared DH.

The black cloud analysis is so, so true. I am beyond grateful for your responses. I had convinced myself I would get flamed for this. I am so sorry that others are going or have been through this too. I tried to open up to my mum about this but I feel like I'm betraying him.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sun 13-Jan-19 20:59:46

Try googling mental health carer support in your area. It took me years to realise this applied to me, but I've now find a local charity that provide support for people who support their family/friends with mental health problems. The service I use is commissioned by our local authority and I've found the support amazing, I wish I'd accessed it sooner.

chocolateworshipper Sun 13-Jan-19 21:10:32

I've been on both sides - grew up with a severely depressed Mum, had depression myself, and have a DD who has taken ODs. It's shit, whichever side you sit on. A book which genuinely helped me is "Depressive Illness, The Curse of The Strong" by Dr Tim Cantopher. It really helped me to understand and accept that I had depression, and not to feel weak because I had it. Something else that helped me was realising that there are lots of different ADs - I kept trying different ones until I found those that were right for me.

Biancadelriosback Mon 14-Jan-19 07:50:36

Another bad morning. I slept in by accident which meant that everyone is now late. DH is always exhausted so never wakes up for an alarm, I have to have the lights on, hair dryer going, general getting ready noise for him to get up. DS was sound asleep too and when he does get up, he can't do anything quickly (he's only 2). The end result was everyone rushing about and generally in bad moods. DH is in such a mood, he keeps putting his head in his hands and just shaking.

I miss my full of life DH. The one who always had me laughing and was able to support me too. Like PP says, every time we talk about how I feel, he turns it back around to being about him.

FlashingLights101 Mon 14-Jan-19 08:09:22

I don't have a lot of time to reply, but just wanted to say my dh has been suffering with anxiety for a year or so now (actually longer, I think it's a general character trait of his to be hard on himself, but it's been severe for the last 18 months) to the point when he was so crippled with self doubt and the inability to see he wasn't completely shit at everything, it was really hard to watch. Eventually he went to the docs and was prescribed anti depressants and the difference has been amazing. He still has those thoughts, but he is able to take a step back from it now and work through them in his head and rationalise the thoughts and not become totally paralysed.

I would really recommend asking the doc to consider it. I'm sure it won't work for everyone in the same way, but it's worth trying. My dh is so pleased he did and he's back to his old fun self again. He was also recommended CBT but he hasn't got round to calling yet to make.the appointment. I think he will though because he wants to find a way of dealing with it long term that isn't medicated.

BooRadley35 Mon 14-Jan-19 08:30:34

It can be so draining. My partner has had anxiety and depression for years. He tried ADs but had an awful reaction. He takes low dosage diazepam to help with the anxiety. If you can afford to privately pay for therapy i would seriously recommend it. Unfortunately you could be waiting a long time through the NHS.

I understand the stress it causes, always trying to jolly them along, not to say anything that might set them off. A life walking on egg shells is exhausting!

Please please remember that your mental and emotional health is just as important. Depression and anxiety is not a blanket excuse to treat you badly. You can try to help as much as you can but they will always need more support, more time, more energy. This is where you need to set boundaries. I know you love him and want to support him but at some point HE has to take responsibility for his actions and welfare. I have spent countless evenings bawling my eyes out, wondering if i'm selfish to consider leaving but at times it becomes too much. Self care is essential.

I spoke with my partners psychologist. He explained to me that i am my partners 'safe space'. I will take the brunt of his emotions as I am closest to him. He also explained that I need an outlet too. I cannot shoulder the burden of this. If you have anyone in real life you can talk to i urge you to tell them!

ShatnersWig Mon 14-Jan-19 08:44:37

Don't forget there is a mental health section in the forums.

BadlyAgedMemes Mon 14-Jan-19 09:01:30

It's a bit shit, isn't it. :-/ I have my own MH issues, so I have understanding from that side, too, and DH has always stood by me and supported me when I've needed him to, but it doesn't take away the worry and frustration of watching him ill.

He's currently been off work for six weeks. I thought it seemed like things were gradually getting a bit better for him, until the weekend. This morning seems like a particularly bad one again, and he's just gone back to bed. I find myself worrying about leaving him alone, and I'm considering staying in today, as he seems so bad right now. He's seeing his psychiatrist later this week, and I'm just holding on hope that something positive will come out of it.

Usually I'd go through all these worries in my own therapy, and get support, perspective and tips from there, but my therapist has been away most of the past six weeks DH has been struggling.

ItStartedWithAKiss241 Mon 14-Jan-19 09:14:57

Hello, I want to join. DP isn’t depressed (I don’t think) but has anxiety that affects our lives a lot and makes every day living difficult. I also suspect a tad OCD or Aspergers. Unsure of the “regimented” OCD traits and selfish Autism traits are side-effects of the Anxiety? He is starting private therapy ASAP and seems positive about it however feels he only need to go for 6-12 weeks whereas I feel like he should go for the foreseeable future?

Gatehouse77 Mon 14-Jan-19 09:22:35

Yep, DH has depression although he's not had a persistently long bout for ages. After realising that he had to actually employ the CBT techniques rather than simply understanding them on an intellectual basis he improved massively. It was a long, hard struggle. I do worry when I know he's feeling particularly stressed.

DS was diagnosed with biological depression when he was 15 and still struggles (19 now) regularly but he is only just beginning to accept that his 'normal' is what he needs to work with and not expect to get 'better' from the depression so much as learn how he can function with it.

I do know that one day I was in a bad mood and DH was griping and I did blow up at him "You don't have a monopoly on bad moods!".

It's incredibly hard feeling like you are the one carrying the 'mood' for the whole family. The times of feeling like you are walking on egg shells because you don't know how they're going to react; smoothing the path before them to avoid explosive outbursts (DH mostly - he was angry that he felt that); having to be the calm influence in the house and bring reasonableness and rationality back; trying to do the right thing by other children who are affected by the general mood.

Exhausting and emotionally draining at times. I am fortunate that both DH and DS will openly discuss their MH and that has made it much easier than for some.

DH is doing so much better since he decided that if he put in the work (very hard and I'm not simplifying that) he could control 'it' rather than being controlled by his depression. But only by returning to CBT techniques.

WillowPeach Mon 14-Jan-19 09:25:40

Can I join this thread please? My partner has ME otherwise known as CFS. It’s not depression but it certainly gets him down and affects his daily life. Because he spends so much of his time sleeping, it can be really hard to be alone so much sometimes which I imagine is how you guys must feel too.

troubleintheheartland Mon 14-Jan-19 11:10:44

I've also just joined for the first time after being a long time lurker. Almost did a double take when I saw the subject line, I've been wanting to know of such a thing for a while. I'm a mix of somehow relieved and happy that I am not alone and so much of what all of you have said resonates, and yet sorry that so many have clearly been dealing with this alone as well.

