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my dh is depressed and i dont know how to handle it

(25 Posts)
lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 19:36:24

he has been depressed on and off for nearly 3 years.
we were burgled 2 days after having dd and i think it is that which started it off, we moved form that home and bought another, which we then had something else stolen from the garden. dh said everything was fine, but out of the blue he stayed in bed for 2 days, not talking, eating or wanting to talk. i got him to see the gp who put him on some tablets, im not sure what, and arranged councelling.
he went once or twice but didnt feel the need to go again ,and once his prescription ran out about 4 months later he stopped taking the pills.

for the next 2 and half years he has been fairly ok, ups and downs but nothing too bad.

we now live with my parents, his idea and are planning to build in their garden, we are currently waiting for planning permission to be passed.

last week a friend of ours was burgled by 4 masked men ,he was beaten and threatened, and this is set dh off in a bad way again.

he went to the docs today, telling me he had chest pains, which he has had for a very long time and never done anything about, but didnt come back to work, or let anyone know where he was.

he has done this before and he just sent me a message saying 'feeling down, love you, talk later'

he was suicidal before and i was worried he had done something, turned out he had just been driving around for about 7 hours.

i odnt have any experience of depression, and before viewed it as a weekness in people. i cant understand why he is depressed but he worries about things out of his control.

i find it extremely hard to be sympathetic to him and cnat find the right words to help him.

i just needed to get this all out, anyone elses experiences or advice would be very welcome as i dont know how to handle him.sad sad sad

lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 19:37:19

ment to say, he got some pills from the doc today nad has started to take them.


ActingNormal Tue 21-Oct-08 19:54:09

Your poor DH. It sounds like the burglaries have started some sort of anxiety that whatever he does, some things are not under his control, and something bad could happen at any time. Are the pains in his chest from panic or something to do with digestion/heart? I bet it's panic. He probably feels like he is being stupid and is therefore reluctant to talk about it. Perhaps you could reassure him that whatever thoughts he is having, even if he feels they are irrational, you will listen and not tell him he is being stupid but will try to understand.

Most people put anxious thoughts about things that could happen which they have no control over, out of their minds, because thinking too much about it stops you functioning but when a person is ill these thoughts can become intrusive and persistent. If it is this, there are books you can read on it eg. The Imp of the Mind, or look up intrusive thoughts/obsessive thoughts etc on the web.

lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 20:03:42

the doc said it the pains were probably juts a strain or something. we own a scrap yard the work is manual so it could be right, but he has had these pains for ages.
he also does banger racing and the doc said this could also be a cause.

i do encourage him to talk to me and tell him that i am trying to understand how he feels. he says he feels daft about feeling this way.

the first time he went to the docs about it, they gave him and information sheet about depression and that explained how it is an imbalance of chemicals in the mind, and some people have the imbalance, others dont, which made me see it more of an illness, rather than him just overreacting or being silly.
i realise telling hime to snap out of is no use.

i know you form the demanding kids thread, as if i dont have enough on my platesad

lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 20:11:00

i have copied and pasted this into the mental health section, i think it may be a better section for it, but if oyu have any more advice, please feel freesmile i need all the help i/we can get!

amygirl Tue 21-Oct-08 20:16:01

Depression is a horrible, nasty way to be and sometimes it feels like a physical pain - like your guts twisting up inside you. Often the person bullies themselves "what's the matter with you? Just pull yourself together and get on with this. You are so weak. In fact you are downright useless. Its a shame that those you love have to put up with someone as pathetic as you around. Maybe they would be better off without you". (I speak from personal experience). So, anyone else who says any part fo that just convinces the person that they were right and the depression just gets deeper and deeper.
It is near impossible to self treat bad depression and people who have never had it, just don't get it. It needs professional help.
All you can do is be non-critical and try to not get dragged down too. The only thing that I can really think of which does help is setting small targets that he can succeed at and get some confidence in himself back.

Someone once told me that depression comes when you feel like no matter what you do you cannot make things better. While there is hope you will keep trying but when you really believe that you can't do anything about it then depression comes. It sounds from what you said that your DH was badly affected by the burglars, but the problem is what can he do to ensure that his family and property are never affected by this? So you can see where the hopelessness comes in.

lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 20:23:23

the thing that really bugs me is that with all his friends and work mates, he is a different person.
around the banger tracks he is known as this person always ready to help, have a laugh, large as life. it is only when he is with me that this side of him comes out.

it is very difficult as you say not to get dragged down, sometimes i feel as it is me that is making him feel this way, you know, having dd, stopping him doing everything he wants to do cause he has responsibilities.

