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Does depression make people say stuff that they don't mean?

(19 Posts)
NeilEdmund Fri 29-Aug-14 16:08:57

Can anyone with experience of severe depression tell me if the stuff that comes out of my partners mouth is necessarily what he thinks and feels?

He has just come out with some stuff that has really hurt me and I wanted to know if this is stuff he has always felt and bottled up, or if it might just be depression?

I don't want to act on the things he says and take them as being what he really feel if there's a chance he's not "of sound mind"?

rainbowinmyroom Fri 29-Aug-14 16:11:26

It's not a carte blanche to treat your partner like shit.

nethunsreject Fri 29-Aug-14 16:11:57

Hi, I have severe depression. It has never made me say hurtful stuff to dh, but I don't know if that is usual or not. I would imagine it's very much about the context

NeilEdmund Fri 29-Aug-14 16:13:07

He doesn't treat me like shit. Not at all.

He just says stuff that indicate his feelings for me are not as strong as he thought.

I am supporting him, caring for him and am 100% behind him but he is making me feel very unloved and I feel like if he doesn't love me then maybe I am a fool for staying

NeilEdmund Fri 29-Aug-14 16:17:07

The content.....

"I am sorry but I am not sure if I love you anymore like I did before".

Which was painful enough, but then he said things which made me feel like he still had feelings for his ex wife. Not something I have ever thought before (they had a dreadful divorce) but he said things that were a bit "nostalgic" and it really shook me up.

I am thinking of leaving but keep hanging on to the fact that before he was depressed he was really loved up, always showing / telling me how much he loved me and seemed at best indifferent to his ex wife who he has been separated from for nine years....

TheDeathOfRats Fri 29-Aug-14 16:32:07

It does make me more angry and irritable. My psychiatrist mentioned (when I was talking about having depression as a teen) that teens and men present differently. They tend to be more angry apparentlt. I don't know how true that is or why.

I did once say something horrible but I apologised and made sure I did my best so that my depression affected the family as little as possible. Is he going to CBT?

LastingLight Fri 29-Aug-14 17:56:46

Depression and/or the meds can blunt your emotions and yes, then you can feel that you don't love someone as much as you used to. It also makes you feel that you yourself are unloveable. Is your husband being treated for his depression? If he is, and he is making an effort to get better, then please hang in there. The man you knew is still there underneath the depression and with the right treatment he will emerge again.

JulyKit Fri 29-Aug-14 18:07:58

Depression makes people see things in the worst possible light. So yes, it can make people understand or perceive things very differently from how they would if they weren't depressed. And since boundaries and perceptions are likely to be distorted generally, people with depression may not understand that things they have said or done have hurt people how much, and why.
I think depression numbs sufferers to the feelings of other people.
So, yes, in a way, depression does make people say things that they 'don't mean', or that they would perceive or deal with or communicate very differently if they weren't sick with depression.
However, that doesn't mean that anything that's been said or done by a depressed person can be dismissed as meaningless or harmless, nor does it mean that that person's 'non-depressed' partner or family should have be 'strong' all the time, or make excuses for the 'depressed' person.
It's a rather strange situation when one half of a couple labels his or herself 'depressed'. Does it make the other partner 'non-depressed'? And in that case, what is that supposed to mean? That their feelings are less important? That they should tiptoe around the 'depressed' partner whilst ignoring their own needs and feelings?

NeilEdmund Fri 29-Aug-14 18:28:08

He is getting treatment but that's been ongoing six months and he's not miraculously better. Better a little, or a fair bit, but not "fine".

No one wants to go through this loyally for a year to hear someone is missing their ex wife though sad

And yes...I tiptoe around my own needs and feelings ALL THE TIME. I worry if I get angry he will kill himself. He has said he wants to.

To me he's the love of my life...my perfect partner. So worried that I am not the same to him!

sparkleintherain Sat 30-Aug-14 23:41:46

Try to get hold of 'Depression Fallout' by Anne Sheffield, It's helping me a lot at the minute coping with a depressed partner. You can download it for a few quid.

ShyPhilosopher Mon 01-Sep-14 18:38:58

Sometimes depression can make you view everything in your life more negatively. It can particularly make you feel like if the situation was different, maybe you'd be different. Additionally, it makes you feel as though you yourself are defective and unlovable.

