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Supporting depressed DH

(13 Posts)
naturalbaby Sat 26-Mar-16 19:41:54

I'm struggling to cope on my own with 3 demanding kids and a depressed DH. We recently emigrated so I am on my own in a foreign country with no friends or family to offer practical help. I have very little time to take care of myself, I am very short tempered and impatient with him - when he sits in tears my heart turns to stone and I feel so frustrated with him! How on earth do I do it? I felt like I needed support with the house and kids but the only person I have is DH and now he's really struggling - and so am I. Do I just need to suck it up and grow up? Getting outside help is not an option - I'm totally on my own.

tribpot Sat 26-Mar-16 19:45:49

Why is outside help not an option, does he not qualify for medical care in the country where you are?

I'm assuming you moved for his work, is this now in jeopardy because of his depression?

Is returning home an option?

EasyToEatTiger Sat 26-Mar-16 19:54:41

Depression is horrible, both for the sufferer and for the family. It is up to you to decide whether or not you can deal with it. Is your husband getting treatment?

lateexpectations Sat 26-Mar-16 19:59:52

Can you return home? This sounds extremely difficult for you xx

naturalbaby Sat 26-Mar-16 20:07:36

He has seen a doctor and is on medication but he seems to be getting worse. It's difficult to tell why because I have been pushing him to deal with it so he's blaming me. I meant outside help for me with the kids and house. I feel so selfish that I can't support him because I'm too busy stressing about how to cope with the basics of running a home and looking after the dc's.
I've told him I can't live like this anymore but it would be very difficult to move back right now. We moved to be closer to DH, the kids would be heartbroken if we split up and one dc would find it very difficult as he is so close to DH.
Ironically he's doing really well at work - he lives for his career.

newyearnotnewme Sat 26-Mar-16 20:16:21

Sorry if I've misunderstood... So you've been living apart and now you've brought the children to live with him?

naturalbaby Sat 26-Mar-16 20:27:34

We moved so we could live closer to where he works - he changed his job role and the move was part of it. Previously we were living together but very separate lives.

newyearnotnewme Sat 26-Mar-16 20:55:11

It sounds so isolating - I am guessing you have said goodbye to your support network and any help you might have had before?
Was your dh depressed before you moved? Is he depressed because of the move or is there something else?
Looking after three young demanding dcs is exhausting - there isn't time to look after your own needs let alone anyone else's, especially without help. Don't beat yourself up about feeling frustrated. When you're carrying it all, doing everything, keeping it all running, you're bound to be exhausted and less patient than you would be otherwise. And if his depression means he can't be helpful that's bound to cause frustration, even if rationally you know he is ill.

naturalbaby Sun 27-Mar-16 18:24:11

Thank you for the understanding. He is all I have at the moment. I believe he has been low level depressed for a long time but moving recently was supposed to be a turning point to give him the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life. Instead it's become like a magnifying glass/pressure cooker and he's got worse.

I'm finding it very hard to forgive him for being mean to me, tell him that I love him, look at him or hold his hand - all things I think he needs and would help him. I approach him with good intentions to do/say something supportive but he comes out with something that upsets me.

britmodgirl Sun 27-Mar-16 19:32:44

Sometimes the tablets take a while to kick in and sometimes the symptoms can worsen as a side effect before they start to improve.
Hopefully he'll pick up soon and things should improve as a family X

BombadierFritz Sun 27-Mar-16 19:54:11

I wouldnt bother trying as such. You will end up knackered and depressed as well. Instead i would focus on you and the kids, on building up your support network, going out, meeting people, having a bit of fun. You cant control or cure his depression but you can catch it.

Portabella24 Sun 27-Mar-16 20:06:29

Hi - I am also married to someone who suffers from severe depression. It is hard always being the coper and when you are in the middle of it then it is difficult to feel rational. My OH will go to bed for days sometimes and struggles to function. You need to understand that his depression is something that only he can manage - you can''t make him better no matter how sympathetic. Definitely medication helps (and there is a range of different ones and increasing doses if necessary), talking therapy (not sure where you are in the world but some counsellors offer skype), support groups, (if that's his thing), lots and lots of books, mindfulness, meditation and exercise all can help too.

We have been together for about 20 years and some parts of that have been terrible. I had bad PND after a very difficult birth and it coincided with his depression so I had no one to talk to it felt. Like most things, it has become easier with practice. I repeat the mantra that I am not responsible for his depression and I will look after my own needs as well. When he is sick, I do what I can to create a supportive environment. If he wants to be alone, or to sleep then that's fine.

I could go on and on - it has been a long journey. His depression is still there and probably will be forever but the bad episodes have longer periods of 'normality' in between. What has helped the most has been looking after myself - eating better, getting some exercise (even just long walks), building my own mental resilience.

You can't control his depression but you can control how you react. Taking back that control is a step towards making it easier for you and your DCs. Being in a foreign country must be hard - maybe it isn't the right choice for someone with depression - work stress is a big trigger for my OH even though when he isn't ill he loves his job.

naturalbaby Wed 30-Mar-16 10:23:11

Controlling my reactions is sooooo hard! I just want to stamp my feet and scream at him sometimes!!
The thing is I've been depressed in the past, worked hard, had therapy... got better. I know what it takes - it took me years to start the process. That's why I get so angry and frustrated with him.
Reducing family life stress is really hard and that's where all the problems are. Tensions over how to deal with the kids' tantrums leaves us exhausted.

I've been on anti depressants before but I didn't feel much better on them. Has anyone got any recommendations for how to lower stress levels? I'm doing yoga, headspace, journalling, aromatherapy, exercise 4 times a week.....

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