My husband has severe depression, having never suffered before, and it's been 10 months now. It's down to a particularly awful 2 years of events, including being diagnosed with advanced cancer, and then the treatment having a side effect of mood changes. He has done all the right things, he's had counselling and seen his GP and is on ADs, although no tablets have worked yet and we're now on week 5 of a higher dose of the second type he's tried.

It's only the two of us at home, and he doesn't work so to an extent I am the only person he sees. Which means that I bear the brunt of this, and it's hard and painful. Reading about depression, I know a lot of sufferers can feel like their feelings, like love, aren't there and I think he's feeling some of this with the twist that he tells me that I'm the one being distant or that I've changed. He's obsessed with the notion that I've either had, am having, or will have an affair and fall in love with someone else. If it isn't that, then he fixates on how he's ruined my life and I should go and find someone better. He's checked my phone, I feel like I'm being grilled about what I do and where I go every day. My head understands where all this comes from because his self-esteem is just non-existent, but my heart aches every time he says it although now I am starting to feel numbed with the realization that nothing I do or say matters. I am never going to give up on this or him and while he turns these things - unintentionally - into my fault, I will always be there and hold him, but it's like being kicked over and over.

He knows that he's hurting me and that I'm upset (although like others here I don't show it if I can help it, because it just makes him more upset) and he confesses to things like when he's checked my phone and says he knows how awful it is. And I fully believe him, before all of this he would never dream of such things. It's the illness that's doing it.

I have been seeing a counsellor myself and it does help, so I would definitely recommend that if you're able to. We do pay for this and I know we're fortunate to, but it was through a local organisation that keeps costs reasonable (because we're fortunate but not THAT fortunate!) so don't necessarily discount it altogether if you really need to see someone.

At the moment, after another weekend trying to work out where I fit in to this dark cloud and also trying to make a decision about whether or not I go out with family, by myself, next weekend - I merely mentioned this on Friday night when we were having a meal when everything was good, and suddenly it was like watching that cloud literally descend in front of my eyes - I am trying to work out how to begin to accept the notion that this may never change. This may be how things are now. Maybe it won't get better, or it certainly won't ever be like before. Some days I can be more rational than others, and on the bad days I feel like I can't cope with this on top of trying to deal with an inevitable cancer-related future. Today, I am feeling stronger.

Hope you all have strong days too.

BadlyAgedMemes Mon 14-Jan-19 11:21:55

@Biancadelrioisback I can relate to the Brexit worries. It's worry over jobs here, too (and me being an EU citizen and currently not working). I think we are both lacking in recilience and very bad with uncertainty, so the ramp up for Brexit talks has us both quite anxious, and I was never expecting this year to be easy. sad

@troubleintheheartland, sounds like the two of you have been through an awful lot! flowers It's great you've managed to have your own counselling, too.

Extending warm thoughts towards everyone on this thread.

Re. ADs, I want to add my own personal positive experience: I honestly thought they didn't really work for me. I had been on three or four different kinds, at various doses, and they never seemed to make all that much difference, and I was even questioning if I actually had depression (as mine has never been like my DH's is, which is much more easy to pinpoint as major depression). And then suddenly I switched to the 4th/5th one, and it was like a cloud had lifted, that I hadn't even known was there before it went away. All of a sudden I was sleeping okay, feeling rested, and had energy and motivation for hobbies, friends, healthy eating, exercise, all that jazz. I've been on it for nearly a year now, and it's not like things are great all day every day, but it's so much better than what it was. So there's definitely hope even after a few ADs don't seem to do much!

mediawhore Mon 14-Jan-19 11:47:13

Can I join.

My husband (13 years, together nearly 18) told me a few days ago he didn’t love me anymore. And his feelings had changed over last couple of months.

This is a total shock and not like us/him at all.

He’s been mega stressed/pressured and I’ve been a bit eg,ectful as I’ve also been work-focused. Money has also been shit too which has added the pressure.

Anyway. Me and a friend persuaded him to go to the doctor about depression. He massively ticked all the boxes and is now on sertraline. Obviously suffering with side effects.

* [post edited at OP's request to remove sensitive info]

Biancadelriosback Mon 14-Jan-19 13:49:01

I've posted in the MH boards before and had very few responses. Tbh, if you want something read on here, it's either AIBU or chat.
I don't know where else to turn. I can almost promise that when DH went to his GP, he didn't tell the full story. When our HV came over to meet with us (recently moved), she asked if we suffered from any MH conditions or similar and DH point blank said "no" whereas I admitted to having anxiety when DS was born. I went through a phase of being scared to leave the house and refused to take DS into town for fear of a terrorist or acid attack.
Money is so tight as well which just adds to everything. All our savings are gone and we are living on credit and over drafts. I'm slowly starting to add to my savings again but if we lost either job we have nothing to fall back on.
I can't force DH to get help. I've tried. I broke down one day and told him that I was struggling to keep going. I do everything so that nothing can tip him over the edge. It doesn't help that he is very disorganized so when he does try to do something, he makes hard work for himself. For example when he cooks, he leaves all the cupboard doors open then hits his head on them or similar. Then he just breaks down that nothing is ever simple.

LittleScottieDog Mon 14-Jan-19 19:32:49

Just read all your stories and it's confiding to know there are others out there living a similar life to me.

DH suffers with anxiety since a traumatic experience 16 years ago. We've been together 11 years. He's had counselling and CBT in the past but still suffers.

We moved last year to an area where we know no-one. We never did have many friends nearby but now we have none. We literally only see each other, as his anxiety is such he finds it hard for me to go out without him, limiting my chances of making friends. Because of this lack of social life, DH has become depressed.

He doesn't work, I'm the earner of the household. I'm currently on maternity, meaning we basically see only each other all day every day.

I do my best to support him but every now and then I find myself struggling with it all emotionally. I echo the pp who said if they're having a good day then you do too, if it's a bad day then it brings your own mood down. I can tell, just from how he gets up in the morning, what kind of a day it's going to be.

We have a great gp who is doing his best to help DH. He also looked out for me during my pregnancy; I think he understands how hard I find it.

I worry I'm now suffering from PND. I do wonder sometimes if having a baby was the right thing to do, given DH's emotional state. Plus, we haven't been intimate for some months now and I worry that's negatively affecting our relationship. I don't want to see DH as just a friend, I want him to be that funny, vibrant man he used to be and for us to be a "normal" couple.

The whole thing feels so messed up. It's a terrible situation to be in.

LittleScottieDog Mon 14-Jan-19 19:38:25

comforting, not confiding.

