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DH depressed again, angry about everything, and desperate to lose weight

(33 Posts)
clumsymum Tue 12-Aug-08 17:25:11

He was on fluoxetine from last Sept until April. Stopped it, and by mid-May was becoming discontented at work (this is always how it starts), which spilled over to life at home etc etc. This has just built to more and more in the last three months.

He said he wanted to try without tablets, and I've tried to help him, but it's no good, he's got lower and lower (no support from Dr, but then he hasn't sought any), and put back the weight he had managed to lose before. This depresses him more. I've tried to persuade him to take more exercise, to help the depression as much as the weight, but he won't/can't work up the enthusiasm.

He has finally agreed to go back to Dr, appt for Thursday, and I assume (actually hope) that he'll prescribe prozac for him again. But knowing that It'll take some weeks to start to take effect, Can anyone give me/him any hints to try to dissipate the anger, and lose the weight ?

mumblecrumble Tue 12-Aug-08 19:30:09

People keep telling me that exerciseis good for both? I'm heavy and so cross at the moment [ bought of depression] and finding a good walk/run makes me feel better. Though hard to get motivated to do it!

He sounds similar to me. Sounds like you
're patient and loving like my DH is - you poor things! I appreciate his patience and his compliments (even though a chastise him for saying stuff about my body].

Sounds like the pills might help. Does he feel weak for taking them? I do and its been suggested I stop breast feeding but man sometimes they work so well its worth it.

clumsymum Wed 13-Aug-08 10:26:30

Oh bum.

He got so het up at work yesterday he actually broke the phone on his desk (slammed it down hard after a conv. with a colleague).

Says he wanted to hit someone, but didn't, thank God, spent lunchtime walking in the local park, even tho it was chucking down, and got thru the afternoon.

I've tried to get him to take a couple of days off sick, but he won't. Says that just shows he can't cope. of course he can cope (yeah, right).

Fortunately he's off for 3 days next week, we're taking ds to London (I'm kind of dreading it, tbh).

Just hoping he can keep his job for the rest of this week.

Miaou Wed 13-Aug-08 10:38:01

clumsymum - heartfelt sympathy - dh is like this. I totally understand why he wants to come off ADs, but each time has been a gradual descent (which he can't seem to see) until he is at rock bottom. And like your dh, he gets angry, and I'm the recipient of it! (never physical though).

Fortunately atm dh is of the opinion that Ads are necessary to keep him on an even keel, but I am sure there will come a point when he feels he wants to come off them again. Though I understand why I will support him through it but dread it happening because of what might happen if he doesn't manage without them.

Sorry, I have no advice to offer at all. At least he recognises it's an issue, at lest he has an appointment with the gp. Re dissipating the anger, I have never found anything that works - mainly because when dh is like that he doesn't want to listen to me anyway!

All I can suggest is to give him as much space as possible. Dh reads in the bedroom a lot - means I do all the childcare etc, but it gives him a much-needed break from himself as well as us.

I'll try and think if there is anything else.

Miaou Wed 13-Aug-08 10:42:55

How did he find the fluoxetine, did it give him unpleasant side effects? Or did he just want to come off it because he didn't want to be on ADs? (which would be understandable).

dh started on fluoxetine but it didn't agree with him and he moved onto citalopram which suits him better, but different meds suit different people.

RE the weight thing - dh is overweight too (always has been, but exacerbated by two years on steroids, which in turn triggered the depression hmm) - he has cut down on cheese, drinks wine instead of beer (and drinks less generally), and tries to make sure he always eats breakfast, which seems to help.

clumsymum Wed 13-Aug-08 11:29:56

Thanks Miaou, I guess I just need someone to talk to.

No, he manages pretty well on Fluoxetine, maybe doesn't sleep quite as well as he might, but otherwise he's good on it. He just feels by taking meds he isn't being 'him'. I try to tell him that they return him to being the 'him' I married, not the sad, miserable, angry person he is now.
Dr said to him last time that he would be happy to use insulin long term if he was diabetic, well assuming his recurrant depression is due to chemical imbalance (which we think it is), then long-term ADs is just the same thing.

I'm cross with myself, because I tried to get him back to the Dr about 2 weeks ago, but wasn't persistent enough. If I'd been stronger, he wouldn't have got quite this low.

