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DH is depressed, my parents don't believe in depression!!!

(62 Posts)
lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:10:35

Hi hoping for a bit of help dealing with this. DH has been suffering with depression/anxiety for quite some time and had CBT and therapy ending a few months ago. He seemed to be so much better. Last night though we were at a family wedding and he seems to have suffered a big relapse, he walked out of the wedding right at the end and did not come back to my parents house where we were staying. Obviously huge worry and us searching, calling, after a while he texted me to let me know he was fine and had walked home to our house ten miles away as he needed space. He has done this before, walking off and getting headspace is his way of coping. Obviously with him having gone backwards he is straight back to docs Monday and getting whatever help is needed. We have explained it to the children who are ok and I know he will get help and we'll get through it in time. The problem is my parents. They are angry with him as they don't 'believe' in depression, are firmly in the 'pull yourself together' camp and can't understand what DH is going through. So my mother has decided he must be having an affair instead. She sent DH a text saying they 'we think you were picked up from the wedding, but we have not told <my name> our suspicions about what is going on'. I am gobsmacked. For a start they didn't see him leave, I did. The wedding was on a farm in the middle of nowhere. And my husband simply isn't having an affair!!! I know my husband and know what he is going through. They are not trying to understand, are outraged at his behaviour and have invented an alternative scenario instead. How on earth do I attempt to handle this????

Floundering Sat 04-Jul-15 15:15:40

How totally bizarre?

I think you need to tell them firmly to back off , that whether or not they believe it your DH is I'll & you would appreciate their support but if they can't give it unconditionally then they need to zip it.

Floundering Sat 04-Jul-15 15:18:36

Meant to add your poor DH & poor you too, he was obviously doing well, this is a temporary blip which does happen don't let him feel he has done anything wrong ( other than worry you he needs to share that he is going walkabout ) if that's his coping strategy then good it's a practical one but he needs to make sure you know.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:21:15

Floundering I would like to do that. But they are also fully of the guilt 'he's not being fair on you, it's too much for you to cope with, it's awful for the children ' etc etc. Mother also sent a message saying my son was distraught. It wasn't true, he was a bit worried, now like children are he's fine. They thought because he wouldn't answer his phone it must mean he was with someone else??? But I know when he is like this he cannot talk, obviously I worry but I understand. But they don't seem to want to understand.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:23:05

Floundering yes exactly, I have rammed home again not worrying us like that. But I know he did it because his head was a mess, not because he had left a family wedding to hook up with some random woman!!!!

Bogeyface Sat 04-Jul-15 15:26:41

I would lose my shit if that had been me tbh.

How fucking dare they stick their noses in like that?! I would be making it very clear very loudly that if they ever do anything like that again it will be hthe last they see of you or the kids.

And yes, he needs to be reminded that if he is going walkabout, he MUST tell you. Make it clear that you wont try to stop him, that may a be concern for him, but that you just need to know he is safe.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:30:23

Bogeyface I know. But I suppose I feel guilty as it happened when we were staying with them and now I have involved them and caused them upset. I hadn't told them one word about DH being depressed until last night as I knew they wouldn't understand.

ancientbuchanan Sat 04-Jul-15 15:43:22

It's v difficult. Dh's sister doesn't believe in his depression either.

You tell them that you haven't told them before not to worry them.

You ask them to read or watch a good book/ interview with someone they respect as an expert.

You mention Churchill and his black dog frequently in your conversations, wondering if that was why he slept so strangely, boozed so often, was manic.

If they are labour supporters you mention Alistair Campbell's breakdown, him having to go to bed for three months and sleep, and his articles on it.

Don't know about Tory equivalents.

You point out with no eye contact over the washing up that he's not in denial, he will go to the doctor and things will get straightened out.

Over another set if washing up, you ask why they jumped to that conclusion? No blame, just asking.

You remain calm and assertive and factual and find the way in that they understand.

Not worth a row. They love you and were trying to protect you. Just the wrong thing to do. But not in their view malicious, I suspect.

pocketsaviour Sat 04-Jul-15 15:47:57

Have your parents overstepped boundaries with you in the past?

