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Advice needed- partner suffering from some kind of anxiety/depression(33 Posts)
Hi all- not sure if this is the correct thread but I need some advice, would love to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences!
My partner and I have been together for ten years, and I am due to give birth to our first baby any day now. Baby was planned and we were both over the moon with the news.
My partner over the years has had "dark moments" I'm no doctor so would hate to throw the word depression around, but there have been times in his life where he could see no light. It may last anything between 6-24hrs.
Recently these dark moments are becoming more frequent. Since I found out I was pregnant, we decided to set ourselves up in joint buisness, working from home, so we are financially better off, but so the three of us can be together. It seemed like the dream scenario. However 3/4 times a week he is down so low he struggles to do anything, making our daily lives both professionally and privately so difficult. I find it so hard to help him, sometimes I just want to cry other times I just want to scream at him. He says things like "there is nothing good in my life" "I have nothing to live for" and it breaks my heart. I'm about to give birth!!!
I've tried getting him to go to doctors but he won't. I can't have these moments happening when baby is here. I want to understand and support but I just don't know how. It's not a good feeling knowing that this is getting worse, as we approach what should be the happiest times of our life.
Can anyone offer any advice? Would be great to get a mans perspective too! What am I supposed to do to help?
Tough situation culler, sorry for your troubles. I think you need to take charge and INSIST he sees his GP. It should be a time when you feel he has your back, supporting you as you prepare for the birth etc. Unfortunately he's without a doubt suffering some form of depression. It makes a person very self absorbed, not their fault but part of the illness. I really took control on my dh's behalf when I felt he couldn't cope. Made and accompanied him to appointments talked to doctors, counsellors etc. DH was very grateful when he started to get better which was really 3 months after he started on ADs. Tell him he has to do it for your sake and for the baby. Hopefully that will penetrate through and make him see that he needs help. Be strong OP and insist!
My dh struggled hugely with my (planned) pregnancy. To the extent that I, in the early days, considered termination. In the later days, I considered divorce, to save him from the grief he seemed to be feeling. It was very hard, for both of us.
At the birth itself, something seemed to click in him - he was very supportive. And now, over two years on, he is a great father, and adores dd (and she him) and we have the relationship back that we used to have. I guess we are both very lucky.
A lot of this stuff is still very personal and private to him, and I don't like to ask him to much, but he has told me that while he was going through his struggles with my pregnancy he accessed on-line support, as, he told me, it turns out that it is a reasonably common thing for fathers-to-be to really struggle with their situation, and experience symptoms like those of depression.
I'm sure my post isn't very helpful, but just wanted to indicate that this may be a transient thing for your dh, and may be something that other fathers-to-be are also going through.
Really hope things work out for you all.
I don't think I could insist anymore. I have made appointments for him and he wouldn't go, they would turn Into three day arguments. It's so frustrating because I can see he doesn't want it either, but can't find his way out. I don't know if that makes sense.
He has gone out with his friends this evening so I'm hoping when he gets home he feels more like himself. It's good to know that I'm not alone in this!!
He thinks he can handle it I think. I know he has dealt with it for years and he should have got help before but he hasn't. I also think he worries about any medicines they may give him. He also worries about me and not being able to look after me.
He doesn't want this anymore than I do...it's not that easy though is it?
Nope. You asked for a male perspective? Ok. Until he recognises something is wrong, there's not much you can do. I've had depression for at least 8 years, perhaps all my life in a minor way. Nothing will improve for him until he sees a GP. The GP will not think he is weak or tell him to pull himself together. GPs see lots and lots of patients with MH problem, some they treat themselves with ADs and monitor in Primary Care; some they refer on to the Community Mental Health team. Referral for talking therapies can start to happen too. A combination of ADs and TTs usually works best. Lots of people recover from depression with treatment and support.
It might be helpful to print this out for him:
Antidepressants are not addictive in themselves, if that's what he's worried about. They work on neurotransmitters like Serotonin in the brain to enhance mood. There's no reason why he needs to be in them for ever; people often come off them six months after recovery. They are not usually terribly sedative either, so he would have no problems looking after you.
This might help you with questions you may have about supporting him:
Thanks random that's really useful!