Miaou Wed 13-Aug-08 11:45:00

That's exactly how dh and I view taking ADs clumsymum, but I have to be honest and say it's taken a long time to get to this point (via a couple of crises and a separation of sorts).

Dh describes it as going from seeing the world in black and white to seeing it in colour. It's the same world, and you get dealt the same shit, but somehow it's slightly easier to deal with.

His turning point was when Monty Don (of all people) talked on the TV about how he suffers from depression and took ads to help. I never saw the programme but it was a bit of an epiphany for dh I think - I guess he was in the right frame of mind to be receptive to it though, and there isn't much you can do to influence that.

I think a lot of men feel depression is emasculating, which is hard for you as the dw to counteract. Have a read of this article in the telegraph, you might find it helpful (and so might your dh).

And please, please don't beat yourself up about not getting him to the doctor previously smile

clumsymum Wed 13-Aug-08 11:54:31

Yes, I hadc read about Monty Don, and we have discussed him before now. He says he knows he's on the way down when he can't be bothered to shave. DH can't see it, but his first sign is when all his colleagues begin to appear utterly incompetent, and he's the only one in the company capable of achieving anything work-wise (except he can't because they all interfere all the time). He's changed jobs twice in the past as a direct result of his depression.
He loved his current job until May, whern it all started to turn black again. Thing is, this is a good job, in a great company (I know them too, have done some work with them, and the benefits are tremendous), so I'm desperate that we get him thru this and he stays put this time.

And yes, he does feel emasculated by this.

Miaou Wed 13-Aug-08 16:22:56

clumsymum, it's hard (particularly when you feel so powerless), I do understand. CAT me if you want to talk off-board smile

clumsymum Wed 13-Aug-08 17:25:23

Thanks Miaou, I appreciate that.

I'm crossing my fingers for the Dr's appointment tomorrow. Did you ever go with your DH? I'm wondering whether to ask dh if I can go with him, altho I think he'll say no.

Miaou Wed 13-Aug-08 19:26:01

No I didn't clumsymum - tbh he is the kind of person that will never be influenced by anyone else, so nothing I say or do would make him do something he wasn't prepared to do for himself wink. He is also quite good at talking about his feelings. I think he found the first visit a hard one to make but it was made a little easier by the fact that the GP was a friend who already knew he was depressed, just not ready to acknowledge it.

Depending on what sort of person he is,your dh may appreciate the offer to go with him, even if he turns it down.

clumsymum Wed 13-Aug-08 22:50:05

Yep I've offered, but as predicted, it was refused.

" He is also quite good at talking about his feelings"
Oh my dh isnt, but that's part of his upbringing. No one in his family talked about feelings, or anything that really matters.

he's been relatively OK tonight, but finds DS's loud zest for life rather wearing.

Weegiemum Thu 14-Aug-08 02:41:21

Poor you, and him.

I can't really help, but my dh is also depressed. He keeps talking about coming off the tablets and then something will happen that makes him really down and so he stays on. He is hoping to go for counselling again as it really helped last year. He's a GP, and has a special interest in Psychiatry, but when it comes to his own mental health he can be a bit stooopid sometimes.

I'm also writing this from the perspective of someone who has had severe (hospital treated) depression. It is so hard to motivate yourself. I have been of tablets for 3 years now and still have about 6 stone to lose, weight wise! (comfort eater!)

So I suppose I am saying I have no real ideas but I am here to chat if you want - cos it is hard.

Weegiemum Thu 14-Aug-08 02:43:57

My dh is on Efexxor, as Prozac stopped working. Just something to consider when he is talking to the doctor.

Miaou Thu 14-Aug-08 13:22:31

Clumsymum, I think that's an added burden for many men (not talking about feelings). When I first met dh he was having counselling (trying to deal with his mum's death and his drink problem) and he found it incredibly useful, though hard going.

Hope the GP appointment goes/went OK. Dh found that even knowing he had done something positive was a help, even before the ADs kicked in.

Watch out for disturbed sleep patterns as a result though. Dh finds that a few hours after taking the tablets, he gets really groggy for about ten hours. So now he takes it as soon as he gets in from work, so that by bedtime he will sleep (if he took it at bedtime, then he found it very difficult to get up in the morning as he was still groggy). Trial and error to find the right time to take them.

Miaou Sun 17-Aug-08 09:55:46

how are things, clumsymum?

