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My lovely DB is depressed again... what can I do?

(2 Posts)
bangbangprettypretty Wed 16-Sep-15 21:15:17

My DB is 28 (I'm 32) and has struggled badly in the last year with depression.

He had an awful stretch from last September until March and could barely go to work or doing any of the things he liked. He has been seeing a therapist and made such good progress, ending his unhappy relationship, moving into a new place, and just seeming just like his old self.

It was so heartbreaking to see my lovely brother like a husk of himself this year, feeling hopeless and that he wasn't deserving of love.

He has spent lots of time with DH and I in the last year, just doing normal things, and said we really helped him. He has always been quite good at talking to me (he and I are the only ones in London, the rest of our family are elsewhere), and I do feel quite protective towards him.

He sent me an email this morning saying he can feel the depression rising again. My heart absolutely sank and I feel so desperately sorry for him. I know I can't make it better, but I just want to make it easier for him. Has anyone got any practical ideas?

Our DM struggled with depression when we were children and it made me feel really powerless, tearful and anxious as a child.

NanaNina Thu 17-Sep-15 01:10:47

Depression is an absolute torment - you sound a lovely sister and I'm sure what you do for your DB helps and supports him. It's so difficult because none of us knows what depression feels like for someone else - I know how mine makes me feel - empty, flat, bleak, no interest or motivation, someone else has taken over my mind, stolen my identity......

Is your DB on meds - and if so, has he maybe stopped taking them. I'm asking because I think a lot of people do this when they feel better, and then relapse. The other thing though is that depression does recur - it's the nature of the beast I'm afraid and it's two steps forward and one step back sometimes. Is he still having therapy?

I think you just need to let him know that you and DH will support him and maybe ask him what would help - you say he talks to you, can you phone him and have a chat if he's up to it. So much depends on how it takes us - I think many of us want to withdraw and I certainly don't want people seeing me (only DP) on my bad days. I don't want people making suggestions as to what to do - just want someone to know I'm feeling crap, and someone just accepting that.........

I wonder if your DB felt similar things to you as a child because of your mom's depression. I am so relieved that mine didn't begin until my kids were grown, but it can strike anyone of us at any time as I'm sure you know. SO how to help - emotionally, practically, but above all, just being there for him - to listen if he wants to talk, maybe gentle encouragement to go for a short walk. I'm really bad at this but it does help a little bit.

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