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I am being unsympathetic about DP's depression

(53 Posts)
TheUnsympathetic Wed 17-Jul-13 19:01:38

DP and I have been together for 2 years, no kids, live apart (me with sister, he with friends). He's caring, loving, handsome, fun and generally lovely, but he goes through bouts of what he calls depression that he won't see a doctor about it. These involve him staying in bed for a few days, seeming down for a bit and not going to work. TBH, I think he's putting it on really. He's never depressed on a weekend, unless he's not planning to go out. He doesn't like his job, but doesn't apply for a new one.

Am I a heartless cow not to pander to his bouts? I encourage him to apply for other jobs, to see a doctor, get exercise, eat more oily fish, take vitamins, etc etc etc....

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 19:11:32

You are not a heartless cow. If he's genuinely suffering from depression, he needs to get a proper diagnosis, treatment, counselling or whatever else is recommended. If you're fed up with it, whether he's genuinely depressed or not, you don't have to put up with it.

TheWysticManker Wed 17-Jul-13 19:23:05

No hes an entitled hypochondrical lazy shite

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 17-Jul-13 19:28:09

You're not a heartless cow by any means. DH has depression, diagnosed and he takes courses of counselling and reads extensively. It's hard on both of us but he takes responsibility for managing it - your DP should be the same.

JaceyBee Wed 17-Jul-13 22:39:53

He may be feeling low, fed up and sorry for himself but depressed? No. I don't think i'd indulge this behaviour either.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 17-Jul-13 22:49:25

Personally, I don;t think you are being a heartless cow, especially as his "depression" is self diagnosed. My DH suffers with depression as the result of a serious road accident 17 years ago and his subsequent injuries. We had been together years when the accident happened, but even so, living with it has been difficult for both of us. It is certainly no picnic living with a depressed spouse.
Personally, if I were you, no real ties to him apart from your 2 years, I would be telling him you will be calling time on this relationship unless he goes and gets himself some real help.

strawberryeyes Thu 18-Jul-13 11:04:02

I suffer from bouts of clinical depression, which has resulted in lack of motivation and sometimes means that I can't manage to get out of bed or into work (I have been off work for months now). It is a difficult illness to deal with and simply telling me to get exercise and eat differently is certainly not going to cure it! Of course there is a responsibility for each person to manage their own health, but depression by its nature means that it's harder to make decisions and you feel a sense of hopelessness about the world, so it often seems impossible to find your own way out. There are a list of symptoms here which shows how hard it is to just make the small adjustments you suggest. Lack of energy and motivation means that just making an appointment for the GP is extremely hard. It took me six months to get around to seeing mine! And your DP may be worried about it appearing on his medical records if he is planning to change jobs.

I've had an ex who was unsympathetic and claimed I was putting it on. Tbh the best thing he ever did was end the relationship, as being criticised in that way offered no help to me at all! It's hard being in a relationship with a person who is mentally ill, and I'm lucky to have found my current DP, who is brilliantly understanding and patient with me, whilst showing respect that I'm still a functioning human being even when I'm struggling with every day life. It doesn't sound like you're able to show that kind of patience to this man, and you don't sound very committed to this relationship, so I am not sure what either of you are getting out of the relationship either.

roz1982 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:17:27

I don't think anyone (inc. you) can possibly comment on whether your DP is actually depressed or not. I agree that he needs to go and talk to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis but I think you should be careful about your feelings that he is 'putting it on'.

Depression affects people in different ways and your post is just your perception of what is going on and how he behaves, not the actual truth of the matter.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 18-Jul-13 11:29:18

Exactly what Strawberry said.

I suffer from depression.

I can also understand why the OPs DP has not been to the doctors.

Aside from complications which may arise from visiting the doctors with depression and anxiety (I was refused life insurance once, plus it can effect certain jobs) as Strawberry said, getting the motivation to do something like that is very difficult, plus you keep telling yourself that this is 'the last time' you will feel like this and you will sort yourself out.

Certain medications dont agree with everybody, I hate taking anything, the side effects can often be worse than putting up with the depression.

Feeling better on weekend is also perfectly normal. I find that if my mind is busy with things that I enjoy then I can brighten up A LOT. Only to go right back down again Monday monring (and I like my job!) Alcohol can change things either way too.

I think you need to end the relationship OP, for both of your sakes.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 18-Jul-13 11:48:57

If he's that ill that he has to take time off work for it he should see his GP. I can understand why he may have reservations but it's impacting his career by the sounds of it.

I've had experience of severe depression & whilst I can't comment on whether or not he is depressed or just low I would say that you're not being unreasonable if he's not willing to at least see the GP and then consider his options. Is he 'normal' at the weekends or still 'low' but functioning?

OrmirianResurgam Thu 18-Jul-13 11:59:17

What strawberry said.

