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Anyone's DP or DH have depression?

(29 Posts)
omri Mon 05-Jan-15 00:48:42

My dp was always a moody never bothered me that much. I would just leave him to it and do my own thing while he was in a mood. He'd usually come out of it a few hrs later. However after dc1 was born (3yrs ago) his moods became very dark. He would often lash out at me for no reason (verbal, never ever violent) close himself into a room for hours on end playing computer games... Oh and let's not forget the silent treatment, sad
It bothered me a lot (made me really really sad) but with a baby together I stuck by him (it wasn't always bad).
Dc 2 was born last spring and things had got v bad. However dp himself realised he couldn't live like this anymore and went to gp. He was diagnosed with biological depression and is now on anti deps and doing cbt.
Things had been going well and I'm proud of him for trying to improve things for himself and for us. However... Christmas has been tough. Again I feel like I am walking on eggshells around him. He ruined at least 3 or 4 different events for me that I had been looking forward to. I also am starting to see the effects of his moods on our 3 yr old which breaks my heart.
The moods however are much less frequent and shorter, but still.

So... My question I suppose is... When does supporting your partner through depression and the associated dark angry moods become being stuck in a miserable relationship? I was very lucky to have a very happy childhood with parents who still today have a happy balanced healthy relationship. I want that for my kids and feel like I (and the kids) could still be going through this same awfulness in 5 years time with the ups and downs of dp's depression ... Tonight I want to leave him- I think God it'd be so much jollier if it was just me and the little ones here without him being such a dark cloud here and snapping at us all the time. But then I think it's an illness and he is only learning through his cbt how to cope and manage his moods...

Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks.

18yearstooold Mon 05-Jan-15 01:11:29

It's incredibly tough living with someone with depression and realising that you can't fix them or can no longer support them is not selfish, sometimes it's self preservation

Sometimes the line between 'my partner has depression' and 'my partner is emotionally abusive' become blurred and only you can decide when your situation is no longer tolerable

I put up with it too long, it made me resentful and it made our children unhappy

Christmas is a tough time of year for many people with mental health issues

Does he acknowledge that his behaviour upsets you? If yes then I think it's worth working with him to improve things, if no then you need to make the decision that's best for you and your children

singleandfabulous Mon 05-Jan-15 01:14:22

yes and I left him. He seemed to revel in it and use it as a medicalised excuse for bad behaveour. Wouldnt take medication after diagnosis and wouldnt have cbt. He was an utter missery to be around. I hope you have better luck.

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 01:26:10

It is tough. My experience is of my exH and it is complicated because I think he is an arse who also happens to have struggles with depression.
The line for me was around his willingness to engage with support for his depression. Your H sounds like he is working on it, that is good. Reluctance / lack of motivation in depression is one of the crueler twists because so many people know they need to do. I think it's very very positive that your H is taking big steps to be in control.
Some issues I will never know for sure if it is him (ex) / depression. (And since the nastiness he demonstrated during our divorce I've no wish to).
I have had to raise how his moods rub off on DDs, he seems sadly oblivious to how fast they are at 'sussing out' his moods. It is a very delicate area. I say things about giving the children a huge vocabulary of positive words / thoughts (sincere ones) so when they look back on their day with him, they are able to say 'dad was a bit down but he was so happy i made him toast'. Then they reflect that back (if this makes any sense).
My exH was hard work, the egg shells thing was everyday for me. But I lost respect because his reflection on himself started to include me (if that makes sense).
He started being just as negative to/ about me (which led to abuse but really I think that was his personality and in no way connected to depression and would have happened anyway).
The ex never really took on CBT but a close friend has, she still struggles but it's clearly made a difference in her relationship.

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 01:31:54

Thanks for your replies. He is taking his meds and sticking with the cbt. And he does always apologise next day for the behaviour.. And acknowledges how his behaviour affects us. But still I feel like I don't want to live like this you know- disrespectful behaviour and then an apology and it's all ok again except I'm waiting for the next mood to trigger...
It's a really hard thing to know what's the best thing to do here. Especially when things are going well.

