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How to cope with partners depression

(24 Posts)
Suspect Wed 23-Mar-16 19:34:37

Turns out partner of 11 years is very depressed. He sleeps a lot, which irritated me because I'm up all night with our newborn. He slept in until 12am today..he loses his temper so quickly and is negative about everything. It's starting to make me really low. I feel I can't tell him anything because he over reacts about the smallest things. He just can't cope with any stress at all. Lots of things are happening that aren't good but instead of searching for solutions he is focusing on the problem and that's it.
How do you cope with someone with depression without becoming depressed and withdrawn yourself.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 23-Mar-16 19:39:48

How old is your baby? When did your partner first show signs of depression and has he sought treatment from his GP?

Does he work or is he looking for employment?

Beachlovingirl Wed 23-Mar-16 19:46:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LottieDoubtie Wed 23-Mar-16 19:50:16

I don't know OP but I wish I did. I have an 18 Month Old and my DH has been depressed since shortly after the birth, if not before it if I'm really honest . He is on tablets and having treatment. He still told me I humiliate him and make him feel worthless and that my 'resting' face upsets him today.

I don't know how you cope or manage it I'm afraid. But, I have wine if you think it'll help you.

<sorry bad day>

CockacidalManiac Wed 23-Mar-16 19:54:15

Does he acknowledge his depression?

firesidechat Wed 23-Mar-16 19:56:49

Does he know he is depressed, want to do something about it and is he getting treatment? The answers to those questions make a big difference to the replies you might get here.

Suspect Wed 23-Mar-16 20:02:25

He doesn't use the D word and I haven't either. But it's pretty obvious, he says he isn't coping well. We have 3 kids, our newborn is a month old. The birth was pretty horrendous and he says its affected him too aswell as everything else with work, bad family dynamic on his side etc etc
He isn't the type to go to a doctor and get medication. He exercises and I find when he hasn't exercised for a few days (had the flu) his mood crashes. I'm really trying to be sympathetic but the woe is me act really wears on me. Instead of solving the problems he wants to wallow in it and highlight it all the time. I just want to get away from him. I actually think he would be better off living in his own place but he won't admit it n

Princesspeach1980 Wed 23-Mar-16 20:03:46

I've been in this situation a couple of times in the last 2 years and it is so hard. I found that I had to make the decision to try and take all the pressure off him for a short time, so he could truly rest and recover. I know that must be really hard with a baby but it was the only thing I could do to help him get through it.

It's good to let him sleep if he needs to as depression is exhausting, but I mixed that with nagging DH to get out of the house for a run or a walk sometimes so he didn't just fester. I let him hang out upstairs on his own if he needed to, and he would come down and join in with the family for as long as he could manage.

One approach he read which he found helpful, was that you find something to occupy your brain, without having to actually think too hard, DH did jigsaws, sudoku, played various word and number puzzles on his phone. It stopped him dwelling on stuff as much.

I found I had to let him be selfish for a little while, and I took on the responsibility for pretty much everything, but I think he recovered quicker that way than if he had continued to push himself. It sucked and I cried lots and was exhausted, it's horrible for both of you.

Make sure he gets to the GP and considers taking ADs, counselling is great if you can get it (we went private).

Really hope things get better for you both of you soon

CockacidalManiac Wed 23-Mar-16 20:07:51

He's ill, he's not doing it on purpose though as you know.
Exercise helps, of course, but a chemical imbalance in the brain needs treatment by the GP too.

Suspect Wed 23-Mar-16 20:18:00

Thanks Princess I have resigned myself to understanding that I need to take everything on. Although he doesn't help himself, I said I'd bath the kids. Then he insisted and ended up getting upset by the end of it. I'm going to address this with him and tell him to stop feeling bad about not doing things. He has pushed everyone away from him, family, friends and slowly me. Guess it's time to step up and stand by him and put my big girl pants on.

CockacidalManiac Wed 23-Mar-16 20:24:58

He needs to step up too and take ownership of this. There is no alternative but to see the GP.

Princesspeach1980 Wed 23-Mar-16 20:25:34

It's the hardest thing I've had to do in 20 years with him, but I think if you can get into the mindset that he is ill and needs to recover, you can forgive some of the damned annoying selfish behaviour. He really needs to acknowledge what's going on though because it really does help to get signed off and get meds.

My DH got to the point where he was having suicidal thoughts before he finally broke down and admitted what was going on. I frogmarched him to the doctors the next day and went in with him so I knew he was honest. I phoned his boss and said he wouldn't be coming in too. I'm a bossy cow when I need to be grin

There are a lot of good books on Amazon that might help both of you, and the Mind website is great too.

Find someone you can rant to too, don't keep it secret xx

Beachlovingirl Wed 23-Mar-16 21:32:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Suspect Thu 24-Mar-16 19:50:36

Today he told me he is over his "pussy moment" and feels mentally stronger.
Today to try and take things off him I literally did everything, and I mean everything. From bleaching toilets, lunch, shopping, getting kids off to nursery etc etc as well as having no sleep from baby being up all night. All I got was "why is the back missing from the tempreture gage" no thank you, no I really appreciate you trying to help. After hearing him moan yet again because he bathed the kids, even though he insisted on doing it.. Hearing him say it's ground hog day really got to me. I told him that he was wearing me down and he said to me "are you moaning again?" No I'm trying to tell you how I feel. Like you told me how you were feeling and I took it on board because I actually care about you.

He's down stairs exercising. I'm starting to be worried of asking him questions now because he bites my head off all the time. I noticed it today, I'm really feeling like I'm changing my whole being because of how he is. That's not right is it.

CockacidalManiac Thu 24-Mar-16 19:52:59

He needs to man up and get to his GP, so he can start to get some treatment. Otherwise, it's not fair on you. I say this as a man with a history of depression.

