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dh really needs help - please give advice

(24 Posts)
yetagain Fri 11-Feb-05 10:52:11

Copied this from other thread where I'd forgotten to put a subject. Sorry for confusion!)

(please excuse - changed my name for this one)
I'm really worried about my dh -please please give me some advice. Every 4 months or so he sinks into a sort of mini depression and he's doing it again now.
Symptoms - he tells me he feels life is meaningless, he sneaks off at work a few times a day to cry, he has started to smoke again, he gets withdrawn, snappy and drinks more, he has wierd nightmares and disturbed sleep. But after a week or 2 he seems to pull himself out of it and maybe in a month will tell me he feels happier than ever. Often these periods coincide with a stressful time at work or home but this time everything seems fine. (He's just been given a big pay rise and we are getting along well together I think.) He point blank refuses to go to a doctor because he is extremely anti medication and thinks they'll just palm him off with pills.

I feel like I've been kicked in the guts that this is happening again. I feel angry with him that he has a lovely family and a nice life but he can never find contentment with us. What the hell should I do?
Does he need medication? I probably agree with his fear of taking medication after all the scare stories at the moment but what else can he do. He does agree to take St John's Wort but says it makes no difference.

Should I tell him to pull himself together? (I know I shouldn't but that's what I feel like doing. I've got more to deal with than him. I'm facing redundancy from a job I love.)
Ignore? Try to get to the bottom of it? -he hates talking things like this through and it seems to make him feel worse and angry if I try.

I'm scared that one day we'll come home to find his body on the floor. I can't force him to a doctor and would it do any good if I did?

melsy Fri 11-Feb-05 10:53:28

Ive added a message to other title, I willpaste it into here for you.

melsy Fri 11-Feb-05 10:53:56

Hi yetagain , I totally undertsand his down times and its good for me to see how it is viewed from those around you , as I have suffered depression/anxiety in waves thorughout my life. My dh also get angry and just cant undertsand it when we have : lovely dd, nice house etc.

I think from his POV , he is right to be concerned about medication ,as I feel they can mask problems, BUT the have there place in situations were sufferers are finding it hard to pull out of deep dark depression and related problems. Its possible that St johns wort is just not the right remedy for your dh's type of condiditon : everyone suffers in a unique way and homeptahic remedys are designed for a persons type not there condition IYKWIM. I have quite active depression , meaning Im still able to go out and do things and get dressed and groom etc , but I have internal anxietys that I can mask well. A suggested route would be a homeopath for the right remedy to give him a boost and some form of pshcychotherapy or counselling to help get to the reason for the depression. Sounds like a good suggestion for me to!

yetagain Fri 11-Feb-05 11:02:11

thank you melsy - the homeopathy is a really good idea. It maybe he is prepared to talk to a homeopathasist without thinking of it as a doctor and interesting what you say about different sorts of depression Dh sounds like you describe yourself. He gets up, goes to work and externally looks as if he's coping fine but inside he is a mass of anxieties. Good to know he's not the only one like this. Or not good I suppose!

melsy Fri 11-Feb-05 11:02:22

Just read the other comments about him not wnating to talk. I think its so much harder for a man to won up to these things. Socially they are meant to be much more solid and strong ,but hey they are just social/gender stereotypes. I understand that he would probably be quite nervous telling his Gp of these feelings . I would like to think that a gp is neutral and would not judge; I hope. Would he prefer if you were with him may be ?? As Evesmum said on other thread , he is able to talk with you about it as you know what he does at work.

yetagain Fri 11-Feb-05 11:12:12

Melsy, I suggested that I go with him to a doc or go to the surgery and wait outside if he prefers but he said no way - not in a million years. He had friends on ADs and he says it turns them into zombies. I think the Ads helped the friends get over a difficult patch but it almost feels he wants to be depressed.
And no, he wont talk to his friends. I've suggested that too.

Sorry to be so negative about everything myself. I really feel like I've hit a brick wall on this one.