I went through an awful phase of thinking I didn't care as much about my husband, not as much as he deserved anyway. I thought the kindest thing to do was let him be with someone else. He wasn't happier with someone else and I just felt more miserable without him.

Saying all that, you shouldn't stay with someone just because you are worried they would harm themselves otherwise. That is no way to live (I fell into that trap with a boyfriend in my teenage years - hideously stressful!) Stay only if you love them and believe they still love you too. Maybe even be completely frank with them, tell them you really want the relationship to work, but if they don't think they can love you again then it's fairest for everyone that you go your separate ways.

I really hope that whatever happens, you end up with someone who really appreciates you.

ComradePlexiglass Mon 01-Sep-14 19:36:10

So sorry to hear that you are having a tough time. It sounds very difficult and upsetting. My partner was depressed for some time and I was facing similar issues and dilemmas, including intermittently starting to wonder whether I should stay with him after particularly bad bouts and how far I could or should sacrifice my own needs and desires to his illness. I agree with the previous poster that the Anne Sheffield books are very good on this.

Would you consider psychotherapy if you can afford it or if there is Nhs/cheaper voluntary sector availability in your area? I think it is tremendously helpful for thinking through your feelings in a more deep and helpful way and this is so important when a partner is depressed and you are wondering what that means for your relationship.

I was a thorough sceptic about the likelihood of therapy being helpful until very recently. Unfortunately my partner recently had a very serious physical illness which has left him extremely disabled. I felt at rock bottom quite recently and have started therapy to try and come to terms with what is a pretty life changing and devastating change for him and for the whole family. To my surprise I am finding the therapy massively powerful and helpful. I wish I had considered it earlier for coping with other issues in my life, including my feelings about our relationship in the pre-disabled days. I think good therapy in your situation would be really worth a go.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do. I really hope things will get better for you.

Confused123123 Tue 02-Sep-14 11:47:47

Yes, I say things to my DP because I want reassurance. Eg. "Do you think we should split up?" When what I really mean is "I need to be reassured that you won't leave me because of this bastard depression". He reads it as me wanting to split up. I'm trying hard to say what I really mean.

Not sure about your particular situation though. I'd find those comments about an ex hard to deal with too x

ginge0407 Tue 28-Jul-15 16:30:07

I'm due to get married a week on Saturday to my fiancé who I love obviously, he's suffering with depression and has had surgery on his manhood which has now healed. We haven't had sex for 5 months in fact no intacmscy at all. He does kiss me and tells me I'm beautiful and is always cuddling me and holding my hand. I know he loves me but I'm scared it could be like this forever. I'm not saying sex is the be all and end all but it is important to me. Please can anyone advise? I want to continue supporting him it's just so hard at times.

ginge0407 Tue 28-Jul-15 16:31:44

I think sometimes ppl say things they don't meAn and often with ppl suffering with depression they can be very angry at times. I think though everyone is individual and no two sufferers are the same.

MrsWooster Tue 28-Jul-15 16:45:04

it can, yes..
as pp said, you feel unloveable and can wilfully use any trigger that you know will push people away. it isn't a carte blanche to treat anyone like shit but you are, quite literally, not in your right mind...
if it is any consolation, it is those nearest and dearest to the sufferer who get the attacks...

MrsMarigold Tue 28-Jul-15 16:54:40

I had terrible PND and I said some ghastly things to my DH, I even walked out and told him I wanted a divorce, luckily he stood by me and we are ok. Anti-depressants can really suppress the libido so it is hard to muster up energy and enthusiasm. However assessments need to made on a case by case basis and talking therapies can really help.

Fizrim Tue 28-Jul-15 16:55:17

I have found that depression can make people quite mean to others. Not sure if they really think or mean what they say, I see it more as trying to stop the other person being happy if that makes sense. When you feel bad, you may want everyone else to be the same way because you can't see any other way.

I feel your pain on the eggshells thing, it is exhausting second-guessing everything that comes out of your own mouth only to deal with this.

NotAJammyDodger Tue 28-Jul-15 22:36:32

Yes, I've definitely said things I didn't mean. Depression is complex. You can say horrible things, be horrible and behave badly. It's really tough and confusing for partners.

It is also possible to 'idealize' past relationships, make them into something they weren't, or wish things had turned out differently etc. this may not be the case with your partner and their ex, but getting hung-up on the past can also be just part of the depression. Unfortunately, it's really hard to tell what it going on sometimes.

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