PurpleLostPrincess Mon 25-Aug-08 01:37:18

Sorry to butt in but I completely empathise with you! My DH has suffered from depression nearly all his life and now has a long list of mental health issues including anxiety, PTS, agoraphobia, OCD and more... He has tried working but ended up having a breakdown each time and we're in the middle of one right now. He has tried various ad's (used to be a prescription pill junkie) and has a very addictive nature. He relies heavily on cannabis and tells me he can't take the ad's without the cannabis as it apparently helps ease the side-effects. I'm literally picking up his prescription for citalopram tomorrow if I can find a pharamacy open and I'm determined to help him stay on them longterm this time. He too expresses a desire to cope without them but confessed to me that he knows he needs to take them properly this time in order to start getting better.

I guess I'm just comforted to know that I'm not alone and to read that there are other wives/partners out there living with this. Do you ever wonder if its rubbing off on you? I look back over the years and there are so many areas that he has improved in but I still feel like we're living under a big black cloud. I do my best to support him without mollycoddling him but he admits that he sometimes takes the piss and I often think I should be more tough with him. Its like having an extra teenager in the house sometimes!

He sees the local mental health clinic again in October - they've told him he needs Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but that they only offer it in groups - he can't cope with new people so they've basically said 'tough' as they don't offer one-on-one!!??!! I feel like running down there and asking how that helps me as I have to live with him, they don't, where's the support? Then again, if he's not showing much of a desire to get better, I can't blame them...

Sorry to waffle but its all flowing out now and I can't seem to stop. I don't expect any answers and feel free to ignore me, it just feels good to vent sad.

PurpleLostPrincess Mon 25-Aug-08 01:38:04

Sorry, meant to say that I hope things are ok clumsymum xx

clumsymum Tue 26-Aug-08 16:36:03

Hi, sorry to have gone so quiet, haven't had the house to myself, and didn't want DH to walk in and find me talking about him behind his back.

Our weekend in London went fairly well, altho' all being in the same hotel room was a strain, for me as well as for DH, as I feel I'm always trying to keep the peace.

Since then he seems to be becoming calmer, less fraught, as the meds start to take effect.

One thing has made a HUGE difference. DH has just signed up to karate classes, alongside ds. I persuaded him as I have wanted ds to do it for some time, and a new class has opened in our area, so I thought ds was more likely to go if dh went too.
Anyway, each class is an hour and a half of exercise. They have been to 2 classes so far, and dh came back seeming much 'lighter' in mood each time, a change which lasted about 36 hours, then started to slide. I'm trying to persuade him to practise for a while mid-week.
I wouldn't have believed that it could make such a big, immediate difference if I hadn't witnessed it. We're also hoping that he can start to lose weight now again. Things seem more optimistic, altho' dh is sad about needing the meds.

clumsymum Tue 26-Aug-08 16:36:26

Purple ..... I'm stunned to hear that your dh uses cannabis alongside his ad's. This seems like a pointless practice at it's least, and a very dangerous game at worst. I'm guessing his dr doesn't know? If he keeps taking the cannabis, then surely you're just throwing away the prescription money. The ads can't do their job with interference from another substance. Anyway, I believed that cannabis was a depressant in the long-term. I have to say that in your shoes, I'd be telling his Dr what was going on, otherwise his treatment will never get anywhere.

clumsymum Tue 26-Aug-08 20:16:30

do you know this has really worried me.

If your dh suffers such side effects from citalopram, he needs to talk to his Dr about a different AD, not try to fix it with cannabis.

clumsymum Sat 30-Aug-08 13:11:56

Oh Bum, day 16 since dh started back on fluoxetine, and today he's struggling, verging on tears.

Unfortunately (or it might be fortunately), I have paperwork and stuff to do today, so I can't just let him lie and be miserable. I've made a shopping list and he and ds have gone to do that.

I think this is just as the ADs set in, trying to remember if this happened last time.

Mogsmum Mon 01-Sep-08 21:06:14

Sorry to barge in on your discussion but my DH is also suffering from depression and I am finsing it very hard to cope with.

For him it started back in Feb this year but I didn't notice anything til May when I saw a serious slide in his behaviour. I told him to seek help. Things got progressively worse and we had several frank discussions where he told me that slthough he wasn't really thinking rationally and everything was black what he knew was that I didn't love him/support him any more and he wasn't sure if he loved me any more. He said it had been going for years and he only agreed to have our DS because he thought it would save our marriage (I didn't realise it needed saving). Also our marriage was boring cos since having DS we don't do anything exciting (did we ever?). Things got out of hand even though he was seeing psychs and he then started self harming. He has spent the best part of the last 5 weeks in a private hospital (sorted by work) being treated and is due to come home on Wednesday.

