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Please help me with depressed DP - I'm struggling

(15 Posts)
OneManBand Mon 05-Sep-11 21:13:04

DP doesn't live with us but used to come over 4-5 times a week.

He became depressed and disappeared 3 months ago - I heard almost nothing from him for 2 months. He's back now - we've spent some time together & things were ok. Good, even. But his depression is getting worse.

I don't know how to support him. He can barely speak. He said he couldn't drive today so I haven't seen him. He says he misses me.

He's on ADs (although they don't seem to be helping) and is having counselling now. We've also been to Relate for an initial assesment and are waiting for an appointment. I just don't know what to do. I am not sure Relate is even relevant til he's feeling better. But I feel very alone and sad and a little resentful blush

I have a history of depression myself (bad - resulting in being hospitalised) so I do understand but he's so different to how I was when I was depressed and I'm finding it hard to be patient. I need to vent. Sorry.

I have a stressful job, DS and poor health. I want to help DP but I am struggling.

What do I do?

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 17:19:07

Anyone? Please sad

midnightservant Tue 06-Sep-11 18:37:36

Hello. Depression is awful, I know. How is his different from yours? Does he have a job?

Sorry just questions at this stage. But need more info to try to offer suggestions.

madmouse Tue 06-Sep-11 18:38:13

If you scroll down you will find several recent-ish threads about this subject.

Of course he is different from you when you were depressed - no two people are ever the same and in particular there are marked differences between men and women.

The only thing you can do really is accept where he is now, keep treating him as a nomal adult human being, encourage him to look after himself and be patient even though it's hard. It sounds like he is doing what he can to get better, so that is good.

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 19:05:33

I did have a look at some fairly recent threads, madmouse.

I know everybody is different. It's just hard to understand how someone is feeling when they behave so differently & I can't identify with it at all. I think, when I am depressed, I go to extreme lengths to pretend to everyone else that everything is ok, so that no-one worries or fusses - I wash, I smile, I continue with my commitments... It's easier for me that way. DP doesn't shave & doesn't eat. He shuts me out then comes back crying. He makes vague plans but doesn't follow through (which affects the children). I'm being as patient as I can be but it's frustrating.

I do accept him for where he is now. I'm just finding it hard to know how to support him and how to stay sane myself. Maybe this is all about me and not him...

He does have a job although is not coping very well atm. His dr wanted to sign him off but he didn't want to be so he's considering cutting his hours for a while to see if that helps. He has another emergency dr appointment in the morning. Today he's been saying he needs to remind himself of what he has to live for sad

I just needed somewhere to vent, I think. Sorry.

madmouse Tue 06-Sep-11 19:48:02

Don't apologise for venting - sounds like you had a fairly typical female way of coping and he has a fairly male way. DH and I have both been struggling with mental health problems at times and I have more experience than I like of being married to someone with depression (on and off for the 14 years we've been together) and yes, this is about you and that is necessary - you must look after yourself and talking about how hard it is to live with his depression is essential. Preferably in real life. I can still remember the relief when dh's depression became 'public' and I got some support....

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 20:15:02


I've just worked out that I've seen him 7 times in the last 3 months - instead of our usual 5 days a week. Part of that is because he disappeared,, then I was away and he's been away but still... he's got reason after reason why he can't see me yet he texts me all the time to say he misses me and loves me sad I'm very confused.

I've done a silly thing and emailed him to tell him that. I shouldn't have done and it was unfair but I'm finding this really difficult and I can't do anything if I don't see him. I love him and I want him to be ok, but I don't want to be dragged down with him (and I can feel that happening). I need to see him, to spend time with him, even if he feels crap and won't talk.

midnightservant Tue 06-Sep-11 20:35:28

Are you feeling dragged down by knowing he is depressed, but not being able to help because really to help him, you need to see him?

My severest depression is somewhat like his, it is characterised by lack of motivation and crying anywhere without caring who sees me. In this state I know intellectually that a bath or a walk will help, but even though I order/cajole/invite myself to do it, somehow I just can't. This in turn makes me even more depressed.

DH has occasionally dragged me out for a walk, and the effect has been almost immediate. If I do go for a walk, it works best if there is some sort of large view - seeing landscape somehow helps me map out my life in some way. Going for a drive in the hills works in a similar way - perhaps you could organise a little trip out together?

With the bath, I wait until a tiny window of motivation comes along, then grab it (can be as little as a couple of minutes) to at least run the bath. Now I come to think of it, DH has never run me a bath - wonder if that would have worked too?

Hope this helps, even if just by you going 'no, he's not like that'

ThatsNotYours Tue 06-Sep-11 20:49:43

I don't know to add. You are so articulate. I am struggling with a few problems and dh has his, but how they manifest is so different. Guess just wanted to say 'vent', cuddles and hugs. X

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 20:51:14

Thanks midnight - your post was really helpful

I think I'm starting to feel worn down by his constant telling me how sad/ unhappy he is yet him not being around for me to help. I can't do anything and I feel helpless. If he were here, I COULD drag him out, make him a cup of tea, run him a bath. When we have done stuff together, it's been ok - he's run around with the children, he's smiled, even laughed. I know he still felt terrible but for a few minutes, he was noticably better. I can't help but feel that he's making no effort to help himself (I know, I know it's not that easy) - in a way he is - he's having counselling, is taking meds etc but I don't feel that he's being proactive, he's just waiting for it to all magically go away. And while he's waiting and isolating himself, he's getting more depressed. I understand why he's behaving like that and that he probably can't get motivated to do anything but it's frustrating.

I've suggested going for a walk, having an apple, having a bath (and to be fair, when I've told him to have a long, hot bath, he has). I do know I'm being unreasonable.

My depression has been very severe (I've been hospitalised twice blush) so I really do have some understanding. But I've never been on this side & it's so hard to watch someone you love turn into a shell of themselve and not be able to do anything.

Thank you so much for your help.

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 20:51:50

Thank you, thatsnotyours.

Life is never easy, is it?

midnightservant Tue 06-Sep-11 21:00:01

As to the email, why not send him another one saying 'what I was really saying in my last email was I love you, I miss you, I care for you.'

As you probably know only too well, his head is probably telling him 'you're a failure, you're unloveable, who would want to be with me when I'm like this.'

External input to the contrary, although it may be dismissed as 'she's just saying that' at least contradicts these thoughts and brings in the hope that it just might be true... (I know it is from your pov, but I'm trying to think from a depressed pov IYSWIM)

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 21:14:21

I already did that, midnight grin

It really helps to have a depressed POV.

midnightservant Tue 06-Sep-11 21:30:20

how to have a depressed pov safely:

grin smile confused sad sad sad shock hmm grin

OneManBand Tue 06-Sep-11 21:34:24


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