BeenThereAsWell Fri 11-Feb-05 11:13:31

Hi YetAgain, I didn't see your original thread, but I just wanted to offer you my heartfelt sympathy. This sounds very like my own recent home life. I relate very strongly to the wanting to tell him to pull himself together especially! And the anger that they keep it together at work and collapse emotionally all over their family at weekends.
I agree with Melsy that while ADs can mask symptoms, they can also help make life bearable while a depressed person is getting counselling or some other sort of constructive help.
My dh was behaving in a similar fashion before Christmas and I was in despair. Eventually I nagged him into seeing the GP and we are lucky with ours because he has experience of this problem himself and understands about reluctance to take ADs etc. Dh is on a low dose prescription now and it has honestly helped him enormously. It had not made him feel his problems have gone away, neither of us want that, but it has made them manageable to start thinking about them.
He too would not talk things through with me, possibly because he could sense my seething impatience and resentment mixed in with my real concern and love for him.
What finally convinced my dh to heed my nagging and see a doctor, was my insistence that his down patches were having a negative effect on his children and on his marriage. We had ups and downs and I pointed out that each time he "felt better than ever", he soon felt down again, so it wasn't going to go away on its own.
I had wonderful off-board support from a fab Mumsnetter who knows about these things. I didn't go public on my problems (I'm a regular here) because wrongly I felt so ashamed and humiliated that everything I did for dh and our family unit was still not good or rewarding enough for him. I still can't post under my real name either, sorry, but I wanted you to know that one in four people in this country experience mental health problems at some point in their lives which adds up to God knows how many partners shouldering a burden. You are not alone, please understand that. And you need that trip to the GP as much as your dh does. Get him to do it for you.

Enid Fri 11-Feb-05 11:13:49

does he have extreme mood swings - the 'happier than ever' part I am referring to?

yetagain Fri 11-Feb-05 11:23:28

Oh beenthereaswell -your post has me in tears. I really feel like I've been riding this rollercoaster with dh on my own and it is such a relief to hear other people understand what it's like. You are right it is affecting our family and I resent that he wont do anything about it because of that. I might pluck up courage and ask him to read your post. (I'll have to get past the how dare you discuss my problems with complete strangers argument first though)

Enid -his feeling good phases are not manic as in manic depression. They are more just back to his 'normal' self but there are mood swings all in a downwards direction IYKWIM

BeenThereAsWell Fri 11-Feb-05 11:25:59

I may not be a complete stranger, YetAgain
You could always say a friend e-mailed it to you. Lots of love.

yetagain Fri 11-Feb-05 11:32:01

thanks all who've posted. I must go and be a mum for a bit now!

yetagain Sat 12-Feb-05 21:57:39

Am bumping this because I'm fuming with dh. He is a **ing sh*t. I can forgive him being a sh*t to me, but tonight he treated ds1 really badly. Screamed at him like a maniac because ds1 was arguing back. It is just not acceptable to behave like that to a child. I am so angry that if he walked out the door now I would be pleased.
i know it's to do with this bloody depression business but he is still point blank refusing to see anyone, or even talk to me about it. We can't go on like this but I have no idea how to move from this point if he wants to be depressed. What do I do????????

unicorn Sat 12-Feb-05 22:15:20

yetagain,

men often find it really difficult to talk in a face to face environment (ie with gp)..
but how about finding him a website forum where he can 'offload'..

It sounds like he is having major issues, is there someone other than you that could talk to him?

I know 'where you are coming from' to a degree, as dh has big problems in opening up.

It is very difficult to help someone, unless they want to help themselves.

yetagain Sat 12-Feb-05 22:28:02

thanks uni, website's a good idea but am too angry at the moment to suggest anything rational like that to him!!

unicorn Sat 12-Feb-05 22:32:03

a possible

Don't know if that works, but it may be of interest.

I understand how mad you are - believe me - so there's no point attempting to talk, but howabout
just leaving the forum open for him to look at sometime?

HunkerMunker Sat 12-Feb-05 22:33:33

Could you email it to him? I know it's impersonal, but you could spend a while composing it and he's very unlikely to delete something without reading it.

