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don't know what to do about husbands low mood(23 Posts)
My DH took voluntary redundancy from a job he had been doing for 10 years, but had got bored with. He got another job straight away, but after 2 months, quit, saying he felt bullied by his boss and was extremely unhappy there. Now this has happened to me, and it's awful, so I was supportive. He has struggled to find another job, so I have increased my hours to full time and he has become a SAHD. He hates it. I hated being a SAHM, so again, I understood how he feels. My problem now is that he seems to be spiralling into depression. He has always had a tendency to negativity, whereas I try to be positive. He keeps saying 'You just seem to take everything in your stride' but I have given up my own business to go back to teaching full time to support him. It's really wearing going to work all day, thinking it wont be forever and that we can have a fresh start in a few months to be faced with his negativity. I encouraged him to do some courses in his time off, but he gave them up. He has a teaching qualification, although he hasn't done it for a while, so he did some supply just to get out of the house. He hated it. We are moving out of London, which was our long term plan, but he thinks he'll never get a job outside London, and now the move was suddenly all my idea. I had started my own business, but have mothballed because I need to work. It is something we could do together. When I suggested it, he just put a downer on it. I feel like he's dragging me down into negativity, and I don't know how to help him. His dad had a tendency towards depression and made his mum's life a misery. She put up with a lot. I don't want to. But I want us to get through this and have a good life.
Only he can do something about his negativity.
Are you ready to set a heartfelt ultimatum? That might be the only thing that can light a fire under his chair.
You don't say what age he is. I read somewhere that abuse or problems in childhood can lead to someone not settling into a career or job long term. I only noticed it because I am like this and also had had difficulties in childhood.
Counselling is what is needed and discussing the childhood probs. Would he go to a counselor?
He is 42. He does say he felt he was pushed too hard as a child. I suggested counselling but he just wants anti depressants. I am against this as I feel ( maybe wrongly) that it is more an extreme example of his actual personality than chemical depression, so he will be on them long term. I'd rather he tried other things like counselling and regular exercise which always improves his mood. ricecrispie I have said to him that his ongoing negativity is like a self fulfilling prophecy but he just says he can't change the way he is. I feel bad but also resentful as his' I'm so down I can't do anything' translates into me coming home from work to a dirty house and a pile of washing to put away.
I suggested counselling but he just wants anti depressants. I am against this as I feel ( maybe wrongly) that it is more an extreme example of his actual personality than chemical depression, so he will be on them long term.
If he had diabetes type 1, a lifelong condition, would you be against him taking insulin?
With greatest respect OP, you are not a medical professional and it is not for you to discourage your H from seeking medical help because it doesn't fit into the framework you think it should.
Anti-D's are not a magic pill but when one is as depressed as your H sounds, they can make it possible to see some positives again and feel more capable of taking every day self-care actions (such as exercising) which may feel impossibly hard, or just pointless, without them.
It is not up to you to decide whether he should be on anti depressants. I have been where you are and understand how tough it is for you, but frankly you need to take a long hard look at what you've just written. He needs to find the solutions that are going to work for him - and you need to start listening to him. If he can't be who you want him to be, you may need to face up to that - I'm not suggesting you simply accept that this is how it's going to be. He can get better probably, but not with you barring off routes that could work. You should be relieved he acknowledges his a problem and is willing to consider help. And coming home to a dirty house is not worse than coming home wondering if today's the day he has killed himself.
Ok so do you think I should get him to see a doctor? I'm just worried they will stick him on ADs and counselling and everything else will be off the table. I know I sound unsympathetic and sometimes I feel unsympathetic. I think I'm just worried that this is going to be what it's like. His dad was a lovely, bright funny man but who was a recovering alcoholic who spent much of his life on and off ADs. We've been married 12 years and his grumpiness has always been a running joke between us until this year.
Yes definitely if he is willing to go. It doesn't mean no counselling and in fact it could mean that when he has got settled then he would be better able to engage with the counselling. Of course you feel unsympathetic - anyone does who actually has to live with this. Many men won't go to the doctor - be glad that he is willing.
I have said to him that his ongoing negativity is like a self fulfilling prophecy but he just says he can't change the way he is.
Then believe him. And ask yourself if this is the man you want to be with.
Ok so do you think I should get him to see a doctor?
You can't "get him" to do anything. Does HE want to see a doctor? Does HE want to improve? This is down to him.
All you can do is decide what you will and will not accept. And tell him. The rest is up to him.
Did he live with an alcoholic as a child?
Alcoholics can be one personality sober and another when not, very unsettling to live with. Definitely would leave a mark imo. There are websites for the adult children of alcoholics.