I should say that DH does 95% of the housework, shopping, washing etc. He pushes through the depression as best he can. It's just we're both so lonely, even though there are three of us in the house every day.

And I've broken down to DH about it several times over the years. There have been small changes but the crux is still the same. We broke up over it all a few years ago and I'm sad it's still essentially the same now.

I do wonder what we did to deserve these struggles in our lives.

VeryQuaintIrene Mon 14-Jan-19 19:49:01

Would like to join as well, though for me, it's not a partner but my mother, who can be so lovely but suffers so badly from anxiety and depression that I really relate to all those who talk about walking on eggshells. I am an only child and my parents split up when I was 10, so have been dealing with her for 40 or more years and sometimes feel so worn out by her. She is in a care home because I live overseas, and the care home has been very good for her since they handle her with much less emotional angst than I can always manage. Yesterday I called her and she wanted me to buy her her own supply of paracetamol (obviously a complete no-no since all drugs have to be given by the nurses) so that she could take an overdose because she couldn't remember when her dentist's appointment was. I did manage to talk her down and cheer her up, but I am so sick of it. And I feel sorry for her as well, of course.

Dimedollar Mon 14-Jan-19 19:51:09

My DH suffers too, sometimes I think it's worse being the partner, they know how they're feeling etc. We just have to watch for signs and tiptoe around trying to make life peaceful and calm for everyone.

I would recommend you go to the doctor with him and talk together about what has been happening, when DH goes alone, he doesn't say half of it. Medication has pretty much saved DH, along with counselling and cbt. None of it is a quick fix but will help get more normality in your life.

I have realised that I need to be in charge of my own life/mood or I will get sucked in to it all. I'm not the same person I used to be, I live in fear of another breakdown but I try and get on with my own life, see people and do things I enjoy, whether he comes or not is up to him. I can't fix him, but I can look after myself and ensure I still find things that make me happy. An earlier poster said joy sponge, that's very apt, he can find a negative in every situation, I challenge him sometimes to say nothing negative for one day, I just make sure it doesn't rub off on me.

When things were really bad, the hospital referred me to a charity call Rethink, a counsellor came to see me every week. It was really good. MIND also offered carers support.

I've been rambling sorry, just don't let it take over your life too thanks

Jollymummy2 Mon 14-Jan-19 20:20:23

My DH has suffered with depression since before we met (been together 12 years) but over the last 3 years he has got deeper into the dark hole. He is no longer working because of his mental health, is on high level anti depressants and is awaiting further assessments as GP thinks possible bipolar disorder!
All I know is that he struggles to leave the house, spends days on end in bed because he can't see the point of doing anything and I am now his full time carer because he can't cope on his own.
It's tough and made worse by my 11 year old seeming to also be suffering with anxiety and possible depression!! I feel like I am barely coping with my DH and 11 year old let alone trying to keep things "normal" for my younger 2 children.
I know that the NHS does its best but I feel so strongly that MH is not taken seriously and that too often people are not given the help they need unless they are a danger to themselves, surely they should have received treatment long before it reaches that point.

Biancadelriosback Mon 14-Jan-19 21:01:06

To everyone, how do your children deal with seeing their parent like this? Do they notice?
DS is a mummy's boy. He always runs to me, plays with me, wants me to read/sing etc, and doesn't like DH joining in. I think it's because he has learnt that if something goes wrong then the game/story/song is over. We can't even go to the park without it being an effort.

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Mon 14-Jan-19 23:04:37

Hey, I feel so similar to you all. My DH has an autoimmune disease which has caused depression and anxiety due to daily uncontrolled pain. The last four years have been very negative and difficult, and he's had a number of real crises, especially over the past year.

I've found it incredibly taxing, tiring, stressful, frustrating, crap, and loads of other things. A lot of my dreams and desires have had to be given up. I'm the person that proves all momentum for all things. If I don't physically do all the tasks and chores, I'm emotionally keeping everybody "up" and doing all of the mental load. I have a young baby and I'm back at work early as DH is struggling to earn.

I feel like I've been through every emotion under the sun in the last decade: from empathy and sympathy to utter resentment and frustration. I had almost a year's private counselling that I couldn't afford but to be honest I think it has saved me and our marriage.

What's been hardest to come to terms with is that there is no cure, this will never be "fixed". We never will have that carefree life and be a "normal" couple again, as the PP said. Now it's about finding a good life, even in the ruins!

I make sure to have my own friends, my own interests. I go out and have an active life with the kids. I've had to put boundaries in place to try to ameliorate the "transfer" of depression that often happens. It doesn't always work--there's always some panic or crisis to be averted--but it does help. I do find that this blocks or dulls intimacy but I haven't found a better way. I have little people who need me now and if I sink under then we'll all be fucked.

Slogging it out for so long has made me realise that I am a tough person. I've learned to practice radical acceptance and self compassion. Now I'm not conflicted and fighting myself (wishing for things to be different) I actually have more energy and I live a better life.

Gatehouse77 Tue 15-Jan-19 08:19:47

We talk very openly about mental health in our family. There have been times when DH scared them with his outbursts as they sometimes involved smashing things but I've removed them and explained in an age appropriate way what's going on and that, hard as it may seem, it's not because of them or anything they did. Of course, there have been times when it's their behaviour that's tipped him over but it's not the crux of the problem.

There were times when I would go out and can recall walking back home wondering what I was walking into - over excited and hyper or tears and tantrums. It was exhausting both physically and mentally. And I found the 'highs' could be as hard to deal with as the lows - he'd get himself and kids all excited about something that had little chance of happening. I felt like I was constantly having to manage, and re-manage, expectations.

As the children have got older they have a better understanding, particularly as DS also has depression.

Talking and communication has been invaluable to us but I appreciate that DH is quite unusual in his openness. People at his work are fully aware and they can spot the signs themselves now. Eventually, DS became more open in Y13 and overall found it a relief because it actually stopped a lot of questions about his frequent absence.

GetUpAgain Tue 15-Jan-19 18:20:00

Hi all, can I join? Feel disloyal talking about DH but his depression is such a strain. I have to be on the ball with everything for the kids/home etc and work, never get a chance to just be me because I'm always supporting people and no longer have DH to lean on.

chocolateworshipper Tue 15-Jan-19 22:38:23

scottie has he tried EMDR to help with the traumatic experience? It works for some people

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Wed 16-Jan-19 10:00:31

I hear you GetUpAgain. I feel like I'm a service provider.

GetUpAgain Thu 17-Jan-19 13:42:01

SleepDeprived, I really like your point about realising how strong you are. I bet that applies to all of us on this thread- have proved how strong we are but probably don't realise/acknowledge it much.