Suspect Thu 24-Mar-16 20:05:23

I don't think he is depressed to be honest after today. Just think he's self absorbed.

Marchate Thu 24-Mar-16 23:25:10

Sounds like he's using you. He gets everything he needs, you get very little

corythatwas Thu 24-Mar-16 23:44:09

No experienced of seriously depressed spouse but plenty of experience of depressed teenager.

I think there can be some kind of balance between recognising that it is an illness and insisting that he has to take responsibility for certain very basic things himself: treating you with a modicum of respect and accepting that he needs treatment.

Dd has been very bad at times (think repeated suicide attempts) but I never felt I was helping her by letting her take out her unhappiness on me by being rude or unappreciative. I wouldn't accept that from a cancer patient just because they are ill, so I didn't see why I should accept it from her either.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 24-Mar-16 23:47:37

Guess it's time to step up and stand by him and put my big girl pants on

If the birth was 'pretty horrendous' for him, I dread to think what it was like for you and It seems to me it's time to put your bgps and stop putting up with his shit attitude.

Tell him that if he doesn't shape up over the course of this weekend or sort a doctor's appointment for himself on Tuesday, he'll can take his whinging elsewhere because the last thing you need with 3 dc and a newborn is a self-indulgent adult child to look after.

'Groundhog day'? WTAF!? If he can't see the miracle that is his dc growing and changing every day, or appreciate his extreme good fortune in having a loving dw and healthy dc, nothing you do or say will ever please him.

corythatwas Thu 24-Mar-16 23:51:06

" WTAF!? If he can't see the miracle that is his dc growing and changing every day, or appreciate his extreme good fortune in having a loving dw and healthy dc, nothing you do or say will ever please him."

Sounds a little harsh: would you say that if it was the OP suffering from depression?

I think she would be perfectly reasonable to put her foot down about Groundhog day because that was a rude comment aimed at her and she absolutely should not have to put up with that.

But expecting somebody suffering from depression to see miracles is pushing it ime.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 25-Mar-16 00:14:48

There's a difference between harsh and plain talking, cory, and as I always call it as I see it I would use the same words to the OP should the circumstances be the same and she was claiming to be suffering from depression.

As you no doubt know, CBT gives patients/clients the tools to replace negative thinking with positive images and I can't think of anything more positive than the miracles that regularly manifest in our sometimes humdrum everyday lives which we take for granted.

GinBunny Fri 25-Mar-16 00:24:22

My DH is depressed, he's been to his GP, prescribed ADs, been back and upped ADs and is currently going through counselling. I also suffer from depression and am on ADs but quite stable at the moment, but something has to give. I can't support him and run the house etc so the house is currently a shit pit. It's a fucking mess but I don't care, if I did everything I'd reach breaking point too and you can't have two people in the same place. Do the bear minimum of what you need to - look after yourself, your little ones and your DP but don't worry about keeping on top of everything. Muddle through until things pick up but he does need to accept that he needs help and see his GP, nothing will change until that happens.

corythatwas Fri 25-Mar-16 11:06:03

goddessofsmallthings Fri 25-Mar-16 00:14:48

"As you no doubt know, CBT gives patients/clients the tools to replace negative thinking with positive images and I can't think of anything more positive than the miracles that regularly manifest in our sometimes humdrum everyday lives which we take for granted."

It is a combination of medication and CBT that has got dd back on its feet and helped her to become a fully functioning adult. I have sat in on many sessions but I don't remember it consisting of telling dd that she has to appreciate her good fortune and be thankful for the miracles in her life: in my experience that is simply not how the positive images technique works.

By the sounds of it, it is the birth of the baby that triggered his depression: telling him he has to feel happy about it when he is not able to do so may only reinforce his feelings of inadequacy and send him spiralling down (speaking from very bitter experience here...)

If I were you, OP, I would simply tell him that you insist on him seeing a doctor because his current state is impacting on the family and because you care about him and because you believe there is help to be had. And then I would leave it at that. Don't tell him how he has to feel, but make it clear that you cannot accept that he takes it out on your or the family. The advice to look after yourself is spot on.

Intheprocess Fri 25-Mar-16 12:09:43

Unfortunately, this sort of problem crops up regularly here. My DP has depression / ASD / bi-polar etc and I'm finding him / her really difficult to deal with.

I think it helps if you learn as much as you can about the illness / disorder to help you get a handle on what part of the behaviour is the disability and what part is the personality of your DP. On the one hand, depression is a severe illness that can make many daily tasks and daily human interactions very hard. On the other hand, it's important to understand that people let their guard down over the years and their real self often comes through only over time. When this coincides with a diagnosis it's easy for the sufferer and the DP to simply explain bad personality traits on the illness.

So, all these conditions can make a person temporarily selfish and unable to meet normal standards of behaviour. However, they do not make someone a bad person - that's just personality. If DP sleeps a lot, that's the depression. If he is defensive, that's the depression. If he puts you down in any way, or tries to guilt-trip you, well, that's his personality. There are lots of people with one or more of a wide range of MH issues and personality disorders who are fundamentally lovely people, and who try so hard to overcome their life-affecting condition. Then there are those who use it as an excuse to avoid things they don't want to do and to treat people in a way they know they shouldn't.

Every person is different and every relationship is different. However, every DP of a person with MH issues has an absolute right to expect a minimum level of respect and love from their partner. A diagnosis is not an excuse, it's an explanation - we all deserve a break from life when things are tough, but what we never, ever get a break from is the responsibility of trying to be a good person. OP, I recommend you get some advice from those who understand your situation such as Relate, Mind or a MH therapist. They can help you find an objective perspective, help you see if your behaviour is sometimes making things harder for DP and help you see if some of his behaviour needs to change irrespective of his MH illness.

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