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 01:34:11

Oh my, we all seem to be talking about ex! I do think WITHOUT DC I might have struggled on. The desire to shelter a child from a dark cloud is pretty strong. Perhaps someone with experience of a depressed parent could give you a different perspective?

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 01:43:59

I was just thinking the same thing... Wow these have all turned into exes! Will this be how it goes for me??
Yes there are positives in my situation but this past week I've been thinking- really? have my standards slipped so low that I think it's ok for my dp to behave in this way?! Won't go into the dark cloud details... Sounds like you know what it's like. All the daily upsets and anger and ignoring you sad
I usually just ignore the darkness and keep things bright and normal for the little ones (3 and 9 months) but this past week I've been thinking more seriously about separating . Which is so sad because apart from all this me and dp really love each other.

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 01:46:08

Can you take / arrange for some sort of break? I ask as my friend who has various disabilities has respite care. She finds the break is useful for her relationship mostly because (she believes) of them both having depression.
Respite wont be available (as in free) for depression, but regular scheduled time out may help you reconnect to the more positive aspects of him?

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 01:52:19

Though hand on heart I took a 3 day retreat just before the end of my relationship truly thinking I would come back wanting to make it work.
Still, a clear head is difficult under dark clouds OP. It could be different for you. I knew without a doubt a bit after when my youngest DP was conceived he'd stopped loving me (took me most of the pregnancy to grieve really). It sounds more positive for you.

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 01:52:28

Not sure what type of respite you mean? Do you mean time together just the 2 of us?

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 01:55:10

And hope you're in a good place now waiting... Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with me

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 01:56:02

And hope you're in a good place now waiting... Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with me

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 01:58:47

I mean time away from each other. A weekend. A break. You could take a child each, visit friends. Or (?) leave children with a grandparent. Breathe, walk/ swim, think, laugh. Really time to reflect, pause. Be separate from your lives and take stock.
Dealing with children and a depressed adult and (?) Work is a lot of emotional 'noise' you need to tune a lot of that out for a true listen to your own thoughts.

waitingfor3 Mon 05-Jan-15 02:02:40

Oh gosh yes. My life is so different now. I am remarried, I don't fear waking up to a bad day. I can express MY (average) moods without dreading the response. I can play with my DD's exuberantly and only curtail them when the volume is a problem.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 05-Jan-15 02:11:03

My husband suffers from depression and we have a 4 month old. It's hard but we're still very much together!
DH is on medication and due to start counselling again in a few weeks time.
He has periods on/off medication and periods of counselling as he needs/the nhs will allow.
When he's in a bad patch it's really hard but we're still together because I believe that it isn't his fault and also because he doesn't take it out on me/DS/those around him. Sometimes it inevitably affects us but that is generally a trigger for him going back to the docs for more help.
It helps that I know he is the kindest most wonderful person usually and anything else is because of the illness. If he wouldn't engage with help or wasn't self aware it would be different I think.

omri Mon 05-Jan-15 02:16:02

Waiting - that sounds really good and what I long for. Not freaking out that 3 yr old ds's tantrum is going to set dp off...
Break away is probably what I would need before coming to any big decision. Yes I work full time 9 to 6. dp is actually sahd looking after the kids full time (left his job). This is a huge factor in my decision tbh. Didn't mention it before that he looked after the children only because I didn't think it pertained to my original question.
But yes, a whole lot of emotional noise!!

Lolly86 Mon 05-Jan-15 02:30:43

My DH has had depression for it seems most of our relationship been together 6 years married 2. His black bloods have become more frequent since he has been out of work and there are definite triggers to them usually. We have a 14mo dd and I know he adores her and he really does love me but living with him currently is so very hard.
When he is having a good day I think how could we ever split we are so good together but the dark days are draining and I think a lot of how nice and less stressful life could be alone with my DD. He is starting counselling again soon and it did help a little before and he starts a new job soon ao I'm hoping this may turn things around. If not I think we may be through although I love him so much.
We are having a break from each other soon too due to a working issue so maybe that will shed aome light on how things will on out.
Sorry OP that was a long self obsessed post, but you aren't alone it's an incredibly tough job supporting anyone with depression , hoping you can find a way through it too

