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Depressed dh getting me down, too ... tales of hope, please

(21 Posts)
HoldingItAllTogether Mon 19-Feb-07 10:02:56

When dh and I got together nearly 11 years ago, he was known for his cheerfulness. Over the last five or so years, dh has had a couple of low spells (as have I) but has still essentially been "here"; present and loving, if a little down.

In early December last year, dh fell into another depression. I understand why - all work-related, and strongly linked to his self-esteem. This has been the most debilitating depressive spell yet. He has been going into work only occasionally so is at home a lot - but when he's at home, he's not with us; his face is vacant. It's like living with a body moping about, rather than a person. His loss in confidence is also behind him feeling that he can't handle our son, so caring for our high-spirited pre-schooler is down to me at the moment.

For the first month of dh feeling low, I was understanding, affectionate, reassuring - everything I should be. But I'm beginning to feel fed up with dh being here, but not here; with him lying in every morning, even when ds and I have been ill and I could do with the extra rest; with him finding little or no enjoyment in what I see as the pleasures of being a family (trips to the park, bike rides, funny things ds says and does); of hearing ds enthuse to his dad about something four or five times, and seeing dh having to really work at snapping out of his daze before he actually responds; with either telling people the truth when they ask how we all are (and grinding the conversation to a halt/having others gossip about us), or instead with lying and pretending everything's fine. I know dh needs love and support more than anything else, but I now feel reluctant and uneasy giving it; I'm becoming increasingly resentful as I see dh indulge in behaviour and thinking that we all know isn't helping him one bit. He isn't the person I love at the moment.

Dh is doing a few things about the depression, but it's early days. I feel like there is a big black cloud over our home - none of us want to be home - and yet I can't really do anything about it, just keep trying to be cheerful.

Why am I posting? To vent! And because I'm wondering if my more recent response to dh's illness is fair, or just plain selfish and conditional? And I suppose to seek reassurance from anyone else who's been in this position with their dh/dp, who can tell me it gets better ...

Biglips Mon 19-Feb-07 10:06:58

do u all go out at all? my dp is very stressed atm due to work and his boss is on his back for not doing enough work due to gales for the past 3m as my dp a foreman since last sept (window cleaner). We go out for walks, park or a little day out that doesnt cost much and dp and i feels good for getting out of the house

Biglips Mon 19-Feb-07 10:10:36

oh ive just realised that your dh is not enjoying the little pleasures (parks, walks etc). As its early days with his depression and its a gud thing that he getting help as some men dont even think twice about getting help. how long had he been like this? when you two last spoke about how he feeling atm?...

HoldingItAllTogether Mon 19-Feb-07 10:10:56

Thanks, Biglips. Yes, we do go out quite a bit. We have family and friends locally, which is invaluable - especially at a time like this. We've been for walks, a bike ride yesterday, a day-long trip out the other day. I agree that sometimes, it really lifts dh ... but the day after the day-long trip out, which was such a good one, he wouldn't get out of bed because for him, being at home relative to the day out was really depressing! Sigh. But you're right - getting out and about is generally a positive move, even if it's just me and ds getting out and leaving dh to sleep. Thanks again. [Scuttles off to organise today's outing ...]

jabberwocky Mon 19-Feb-07 10:18:42

I almost started a similar thread My dh keeps going on about how stressed he is, but I have taken on virtually every responsibility to reduce his stress and it hasn't helped! His doctor finallly put him on meds and I am hoping that helps. I am also woking to try and get him to go to therapy.

Like you, I feel as if my compassion is drying up and I just want a normal family life. I am beginning to understand what it's like to live with someone who is chronically ill/

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Mon 19-Feb-07 12:34:37

I feel similarly often. DH doesn't actually have depression I don't think.. but suffers from chronic pain that is sometimes accute and this makes him feel depressed. I know that is hellish for him.. I feel so bad for him hearing him vomit with pain.. I would love to be able to take some of that pain away from him even if it meant taking it myself (and I'm crap with pain.. ) I do understand a little of how he must feel.. I am always asking him how he is and how I can help... BUT..

Oh God.. how his "mood" brings me down.. I hate myself for being so reliant on him being "in a good mood" so that I can feel happy! I hate that.. I should be more self reliant even if only for the kids, who, with a miserable, silent moping father (sick with pain but rarely takes to him bed because there is so much to do 3 kids and DS2 being disabled.. SEE what a cow I am!!) I really shouldn't complain. He always cooks dinner however bad he feels.. and often throws his away!

