Supporting my DP while I am depressed(6 Posts)
I have antenatal depression. I'm 25 wks pregnant with our first child and things are going from bad to worse. This week I was signed off work, which has helped me get my head together but is also storing up stress for the future in terms of money worries and dealing with my difficult boss and mounting workload.
I am not a pleasant person to be around at the moment. I have massive mood swings. Can be fine one minute then in despair the next. Can't sleep. Don't want to be touched. Find it difficult to concentrate on anything apart from my own problems. I don't want to go out, see anyone or do anything. I am working on it, and sometimes I think things might be ok. But I feel like I need to concentrate all my (diminished and diminishing) abilities on sorting out my own issues (which have a lot to do with my own unhappy childhood, as well as pregnancy in general) before the baby is born.
DP is amazing. Has been coming to see a counsellor with me. Takes me to the doctors. Helps around the house. But I can see the stress on his face when I lose it again and he has to try to comfort me. He tries to hide it but it breaks my heart to see him lonely and scared. Both his parents are terminally ill. He runs his own business and things are not going well. He has all the pressure of financial, psychological and practical responsibility for his parents, his employees and now me.
I want to support him, for his sake and for the baby's and for mine as well. But realistically I'm in no fit state to effectively help him, either practically or emotionally. Is there anything I can do right now to support my DP while all this is going on? Are there any partners of people with depression that can tell me what would help?
The best thing you can do for your husband is concentrate on getting yourself better. Depression is a horrible illness and it makes you see terrible things which may in reality be less bad than you think. I am not diminishing your DHs problems but saying that your perception will be skewed by the depression. Your DH is a fit, healthy adult who can cope with HIS problems and is being a wonderful support to you too.
The best things you can do to get better and stay well are very basic. Eat properly, take a bit of exercise (a short walk outside), and try not to let your sleep pattern drift too much (you will probably need extra naps though, pregnancy is exhausting). Try some CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) - a book called Mind over Mood is very good, if you can't access face to face ones, or until you do. This should help you address your current feelings, and help you see if you are awfulizing anything. See the GP and consider taking anti depressants - some are safe and very effective in pregnancy.
Do keep posting and keep reading, I have found MN to be a brilliant resource. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and big hugs.
Thanks thingamajig, perhaps I am imagining it a bit. I think I'm worried he's going to leave me. I think I would have left me long ago. Wow, how selfish is that! I amaze myself ...
Hi, I am so sorry, sounds like you are are having a really hard time. I was also depressed whilst pregnant (my little girl is 1 next week.) I have been on antidepressants for years but came off them during pregnancy. I was a nightmare to live with, my boyfriend and I joke about it now but at the time it was no laughing matter. What worked for us is that my boyfriend found his own councellor and went every week alone just to talk about how he was coping (there were lots of other external stresses going on too.) the councellor really helped him to cope with me and gave him an hour each week just for him to really express how hard he was finding things.
When our daughter was born I was determined to breast feed so could not take the anti depressants, I lasted for 3 months and then had to stop and take my medication again. If I could go back in time I would have gone back on them much sooner, our baby became much happier and calmer as soon as I was feeling better.
My boyfriend has just had his last session with his therapist and we are great (and exhausted!)
What I am trying to say is that to some extent I have been there and it does get better.
I always used to say to my boyfriend exactly the same as you - if I were you I would leave me - his answer is always the same 'if you were me you would be able to see how wonderful you are'
Alway here if you need to talk
Hi gertrude, how are you doing today? I hope things are okay and that you have got some sleep. Is your DH off over Easter?
Are you taking any medications or have you been referred for any therapies? (And sorry, Peagle, but there ARE ADs you can take when breastfeeding.)
DO NOT add any extra guilt to yourself right now. If you had broken a leg, then you wouldn't be expecting yourself to run. Right now your emotional state is vulnerable. Focus on yourself. Only when you are in a better place will you be able to be there for him.
As someone else has recommended, Mind Over Mood is a brilliant book, kind of D.I.Y CBT. Introducing some CBT strategic thinking could be helpful.
For him (well, for you both, really), there is a also a book called "Depression: The Curse Of The Strong" which is really good at explaining things.
I hope you feel better soon.
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