My DC know their dad has mental health struggles but don't want to talk about it. I felt better to be honest with them than fake. They do still see him as the fun one though. Because when he is with them, he is fun! Or happy to veg with them and a film. I'm the homework/chores/bedtime/consistency/reliability parent. sad

Biancadelriosback Thu 17-Jan-19 20:31:39

I've had a few awful days recently due to losing a family member and I really needed my DH to lean on. He did his best but I could tell he was falling apart inside. I had to stop talking about it because I could see it in his eyes that he wasn't coping and I was worried about him bottling it all up. The last time he did that, I had to kick him out during one of his outbursts because he punched the door frame in front of DS

GetUpAgain Fri 18-Jan-19 10:38:10

Bianca I am so sorry for your loss. Your post is heartbreaking. Have you got anyone else to talk to about the bereavement, I really feel for you. flowers

CardinalWigwamTommy Fri 18-Jan-19 21:39:29

I'm so sorry bianca. That sounds incredibly hard for you.

It's just so unfair that you have to deal with his depression as well as everything else.

I feel like we didn't sign up for this! When you get together with someone and fall in love, you don't expect their personalities to change. So much so that you have to walk on eggshells and you can't rely on them for emotional support anymore. It's like having another child.
Although I feel awful thinking that because it is of course a disease.

I completely agree with the pp who said they feel disloyal talking about their partners depression and anxiety. I think that's one of the reasons it's such a lonely situation for us.

Our children are too young to understand that he's depressed but they say things like 'why doesn't daddy ever laugh'. Which is a bit heartbreaking.

Does anyone else feel like they have to compensate? I feel like it's all on me to ensure the children have a happy childhood.

GetUpAgain Sat 19-Jan-19 08:49:04

Yes Cardinal! Like I am the guardian of their childhood, protecting them from the miserable bits of life. Depression sufferers seem to see things only from their own perspective, DH finds it really hard to see things from DC point of view.

2019namechange Sat 19-Jan-19 09:03:24

I've found my people. Life is so shit right now. DP hasn't been out the house in 2.5 years & I'm slowly getting so bitter & resentful. I feel for all of you & really hope that things do get better for all of us. Has anyone's else's partner also refused to see a dr?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 09:14:38

Hey... may I join? Dh has ptsd and actually suffers from anxiety and a bit of depression too as part of this condition.
He is “functioning“ quite well actually and I am trying to nanny him less and will actually call a help line next week and hope they can help me nanny him less.

But I think this thread will be better in relationships.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 09:15:51


Why hasn’t he been out of the house? Too depressed or too anxious?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 09:24:16

I think that our oldest... I am not sure if he notices... but he reacts.
He is such a good boy at home. There never is a problem with him... but outside of the home... when his daddy struggles he acts out.

Actually almost everybody dealing with him tells me he constantly jumps, climbs things, runs around when he shouldn’t, tussles with other boys. He does not accept any authority apart from dh (and me... but to a lesser degree. I am not an authoritarian parent and he is a good child at home). He talks back to grownups, calls them names. We had him tested for add. There is nothing wrong with him. We also learned his IQ is above average.
And this really happens when

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 09:26:31

Sorry posted to early. It only happens when his daddy is struggling, otherwise he is so polite. He is always a little wild but he only talks back that way when his Dad is struggling.

He never ever talks back to dh by the way. He adores him and wants to grow up to be just like him. He often tells us.

2019namechange Sat 19-Jan-19 10:03:10

Hi flying fish he had a panic attack at work 2.5 years ago & a few since so he hasn't left the house since & won't go to see a Dr.

I know what you mean about children, my oldest definitely has shown some behaviour that stems from daddy not being out with us ever. It's hard.

Mumberjack Sat 19-Jan-19 10:35:33

Can I join?
So many similarities with our situation. I’m struggling for time just now but will come back with my experiences. It can be so lonely and I’m tired of regulating the mood of the household.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 10:42:00

@2019namechange He really needs to see somebody. There is so much help.
We rarely go out those days. Here is a thread I wrote about this. Maybe you want to ://

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 10:42:54

Sorry here it is.

BTWdo your dhs cuddle/kiss in public?

ChoriChori Sat 19-Jan-19 11:19:29

I think we should ask this thread to be moved to mental health or maybe relationships.

OP you are definitely not alone...

My DH has had anxiety pretty much all the time I’ve know him (22 years). However things got really bad 3 years ago and he had to resign from his job 18 months ago as he couldn’t cope anymore. This led to a complete breakdown and an increase in OVD behaviours. He’s always had OCD but we didn’t realise as it didn’t impact too much.

My world in now changed. I have 2 DC and he has become another DC to me now. He can’t do anything for himself because of the OCD. I have to supervise him washing his hands otherwise he doesn’t know he’s done it correctly. This means I have to there whenever he needs the toilet.

He can’t ‘touch’ anything so I give him all his meals. I do everything in the house and for the DC. He just sits there in one place. He’s scared of getting ill, so he won’t go out if it’s cold or raining - so that’s the whole of winter then.

I took 6 months off work to care for him as he literally couldn’t get out of bed. I’ve now gone back full time. My work have been fab and allow me to come home 2 or 3 times a day when he needs me.

He’s terrified of medication so won’t take it. He won’t take any type of medicine e.g for a cold or headache.

He has had therapy which helped to some extent. He has read a lot of self help books, articles, blogs, videos etc. He is desperate to get better.

I gave him an ultimatum last Nov to get help through the NHS, including medication if advised. He agreed and he went to 2 appointments at the mental health unit. They concluded that he didn’t need any more help as he’s already had (private) CBT and there’s nothing more they can offer. It was so disappointing.

So now we’re back to just dealing with it ourselves. We’ve put our own plan in place using the information we know. I’ve become his therapist, nurse and carer.

He is slowly making progress, but it’s slooooooooooow. What else can we do?

Family have got fed up and don’t bother with him anymore. They are angry that he hasn’t tried medication. Have other people found family helpful?

BadlyAgedMemes Sat 19-Jan-19 11:34:28

@ChoriChori - if private is still an option and your DH is still open to it, I'd really recommend trying something else than CBT. I know it's talked about as the One Cure To Cure Them All in the NHS these days, but it really doesn't do much for everybody, and it's just one therapy form among many. I've found for myself that I don't get on with that type of therapy, or psychodynamic (which I was lucky enough to get on the NHS when I was really unwell in the past), but I see an "integrative", person centred therapist these days, and it's been surprisingly great, and we use different techniques for different issues, leave what doesn't work and embrace what does etc.

My DH saw his psychiatrist this week, and is changing his ADs now, gradually, from fluoxetine to venlafaxine. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition and a more helpful result!

