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Dh says I 'choose' to feel depressed

(23 Posts)
Bumblequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 08:52:56

Due to his culture, dh feels depression is a label people give themselves as a way to justify their moodiness and crankiness. He feels I am comfortable being depressed.

For me it is very real as this depression has hung over me for 25 years. I remember as a teenager my earring broke and I sat and cried for hours. I was inconsolable- felt like my world had ended. From then I knew something was wrong.

I have no coping strategies and take disappointments very badly.

I have bouts of happiness but generally I feel low. I see the glass half empty.

I cry or want to cry over the stupidest things- missing a train for work, dd spilling food. I have screamed out several times this year when I have felt completely overwhelmed by everything around me. Dd cried and asked why I was sad. Dh said that is strange behaviour.

I hate feeling like this and yearn to be 'normal'. I look very 'together' at work and church, yes I am a Christian which leads to even more guilt.

Nobody truly understands. I continue to act like all is well, even being a joker in order to hide my secret.

Most days I want to run away, start my life afresh where nobody knows me or my history.

Trifle Thu 21-Mar-13 08:55:51

I presume you are on anti depressants, if so, they need changing as obviously they are not working.

If you are not taking any medication then I agree with your dh.

orangeandlemons Thu 21-Mar-13 08:57:39

He sounds like a real catch tbh. Are you on antidepressants?

lickencivers Thu 21-Mar-13 09:00:32

Oh you poor love I would suggest having a chat with your GP. Are you on medication to help your depression?

ChocolateCoins Thu 21-Mar-13 09:03:48

Does he honestly think you choose to feel like this? Are you getting any help with this?

eminemmerdale Thu 21-Mar-13 09:04:35

That's sad sad I have the same sort of, with my mother - her depression is 'real' mine is 'being silly' Do see your GP again if you have already - it is real and it is awful and I'm so sorry your h is being unsupportive.

ThisIsYourSong Thu 21-Mar-13 09:05:14

Unfortunately I think its really hard to know what depression is like unless you have been through it. I bloody hate the phrase 'a bit depressed'.

It sounds like you could benefit from talking to your GP. Do you have one whose opinion you trust?

I'm not in the UK, in New Zealand but I remember reading that here, 1 in 5 women suffer from depression at one time in their lives. That's a lot of people out there who have been through the same so you really are not alone in all this (if that helps at all).

Bumblequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 09:12:51

I have never taken antidepressants. For years I have ridden with the highs and lows of depression. I take my moods out on dh and dd. At times I do not want to talk and sit by myself in another room.

There is such a stigma attached to 'taking medication'. I have felt mad most of my life and confessed this to my family. At work I act normal and on top of things but I am a complete mess at home.

At work I often feel drained as my colleagues talk alot about their home lives, individual family members. I do not have the head space to take it all in. I often go go a walk alone at lunchtime to reflect and recharge.

Bumblequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 09:16:03

I agree it is difficult to fully understand depression unless you have suffered with it. My dm said at a time in her life she wad very low and she thought "Is this truly how someone suffering with depression feels everyday of their life?".

plantsitter Thu 21-Mar-13 09:17:44

Listen, you need help. Your dh had put it clumsily but this comes from years of living with a depressed person who is not prepared to do anything about it. My parent was mentally ill growing up and it is not fun. Untreated depression is a serious thing.

Try antidepressants and counselling to manage your feelings. Once you are feeling better you can help dispel the stigma about medication (which I don't think is as prevalent as you think).

badguider Thu 21-Mar-13 09:20:51

Are you having any treatment?
I wouldn't say anybody chooses to be depressed but to choose to not have any treatment at all means you are suffering unnecessarily. There is no magic 'cure' for depression but there are many ways of learning to cope and live with it much better than you appear to be. You don't have to take medication necessarily.
Good luck.

Trifle Thu 21-Mar-13 09:21:20

There is NO stigma attached to taking medication, it is a personal and private matter.

I cannot understand why you think it's far better to shout and bawl at your child than seek help.

After 25 years dont you think you owe it at least to your child to seek help.

TheRealFellatio Thu 21-Mar-13 09:23:12

What culture is your husband from where depression as an illness does not exist? confused

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 21-Mar-13 09:23:57

As someone who has a whole range of depression problems, you need to get help.

You know that you are taking it on on your husband and children, but you are not doing anything about it. There may be a stigma attached to depression, but once you've got it, you have to treat it. Otherwise I can see where your husband is coming from - you aren't helping yourself.

Antidepressants and counselling will make a massive difference to how you feel, and drastically improve family life for everyone, not just you.

Your crying and being sad is affecting your daughter. For her sake, go and see your GP. It's not scary at all, it just feels it from the outside. Nobody need know that you have medication, if you'd prefer it that way, and as soon as you've learnt coping techniques you can use them instead it you'd prefer. Honestly, you'll be so much happier.

LadyWidmerpool Thu 21-Mar-13 09:25:52

Ask your GP to explain how modern anti-depressants work. They can be very effective and many people can come off them after a few months. No one needs to know you are taking them if that's a concern.

