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DH has been depressed for at least 6 years - help!

(7 Posts)
LAK11 Thu 20-Nov-14 22:07:10

DH has suffered from bouts of depression for at least 6 years. He has habitually spent October to April or even May on the sofa doing fuck all. During this time both sets of parents have died which has not helped. This year he was down and lethargic until end of June and then (as previously) he turned into the Duracell bunny and expected me to keep up - think getting up at 3am, leaving me with a weeks worth of work to do, crashing out for a nap by 10 am and repeat..... We run 2 businesses together. During the 'fallow' periods I manage to keep it ticking over. During the summer I struggle to fit in all of the usual domestic/child jobs and work. He has crashed again and is going to see his doctor tomorrow. Tonight he has asked me to do some research on what meds he should ask for as his doctor 'will give him anything he wants' WTF do I do? I have no idea. Any positive/negative experiences that you can give. BTW depression is not caused by any financial worries. We had issues with a previous neighbour that took us to the brink but we moved in 2006 but he seems worse now than ever. He also has high blood pressure... smokes and drinks....

meandjulio Thu 20-Nov-14 22:14:20

'Tonight he has asked me to do some research on what meds he should ask for'

NO.

Medication is between him and his doctor, and if his doctor isn't sure, he should be referred to a consultant psychiatrist. His health is HIS responsibility, you are his WIFE not his medical support person. If you need to do some of the carer role, maybe you do, but again definitely not researching medication FGS. You are allowed to say 'no I'm not able/willing to do that' just as he should be able to say 'I'm currently too ill to do X'.

Is the business able to pay him sickness pay, has he applied for ESA? How does that work?

Having said that, you could consider going with him to the doctor's appointment, particularly with a view to explaining truthfully how many depressant chemicals (alcohol) he is self-medicating with. Nicotine is a bit more complicated since it does appear to have an antidepressant effect, but unfortunately also kills you; especially when mixed with alcohol. Again, his responsbility, but helpful if the doctor knows how much he is taking before prescribing e.g. medication that won't mix with that.

DH has had severe and enduring mental illness since long before I met him. Things that help: a GP he trusts, a psychiatrist who will see him when he asks, me attending some (not all by a long chalk) appointments; me knowing the contact details for e.g. the crisis team and talking to him about what constitutes a crisis; me having a list of the medication he takes so that I can ensure that medical teams treating him know what he has.

LAK11 Thu 20-Nov-14 22:40:48

Thank you meandjulio. i am sorry to hear about your DH. No need for any payouts from the business as he owns them so no problems financially. I agree with you that i should not be involved in suggesting medications. He is just so very helpless, like a child (but worse). I try to be supportive but he is so negative and it is hard for me to carry the rest of the family. He has a doctor that he trusts. i will speak to him about the other things you mentioned re crisis team etc. Many thanks.

meandjulio Thu 20-Nov-14 22:43:55

I ask dh sometimes what helps - he is good at coming up with things, and your dh may become so once he's less depressed. The simplest thing (and sometimes the hardest) was 'say something positive'. I go for 'you sound really down....... even though it won't always be like this and you will feel better'.

Exercise really, really helps. If there is a seasonal element (it sounds like there is) then even a few minutes' fresh air could make a difference. I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but if you like to get out yourself, try to push him a bit into coming with you, even if he can only manage round the block or the end of the street.

meandjulio Thu 20-Nov-14 22:48:20

Rethink Caring for Yourself guide

I post Rethink stuff because they're not as well known as Mind and they seem to me to have more of a carers' viewpoint.

I find a lot of care organisations have rather a limited view of life... they say things like 'a break can really help even if it's just an hour a week' - well, yes, but fuck that frankly!

LAK11 Thu 20-Nov-14 22:48:56

God exercise - he joined the gym (over a year ago) has been for a few swims and a sauna and that is it. We tried to go together to do machines. I tried to get him to pilates as he has a back problem and pilates would be good for him, but cant get off the sofa in winter and summer is supercharged duracell bunny. sounds really negative, but i keep trying and trying and he blocks everything. I need a plan to trick him into doing stuff.

meandjulio Fri 21-Nov-14 05:12:02

'I need a plan to trick him into doing stuff.'

Do your own exercise, look after yourself; keep asking him along, take the kids, but again it isn't your responsibility to MAKE him exercise. I'd say always outside if you can, are you living somewhere you can get to outside space?

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