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Huband with anxiety/depression

(8 Posts)
tinkywinkyshandbag Thu 19-May-16 23:01:02

DH has had depression/anxiety on and off for years, with low self esteem. He recently changed jobs to a much more demanding one (his choice, but sort of forced to by circumstances) and has a horrible long commute, so his life is stressful and physically exhausting.

I am in the process of starting up a business, I gave up a poorly paid part time job last year to do this and it has cost me a lot in time and money for training etc, it's slowly growing and hopefully will come good but is time consuming and hard work for me. DH is currently the sole breadwinner really and this puts a lot of pressure on him psychologically. However I do pretty much everything at home as he rarely gets home before 8pm, our DDs are older but still need taking care of, taking to after school activities etc.

I am menopausal so not sleeping well and feeling old and tired myself, coping with hot flushes, etc, but he seems to think this is not a big deal, in fact even a bit of a joke.

At the moment he is very hard to live with - bad tempered, and he drinks to relieve the stress which doesn't help at all. He has had therapy before and has taken anti D's before but nothing seems to really help. He has been suicidal in the past and although he isn't now he does seem close to the edge and I am worried he is going to have some kind of breakdown. His working pattern means going to the Dr's is really difficult and I don't think he thinks much to them anyway, all they will offer is citalopram.

I feel a bit selfish for working on my own business because I'm not contributing financially (I do make a small income but because I'm still starting up my costs are high) and sometimes wonder if I shouldn't just to back to paid employment to relieve the pressure on him, but that seems like a very short termist point of view.

I feel this enormous anger and frustration in him, a sort of bitterness. This makes it hard to like him at times. He is a caring Dad and our DD;s love him a lot but I can see they are finding his moods unnerving.

I want to support him but also feel dragged down by his anxiety. I know I tend to want to step in and "rescue" him but at the moment I just feel fed up, it's a sort of "here we go again" feeling. I feel like I have lived with this for so long...we have married more than 20 years and he has had anxiety or depression on and off for most of this time, I just didn't realise when I married him what the implications of this would be. I can't imagine divorcing him and feel like this would force him even closer towards a breakdown but at the same time I feel very lonely and unsupported emotionally myself.

The ironic thing is that as a therapist I help people with anxiety and depression but I feel too close to the situation to be able to help him.

Sorry for the long post, just venting really.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 19-May-16 23:38:02

How long before your business makes a living for you?

coco1810 Thu 19-May-16 23:38:34

Oh wow, big hugs love. My DP is recovering from PTSD, depression and anxiety and its so bloody hard to keep all those plates spinning isn't it? I don't really have any advice for you other than maybe he needs to see another therapist, has he tried CBT? This really helped my DP but he had to reach rock bottom which included suicidal thoughts a day after my DD birthday. You know you need to have a talk with him but he has to do it himself. Big hugs xflowersflowers

Asprilla11 Thu 19-May-16 23:51:53

Hello OP,

I suffer from depression and anxiety, especially suicidal thoughts (my dad committed suicide when I was 9 and I've felt it is my destiny too since being a teenanger).

I'm 36 and have tried paroxetine, citalopram, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, mirtazapine and sertraline. Although I don't have bipolar I am currently taking lithium along with sertraline and mirtazapine.

I have found that in the last couple of years more GP's/psychiatrist's are using combination of anti-depressants, with and without lithium.

You won't get offered that though without regular visits to the GP and then Mental Health teams. Some GP's will just favour one anti-dep and not explore other options.

However, I must say that for me, exercise is one of the biggest factors in trying to get my mental health well. I realise with kids this may be difficult for your husband to find time to do.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 20-May-16 00:03:18

I think we all have our limits op. I subscribe to an unpopular pov which is that if an adult is suicidal and has been several times in their history despite every possible psychological and medicinal intervention ... then they should just be left in peace/to their own devices. It is too much to ask someone else to hold them together for a lifetime. So, I quite understand you in other words.

SleeplessRageMonster Fri 20-May-16 10:24:50

There's only so much support you can offer a partner and for so long before everyone reaches breaking point. Some on here spout the whole "depression is an illness! You should support your poor spouse!", and I believe this to an extent but if nothing is changing for years, if the children are being affected as well as yourself, you can't save the spouse you can only save yourselves.

RubbishMantra Fri 20-May-16 10:43:55

Hello OP,

I was a therapist in training when DH committed suicide. I knew I couldn't counsel him, (too emotionally invested) but tried to give him tools to manage his bi-polar and schizophrenia.

As a therapist do you you have your own therapist and supervisor to talk to? Living with somebody with MH problems, you need a space to vent, with somebody who is empathic, yet not emotionally invested in your circumstance.

My heart goes out to you.

tinkywinkyshandbag Fri 20-May-16 22:51:53

Thanks all, I just typed a long reply and accidentally lost it but just wanted to say thanks for the support. xx

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