Biancadelriosback Sat 19-Jan-19 11:45:39

Yeah let's ask @MNHQ to shift it to relationships? As I say, I've posted in MH before but it doesn't have the traffic and posts gets lost there.

I have friends who I can talk to about my loss but it feels weird being so vulnerable with them. I want my DH.

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 19:00:46

@Chorichori My dh had the same thing with washing his hands. He had to foot a certain way (still has to) and I had to looks it to make sure he did it well... he was afraid that he would infect other people otherwise... and one day I refused to do it. Told him he washes his hands at his job too and nobody is checking if he does it right... he had to live with me not checking it then... and he did... and he got better then... we’ll he still washes his hands a certain way.
But he has got PTSD and I am not sure if it applies to you.

ChoriChori Sat 19-Jan-19 20:20:09

I have tried to refuse but it has never worked. He just stood in the bathroom for 6 hours and became more and more distressed before I had to give in. There have also been occasions when he’s had no food or water for nearly 48 hours because I’ve refused to participate. We used to fight and both get upset about this.

Things started to improve when I stopped getting upset and just do what he needs me to. I also have to be mindful of the atmosphere in the house for DC. I’ve learnt that progress comes when he is ready and in the right frame of mind. This comes from maintaining a calm environment.

Since then, things have gradually got better and we are following our own improvement plan. It’s just a shame that we’ve received no real support from mental health services and feel alone

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 20:25:39

How sad... really, really sad. Is there a selfhelp group for bis condition?

Flyingfish2019 Sat 19-Jan-19 20:29:26

Dh did CBT and had to force himself do do some things he is afraid of and it helped hi realize that the consequences he is afraid of just do not happen... for him that helped but then he has PTSD and may be it is different.

GetUpAgain Sat 26-Jan-19 15:44:26

How is everyone doing? I could do with a moan just because I am so tired of being responsible for everyone! Thought DH could iron a fecking t shirt for DD while I tidied house before visitors. He said he could, but then forgot because he felt he needed to sort out a pile of old DVDs. So DD gets late and stressed and DH oblivious and just ARGH. And I know it's an illness but it's bloody annoying one.

TeaAndBisquits Sat 26-Jan-19 16:08:54

This place sounds like it's for me!

It's so hard trying to stay positive for the kids when trying to hold everything and everyone together. Someone up thread mention being dragged down too and that's totally how I'm feeling at the moment.

When DH is having a bad day, it feels like everyone is.

It's nice to be able to have a space to talk about things and just vent as needed.

Crosscrosscrackers Sat 26-Jan-19 16:41:39

So glad I have found this thread. My husband suffers anxiety and depression and it is tough. I feel like I am selfish for feeling that way but I totally understand how you all feel with all the extra responsibility you end up with.

I am afraid that my husband is also a "thief of joy". Any plans big or small are met with such negativity that I am now finding it hard to enjoy life myself :-(

My husband's problems stem from hating his job which is all consuming and a pretty dysfunctional childhood. He started anti- anxiety meds but stopped taking them after a few weeks as didn't like the idea of them! He has had cbt and counselling but didn't find that helpful either.

I find it so upsetting to see him live life this way. I also grieve for the man I thought I was marrying :-(

Paintingtheroseswhite Sat 26-Jan-19 18:32:01

Can I join too. My DH has a long history of depression but was going through an ok patch until just after Christmas when he was made redundant bloody Brexit.

Now I can see him circling the black hole again and am bracing myself for it, the rants, the mood swings, the sitting up till god knows what time because I'm afraid of what he'll do to himself. My work will suffer because I'm tired or taking time off or I'm upset.

Add to this money worries and the fact that DS is old enough to notice now and I'm just dreading the future.

So many phrases ring true with me - joy sponge, smoothing the path, disloyal etc.

My company have a big thing on talking about mental health at the moment but I just don't feel I can because it is some sort of betrayal.

Biancadelriosback Sat 26-Jan-19 23:08:45

Hi ladies.
I'm please (and not!) that others have found this thread useful.
DH smashed a glass today by accident. It went everywhere. DH had to go out for a walk after which did no one any good as we had plans in the afternoon which we missed to due DS having a nap. I feel trapped ATM.

Huntlybyelection Sun 27-Jan-19 18:06:03

I feel like my reactions are heightened now too. Our boiler is acting up and I go from 0 to almost vomiting immediately. I know that this is anxiety but it's mixed with something being broken, me not being able to fix it and DHs response which will be one of anxiety too. I feel myself being anxious but I can't stop it.

I'm so angry too with the fact that I am always always expected to be the calm and rational one. I'm always expected to be able to cope. And when I can't cope, he tells me off for being irrational and it makes me feel worse. I'm never able to have an off day.

And I know I need to get a grip of my own anxiety because this isn't helping. I've done some calming techniques that have helped (5/4/3/2/1 things see/hear/feel/touch/taste or what have You).

It sucks.

GetUpAgain Sun 27-Jan-19 20:01:27

Oh Huntly I hear you. I woke this morning and had that stomach dropping moment when I remembered what life is like. I felt a bit detached from myself and kind of observed that I have 'caught anxiety'.

Bianca I'm sorry about the glass. Hope today has been a better one. Xxx

Biancadelrioisback Sun 27-Jan-19 21:03:28

It's that feeling of panick when something's goes wrong. Not because something has gone wrong, but I don't know how it will affect DH. Sometimes a bulb going can be solved very easily, other times he can end up lying down in a dark room sobbing.

Paintingtheroseswhite Mon 28-Jan-19 10:31:13

Bianca, that's a familiar one to me too. I'll hear something happen in another room and words to the effect of "oh ffs" and I'll just think "What now, what's this going to cost, how much time will it take me to sort this out (along with everything else l)". Then we'll have either the rant or the silence or my suggested solution will be dismissed. My brain feels it's constantly thinking around problems trying to smooth the path to solutions to avoid a meltdown.