Lolly86 Mon 05-Jan-15 02:31:16

Black moods not bloods hmm

LadyB49 Mon 05-Jan-15 02:42:56

Ex dh always had difficulties. Three years into marriage he was diagnosed psychotic schizophrenic. I was three months pregnant. Stayed because exdh was ill and I'd taken vows. I was miserable for 22years and left him after 22 years of marriage. My son was 20 and had no bonded relationship with his father. I was on Prozac. My gp had told me several times to get out and that he gp would make sure he was looked after. After I left, He was eventually fully committed to psych ward permanently..
I had stayed because of guilt at. The thought of abandoning him. He was a civil engineer who couldn't hold down a job. I worked part time only because he was incapable of looking after ds. We had top up from benefits. After parting the House was sold and equity divided. I bought a small house without a mortgage , worked full time, and never looked back.. ds continued at uni and became a p.HD. scientist. Top student in his year of primary degree. Three years later I met my now husband and this month we celebrate ten wonderful years together.

A long story to say......think of yourself and your dc.
Don't worry what people might say. They do not walk in your shoes.
This is the only life you have.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 05-Jan-15 05:27:00

I wouldn't want DH to be a sahd, I honestly think that would make things much worse. He needs to structure of the working day and the 'break' from home I think.

bitofanoddone Mon 05-Jan-15 05:40:39

I have depression, chronic major depressive disorder. I was getting down and got lost in my own world sometimes but i never locked myself away and never emotionally abused my husband. As soon as I recognised the pattern i saw someone and got medication. ADs have made a HUGE difference, i am not sleepy every afternoon and i am achieving all my goals instead of idly wondering about them. I am also no longer considering abandoning my family.

If i wasn't being treated then I wouldn't blame my partner for not wanting to live their ownly life with someone who was completely entangled in their own issues. There is help, if they don't take it, then that is their choice.

Sundayplease Mon 05-Jan-15 06:33:43

My exh had depression with exactly the same symptoms as yours. The silent treatment (sometimes for days) was awful. The worst thing was he never acknowledged his behaviour, he was always right, always angry.

He did improve a bit with meds but it was too late. I didn't love him any more.

Like a pp, I went through a very nasty divorce.

Could you have a trial separation? He moves out until he gets himself sorted? It's no way to bring up a family.

gildedcage Mon 05-Jan-15 07:53:31

My dh had a nervous breakdown. I know that isn't a medically recognised term but he was severely depressed with anxiety and panic attacks. He was basically unable to motivate himself to do anything. I ended up off sick.

I'm not surprised most people talk about an ex, it is emotionally exhausting dealing with this. I had some good counselling for me. If you feel that this is affecting your health you should speak to your GP. I found mine brilliant he understood and was massively helpful.

Ultimately I got through it by not enabling bad behaviour. Being depressed doesn't give you carte blanch to treat your spouse badly. I also did things to please me. My dh was under no illusion that I would not have my dc's childhood blighted by his moods.

My dh is well, he took his meds and did the cbt. He's off the meds now and almost back to his old self.

Good luck to you x

Handywoman Mon 05-Jan-15 08:08:06

My ex was diagnosed with depression, I made him go to the GP as part of an ultimatum after he told me to 'shut the fuck up'.

Long term it changed nothing, despite meds and crap counselling.

I believe it was his abusive self entitled beliefs and fundamental personality flaws (he grew up in an environment of abuse and fear - he is devoid of empathy and believes the world owes him a comfortable life) that were at the heart of his 'depression'. He seemed to think he should have all the trappings of middle class life without actually engaging in family life, or ever lifting a finger at home or opening a bank statement.

Life is hard but immeasurably better without him. Twunt.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 05-Jan-15 08:29:36

I don't think you're obliged to put up with bad treatment ever.... and that it's irrelevant if the bad treatment is due to a medical condition. Plenty of people with depression manage not to be abusive to their partner.

You only get one shot at life. Spend it with people that bring something positive to the party.

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