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Would it be reasonable to suspect depression as the cause of my husband's change in behaviour?

(5 Posts)
1Catherine1 Tue 14-Jun-16 23:21:32

I returned to work at the start of last week and posted on here in the middle of last week, concerned with how my husband was getting along with looking after our DS. Someone mentioned depression and I dismissed it at first. However, after some very odd behaviour from him, I am starting to wonder.

It has been a stressful few months. From the birth of our son in January, followed by getting an eviction notice shortly after, then actually having to move and shell out loads of money to do so, to him being financially responsible for us for the first time (I am the main earner usually) in our relationship to finding out his father has lung cancer 4 weeks ago. Then finally, to being left to look after our DS for the first time ever last week alone.

So it has been rough. Especially for him. I have noticed in the last few weeks his behaviour has become unusual. He plays on the computer and totally tunes us out. He does this for hours at a time unless he has to do something else. Yesterday our DD (age 5) knocked over a glass and broke it, he made a half hearted attempt to clean it up. I only found out when I stood on a shard of glass that evening, and have since found other bits on the kitchen and living room floor. A year ago (glasses don't get broke often in our house) he would of cleared every bit up and warned me as soon as I got home that he may have missed a bit. Today he shouted at our DD for spilling a drink all over the kitchen, I came home to her crying in her room and him annoyed in the garden. He is usually so patient with our DD, especially for accidents. He has stopped cleaning up and making food, he rarely eats anyway and generally will only eat the food I put in front of him (otherwise opting to snacks to keep him going).

I was starting to feel very frustrated with him but then the comment from another MNer came to mind. Do you think this can be depression? Surely this would be understandable given the circumstances? Should I try to persuade him to see the GP or given the situation, should I just give him time to work it out on his own?

Joysmum Wed 15-Jun-16 00:15:22

When my DH was depressed, I tried to lighten the load and make excuses until it got to the stage where I thought his relationship with me and our DD was going to be irrepairably damaged.

So I told him I loved him so much but could see he wasn't happy and that he wasn't being himself. I told him I believed it was time for him to visit the GP as I feared for us as a family. Then I gave him a big hug and suggested he think about it.

It didn't take long, he was relieved I'd suggested it as he would not have done it without that. He wanted to feel better as much as I wanted the old him back.

I didn't need to ask what was wrong, his dad had died the previous year, it wasn't pretty. DH clearly wasn't coping.

In your case it might be useful trying to get your DH to talk and offering a start so he realises you appreciate how recent changes have been challenging. Many people don't feel allowed to be down or worried so bottle it up and it can take someone to start the conversation for them to feel free to express themselves.

1Catherine1 Wed 15-Jun-16 06:32:20

Thank you for your post. It is very useful and really good advice. I do appreciate it. I will speak to him tonight.

Joysmum Wed 15-Jun-16 08:58:57

Best of luck. flowers

Isetan Wed 15-Jun-16 09:15:44

Whatever the reason behind his behaviour your DD can't suffer because of it and if he isn't capable of caring for her, she shouldn't be left alone with him.

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