I'm dreading the next couple of months when the redundancy money runs out and the letters from the bank start arriving again.

kateandme Mon 28-Jan-19 11:04:51

I lost my loved one.they ended it.reading this thread has been so comforting to be less alone.
We did find mindfulness really helps if you really allow yourself to step into it .it can really change your thinking .
a person with anxiety is constantly catastrophizing and what mindfulness does is allow you to just sit see the traffic jam but not stand in the middle of it and try to stop it .just watch From a Distance let it come let it go ,ebb and flow.
there's a few books which I found really helpful in the darkest days .
so you can almost be sitting on the mountain and watching from a point of awareness so you know that's what's happening and what the hell person is thinking but you're watching it you're not in the middle of it allowing it to Suffocate you and you can say that's what the brain / illness is thinking but it's not actually me it's an illness if that makes sense, purple it's not clouding bear head when they can just watch it with a Distance season it's happening put it on the clouds and watch those sorts go by it sounds a bit daft sometimes but we find it really helped .
and stop that spiral of: you stub your toe- oh god it's shit -what am I doing- I'm shit- I never do anything right- I always get everything wrong -I'm a bad person- I've done wrong again- everything's going to go wrong from now- and the end explosion !
All from one stubbed toe you got to an explosion. whereas mindfulness really helps you just see it happening allow it and then nature yourself so you can let it go and be kind to yourself

kateandme Mon 28-Jan-19 11:10:20

purple it's not clouding bear head when they can just watch it with a Distance season it's happening put it on the clouds and watch those sorts go by it sounds a bit daft sometimes but we find it really helped . Bloody autocorrect that's meant to say but it's not clouding your headspace when you can just watch it from a distance it's happening yes but you can put those thoughts on to the clouds and watch as they just go by because you will always have thoughts especially with anxiety and depression when they spiral but it's learning how to say "ok can I sit with this can I bear it and then let it go when you face it it takes half its energy away"

Ohanami Mon 28-Jan-19 21:20:59

So much of what's said in the comments above rings true in our house too. I've taken this week as annual leave to get a couple of big jobs done in the house, but dh has been on a downward spiral this last week and now I feel like I'm treading water just to keep on top of the basics instead of having extra time to do an extra job. As someone said above, I'm responsible for everyone else and it's exhausting - and if the house is a mess, dh can't deal with it. He's been in bed before 9 the last few nights, says he has no energy, he thinks he's coming down with something, but I think it's his mental health that's coming down, not a virus. I tried to talk to him one evening while he was getting undressed and he snapped completely irrationally - he was couldn't deal with speaking once he'd declared he was going to bed. He's obsessing over things (he wants a new toaster - he needs a new toaster - have I ordered the new toaster yet? Is it here yet? The old toaster can't go on Freecycle it needs to go in the bin NOW because giving it away is too much to deal with. He keeps walking over and mentioning one or two specific small objects he thinks should go to the charity shop - but he's picking out things that the children play with daily, he just doesn't see it). He feels like brexit is a personal attack on him and he can't understand that many other people feel let down and worried without feeling like they need to go to bed to drown out the feelings that provokes. We had a great few days earlier in the month, it felt like he was back in the room, then something tipped him over the edge again and we're walking on egg shells. Again. But because he doesn't think he's reacting unusually to situations around him, he doesn't associate it with depression or anxiety, he thinks it's natural to feel so aggressive about the world we live in. I just don't know what to say to him anymore or how to help him. He's made a conscious choice to stay in the job that's causing him so much stress too which I resent. And in the meantime dd has no clean uniform because I'm wading through housework to keep up, I'm exhausted trying to keep the rest of us afloat.

Bearsinmotion Mon 28-Jan-19 21:32:36

I would like to join too. Ex DP has OCD and I think also anxiety. We live together (only broke up last month), but I am still the one responsible for everything.

Paintingtheroseswhite Thu 31-Jan-19 08:11:19

Really bad day yesterday, I think the anger hit him about the redundancy. He ranted and shouted most of the day and when he wasn't shouting I was walking on eggshells. If I said anything I was "having a go".

In one of his quieter moments I said that I recognized he is getting depressed and I'm here and it was almost like I gave him carte Blanche to carry on.

I've left him in bed this morning, think I'll let him sleep today

Biancadelrioisback Thu 31-Jan-19 19:39:45

I can completely understand the Brexit thing. My DH is the same. He feels victimised, which in turn makes me panic.

painting I'm really sorry you've had a shit day! That does sound hard. The worst bit is when you can't feel your own emotionals incase it triggers them!

Flyingfish2019 Thu 31-Jan-19 20:39:58

Dh, who is unhappy with his weight, currently tries “turn his life around“... has been trying that for a few days, has been eating very healthy. Whenever he tried that in the past it worked for a while but then he gave up for one reason or the other. I hope it works this time.

DeriArms Thu 31-Jan-19 21:01:53

Joining if that’s ok as my bf of 9 years has depression, involving a significant time off work in 2017-2018. He identifies it as having started in 2016 for work-related issues but the truth is that his coping has been an issue for almost as long as I’ve known him. It affects every part of our lives and i feel under pressure to help him with everything, from his work to getting him out of the house in the morning. We don’t have kids and this is a massive thing for me as I want to start a family but am increasingly coming to a place of understanding that i’m going to need to go it alone. It’s so hard and isolating. I am a counsellor and social worker (two jobs) and have really struggled with acknowledging that it has been hard for me, and the sense of shame and guilt about how frustrating and distressing it has been to live with compared to how I ‘should’ have felt about and worked with a client.
No advice for others right now, just solidarity x

Biancadelriosback Fri 01-Feb-19 17:40:27

My DHs started when I had DS. It was an awful few weeks due to him being very prem, but also happened at DHs busiest time at work which meant he was losing lots of money and he was just bunging it all on a CC. I had no idea how much dept he was getting us into until after. Before all of that, he was perfect

Paintingtheroseswhite Sat 02-Feb-19 10:32:39

Yes we've had that Bianca, I think if I'm honest spending money was a bit of an attempt to feel better even if it's just for 5 minutes. Have to admit I'm a bit guilty of that too - it's almost an attempt to feel normal like I see people around us being.

Brexit is a big thing for DH too, he's absolutely raging about it, he would spend hours on Facebook arguing with Brexiteers and it just made him angrier and angrier. I've managed to persuade him to bin Facebook fir a bit and it has made him calmer. Yes to it being like a personal attack though.

Wouldn't it be great to put all our DHs and DPs in a room together and let them shout it out and work it all out together. It would be an afternoons peace for us grin

Whatcouldpossiblygowrong Sat 02-Feb-19 22:27:33

Hello! God it feels amazing to have found/ been shown this thread. Reading your posts and nodding along seeing a lot of my own experiences there. Good to have been able to find somewhere to share my feelings without fear or guilt- and maybe being able to show others they aren’t alone.
Been in this situation for 5 years now since DH’s first MH breakdown but things seem to be rearing up again no after a short time of stability. Feeling panicky about being plunged back in after a time in relative normality

TheEndofIt Mon 04-Feb-19 12:09:34

Can I join too?

DP has had depression most of his adult life, something he neglected to mention before I moved in with him - away from my family, friends & support network.

He has now lost his job, following a lengthy period of sick leave & working reduced hours. Although there has been a reasonable redundancy payment, we cannot live on just my salary in the long term.

At the moment, I just feel angry - and betrayed that he did not tell me. I would not have chosen this life, especially to move away - if I had known.

He has not pulled his weight in terms of family life. I'm fed up doing it all.