When I was at my lowest I needed H's support like never before. I didn't get it - he just got irritable with me and told me to 'go to the GP'. I ended up suicidal at one point. What I needed was him to talk to me, hold me, tell me he was on my side, and gentle encourage me to go to the GP and get some help. It might have helped if he had offered to come with me. He did none of those things. He was in fact an utter bastard (turned out he was starting an affair so while I was staring down at the M5 from a bridge trying to convince myself to jump, he was texting his new lady. Twat!) angry

But for your DP, regardless of how bad he feels, he needs to get help. I do wonder if giving him a firm ultimatum re your relationship would be the helping hand he needs. But please don't imagine he is pretending, or that it isn't a real illness. Try to be supportive.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 18-Jul-13 12:01:45

^ I would be inclined not to say you don't believe him until proven otherwise for that reason.

And to be honest, it is difficult being with someone who's depressed (or so I've been told, once I've come out of an episode, by various people). I can sympathize with those trying to deal with partners affected by it as well as the partners themselves.

Leithlurker Thu 18-Jul-13 12:07:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 18-Jul-13 12:18:53

The Orchard, telling someone with depression that you dont believe them until they get proof is one sure way of making them feel even worse.

OP, whilst I understand that depression is a difficult illness to empathise with unless you have been through it yourself, you really are not going to help him by being so unsympathetic. If you care about him you will stand by him and help him through this, if you dont feel that bond, then move on now.

cestlavielife Thu 18-Jul-13 12:24:55

as said; he needs to get a proper diagnosis, treatment, counselling or whatever else is recommended.

give him ultimatum - you will stay by him and support if he agrees to go to gp about it, and offer to go with him.

it isnt fair on you or him for him to self diagnose and also not do anything about it.

bu if that is how he chooses to deal with his mental health it is his choice. your choice to stay or go

MadBusLady Thu 18-Jul-13 12:34:10

You don't believe him. That's quite shit actually - how would you like it? Do you know anybody else who voluntarily takes to their bed for days at a time? Yeah, we can kid around about laziness and getting cups of tea brought up etc but the truth is it isn't any fun to spend a few days in bed for normal people. Generally people only do it cos they're ill in some sense. I think we need a lot more evidence that he's putting it on than you've given here.

If you want to help, believe him, stop imagining that it's easy for him to "solve" this problem with vitamins etc and keep up with gentle encouragement. Lots of people are reluctant to seek help, especially men. Have a look at the Mind website, there is s page of info there for people living with depressed partners.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Jul-13 12:41:01

This can only be a matter of 'belief' because is undiagnosed at the moment. He believes he has depression & the OP doesn't. Only a doctor can establish who is correct and I don't the OP deserves vitriol for simply not going along with his self-diagnosis..

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 18-Jul-13 12:48:56


I meant don't tell him you disbelieve him until he's at least seen the GP hmm

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 18-Jul-13 13:37:57

Oops sorry misread you!!

ouryve Thu 18-Jul-13 13:39:53

You're not being heartless. You wouldn't help him at al by enabling this behaviour. He needs to seek professional help - either for depression or whatever's at the root of what he's doing.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 18-Jul-13 13:40:55

Can I stress that there are a number of very valid reasons NOT to visit the GP though and its not always 'the answer' especially if the OPs DP doesnt want to.

As I said, I was turned down life insurance years ago. I am not on medication now and when I got quite bad again last year I couldnt go to the docs as I was in the process of applying for a job which I needed a medical for.

I am not saying that getting meds doesnt help some people, but its not always the answer. Understanding from friends and family can be a godsend.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 18-Jul-13 13:43:27

no problem smile I can see why OP might be wound up if she feels it's made up but having been there myself and had people do the same (and in some cases not believe me til I was in hospital...mostly because I could function ok despite being very very low due to also being very anxious) I would strongly advise against being too quick to dismiss it.

On the other hand if he won't even try to get himself checked out or take responsibility for it then I'd consider leaving. If it was affecting my work/quality of life again I'd be straight down the GPs trying to nip it in the bud. He may need some extra support to do that or he may not want any help and continue like this for the foreseeable future.

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 18-Jul-13 13:44:45

(he doesn't have to accept the 'help' if he feels he can cope without it but he does need to try and work out if it is depression he's dealing with and how best to address that in other ways if so, as it's affecting his work by the sounds of it).

ouryve Thu 18-Jul-13 13:44:54

Understanding from friends and family can only go so far if someone ends up losing their job through repeated absence, though, Imnot. The chances are, he'll end up hauled in front of occupational health, in which case, life Insurance won't be the thing that's most important.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Jul-13 13:46:24

"especially if the OPs DP doesnt want to."

But there's the dilemma. The DP doesn't want to be diagnosed or treated. The OP doesn't feel able to support him if he's not prepared to help himself. People can be 'understanding' until they're blue in the face but, if nothing changes, patience wears out and they shouldn't be made to feel guilty for that.

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