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Husband's depression(25 Posts)
My husband has suffered from anxiety and depression for the last few years but, apart from the odd bad spell, it has been reasonably well managed.
Just over a week ago he walked out on me and our children and said he needed some space to get his head together. He said he is emotionally dead and he doesn't feel like a real person. He is staying with family and comes to see the children every day but has told me that, although he loves and cares for me more than anything, he doesn't know whether we have a future together. He wouldn't admit this was anything to do with depression - despite the fact that he changed his medication around 4 weeks ago and the side effects are known to be that the symptoms get worse before better.
Last night I had some messages from him that he was so sad and doesn't know what to do. I again asked him to go back to his doctor and try to get counselling (which he has always refused) but he did agree. The thing is, I don't really know where to go from here. He will probably change his mind but I don't know where to start with trying to get him some counselling. He once had CBT but didn't find it helpful and didn't really open up. I've heard that it takes months for a referral to the IAPT team. I'm also not sure whether the medication is actually working, whether the dose is ok or whether he just needs to wait longer. Can we ask for a referral from the GP to a specialist? A psychiatrist or something? I don't know what to do next.
It's so difficult. I feel for you. Not a HCP but from experience.
If you can, accompany him to the doctor, as a friend. You'll be able to tell the doctor far more than he will.
If he's suicidal or self harming or in the ideation of it (sorry, but he will be asked) they will prob put forward for immediate action as well as medication. Otherwise it will / may take longer to get support. That might be in individual therapy, of which CBT is useful up to a point, or group therapy. You are usually allowed a certain length of time, eg 6-12 sessions, after which you would need to be re referred.
Is he signed off?
The depression will be making him doubt all relationships. Hold on, if you can, for a bit.
But also check this isn't being used as an excuse for a muddle he's got himself into, eg another relationship. Sorry again, but keep your wits about you.
Thank you so much for your reply. He wasn't signed off from the CBT, he just stopped going because he said it wasn't helping but, like I said, he wouldn't tell them anything about his childhood or anything else that he holds inside. He also didn't do the exercises that they set him.
He said again today that he will go to the GP, I think the medication needs looking at because I would have thought that he would feel some benefit after taking it for 5 weeks and he says he feels no better at all.
I'm sure he's not in another relationship but the thought did cross my mind too. I am so upset at the moment as I have lost my husband and I am so confused as to what is going on in his head - but he is too so unless he is willing to help himself, there's nothing I can do.
If he feels no better at all after six weeks, go back. It often takes at least three weeks to settle down, but it should begin after that. It might need to be increased or changed.
Thank you. He said again that he will go although hasn't made an appointment yet. I will ask him again tomorrow but he is getting defensive and saying that I shouldn't be worrying about him, I need to worry about looking after myself. Hopefully he will go - I have thought about this a lot and he had a horrible childhood that had already caused him some issues but we lost a very close friend suddenly last year and I think this has been another trigger and has maybe started this decline. I will do my best to get him to go but at the end of the day he needs to do this for himself.
I know he does, but he may not be able to make that call. My Dh couldn't. I had to, for him.
Even though you are not together, think about saying to him, if I were a friend, I'd make that appointment for you, because it's a hard thing to do. So I'm going to do it, and take you there. You don't have to talk to me, I'm just the taxi driver.
It's taken a long time before DH can do it. He can, now.
I can relate to the emotionally dead thing. It's horrible (I'm in it now) it literally feels like I am already dead, and there is a level of detachment between myself and those I love. I can't feel love at present though. This is a warning sign to me/MH team that things are bad depression wise. I only know that now after having a really awful period last year. The fact that your husband has taken himself out of the family home, and is pessimistic about your relationship, says he's so sad he doesn't know what to do is massive red warning signs to me. There is a lot to be said about doing things for yourself but then there can come a point when you're past that...I'd be concerned about whether he has the ability to get help himself. All I know is when I'm in that detached state I don't ask for help. I would have a very serious conversation with him about thoughts of harming himself, and make him an appt with GP and go with him. There are lots of reasons as to why he'd feel the need to remove himself from the family home but given his mental state I'd be concerned.
op both my parents have depression. They split up decades ago and their depression shrouded each house hold.
My mother was very ill with it (and other MH) and was hospitalised multiple times but my dads is just a steady rumble of discontent with life.
He walked out on his lovely wife and job about six months ago - how he kept them both I don't know. He wasn't taking his medication or even seeing the GP over his heart issues. He just walked out basically saying the same as your Dh - empted the bank (with holiday savings in) and got bladdered and turned up at my grandmothers and sat there like a lost child. I could have strangled him. He is now back on medication and a bit more up beat afyer my SM dragged him back to the GP But he is still very self obsessed. Everything is always about how he is feeling.
Depression is a very selfish illness. It robs families of a person they used to have.
Depression fall out is a very good book for dealing with some one with depression in your family.
I really wish my step mother would leave my dad. I have very low tolerance with people with MH who will not seek help as my whole child hood as my db was blighted my two parents who apparently had it.
I've suffered from depression all my life. I have felt like l don't exist/a non person, and have suffered from the terrible despair of the illness.
At no point has it ever made me want to leave a marriage or relationship. Is it possible that he just wants to go, and is using the depression as an excuse?