I am feeling angry at having all the blame placed at my doorstep. Emotionally fraught about whether I want someone who doesn't think he loves me back in the house. To top it all he wrote me a letter recently saying he knows he hurt me but can't remeber what he said. I didn't realise memory loss was a symptom of depression (maybe I'm doing him a dis-service) but it sounds like a cop out to me - I can't remember what I said so you can forgive me and we'll start again.

Sorry to go on but I'm confused, hurt and angry. sad

PurpleLostPrincess Mon 01-Sep-08 21:19:58

Thanks clumsymum, sorry I've not been around either, DD1's birthday was last week and DD2's is tomorrow, arrrgggghhhh!!!!

Anyway, yes the dr does know about the cannabis, as does the community mental health clinic. I've been along with him on appointments and literally 'dobbed him in' which he hasn't reacted too nicely to but I feel that they need to know all the facts. I've also talked about it with the doctor on my own in terms of how it affects me. He agrees that it counteracts the effects of any ad's but because he is a grown man, there's little we can do until he realises for himself and decides to give it up. I have to state here and now that its never near the children, not that it justifies it in any way. I used to smoke it years ago and looking back, I completely agree that its a depressant. I don't mind people having it every now and then in a social setting; its the dependancy that worries me.

Well, he's on day 5 of the Citalopram and so far he's done really well. I honestly think he's been given such strong ad's in the past that they've been too much for him. Because of his anxiety disorder, he tends to get all the side-effects, ten times worse that what they'd normally be but this time he seems to be coping really well and I'm just encouraging him and supporting him as much as possible. Thats not to say he's not been shivering, crying, nauseated etc but certainly not as bad as on the other ones he has been on. The worst ones were the Escitalopram, same family as these but very different in our experience. Last time he had them, the CPN changed them, then the dr changed them again and he got so ill, he came off them altogether as he couldn't cope with it all. I'm feeling strangely positive about these ones though, his mind-set seems better so hopefully they will help. He's already showing signs of improvement after just a few days but I'm still half-expecting some bad days as the weeks go by (not telling him that though!).

As far as the losing weight goes, we've been cutting down on the junk food and he's been going on the trampoline!!! The kids have got a ten foot one in the garden and he goes on it every day that its dry. I too have noticed that his mood is much lighter when he has exercised so its obviously a help. I want to lose about 3 stone too so I'm determined that we can do it together and encourage each other. I'm reading a book about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and its giving me an insight into DH's way of thinking as well as helping me to re-align mine. Thing is, all these changes take a long time and there's no 'quick' solution. I'm doing OK at the moment, but do you find that there are times when you just feel so impatient and want it all to get better NOW!? I do, but I'm hoping I can keep those feelings at bay as they don't help any of us...

Sorry, I've rambled along there! Its so good to talk about this. My family/friends are really supportive but they just don't understand what life is like or why DH is ill etc...

PurpleLostPrincess Mon 01-Sep-08 21:30:07

Mogsmum, sorry crossed posts there... First of all, I have to say that one thing I have learnt is that NONE of this is your fault, please remember that. Its so easy to believe what they say but when they're not well, they say some really far out things and if it was any 'normal' person you'd think they were being nasty but I've found out that isn't the case. With my DH, he has suffered pretty much all his life with this, which I knew (we grew up together) but it wasn't until we'd been married a year that I discovered the full extent of it. We've just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I stil don't get it! I still get angry with him for being ill but have somehow managed to re-direct my anger at the illness itself rather than him (not sure how!?).

Have you seen him at all while he's been in hospital? There have been at least two times when I've considered having DH 'sectioned' both for his and our safety and I still wonder if it'll happen in years to come. You have to remember he's been in the best place. I really hope his home-coming goes well on Wednesday. Will he be returning to work straight away or is he going to be at home? Sorry to ask so many questions, please be under no obligation to answer at all, I'm just chatting as I've found it so helpful to talk and get things out.

Its crossed my mind to start a thread for those of us who have partners suffering from mental health issues... Let me know and I'll start it if you think it'll help; I know I'd love to chat more with others who have half an idea of what I'm going through/have been through...

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