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:51:48

They do tend to get rather over involved pocket. I tend not to talk to them about quite a few issues because they can be quite judgemental and overbearing and it makes things worse.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:54:17

What I mean is I suppose, rather than just listening and being there they decide what I have to do for me. When I split from my ex my mother told him I would come back and invited his parents for lunch with him and I the day after then told me off for 'sulking'!!! My ex was abusive btw.

RinkRashDerbyKisses Sat 04-Jul-15 15:56:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 15:59:11

The thing is, they know him, they love him, or so I thought. They know his family, and I, mean the world to him. Why on earth would they suggest this??!?

goddessofsmallthings Sat 04-Jul-15 16:09:12

Because they're narrow minded bigots who think the world and its inhabitants are, or should be, ordered according to their misconceptions opinions

If they persist, tell them that if they want to see less of you and their dgc they're going the right way about it.

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 16:12:53

I questioned myself when I was very worried if he could possibly have gone off with someone else. Now in the cold light of day I know that to be utter bollocks. But my parents have jumped on it and ran with it

junebirthdaygirl Sat 04-Jul-15 16:20:46

My dh suffers fromm depression so lm very familiar with it. You need to remember your parents had no idea what was going on as you had told them nothing up until now. You were looking for your dh with some prior knowledge but they had none. They were bound to be suspicious. I think your dh going off and leaving everyone in a state is totally selfish and unwarranted so everyone's reaction to that is not going to be perfect. They were naturally concerned about you and the kids. Living with someone with depression has given me zero tolerance for high drama. Telling you he was leaving wouldn't have killed your dh. Sending that text was a nit much but l do have some sympathy for them as they had no idea of what was going on

lincolnshirelassy Sat 04-Jul-15 16:25:26

Yes it was selfish. But not high drama. He wasn't looking to seek attention or cause us worry. Sometimes when you are depressed you just cannot process thoughts normally. Correct, I hadn't told my parents, but for valid reasons, I thought they would u like simply not understand. And they didn't.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 04-Jul-15 16:31:40

It sometimes takes a while to understand and for us living with it it's a gradual thing that dawns on us bit by bit. Sorry l may be overreacting here because of my own stuff but sometimes l get angry with my own family because they have so much understanding of my dhs depression and have nothing except sympathy for him. I would sometimes like them to go mad on my behalf.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 04-Jul-15 16:37:43

You need to tell your parents to back off. They're too ignorant and overbearing to help, unless they actually open their minds and learn that depression is real and can't be helped by being told to "pull yourself together". Such backward attitudes really piss me off and I feel really sorry for your DH if he has to put up with their nonsense. Sorry for you too.

firesidechat Sat 04-Jul-15 18:45:43

You say it's not high drama, but it is really. Disappearing without a word when your wife knows that you are depressed is bound to cause extreme worry. He could have done anything, including the unthinkable.

Having said all that it is clear that your parents have no boundaries and sending the text was a bit bonkers actually. The correct reaction from them was concern and not condemnation.

XiCi Sat 04-Jul-15 18:53:12

Depression or not your DH was being a totally selfish prick to leave you and not tell you where he was going or contact you to tell you he was safe. He would have known how worried this would make you and the children, not to mention the drama it would cause with your parents, it's no wonder they thought the worst when he just did a disappearing act out of the blue. He needs to understand he can't do that to his family , a simple text to you would have sufficed. And I say this as someone with longstanding anxiety problems.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sat 04-Jul-15 19:28:11

Your parents were out of order with that text. However, your anger and worry seems to be misplaced.

You say your DS was not distraught. That's a worry.

He was a bit worried, now like children are he's fine.

How badly behaved has DH been in the past that the DC aren't much bothered by him disappearing off all night into the wilderness without a word?

Are your DC allowed to call out their dad on bad behaviour? Or are they required to pretend everything is fine? Is life all about managing his mood?

Good on your parents for jumping up and down when he behaved badly. Yes, they did it in an unhelpful way. Hardly surprising really as they were reacting to his appallingly cruel behaviour towards you and the DC.

RinkRashDerbyKisses Sat 04-Jul-15 22:11:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RinkRashDerbyKisses Sat 04-Jul-15 22:15:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

firesidechat Sat 04-Jul-15 22:41:41

Some of the posters here have a very limited understanding of the variety and severity of MH issues.

Hmmm, don't think so. Been depressed myself and a relative has been severely mentally ill for 4 decades. Don't assume thanks.

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