Unfortunately, we have 2 young children & I swing between wanting to leave so that they are not witnessing a loveless marriage - and the thought if he had 50% custody fills me with dread.

I just feel between a rock & a hard place.

Just reading through the responses here, everyone seems to supportive of their DH; I just feel a bit of a cow for being so angry.

Wendalicious Mon 04-Feb-19 15:07:49

“Any time I need support we end up talking about him which he claims is him showing empathy but really, it's a selfish trait of his anxiety. It means I never get support.”

Thank you to the poster who wrote this and everyone who is illustrating their situations, it’s made me feel less alone as most of these posts describes my husband too x

ohreallyisthatso Mon 04-Feb-19 15:32:47

I understand your anger @TheEndofit. Its tough to feel supportive when you feel so hurt by what is essentially a lie by omission.

Hey everyone, I'd like to join too please. DH has a diagnosis of BP and its been a particularly difficult past couple of weeks over here due to in laws creating a complete poop storm and leaving me right in the middle of it but hey, everything for a reason eh?

Hotterthanahotthing Mon 04-Feb-19 15:47:45

I stuck by y exhaust for 12 years after his depression took over our lives.He refused.edication and started drinking more.He became quite controlling too.
Each day I didn't know what I was going to wake up too and as said by others depression can be Avery selfish illness.
I did leave because his behavior to wards me deteriorated so much and was affecting my DD.
I stayed so long because of guilt that he would succeed in killing himself and for my daughter..When his thought moved on to killing us it was time to run.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but at least I did get out and we are rebuilding our lives.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 04-Feb-19 16:16:20

I feel so sorry for all of you. I have a family member who has been severely depressed for many years and point blank refuses to try medication for it. I don't know how his partner can stand it. I have had to step back from our relationship because I am so angry with him. I can't imagine what it feels like to be trapped in a relationship like this when you have children together. I am also sick of the constant urging to listen to and support people with depression ... like, for how many years are you expected to do that? Generally speaking I think women are more likely to make an effort to get better rather than insisting nothing can be done/they are going to battle through it alone. Flowers for all on this thread flowers.

Justanothernamechange2 Mon 04-Feb-19 16:22:01

My DP has suffered with depression for some years but also recently diagnosed bi-polar.
It is really tough...really tough

WineIsMyCarb Mon 04-Feb-19 16:42:08

Thank you for posting this OP. In the same boat and it's so difficult to cope with. I can't have a bad day because it either overlaps with his (who will care for DC? Hold things together?) or have my own, separate, bad day... because then everyday would be a bad day for someone. I'm DH case we suspect it's a of a "but we took you to stately homes" situation (see other thread) so it's taking a lot of therapy to get some insight and therefore improvement. Hard not to be pissed off with him though when he gets up in the wrong side of bed and I know it's going to be unending today. Or maybe just the morning, and I will be left with the aftermath as he's all cheery again. (Better in a way, but still sucking the life out of me) flowers to all of us for staying with them, in all honesty. It would often be easier to leave

Home77 Mon 04-Feb-19 19:13:37

I'll join you as well, my DH is not diagnosed but very anxious and a workaholic, he also has anger issues and I think an eating disorder. Oh and drinking as well. It's not easy. Recently he seems very hyper and then down, it is like a rollercoaster. but he'd never dream of speaking to anyone about it.

TheEndofIt Mon 04-Feb-19 19:37:11

Can I ask: is anyone seriously thinking of splitting up?

From the thread so far, it seems many are unhappy, but few are perhaps thinking seriously about separating?

And has anyone else got co-dependant traits?

I had a bit of counselling on my own last year, to try & get some clarity. Through this, I was able to see this, and it was a real eye-opener.

GetUpAgain Mon 04-Feb-19 22:17:49

I honestly don't know if we will split up. I cant bear the thought of life always being like this. But DH is too ill right now to cope alone, and definitely not having kids half the time. And when he is well I do like being married to him. In my case he is at long last getting treatment so I will see how that goes. I know this sounds horrible but he has had cancer and that was easier to deal with. At least we could talk to people about it.

Home77 Tue 05-Feb-19 09:27:11

In terms of the codependency, I am trying hard to not enable the behaviour and realise that MH is not an excuse for how to treat people. Basic rudeness and anger is not acceptable and I say that and also not accept blame, try not to let it affect me.

It's not easy though is it. To get a balance between doing that stuff and not winding them up further. I got this book called Non violent communication which seemed to help a bit.

Home77 Tue 05-Feb-19 09:28:47

Do others find it tricky when they won't talk about things? I find it hard to get him to open up about how he is feeling, (maybe feels can't talk about stuff like that) but did have a bit of a chat about anger and that helped a but. He started doing a counting thing when angry and walking away.

Biancadelriosback Thu 07-Feb-19 12:59:41

I'm thinking about leaving. I don't think I can because I don't trust him not to hurt himself or fall even deeper. But I'm so miserable. I walked into work this morning in tears after another bad morning. Clients saw me. It's having an impact on everything. Even our 2 year old won't play with DH now, he only wants me. I can't breath. I'm panicking.

colouringinpro Thu 07-Feb-19 13:06:06

flowers to everyone in this position.

Please please please seek support for yourself and if you can afford it pay for it.

My mental health has been destroyed by OH (now ex) severe mental illness.

colouringinpro Thu 07-Feb-19 13:07:40

Just another. Sympathies. Bipolar diagnosis for OH. Took 10 years

Travisandthemonkey Thu 07-Feb-19 15:56:04

The one thing everyone must remember on this thread is that your own mental health is just as important.
I found it very good to see my own therapist. It helped immensely because you tend to never talk to your partner about how you feel, in case it makes them worse.

Depression and anxiety are fundamentally selfish things to suffer from and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. But they isolate the person suffering from them and It becomes a vicious cycle.

You can only help someone if you’re getting help yourself

TheEndofIt Thu 07-Feb-19 20:36:12

@Biancadelriosback thankscakebrew

I hope your day has got better? Are you ok?

I'm not having the best week either; DP is now a man of leisure & not really pulling his weight at home. He has 40 hours a week to do what he wants plus domestic stuff but is going to the gym, meeting friends etc. He has done a bit tidying up his own shitpile & some laundry, with a little cooking.

I feel like his mother; I don't want to have to manage him & tell him what to do. I'm working 4 long days & just want him to get on with it. I don't want to enable him by doing it all myself.

He knows I am not up for working f/t while he does sod all.

Another conversation looms.....

By the way, had anyone read "Depression Fallout"? I see it recommended a lot on here, but I'm not sure if I can face reading about it plus living with it too.

