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Dh depressed(6 Posts)
My husband is depressed. He has suffered from depression on and off for many years but has been largely ok for the last few years (we got married 2 years ago and only met just over 3 and a bit years ago) so I haven't really felt the full force of his depression just every now and again) We have a 14 month old son. Anyway, he's been massively stressed at work, money is extremely tight, I have just started a temporary full time work contract (just back to work since birth of ds) so I'm still settling into that but it's not very well paid so dh isn't massively positive about it.
Anyway, part of his depression is paranoia, he thinks he's stupid and everyone thinks he's weird and doesn't like him (not true) I have suffered from depression and understand how irrational thoughts can be and how inward and selfish it can be so I am trying my hardest to be supportive and unconditionally loving (which is very trying as he is being pretty horrible to me)
So here's my question how do I support him when he refuses to listen to what i say. When I challenge his negative thoughts he sees that as being totally unsupportive but I refuse to facilitate his irrationality. For example, after a visit with friends he says "everyone was really awkward with me", I say "no they weren't. You haven't to challenge that thought.", he says "if you can't even accept that that's true then you just don't get it". I am so frustrated, he won't go back to Councilling, won't go to doctor, won't talk to me about it and is basically being a massive pain in the arse (my apologies if that seems uncaring) I know he can only help himself but how can I gently guide him towards that? I am at a loss.....
Ooh I can see both sides of this...........I suffer from intermittent depression which can be severe at times. I think the thing is when people tell us to do something when we are depressed e.g. "think positively" "challenge your thoughts" we do think they just don't get it, because we feel so bloody helpless and worthless and for me I think "Christ don't they think I'd do that if I could - do they think I enjoy feeling so crap.........." so maybe your DH is thinking along those lines too.
You don't have to "facilitate his irrationality" you have to believe that his feelings are real - just as yours are - all our feelings are real - our thoughts might not be, but our feelings are. Given you have suffered from depression you will have some idea of the torment of depression.
It seems like the work stress and financial stress has triggered another episode. I think he should definitely see the GP though as he might need meds. You say he has suffered for many years, has he taken ADs in the past and if so were they effective.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say he is being "pretty horrible to you" - depression can make us frustrated, irritable and sometimes angry but he shouldn't be treating you badly, especially as you are trying to support him. Maybe try to get him to open up a little rather than trying to make him listen - you might get a better idea of what he is experiencing.
Sometimes you just have to be there. Rather than offering advise just be a sympathetic sounding board.
Thanks for the replies....I know his low ebb can make him angry and lash out at me as I'm the closest person to him but it's still difficult to remain stoic in the face of him ignoring me, blaming me for how he feels,blaming me for not supporting him, which I'm trying to do, making nasty and sarcastic comments. We've had a horrible day, dh completely flipped out this evening and violently slammed a door which really upset our son. I desperately want to help and understand him but I feel like I need to protect my son from this negative atmosphere too. He was getting Councilling previously and was also on anti depressants when I met him but went off them soon after. He refuses to go back to his councillor (who he trusted and built up a great relAtionship with) as he says we can't afford it (we can't but I'd prefer to be in debt if it would help his mental health) and he refuses to go to the doctor. He says I'm not supporting him but I'm trying my best! I can't fix him and I also feel like our relationship is part of the problem. I feel like today was a turning point though as his mood and violent outburst really affected our son. I know I was incredibly difficult to be around when I was in my darkest hour so I'm trying to be empathetic but it's so difficult :-(
Depression is terrible as you know, but your DH does not have to behave like this - he is being abusive and you are right to be concerned about the effect of this on you and your little boy. I think you need to do some straight talking (are you assertive?) and tell him that you can't tolerate him emotionally abusing you like this and that it is harmful to the baby.
Is there anywhere you can go for some time out, to stay with your parents, or friends. Or is there anywhere he can go to give you both some space. Do you think today's worse as he's dreading going to work tomorrow. It still isn't ok to act like this towards you and I think you know that, as you say today was a turning point.
So sorry can't be more helpful. Have you got any RL support?
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