Yesterday was my birthday and some friends came round for dinner and DH felt really crap all day. Once friends left there was no conversation.. no anything and I felt so.. well a mixture of and ... and I know it's not personal either.. he is sweet to me when he feels ok. (I came on here feeling sorry for myself/wanting company/determined to talk about positive stuff.. and got ingored on here as well.. must have been putting out a vibe y/day!)

Sorry for making this a persoanl vent!! I have just let out some of what I keep inside because I sound so bloody unreasonable I know.

I really hope that the help your DH is getting makes a difference and that he can start taking some pleasure in life again. It must be so horrid for both of you and I suppose he must feel guilty as well.

HoldingItAllTogether Mon 19-Feb-07 13:42:28

Hey Shiny. Thanks for opening up about your experience of this, too. No need to apologise for venting about your life; you clearly need to as well. You have three kids; I have only the one!

I don't think it's daft that you feel somewhat dependent on your dh's mood to feel happy yourself/lift the mood of the family. No doubt you want your family home to have a contented feel about it most of the time. It is really hard to keep fairly upbeat about life around somebody who's feeling really low. Like swimming against the tide. If you want a generally bright mood at home, and one of you is detracting from that a lot, it follows that another of you is going to have to try extra hard. And that's wearing. And divisive in your relationship: you end up being so different in your behaviours and outlooks.

Thanks for your support, Shiny. Hope your dh will get well some time soon, too ... is it likely that his pain will go away?

heypickme Mon 19-Feb-07 14:17:07

Hi everyone i can seriously relate to what your all saying.

A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with severe depression (as only men can get it severely if you know what i mean lol) anyway he saw a phsyciathrist (sorry spelling) and he was in a hospital in Harley street for 2 weeks while they tried to find out what was wrong with him, none of his family or our friends offered to help me and my 2 kids where younger then, i am from Ireland so didnt expect my family to come over and help out.

He slowly got better, had his ups and downs too, whe soon learned when his downs was and i tended to take the kids out or keep them away from him as he just didnt want them around.

Through out this i was there, never judged him, loved him if not more than when i met him.

The doctors put him on different types of anti-depressents and each and everyone of them had the same effect on him, no sex drive, we had sex life before them.

Anyway time went on and now here we are years later, in debt up to our eyeballs, the kids are both in high school and me and hubby rarely talk. Everyone used to say they where so jealous of us because even when we went out we didnt need other people around we used to have a good time and get on so well just the 2 of us.

Now we very rarely have a conversation, havent had sex since last may, if i say anything he accuses me of nagging all the time and now i dont have any friends left to turn too, i feel really depressed. We havent even shared a proper kiss for months and months i am lucky if i get a peck on the cheek, i dont work as i am off since last year with a disability so i cant meet people that way.

We dont go anywhere or do anything as a family any more and it really is getting me down, i would love to have a friend, someone i can talk to.

Anyway i am sorry for hi-jacking your thread. Just wanted to let you know your not alone


ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Mon 19-Feb-07 16:48:47

Oh HPM that's rough!! You need to learn how to enjoy each other again. Is the depression actually under control now? You sort of imply it but wasn't sure. If so can you sit down together and make some plans.. not expensive ones obviously.. but things you could enjoy together and look forward to? I know it's not always that easy.. this marriage thing is hard enough to maintain without illness and/or depression in the equation but was just thinking that if he isn't techincially depressed just now, you could try forcing the issue and really making time to talk so you can tell him how you have been feeling and give him the opportunity to do the same. You sound depressed yourself and I'm not surprised although you sound like a few changes in your life/relationship could turn things around for you, rather than you needing anti-Ds. (I may be wrong.. am guessing obviously..)

If you could start making an effort to appreciate each other again maybe the sex would follow.

Also, marriage aside, why don't you do a college course or something (you have a disability so am guessing it should be free to you).. then you would meet people, maybe learn something new, have something to focus on.

If I'm talking crap ignore me

HIAT, am surprised you thanked me for the "support" lol.. all I did was rant about me! Thank you anyway, and for giving me the opportunity to do so and for your supportive response. It's so hard isn't it. And no, am not expecting his pain to go away any time soon, if ever. He has psoriatic arthritis which is degenerative and it's hard to say how "under control" it is because although he is on medication, he doesn't really get any relief as such although we assume he would be worse without it.

Sending out ((((hugs))))

heypickme Mon 19-Feb-07 17:18:48

Thanks for taking time to answer and trying to help Shinny..

Have tried to talk to dh when he is ok but all i get is dont start that again or i get a peck on the cheek and told see i do love you. He says not his fault about lack of sex as its the tablets not him, which i did believe to be true as he was always a sex maniac till he took the tablets, but he does certain things that do make me wonder.... not going into any details ..........

The job center are meant to be putting me in touch with someone who deals with getting disabiled people on courses and back to work but so far have heard nothing, thanks anyway.