I'm hoping he seeks help soon, especially with baby due, I don't want there to be added stress.
its so difficult to watch someone you love spiral like this!
Sooner rather than later would be good; it can take 3 to 4 weeks for antidepressants to start working.
I think because this has been going on, potentially since he was a teenager, the second he decides to be proactive about it, he will feel better.
He isn't a talker, and when he is at his lowest point, he will often say something so deliberately hurtful, just so he can be left alone. This is what worries me the most.
I feel like I'm being incredibly disloyal talking about him in this way
You need your support too, I've had a relationship end due to my depression. I think she just found it too hard in the end.
You need your support network in place, especially at the moment. You're not disloyal, you're asking for help because he's ill.
He's going to stand a better chance at looking after you if he actually seeks help for his problem. Anything else is failing to step up. If he can see he has a problem, he should be prepared to suck it up and go to the GP if anything else he's trying has not magically fixed it yet - or are you not important enough for him to do that?
It's sounds like both of you have been tip toeing around his depression and softly, softly approach hasnt changed anything.
Newborns are very stressfull
It's sounds like both of you have been tip toeing around his depression and the softly, softly approach hasnt changed anything.
His depression impacts you too, why would it be disloyal of you to seek support for yourself? It's time to work out where your boundaries are and how far you are prepared, to let him and his 'moods', dictate the tone of your relationship and your child's childhood.
Senseofsnow- I think he gets stuck in one of his low moments, then feels horrendously guilty because he can see now tired I am, and then gets even worse. It's not that he doesn't want to stop feeling this way but is so lost in his own mind.
I think I'm going to try sit him down this weekend and have a chat, hopefully he is receptive to it!
Yes we have definitely tip toed around it- we were only 17 when we first got together and we were too young to know how to deal with it, and then before you know it you are nearly 30 and still dealing with it!!
I hope your chat is effective but I think you have to be prepared to lay it on the line that, if he doesn't get professional help, you don't see much of a future for you both. I agree with Isetan that tip-toeing around someone else's bad behaviour (which is all you can safely say it is in the absence of a diagnosis) is not a long-term prospect. Babies require your full attention, can be challenging, and you will seriously struggle if his behaviour doesn't improve.
Yes I had hoped in my nievity that it wouldn't get to this- but perhaps it is time for tough love, that's not normally what I would do, but perhaps that's apart of the problem...
I really appreciate all your responses thanks for taking the time!!
A question..... do other people experience his 'dark moments'? Would friends or family recognise the description you gave originally or would they be surprised?
No his mom and best friend experience them from time to time. His mom was trying to "talk him down" I guess you could call it once, and it wasn't helping, so he deliberately said something so horrid just to get her to back away. She was heartbroken but finally understood the seriousness of it all. I think I mentioned that he doesn't talk much about himself so very few people know what he is feeling, he is very good at deflecting situations and if he is in a dark place, he will just stay in the bedroom by himself until he feels better x
The reason for my question is that there is a difference between someone suffering from a behavioural/neurological/psychological problem and someone who uses bad behaviour as a way to manipulate or bully others - principally partners. Are they acting this way because it's completely out of their control or are they choosing to act in a particular way because it serves a purpose? It it's the latter you then get the situation where the partner is bearing the full brunt of the bad behaviour, but when they try to get help from friends or family they are not believed.
From what you describe, others are aware of his behaviour although possibly not the frequency and severity. It therefore sounds less like a choice and more like a condition. What is a choice, however, is his refusal to take responsibility for getting help.
If chats don't help I would strongly recommend you talk to your/his GP and ask them to conduct an at home mental health check the next time he disappears into the bedroom.
Yes I don't think for a second he is choosing to behave badly, although I have quietly consider this myself in the past, I just don't think it's true. He is such a gent and adores me and his mom so when he is down and destructive it isn't to get something, i don't think anyway.
For as long as I've known him he has experienced this, but it's becoming more frequent and more severe. I should imagine he is anxious about baby's arrival which is adding to it, but of course that's not going to stop once she is actually here.
Perhaps I should scrap talk and just book him an app. I just don't want to immaculate/undermine him, he is a grown adult!
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