WineIsMyCarb Fri 08-Feb-19 21:48:52

Try this TheEnd

I als had DH read it to show him
How much of his behaviour and therefore our life was dictated by anxiety.

Duvetday2day Fri 15-Feb-19 22:06:12

Can I join too? Sorry to see so many people in the boat, and I think this is a great thread.

My —ex— DP “I think” has MH issues at the minute, I think he’s grieving and depressed. His DG passed away in October, since then he has been a different person. Disappears, no interest in anything, no love, no emotion, no enthusiasm, comes back late, doesn’t come back at all, doesn’t talk, doesn’t do much to be frank. I try and talk to him, he just burst into tears. He has said things like I don’t know how I can love, I feel alone etc. We don’t have DC but he 3DC from previous relationship, who we have 50:50. Even they say daddy just plays on his phone, daddy isn’t here, why does daddy just get cross? He won’t get help, says he needs space, to be on his own, and for that he is throwing us away, and our family unit. He says he’s not depressed.

I too am suffering from MH, a lot of my past seems to have resurfaced, from previous incidents before I met DP. I’ve been prescribed AD, I’m suffering from anxiety, stress, I’m off work, I’m just not coping.

Anyone got any wise words of wisdom?

OhDearGodLookAtThisMess Sat 16-Feb-19 12:29:20

May I join too?

DH's health has dominated our lives for years now. He's completely self-absorbed by it and I think utterly depends on me for boosting his mood and taking on much of the life-work (although to be fair, he still does as much as he can).
And I've just discovered something this week: I've been ill myself. Usually I keep quiet about feeling under the weather as it will be met with, "huh, YOU feel ill? How do you think it is for ME?" As if I didn't know!
But this one has involved me being flat out with a bad back and just can't resume normal service. And he's stepped forward, not mentioned his own ailments once and is doing everything and taking care of me.
The cynic in me might wonder if it's so I recover quicker! Or it could be that his anti-depressants are finally kicking in and he's perking up.
But maybe I should step back from being the fixer a bit more often.

EveryoneLeaves Sat 16-Feb-19 15:15:27

I am hoping I can join in here, though he is now my ex not my SO. (We were together for almost 18 years.) His first reaction to getting depression was to leave me. I did want to be there for him, I did want to support him but he pushed me away and told me he no longer loves me, and that he does not miss me at all. I have never felt as disposable to somebody, to me it feels like I was only good enough to be with when things were going ok and as soon as we hit a rough patch he just threw me away if that makes sense.

Before he was diagnosed everything was normal, just like it had always been, and I had zero reason to think otherwise, it seemed like everything changed in the space of one day, the night before he left me we had sex and fell asleep cuddled into each other, the next day it was like "I have depression now, get out of my life"

Reading through these responses have hurt me because I noticed that all of you are still together, yet my ex couldn't wait to get me out of his life and I have thought many times that he may have been using the depression as an excuse (we had no other reason to split up, nothing bad happened, no cheating, no violence, no arguing, it was literally I have depression, I no longer love you please leave) like he saw it as a way out of the relationship in a way. I am really struggling with understanding if it is the depression talking or him (He has said it is not just me he lost feelings for but everything in his life)

He is currently on his third session of councelling and has tried four different anti depressants which did not help at all.

I suppose we are now classed as friends, and I have noticed a few patterns, we can talk with no problems about anything at all other than us, as soon as anything to do with us is mentioned he backs off and I will not hear from him for a week or so, he can't even acknowledge that we used to be together, that he used to love me, nothing.

I feel for all of you going through this horrible illness.

Sketch2019 Mon 18-Feb-19 19:36:37

Watched this thread from the start but this is my first post. Could do with some support tonight from others in a similar set-up.

I suspect my DH has depression and work-stress. A long standing pattern of behaviour has spiralled quite significantly over the past few months and has worsened rapidly over the past few weeks. DH has gone from being a generally good guy who is a pleasure to be around albeit with a tendency to be a little moody to someone I'm afraid to come home to. He appreciates he is much worst than he was and is in the process of seeking professional help but it's taking us much longer than either of us feared.

Nothing I say or do is right, everything is turned around and made out to be some kind of attack on him. He treats me like his enemy when I only ever try to help him. How I feel, what my day has been like, whether I have an interesting story to tell etc no longer matters to him. I might as well be invisible. Talking to me is a chore. I'm walking on eggshells trying not to say anything that will set him off or start another argument.

When he's sad and feeling low I have endless patience with him. I just want to hold him and love him and do everything within my power to help him feel better. Unfortunately though more often than not he isn't sad, he's just plain cruel. He can be short and bad tempered with me, patronising, speaks to me like I'm some "silly woman". If I dare get upset about how things are he makes out like I'm over emotional (I'm really not) and rolls his eyes. I feel so alone.

I am the only one out of the two of us to ever suggest we do something fun or make an effort to do something enjoyable. If he had his way he would be holed up in his office playing computer games. My needs no longer matter.

This isn't a complete change of character for him. He does have a tendency to be selfish and has little time for people he thinks aren't worth the effort. The difference is that until recently I was one of the few people he deemed worth the effort. Until recently he had an abundance of good qualities to balance out his occasionally surliness. He can be generous, kind, funny, silly, loving... but right now those traits are gone.

I've taken to working late now and I hate the thought of going home. What mood will he be in? Will we argue again? Am I strong enough tonight not to let it bother me?

I came to the conclusion tonight that I need to shut myself off emotionally while we weather this storm. I will be kind and patient and loving but a wall went up inside me tonight and something changed. I realised I need to protect myself until he gets the help he needs and gets better. I just spent the weekend being spoken to like crap after going out of my way to do him a massive favour.

I feel this is the right way forward but I'm still sad. I can't bear the thought of this being our life now.

TheEndofIt Mon 18-Feb-19 20:30:08

@Sketch2019 -sorry you are having a tough time. I can relate to so many of these things: being on eggshells, on the receiving end of mood swings, living with someone who is irritable & disengaged.

From what you've said, I think it is the correct thing to put boundaries around what you can do - as the saying goes: you can't pour from an empty glass.

What is he doing to help himself? If he won't, you're not responsible & can't fix it. He needs to get to a Dr.
Perhaps you could print off an online depression scoring questionnaire & ask him to complete it ahead of a GP appt? If he won't do that, I would seriously consider your future with him.

I didn't know my partner had recurrent depression before I moved in (he didn't tell me). I wouldn't have moved in with him if I'd known & the repercussions have been huge. We now have 2 DC with a grumpy, disengaged dad. I'm fed up working whilst he does little round the house. He's lost his job & we have financial worries.

It's one thing to have an episode of depression, help yourself & get it treated. It's another to do f*ck all & take your moods out on your loved one(s) whilst not getting treated or help yourself.

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