Muminfife Mon 19-Feb-07 17:28:13

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DisturbedElf Mon 19-Feb-07 17:37:20

HIAT don't feel bad about getting fed up, living with someone who suffers from depression is difficult at times, my DH suffers from depression and gets lost in his on-line gaming for days at a time. It's like living with anyone who suffers from a long term chronic illness, at times you need space too, it doesn't make you a bad person, it just means you're human and need some down time. Have you thought of going to see a counsellor for yourself? Maybe talking to someone about how you feel will help. I'm going to give it a try (and I have an inbuilt dislike of counsellors) as my DH says it was depression that led to him having his affair (not wanting to make you panic at all, sorry)and I'm really low myself at the moment. Keep your chin up and vent as much as you like.

Paddlechick666 Mon 19-Feb-07 18:08:38

great thread - thanks for starting it. i've been thinking of starting one similar.

18 months ago dh went awol for 6 weeks. he returned a few days before our dd was born. 3.5 weeks later he went awol again for 6 weeks.

since then he's lived with his parents apart from 3 months in the summer when he came home and things were good.

he was on ads and saw a psychiatrist and CBT therapist but when we moved he stopped having therapy.

end october he vanished again but only for a week this time before turning up at his mums again.

boxing day he began new treatment with new meds and new psychiatrist. january was hellish.

late jan/early feb things improved. now they're bad again.

i've seen him twice since Boxing Day.

i struggle constantly with his absence but i do wonder how it might be just as awful if he were here.

it's very very hard being the sole parent but at least if he's not here then i don't have to deal with his moods etc.

all i want is to have the happy fun loving guy i married back. it's our 2nd wedding anniversary at the end of march.

his illness breaks my heart but it's beginning to make me ill too.

i feel like i'm staring down the barrel of a gun. i don't want to be divorced and a single parent, but i want my life back too.

whatever way he is, he has the freedom to come and go as he pleases. he says he hates his life and he's not enjoying himself but he does go out and to the gym etc.

i have no time to myself, i work 4 days per week.

i'd bloody love to have a night out and i'd kill to get into the gym or on the water.

i am desperately hoping that this new dr and meds help him.

sorry, i've hijacked the thread too!

Paddlechick666 Mon 19-Feb-07 18:10:11

on the hopeful side, when he's doing okay and he comes to visit it's wonderful.

HoldingItAllTogether Mon 19-Feb-07 21:48:14

Thank you all for your understanding. I'm sorry others of you are going through similar - or worse. It's tough, isn't it?

Ds is running a fever and dozing on the sofa next to me, hence this being brief. On the bright side, dh has taken ds's temperature and is administering the Calpol as I type ... and spent the evening fixing one of ds's broken toys - a better mood in the house despite the lurgy! Like one of you said, it's not depressing all the time - thank goodness.

Here's hoping the spring brings some cheer ... I saw daffodils today! Thanks, all.

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Mon 19-Feb-07 22:08:27

Oh God HIAT, you wanted tales of HOPE didn't you! Just re-read the title!! And all you got were tales of woe! (She says with necessary black humour!)

Althought lots of understanding for sure!

Muminfife Mon 19-Feb-07 22:13:37

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onlyjoking9329 Mon 19-Feb-07 22:26:43

it is hard when you are used to two adults holding it together, to then be the only one holding it together, afraid i can't offer any tales of hope at the moment, but i hope i will be able to at some point.

JackieNo Mon 19-Feb-07 22:41:12

My DH has been on ADs for about 4 years now (Efexor) and it's really helped him. He was spiralling further and further into depression, including SAD, so Christmasses were always incredibly difficult for him, and so for all of us. The ADs really have made all the difference - he's much more positive about things, and if something bad happens, instead of it sending him into a huge downward spiral, he can recover from it much more quickly.

I completely understand what was being said about their mood setting the tone for the house - you know when they're down, and it makes me feel sad and almost fearful of how it's going to affect all the rest of the family.

Not sure if this is a tale of hope, but certainly the ADs are helping enormously - he's the man I fell in love with again, not the man who sits around playing computer games all night and unable to get up for work in the mornings that he turned into.

Sorry - not very coherent - hope it helps a bit.

jabberwocky Tue 20-Feb-07 19:32:50

I didn't mean to abandon the thread yesterday. Ds1 came down with diarrhea, joy ....

I was interested to see that other's have a dh who spends a lot of time on the computer. It seems like mine is playing computer games most of the time and it really makes me see red. I can understand a little downtime, but this is getting to be really constant. I am hoping, hoping that his new meds kick in soon.

Muminfife Tue 20-Feb-07 19:55:49

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