ScreamingFoxtrots Thu 21-Mar-13 09:25:54

Have you had any therapy Bumblequeen ?

I think your husband may be making a very clumsy point. You're not choosing to be depressed, that's not a choice for anyone, but you sound like you're choosing not to address it - this is something you can control. Maybe your husband is frustrated that you are allowing the monster of depression stop you living?

I don't mean to be unkind, but you need to get some help and find ways to cope. This may be a short period on antidepressants (nobody need know you're on them, no stigma attached) or some therapy or similar. I control my moods with obsessive exercise, but if I get out of the habit in the gym my mood blackens almost immediately. DH gets frustrated as I get into a funk where I don't want to take control, but I need to. He can often lash out verbally but I think it's because he misses me when I'm in that dark place.

Jojobump1986 Thu 21-Mar-13 09:31:01

I hate feeling like this and yearn to be 'normal'. I look very 'together' at work and church, yes I am a Christian which leads to even more guilt.

Nobody truly understands. I continue to act like all is well, even being a joker in order to hide my secret.

Nobody can understand if you don't tell them. Guilt really isn't necessary! There's a sizeable percentage of my church who either do or have suffered from depression. There are some for whom just getting to church occasionally is difficult & they sit right at the back so they can leave if they feel the need to. They aren't judged for it. There are some, like me, who used to not be able to leave the house & mostly seem 'normal' but we still have down days/phases. We understand & support each other but we can only do that because someone was honest about their issues in the first place & helped to create an environment where the rest of us feel loved & accepted. I honestly don't think I'd have got so much better than I was if it hadn't been for the support & understanding of so many people at my church. If you feel able, please do talk to someone about how much you're struggling. You might be surprised by how many others have been through something similar. If your church isn't overly helpful I fully recognise that some aren't then there are Christian counsellors around who might be able to understand/help with the guilt aspect in a way that non-Christian counsellors might not.

I know my DH didn't understand my depression in the beginning but he tried to be understanding. There were times though when I'm sure he thought I was just being 'lazy'. Could you perhaps talk to him & explain that you really don't enjoy feeling like this & do want to be better? I found that explaining that to DH on a regular basis helped to remind him that the seemingly crazy person weeping on the floor in the corner over the most minor of things wasn't who I really am & wasn't who I wanted to be! I'd be lying, though, if I said that there weren't/aren't still times when staying in bed all day is just the easiest/most comfortable option.

Please don't feel like you're alone. You're not.

I agree with everyone else though - you need to look at your medication. I was only on it for less than a year but it was exactly what I needed to help me recover enough that I could leave the house & start finding things to keep me busy. You need to find something that works for you.

quietlysuggests Thu 21-Mar-13 09:33:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JammySplodger Thu 21-Mar-13 09:36:42

Go and have a chat with your GP. As well as eeing what help there is for you, mention that your DH doesn't really get it, and are there any reading materials / helplines he could talk to so he can understand what you're going through and help you through it.

And please don't think you're alone, you're really not!

ReallyTired Thu 21-Mar-13 09:41:00

No one chooses to be ill. No one chooses to suffer from depression anymore than you can choose you eye or your skin colour.

Lots of Christians struggle with depression and other mental illness. This website Living life to the full with God may help you. Being depressed does not been that your relationship with God is bad or that your faith is weak.

Certainly the more secular website "living life to the full" is very good. Living Life to the full is by an NHS pychiarist who is also a Christian.

Bumblequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 09:55:36

Thank you for all your encouragement. I have taken your suggestions on board.

I will.definitely book to see the dr. I have had counselling in the past. It was only for 10 weeks but truly helped me assess my feelings. I was holding issues from the past and allowing them to affect my future.

I may request for further counselling as sometimes I need to talk without judgement, without worrying if I am making sense. I felt so safe in the counselling sessions and knew that time was for me to let it all out.

working9while5 Sat 23-Mar-13 14:34:22

Okay, I am going to be blunt. If you are taking your moods out on your family, you are making a choice.

Depression is not like a broken leg. When your leg is broken, you can't walk on it. When you are depressed, even significantly, you still have choices about how to behave. Not taking antidepressants is a choice.

Your feelings can't be helped but your behaviour can. Depression is a feeling first and a set of behaviours second. You need to take responsibility for behaviours that impact negatively on others. You can do that while having a lot of compassion for yourself and what you have been through and continue to go through.

Try Acceptance and Commitment therapy, it explains this better than I can. I am honestly not trying to be mean in saying this. You can get better but you have to fight it, not just give in x

brettgirl2 Sun 24-Mar-13 19:17:41

By not getting treatment you are choosing to be depressed.

It's a bit like when dh never used to get a flu jab or bother to control his asthma. He'd keep me up all night coughing and then accuse me of being unsympathetic. I am a lot more sympathetic now he does everything he can.

The doctor might also be able to refer you for any as you say you have no coping mechanisms. Good luck!

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