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

(152 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

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

@2019namechange.

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 ://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3470942-AIBU-to-hate-weekends-with-the-family

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

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3470942-AIBU-to-hate-weekends-with-the-family

Sorry here it is.

BTWdo your dhs cuddle/kiss in public?

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