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Male depression, someone talk me through it!!

(17 Posts)
Louisa111 Thu 09-Jul-15 14:32:32

I've posted in mental health but will prob get more advice here.
I suspect my Dh to have the start of depression coming. He is under a huge amount of work stress and pressure and is totally exhausted. But lately the mood swings, his behaviour towards me etc is just awful. He gets good days and bad days to which last week I told him enough was enough.
What I saw frightened me, his eyes were so empty, so uncaring like nothing was going on inside his head. Eventually after me just going bonkers at him he broke down and said the pressure if work
Was really getting to him and he felt so stressed out abd the only release was taking if out on me.
I'm so worried about him, he's reluctant to see a gp but quite frankly it's hard to get the time off work , I'm just so worried .
Does this sound like the start of depression?? Mood swings, erratic behaviour, angry outbursts abd when he is home he sleeps a lot. Any advice would be grately appreciated x

PoppyField Thu 09-Jul-15 14:44:07

I think you are within your rights to insist he goes to the GP. He has admitted taking his anxiety/stress out on you. That is unacceptable and he should see that. It may be that you have to issue an ultimatum because his behaviour towards you is just not on.

Sorry you are going through this OP. Worry about him by all means, but look after yourself too.

Tmrgl Thu 09-Jul-15 14:49:14

Louisa - based on our experience it sounds like a visit to GP is called for.
Is he sleeping well? Eating? Drinking? Using drugs?

UncertainSmile Thu 09-Jul-15 14:52:58

Depression is an awful, awful illness. In a lot of cases it can improve with treatment, whether that is antidepressants or talking therapies. Ideally it's a combination of both. It is a very lonely place indeed. It makes you feel worthless and guilty.
Your husband needs to understand that he can't just pull himself out of it without help. It is a common illness, but the symptoms vary from person to person. It can very easily be life threatening to the sufferer. His GP will not judge him; he will see people with depression everyday and he will successfully treat many of those. Some he will need to refer on to the Community Mental Health Team too, but that is more unusual.

Ginocchio Thu 09-Jul-15 14:53:32

It doesn't sound like the start of depression; it sounds like it's already in full swing.

If he's reluctant to see a GP - and there's still a lot of people (particularly men) who see depression as "failure", then would he be willing to speak to an online support group? Mind have an online forum to which he can post anonymously, or there are a number of depression support groups on facebook, where he can chat to others - particularly others who are (or have) also been through it.

The biggest thing that he needs to realise is that depression is not failure. It's an illness - and needs treating just as much as if he'd broken his leg. A visit to the GP isn't anything to be feared.

From your perspective, try to segregate the depressive behaviours - when someone shouts at you, pushes you away, it's easy to feel like it's personal. It's not, it's the depression's way of trying to cause more pain.

But that doesn't mean you have to just accept it either - be clear that you're there to listen when he wants to talk, but that you won't accept the angry/agressive behaviour.

UncertainSmile Thu 09-Jul-15 14:55:12

It is his responsibility to do something about this though: taking it out on you is NOT an option.
This link may help:
www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/#.VZ587oqkqnM

dollydaydreamers Thu 09-Jul-15 14:58:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 09-Jul-15 14:58:19

I would make an urgent appointment for him to see the GP - and attend this also with him. He being reluctant to see a GP is putting unreasonable pressure and stress on you; this is not acceptable for him to do that.

DrDre Thu 09-Jul-15 14:59:49

My Dad had depression caused by his work. He was hell to live with. It sounds similar to your description.
He definitely needs to see the GP, and think about getting a new job / career. If I ever start getting like that I am jacking my job in straight away, it's just not worth it. I know that's easier said than done when there are bills to pay.
I really feel for you, it is a horrendous thing for the family to go through. Would you be OK financially if he took time off work to recover and find a new job? Long term he will have to change his job.

UncertainSmile Thu 09-Jul-15 15:03:35

To those whose husbands won't go to see the GP: sometimes you have to issue an ultimatum and stick to it. Your partner's illnesses are not yours to have to manage, it will make you unwell too.
Source: I'm a man, I've had to see the GP many, many times for depression. Never once have I felt judged. I've just met with compassion.

Hannahouse Thu 09-Jul-15 15:10:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dollydaydreamers Thu 09-Jul-15 15:18:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ginocchio Thu 09-Jul-15 15:47:00

Uncertain but what ultimatum do you offer? Do it or I'll leave? You'll know yourself that it's not laziness that prevents someone from getting help - it's the depression & anxiety.

I've been on both sides of this - suffering from depression badly enough that my ex wife did exactly that; said that as I wasn't getting it sorted, she wanted me to leave. And I've also been in the position of caring for a partner with severe depression, who was unwilling to access help.

The thing is, by issuing an ultimatum, you're kind of saying "get better, or else". It's not like other illnesses - with mental illness, the unwillingness to access help is a symptom in itself.

OP what would happen if he gets signed off? You say taking time off work would be a struggle, so I assume they're not very flexible employers.

Is he worried about the impact on his career, or the impact on your family finances (either of taking time off in the short term or moving into another job/career)? Is there anything you can do to support or reassure him in this respect, in order to reduce the barriers to him accessing help?

(Of course he may not get signed off; he may be given ADs, or referred to talking therapy; but it seems that given the circumstances of his depression, being given time away from work would be the obvious first tactic)

Wannabestepfordwife Thu 09-Jul-15 15:49:18

flowers op my dp has depression so I really sympathize.

The only way I got dp to the GPs was when mil staged and impromptu intervention and it really made him think.

The walking on egg shells is horrific and it really is emotionally exhausting trying to support someone who won't help themselves.

I have to say I no longer take offence at things dp says when he's in an episode. You could be perfect and have a perfect home but someone with depression will still find fault- it's the nature of the illness and absolutely no reflection on you

Joysmum Thu 09-Jul-15 18:19:59

I had this with my DH last year following the death of his father.

I let it go for 6 months until it became clear he wasn't improving and our relationship, and that with our DD was suffering.

I told him I love him very much but that I know he's not right because he's not behaving like the man I love. What really shook him was that I had no choice but to tell him he'd damaged his relationship with DD and if that didn't stop soon he'd lose her respect completely.

We went to the GP together and are still waiting for his bereavement counseling. He's found the right medication and is now on the right dose. Just need the counseling now to try to help him come to terms with a terrible end of life and now the loss and guilt he feels from his dad.

dejarderoncar Thu 09-Jul-15 18:34:52

Ginocchio. Surely it'd not a case of 'get better or I'll leave', but 'take the first steps to get help instead of mistreating me, or I'll leave'. Completely different. And maybe if the depression is stopping him seeking help, this would push him to do something.

I know depression is an illness, but so many times, in men, it seems to take the form of being rude/agressive to their partner/family for some reason.

heyday Thu 09-Jul-15 21:57:58

There is an organisation called CALM - campaign against living miserably - which is there to support men who are depressed and/or having suicidal thoughts. They have a helpline open from 5 - midnight, 365 days of the year. You can't make him go to the doctor but you could google their telephone number and give it to him and strongly advise him to call them just to have a chat. It's not going to be easy but as you cannot make him seek help all you can do is take good care of yourself and your own needs to ensure you stay well. Good luck.

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