ActingNormal Tue 21-Oct-08 20:30:09

No LizandLulu, I don't believe it is you that makes him like this, I think that he feels comfortable enough around you and secure enough in your feelings for him that he can act how he really feels with you. This could be seen as a compliment. I know I am like this with my DH, he is the only one who really sees me having a problem as I don't trust other people to let them see it.

When I was at my worst, the people at work had absolutely no idea there was anything wrong with me and thought I was a 'happy-go-lucky', 'life and soul', 'laid back' type which is so not true, it is just a public face! But I can see how that seems so unfair that other people get the nice side of him and you get the problems.

amygirl Tue 21-Oct-08 20:30:40

I don't think it is you. He is just exposing more of how he really feels to you because he trusts you and just wants help. It is a whole other level when you let the rest of the world know what sort of person you really are. (this is how he probably thinks of it. it is how I think of it. I can only write this because amy is not my name)

lizandlulu Tue 21-Oct-08 20:36:01

thanks for all this. i doesnt help that dd has been ill for the last 2 days and we have hardely had any sleep at night.

when dh came home at about 4ish, he went upstairs and we had a chat, msotly me just asking him questions and asking where he had been all this time. (really i wanted to scream at him 'you selfish git, letting us all worry you were laid in a ditch or something ,you could have let us know you were ok')
then he want to sleep and that is where he has stayed ever since.
(i also want to scream 'we have a dd who needs looking after, i wish i could just curl up in a ball and go to sleep')
i am going to bed now, but will check back tomorrow. please keep the talking coming, it is helpful to know i am not alone, i have tried to talk ot a couple of friends about it, but if they havent been through it, they have no real idea what it is like walking on eggshells, not wanting to upset him in any way.

amygirl Tue 21-Oct-08 20:49:45

I don't know what is going on inside your Dhs head but if it was me, this is what would help right now:-

tonight when you go to bed, cuddle into him for a few minutes

tomorrow morning, ask him if he will get DD dressed while you make breakfast. Tell him you are making toast, and is that ok for him (generally don't give him choices just chose for him and check that he's ok with what you suggest.)
Tomorrow evening try to watch a film or something which will make you both laugh. Basically just start acting normal but secretly try not to give him any chance to start bullying himself again (so you make the decisions and check with him that it is ok).
I am embarrassed at what i put my Dh through. Going to hug him now..!

lizandlulu Wed 22-Oct-08 08:34:45

well i did the cuddling, but dd kept waking up feeling poorley and she eventually got into our bed.
this morning he is just laid in bed, wont get up to go to work, i will go up in a bit and tell him breakfast is ready.

amygirl Wed 22-Oct-08 09:57:21

He is sick and probably isn't up to going to work. Does he work for himself or does he have an employer? Maybe he should go to the doctor and get himself signed off for a while.
The AD take a while to start working - two or three weeks. Meantime it would be good if somehow he didn't get any worse. Partly that is up to him and all you can do is be there for him, talk about it if he wants to, not if he doesn't and try to carry on as normally as possible.

I am really sorry for you, you are going through an awful time too. It will pass though.

lizandlulu Wed 22-Oct-08 12:47:21

thats the problem, we both work for my dad in the family business, so dad is asking me, will 'he be coming to work today?'
he doesnt understand depression, he is even worse than i am about it.

lizandlulu Wed 22-Oct-08 12:58:40

i had to go out this morning, but he did eat breakfast, albeit in bed.
i have just been up to him again and he is just laid staring into space, i asked him if he wanted to tell me, and he started crying saying he has nothing to get up for.sad

chuffinell Wed 22-Oct-08 13:17:15

you poor thing, i know how you feel, my dh suffers with depression and its incredibly difficult for partners to cope with - but twice as hard for the sufferer

your dh is obviouly clinically depressed - would he go to counselling? hopefully the tablets will help soon, but they take a while to kick in

in the meantime just keep telling him you love him and let him rest. i know how frustrating it is esp as your dd is poorly, and you need support but he clearly isnt up to that, he is ill too.

tell your dad honestly why your dh cant come in to work, its not up to you to cover up for him.

in the meantime, make time for yourself and have a pamper - nice bubble bath, hair do, shopping if you can manage the time, because you will end up exhausted from supporting everyone else

i am sending you much sympathy. if he gets help, this will pass - then next time it happens you will know whats happening and be able to cope with it

lizandlulu Wed 22-Oct-08 13:26:47

thanks chuffinell, your post has got me in tears, but it is good to know you are there.

