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at the end of my tether(13 Posts)
Am a regular but have name changed as DP knows my usual name.
Have a beautiful, healthy 8mo DS who is, in some ways, quite a high needs baby. Sleep is the particular problem. It has been difficult to cope with the sleep issues but we had been getting by til I went back to work 3x evenings per week 2 months ago. Since then it has taken a toll on me and DP as we have less time together and he has more time on his own with DS.
Background is that DP has had what I think is depression for a long time. He sought help while I was pg and was referred to talking therapies but not prescribed antidepressants. He didn't go to the first appt with IAPT but when DS was 3mo he self-referred back into the service and went for an assessment. They recommended CBT or counselling for him but he has accessed neither. He has always had a very short fuse and gets disproportionally angry or frustrated about things, and this is much worse now that we are under so much pressure.
I have been trying to do everything pretty much, to afford DP some downtime after work on the nights I am here, given that he has 3 nights when he looks after DS alone after he has been at work all day. However I am totally run down and ill. I have still carried on this weekend but DS woke up at 4am today and wouldn't go back to sleep, and I just felt so tired I was crying. I waited til 5.20 to go and ask DP (he sleeps in other room so as to not be woken up by DS/wake DS up when he moves) to take DS for an hour. I purposefully waited so it was only an hour before he would get up anyway so that it wasn't too bad.
Anyway, 20 mins later DS was crying and I heard DP shout "you're making my life a misery" at him. I went downstairs immediately and DP was stressed and rocking DS but DS was fine and was almost asleep. I am livid, frustrated, sad, feel protective of my DS (who is certainly not making me miserable!).
I'm sure some people might say not to, but I want to support DP in some way. He is so kind and is actually a really caring person but he has no patience and cannot cope with stress. I want him to seek help for the pre-existing anger/stress/MH problems as I don't feel like shouting at a baby is acceptable? (I'm not saying people with MH problems all shout at kids, I just feel in dp's case that there is a problem he needs to address.)
I have nothing constructive to say really, but did not want to leave this unanswered. Hopefully someone better will see it in Active convos and give a better answer for you.
Babies are hard work when they dont sleep and will push the most mild mannered, relaxed people to feel stressed. WOuld your DH access help if you suggested it again to him? It is totally understandable that he is feeling under pressure. He could benefit so much from getting the right type of help, but he has to want to do that for himself. It would also help you, as I am sure it is worrying you while you are working and he is with DS.
The horrible thing about mental health conditions is that people need to recognise they need help and then be strong enough to get it. It's hard because there's still stupid stigmas attached to it. A brain is an organ and can go a bit wrong like any organ in the body. It takes a lot of strength to get help. But it's also hard on the people who love them and just want to force them to therapy etc but that wouldn't work.
I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with bipolar. He struggled a LOT to take his meds etc because he didn't want to be reliant on them, but every time he decided to skip them or stop them he went downhill fast.
That was until I sat him down and explained that he would take his meds if he had a heart condition, and if they weren't working properly he would go back and get the doctor to change them, and that the brain was no different to the heart in that it was just an organ.
It's not acceptable to shout at a baby of course , but it is completely understandable that after being woken up at 5:20 and handed a crying baby, he would be feeling crap enough to need to vent some frustration. I said some bloody horrible things to ds in the first few months. I wish I hadn't, but at the time I was feeling awful and luckily my dh was understanding and realised it was the tiredness (and despair!) talking.
I think the depression/ mh issues are more of a concern. But he is an adult and you cannot force him to get help, only encourage. Talking therapies are not for everyone - some people are just not comfortable talking to a stranger about personal feelings. When I had severe depression a few years ago, taking anti-ds helped me a lot. There is a lot of uncertainty about their effectiveness, but for some people they are life-changing. Whether that's placebo effect or not, who knows? I do think another visit to the go would be a good place to start.
I'm afraid I resorted to telling my DH I loved him very much but his behaviour was so out of character and had been going on far too long. I told him if it continued it'd per mans y wreck family relationships and it was time he sought help to change that.
Love him as I do, I couldn't allow the situation to have continued.
Thanks for your replies. Sadly I have been through a lot of these situations with him before. This has been going on for years and DP always says he will get some more help but never does because he then feels better. I used to work in MH so I am very understanding, I know none of it is his fault! Apart from me, the only people he has for support are his parents and they cannot understand MH. They actively discouraged him from going to the GP "incase it ends up on your record and employers can see it". So it's just me he talks to/takes it out on. I am trying so hard to be supportive but I feel at breaking point because I'm poorly and exhausted and dealing with everything alone.
Samaritan1- I know what you mean, so I purposefully waited til DS wasn't crying before I asked DP to help.
I just feel so tired and lonely and can't talk to anyone in rl.
Oh what .I really feel for you in such a difficult situation. I know how hard it is living with someone with depression and having to cope with a young baby and work as well must be so hard for you. Have you asked on MN for suggestions to help getting baby to sleep? Is changing your working hours an option? Could DP parents do some childcare to allow you to catch up on sleep ? Please look after yourself too.
I have asked DP to make a GP appt. He is at work now. He said today that he just feels like all the enjoyable aspects of his life have been taken away and haven't been replaced by caring for our son. He says he wishes he felt different but he can't help it.
Obviously that's hard to hear. Is that depression or is that just what's normal for some new parents? It's not how I feel.
It's normal for some people, but also could be the depression. Parenthood is a massive life change and not everyone loves it from the start - but because of his history I'm glad he is seeing the gp.
If you are in the uk the employer stuff is nonsense - medical records are private. There is a stigma around mh in the older generations - it took my dad 20 years to seek help for similar reasons.
I really hope things start looking up for you both soon, op.
so you are sacrificing your physical and emotional well being for this man who is supposed to be your help meet. IMO once you have made a child , s/he comes first and your duty is to be well and strong to take care of your child and yourself. If this man is causing you to be unwell and weak , he needs to be cast loose as he is dragging you down and your child will suffer.
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