Hugs, hun. xxx

charleepeters Sat 12-Feb-05 22:36:34

yes i think it would be a big help to see a doc and anti epressants arnet that bad my whole family have suffered from depression at one time or another and we have all taken prozac. it does help you have to explain to you husband that its making you unhappy aswell as himself and sipmly him taking 1 pill a day will help both of you depression is a chemical imbalence in the brain i know when the doc first gave me pills i thought everyone would think i was mental or crazy but its not the case, he ccan also take passion flower tablets as there ment to work quite well. hope you get it sorted

unicorn Sat 12-Feb-05 22:39:07

also, there is a book coming out here in a couple of weeks (been out in us for a while)called

' The Irritable Male Syndrome - Jed Diamond'.

check the papers/radio around 21 Feb.. I'm sure you'll be hearing more.

in the mean time have a look at this

(if that doesn't work it's menalive.com)

yetagain Sat 12-Feb-05 22:44:25

thank you everyone -especially for the website unicorn. I will definitley point him to it. This morning i forced him to talk a bit about it. Basically I told him how worried I was and said I was scared that he would do something to himself. I asked if that was a realistic fear and he just said he didn't know. With a bit more prodding he said he wasn't feeling suicidal at the moment. I made him promise that if he felt any worse he would agree to go to a GP and he eventually agreed but then told me he was only saying it to shut me up so 1 step forward 2 steps back ...

unicorn Sat 12-Feb-05 22:55:01

another one

This is a parentline report which may 'legitimise' his feelings .. <ie he is not alone>

What he is going through does sounds worrying (and it must be awful for you) but he really needs some help... (and you need lots of support)

I'm interested in male depression as I don't think it is a topic taken very seriously- largely because the men don't.

Feel free to cat me if I can help at all (I'm not a health professional - but am researching this issue at the moment)

yetagain Sat 12-Feb-05 23:09:01

thank you everyone. You have been more helpful than I can say. I'm going to face the music now (dh sulking downstairs). Wish me luck and goodnight all.

HunkerMunker Sun 13-Feb-05 23:43:15

How are you, yetagain?

potqueen Tue 15-Feb-05 03:35:23

Dear yetagain

Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. Your dh does sound like he is suffering from depression. Would it help if he knew how common it is, and nothing to be ashamed of. AI think many men still feel there is a terrible stigma to admittiing anything like this. Also he should know it is an illness that takes many forms-makes some people very sad and withdrawn, others very anxious, others very irritable, and unable to cope with the slightest things, even all mixed together Stress causes depression and panic attacks- my dh struggled with these for years and tried all sorts of relaxation type therapies before admitting they were not working and going to see GP. He took Seroxat, a drug similar to Prozac. I have taken it off and on too, more on than off, since dd born 8 years ago. IF HE DOES TAKE MEDICATION PLEASE TAKE ANY THING YOU READ ABOUT THESE DRUGS IN NATIONAL PRESS WITH A LARGE PINCH OF SALT. THE PROPER NAME FOR THEM IS SCARE STORIES. The drugs do have side effects which can be a bit unpleasant, but these wear off, it's true they can be addictive in the sense that you have to stop taking them slowly by reducing the dose. BUT THEY WORK. kept me out of psychiatric hospital with newborn baby. Your dh sounds as if he is ill and you need support to deal with that. if he won't see his gp, maybe you should see yours. Also there is a group called Depression Alliance who may be able to help you- I think if you put their name inot the Internet it is fairly easy to find. One last thought- how old are your children. it is recognised that some men suffer PND? has he always been like this or just since arrival of children.
I hope this middle of the night ramble is useful. If you want more info on the illness or the medication, CAT me. And know that all your feelings of frustration, anger, sadness whatever you feel are the normal response of someone living with someone who is depressed-

Cant think of anythng elase except here is a very big hug.

bluecar Fri 18-Feb-05 23:04:03

It's taken me a long time to post on here about this. Like others I'm a regular who has changed my name.

DP has had depression for a long time and has tried to help him self for most of it. In October he was prescribed AD's and due to the side effects took time off work. He has not been back since and is now on a double dose. The side effects are worse now (predictably).

He is now opening up to me a lot more but he seems to be worse than ever. He's told me he has been close to self-harming but said he'd call an ambulance if he felt worse. He tried to speak to his GP today who is on holiday.

I don't know what to do. We have 2 children who are nearly 3 and 7 months. I'm on maternity leave but due to resign at the end of it. he can be off work for a while as we have savings but he is my main concern.

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