dad wants to tell him to get up, stop being silly, work through it, not stay in bed. he knows he is depressed but doesnt understand how it gets people feeling.
he hasnt said anything about getting councelling, i will metion it to him later.
i fell bad about going out when he is in this state, i feel as though i should be at home with him. i feel like i am just ignoring it if i go out. but i have to go to work tomorrow and friday, i ahve to carry on and i dont know what he will be like if i am not here.
my mum and dd will be here but my mum is not sympathetic. we have had alot of bad times in the family ourselves and my mum thinks if we can cope with what we have been through then dh should be able to cope with whatever he is feeling too.

chuffinell Wed 22-Oct-08 13:40:33

you're welcome, i know what a lonely feeling it is trying to cope with this, and not wanting to tell other people.

you wd be surprised how many people suffer with this and understand. i know what your mum and dad both mean but its not that simple really, imagine if he had a broken leg he wdnt be able to help being poorly then would he, and people wouldnt even question his being off work.

dont be tempted to stay by his side constantly, it will wear you down, i know what you are afraid of (him doing something silly) but it will drag you down too, and do him no good. you need to go out and about and have a break from it, you will feel more able to help him then - take the kids out so they dont fret too, they can pick up on it

remember - in sickness and in health - he will feel better in a while hopefully and appreciate you being there for him, keeping things in the family ticking over. look after yourself thou - speak to your own GP about how hard it is

lizandlulu Wed 22-Oct-08 14:52:51

i have just been reading the leaflet that comes with the citaloprom, it says all the usual, dont use heavy machinery, dont drink, then it says, side effects could be increased suicidal thoughts or self harmingshock these tablets could do more harm than good!!

Crumpets Wed 22-Oct-08 15:05:53

Most people don't get those side effects from citalopram and can take it without any problems. It can make anxiety worse for the first week though which is something to be aware of. It won't start to properly work on the depression for a couple of weeks.

Depression is an illness, it is not simply a case of not being able to deal with tough times. it makes you unable to motivate yourself to help yourself, unable to concentrate, sleep and often eat. It's not surprising he can't go to work and your dad ought to be sympathetic about it.

He may also be putting on a brave face for his friends but be showing you his real feelings so don't be offended by that behaviour.

Have you asked him straight out if he's suicidal? It's important because if he's not then you don't need to worry about leaving him alone.

Hang in there, the citalopram should start working soonish and if it's not giving him an improvement 2 weeks after he started taking it, or if he's suicidal in the meantime, go back to the doctor.

If you can encourage him to eat well and maybe take some light exercise (could you maybe go for a walk together) that can help his mood.

Good luck.

chuffinell Thu 23-Oct-08 09:54:07

how are you all today lizandlulu?

hope things are ok

lizandlulu Thu 23-Oct-08 11:28:25

well he has gone to work, we went to the shop last night and took a dog so we got a bit for fresh air, its not far, but got us out. he managed a little smile over something i said.
i have managed to get him in to see a counceller tomorrow at 12. he said the doctor asked if he would like to arrange to talk to someone, but it could be 3-4 weeks, so i got him a private woman.

dh has just rang to say our planning has been put back weeks as a new search has got to be done.


TrillianAstra Thu 23-Oct-08 19:54:12

Congratulations on the walk, it may seem like a little thing but it's great step. Depression is awful, makes people not feel like doing the exact things that might help them to feel a tiny bit better (fresh air, food, anything they normally would enjoy).

My DP has been on citalopram for 6 weeks and 1 day now, things are going much beter than they were. He had a lot of anxiety (rapid heartbeat, constant knot in stomach etc) as wel as the depression and that got worse before it got better. He's just had first appointment with psychiatrist, they recommended Escitalopram (more expensive version of the drug, so not usually prescribed at first) if you get side effects from the normal citalopram.

Remember to look after yourself and not to wear yourself thin looking after everyone else. Some days there's not much you can do except be there. Keep in touch, it's just as important for you to have people to talk to as well as him.

(PS I'm new, and not actually a mum. That's okay, right?)

lizandlulu Thu 23-Oct-08 21:24:22

trillianastra, thanks for that, i will keep those other tablets in mind, i will see how he feels on these and mention the others if these are no good for him. i dont know why the doc didnt prescribe the ones he took before, cause they worked ok.
he is going to see a counceller tomorrow, i think thet will help and i wll report back how it goes.
i dont think dh has any anxiety problems, so hopefully he wont have too many if any side effects.
he doesnt nkow i am talking about it on here, but it helos me to talk to others who are going through the same, i have a great mate in rl but she doesnt know what it is like.
i will keep in touch.

you too, keep your head up, hopefully we are over the worstsmile

(and yes it is ok that you are new and not a mum!!)

TrillianAstra Sun 26-Oct-08 18:47:50

How were things this weekend?

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