I don't think it's an excuse as he is the one saying he doesn't think it's related. When I raise it he says it's possibly contributing but I should hold onto it. I know him so well and he is a different person at the moment. He even sounds different, I know that's an odd thing to say but his voice sounds 'down'.
He plays with the children and hugs them but he even seems distant with them. I think I'll give it until after the weekend and then I will make an appointment for him. I offered to go with him so I'll see if he wants me to.
Thank you so much for telling me about your experiences, it really helps to see it from both sides and to know that this has happened to others. I am so low at the moment - I had a good day today but I am having an awful night and feel like I can't breathe properly. I hope he can pull himself out of this.
Op, sounds as though you are having a panic attack if you can't breathe, horrid, frightening, body reaction to the stress you are under.
Slow deep breathing. Try counting to three on each breath you draw in and out.
When you have got that mostly under control, occupy your mind with SILLY lists, nothing to do with the present. Books you have enjoyed, ditto films. Names beginning with A and M.
Then make yourself a hot cup of tea with a dash of sugar.
And sleep well. Don't forget, if you can't, there's always the night owls thread and Mnrs in NZ and Oz will be awake. If it's not cloudy, go outside and see if you can see the Perseids.
Think about letting your Dds lie outside on a rug to see them tomorrow night, if you have access to a garden, supposed to be a mega display then if fine. One of my childhood memories, watching shooting stars at this time of year. Would be so exciting for them
I really feel for you, OP. I'm in a similar situation & it's just shit.
My DP is signed off work & started medication plus CBT. He is so bloody disengaged, snappy, critical & difficult to be around. I'm left working, doing the majority of the household shit & looking after DC. It's a really selfish illness, as others have said up thread.
I suppose all you can do is get him to a Dr & be prepared for all eventualities. Perhaps a professional opinion will be one he listens to. What are your in-laws/family saying?
Take it a day at a time, but don't forget you matter too.
Thank you so much for the support. I do think I have had panic attacks which I have never had before. I am really struggling this morning and don't seem to be able to sit still o catch my breath. It's so pathetic but it's just the shock, the sadness and the loneliness. I just don't know why to do for the best.
It's so nice to hear from you on here, it makes me feel less alone and relieved that it's not just me that this has effected.
Keep that breathing under control. Try singing, wonderful stuff. And cups of tea. And fresh air.
Hi op. I feel for you. Very difficult situation for you. I just wanted to share that from past experiences of my own polar ups and downs I know I have started doubting my feelings towards my partner and later realised that that wasn't at all me but the anxiety/depression. If you feel like he does love you, trust that this is the depression speaking, not him. CBT didn't work for me either. I think it's more appropriate for changing ones behaviour than how you actually feel. Therapy is MUCH more useful.
Sending to you OP. Is there anyone in RL you can speak to? You must look after your own mental health too. Don't try and cope alone.
It's not pathetic- you've had your world turned upside down and you are obviously deeply worried.
I get panic attacks too- I find it helps to remind myself that this is what it is, and nothing had is going to happen and not get too worried if I look like a woman in labour . Yoga helps too, if you can get to a class.
Thank you all. I have my family and one close friend to talk to. I don't let on to my family how bad this has made me feel but I do tell my friend. I'm not really coping that well at the moment. I just feel so lonely and unwanted. I am getting better because it's now usually only evenings and nights that I feel like this now but it stops me from sleeping. Thanks again for all your help.
Well done, keep up the good work.
Is there something you can find calming to do? I find ten minutes doing boring crochet, or reading history * even if I have to read the sane para over and over again, or reciting a meditative mantra helpful.
* in fact, I even have a selection of unexciting books I read when on the verge of panic. They lull me into boredom then sleep...
Will think if you.
Thank you so much for all your kind words. I am really trying but have had a bad day today. It was the first time I have had to attend a family function since he left me two weeks ago and I feel broken. The children are in bed and I can't stop crying. He was here when I got back and he kept asking if I was ok because I obviously looked upset. Eventually I got tearful and he then gets stressed because he can't stand to see me upset.
I feel like I need to pretend to be perfectly fine and happy around him so that he can get better but I am so down and upset that I find it hard.
Sorry to come on here with another low mood, I'm trying to pretend to everyone in RL that I am doing well but sometimes I just break down.
I'm a CBT therapist and I think that sometimes in some cases of depression counselling is a better place to start - learning to articulate things in a none judgemental arena and perhaps then having a further referral for CBT later which can, in a more structured way, help a person recognise some of the unhealthy thoughts, beliefs and behaviours maintaining their emotional state. However, you're sadly right about the IAPT wait list which can, in some areas, be many months for CBT and counselling. However, it might be worth you getting in touch with your local branch of Mind. I used to work within one and they had some really excellent low cost counsellors and often ran groups, for example teaching Mindfulness. This might be worth looking into while waiting for IAPT. With IAPT the usual is for the GP to refer but your Dh should also be able to self refer via your local iapt' website, he'd then have a phone assessment where he can express a wish for counselling (it's ultimately his decision, not theirs). I hope he'll talk again to his GP to see if there needs to be an adjustment to his meds. I'm not medically qualified but from what I've seen it takes quite a few weeks to work out if the AD prescribed is the right one. Look after yourself
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