AD are good these days but counseling too to research why the depression.
Assuming he is just like his DF doesn't help, are you exactly like your DM?
Yes he did. He was functioning, as in he held down a job but he had extremes of personality, that had calmed to a certain extent by the time I met him, but were still evident. Im not saying hes exactly like his father, just that he is displaying similar traits and I dont want him to blindly go down the same road. His mum came round and said the same thing, that she recognises traits in him that were the same, so to keep an eye out. She is a qualified medical person though . He seems better today as hes had a good nights sleep. He says he feels less anxious. thanks for the advice. im taking it on board.
ricecrispietreats I think Im a bit woried about confronting him with what i will not accept, as I dont want to make him worse, to the extent that he is not a capable father to our children. Hes their dad, even if i say i dont want to spend 40 years living with someone who is negative all the time.
I don't think you need to confront him. What you are saying is that you can't, on your own account, settle for living with him if he is constantly unhappy. That isn't the same as saying you reject him because he is depressed. What you need is for him to try - however hard it is - to manage it and to try to want something better for himself. He needs to aim to be OK and to be happier - it sounds as if he doesn't really believe that he can. It does mean you accepting that just as you aren't causing it, you can't make it better. he has to do that, and he has to get over the cycle of thinking that just goes round and round locking him into the belief that things can't change. That reminds me - take a look at the Mood Gym!
Hi op he sounds like my dad and myself and his
long suffering wife are were you are at.
In the end he walked out numerous jobs because 'they were all having a go at him'
They lost their house and got in to loads of debt. SM took on extra work but my dad was making her depressed too. Sometimes it seemed as if he enjoyed how shit he felt. It was always poor me everybody was always out to get him and he could just not get his shit together. He ended up walking out on SM and I actually told her not to take him back.
Any way she did and she forced him to go gp where he was put on AD and to be fair it's really helped him and he has been making really good steps forward. He is back in work and they are looking forward to going on a cruise this summer.
I think he has been like this for years, his despondency really chipped at his marrage and mine and his relasionship because depression creeps on slowly.
I found it hard to have genuine sympathy st first as my mother who I've been NC for 15 has major MH issues, being sectioned trying to commit suiside ect do it seemed as though df was 'milking' it a bit but actually he wasn't.
Take him gp see if it can turn him and your marrage around
depression fall out is a fantastic book at looking whst depression does in families and what it's like living with a partner with it
Also I found it was not really up to me to diagnose my dad. If the GP said he was deoressed then I trusted his expert opinion. It was only after a while when the ad kicked in I started seeing my dad Buck up.
Thanks all. Maybe I will suggest a visit to the GP then, and see what they say. I will also look at mood gym and the other stuff. Maybe once we have settled into our new house and hopefully he gets a job we can reassess the situation. He says he has anxiety about everything.
Hi raised, just saw that you'd been back. It's good that he can say how he feels - that's the first step to doing something about it. It's great that you are prepared to say to him "we shouldn't settle for this."
Here is an example of a study of adult children of alcholics. Possibly a bit dated now but demonstrates that there can be problems
so it's not to be ignored.
You do realising that your approach is hugely offensive to anyone who has ever taken AD's or prescribed them?
Drs don't just 'stick' people on them and then counselling is off the table. Short term crappiness may be treated with ADs, just to take the edge off things so a person can find their own way. But where the cause is deeper, counselling would be offered/suggested too.
You sound like one if those awful people who thinks people's mental health would improve if only they chose to think more positively and not dwell on things.
I'm sure you're not really. So support him to go to GP and follow whatever course of treatment they prescribe.
I absolutely agree that he has to take responsibility for his own health mental and physical. But it's hard to take care of your mental health when it's you thinking and processing that's affected.
stillawake I didn't mean to be offensive. I have no experience of this, only what I've heard about dependence on medication and that some doctors use them as an easy option. Anyway, I came back to say thank you to those who gave me advice. He has made an appointment at the doctors and is going through 'mood gym' which he seems to quite like. I'm sure it's not going to miraculously be sunshine and roses but it's a start.
You have to be on some pretty serious stuff for dependence to develop. Common or garden antidepressants are made so that they don't cause dependence.
I've been prescribed different ADs at various stages for different things, most often as a short term cure for insomnia to get my sleeping back on track (it's dreadful). They prescribe ADs precisely because they are not addictive, whereas sleeping tablets are.
Thanks for that. I didn't know that. He does have sleep problems too.
Still awake, not sure that's true, I've heard many types of anti-depressants are hard to come off for good.
That said, I still advocate them - they're a life saver for so many people.
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