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how to help someone when they don't want to help themselves.

(34 Posts)

can someone advise me on how I can support my husband who won't accept he might have depression or get help.
I think it's got to the point he needs help, he is not one to make many friends and spending alot of time on social media instead of enjoying real life.
I am committed to him 100% but he thinks I am the one that needs to change, but he can't see his own problems.
I have given him an ultimatum several times, but am starting to realise this attitude does not help someone who keeps things to themselves and won't get advice from other sources.
would appreciate advice from those who are going through this with their husbands or just how to understand the disease if he won't get help.

Joysmum Sun 05-Jan-14 15:26:46

Why does he think you need to change?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 15:28:24

Ultimatums don't work if you don't follow through. It becomes a crying wolf exercise and the person stops taking you seriously. Follow through for a change, present him with a cold harsh reality of doing nothing and that might just spur him into action....


Call the GP and get them to make a house-call.

Lweji Sun 05-Jan-14 15:34:42

The root of the word ultimatum means "last" and that's what they should be.

It's possible that you need to work on yourself, but if he doesn't want to do anything on his side, I can only see one way. Out.

cupcake78 Sun 05-Jan-14 15:38:41

Cognito is right! Ultimatums several times are threats that amount to nothing. Not so scary really.

You can't force him to do anything but if you can't live with him like he is and you need him to do something then the fact is if he does nothing you either put up or go!

You can ask his gp but unless he's willing to help himself there is very little you can do.

its a long story-and don't want to out myself
yet, despite what we have been through, he still won't address his problems and keeps blaming me and others.
he is very stubborn and has to be right
which is not good for a relationship.

I will ask the GP next time I am there

I have been working on myself, focusing on what I need to do.
I feel though I am changing a lot
I want to work things through with him, I don't see out as an option - unless I felt I was in danger which I am not.
if he did get help and had medication
how does it help others who are depressed.
thanks for the replies so far x

Preciousbane Sun 05-Jan-14 16:00:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 16:19:22

Depression takes many forms, can be mild or severe, but is often characterised by someone believing there is no hope or joy in themselves or their life. They might withdraw and become isolated. They may actively push others away. They may seem listless and stop caring about their appearance. Their ability to function normally is impaired. They may self-medicate with alcohol, excessive spending or recreational drugs. Clinical depression can be triggered by stressful events but, as it is an illness, can happen to even those that appear to have no problems. Medication can therefore help relieve the symptoms long enough for the illness to subside and/or for the patient to be able to function normally.


There is another (quite large) set of people who are not clinically depressed but are simply unhappy. They use this to excuse poor behaviour, preferring to rail against the world and blame others rather than take any responsibility for their problems. They are often very selfish and will happily watch others run around trying to make them happy again.

behaviours I have noticed are
not wanting to meet people-would rather spend time on social media-he is glued to it constantly
lots of headaches,
withdraws when we try and talk
doesn't make plans or is not keen on making plans/goals/achievements for diy/home/recreation
if he is interested it takes him a while to get used to the idea.

thanks for the information.
I have found it really useful.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 16:42:20

Anyone would get lots of headaches spending a lot of time on social media smile What is he talking about on the social media, do you know, and to whom?

Preciousbane Sun 05-Jan-14 17:05:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

he has a demanding job.
I got concerned last year with an online relationship with a colleague
it was all viewable which Is why I grew concerned. she said she missed speaking with him so I told her to do one
I don't thing it was a physical affair. He struggles to make friends felt accepted by this woman and stepped over the mark with the on line thing.
he doesn't reply to her anymore unless of course it is done in private messaging which could explain the constant addiction to social media.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 17:22:01

You realise this is painting a picture that is not necessarily depression now? Someone can be depressed and hold down a demanding job at the same time, of course, but it could also be that he functions fine for work and is simply choosing to ignore you at home. Online affairs are extremely common and 'struggling to make friends' is really no excuse. You seem to blame her ... After an event like that, if someone is serious about continuing a relationship, they should be wholeheartedly apologetic, extra open about who they're talking to, extra attentive.... whereas he prefers to blame you, shut you out and be stubborn. That kind of behaviour is commonly known as 'checking out of a relationship'.... not inconsistent with depression but very common where there is infidelity

MorrisZapp Sun 05-Jan-14 17:26:02

Sorry but this doesn't sound like depression, it sounds like infidelity. Only he can change himself.

I thought I may be right but every one was telling me he is not like that and I should trust him. so put it down to depression because I sill love him and want to work things.
if he is refusing relationship counselling too does this mean there could have been something too

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sun 05-Jan-14 17:30:22

You cant help someone who doesnt aant to help themselves.
Unless they are so ill that the law provides for that by way of sectioning.
aside from that - it has to be done by them / with their cooperation!

And ultimatums that go do x or else y do x or else y do x or else y dont work if you dont follow up with y.
when you give these ultimatums do you do what you said you would in them?

you cant make him change. Doesnt sound like he wants to.
all you can do is carry on working on yourself.

i didn't follow through with the counselling appointment.
I remember when I told her to do one, he got quite angry and slept in the spare room
I thought to myself that night, if he did not have feelings for her or there wasn't a spark and it was a normal work friendship then he would not have reacted like that would he?
hope she is not on here - I might out myself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 18:29:17

None of them ever are 'like that' unfortunately. Some cheated partners get an inkling something is up but for others it's a complete bolt from the blue. Some show the partner the door the same day and others choose to try to work it out. Some, like you, attempt to rationalise & fix it ... predatory females that need warning off, stress of work, blaming themselves for not being a better partner.

If he got angry that you warned off his girlfriend, he had feelings for her. That he has refused to talk to you since and splits his time instead between social media - where he can chat in private - and work is fairly consistent with a resentful cheat. Not discounting depression, of course, but in the absence of a diagnosis the working hypothesis is that he resents you.

mmm yes, I had a bit of feeling that he was angry and resenting.
I saw on social media she was in town last week and I was supposed to meet him that day but then he decided he couldn't
I have never felt lied to before but because I saw what she put I felt something very fishy. I think I will book the counselling as despite speaking about it with trusted friends and on here and forgiving him I think I am still upset about it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 05-Jan-14 19:05:56

Individual counselling or couples? I'm sorry but it really does sound as though he is detaching from you for the oldest reason in the book.

he has made it clear he won't
as someone else said I should just keep working on myself maybe he will catch up maybe he won't
I think you are right though he is detaching
since he has woken up he has been attached to his phone yet again.
feel like flushing it down the toilet

Walkacrossthesand Sun 05-Jan-14 19:55:26

You started out by saying that you are committed to him 100%. Are you starting to feel that he may not be worthy of this unswerving commitment from you - do you not deserve the commitment to be reciprocal?

I am willing to keep working things through
I am starting to feel that yes I am not getting his 100% commitment esp for talking things through and working things out.

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