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Struggling to cope with depressed husband - Carers UK Forum

Struggling to cope with depressed husband

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I've been with my husband for 11 years and he's always suffered from depression in some form. Every few years he has a bad cycle and he's going through one at the moment.
Each time this gets harder and harder. I'm finding myself resenting him and getting to the point when I'm wondering whether it's worth it. Then I feel awful because it's not his fault.
He accepts there's a problem but won't speak to anyone. He's angry all the time.
He has always struggled to get a decent job. For the last five years he has worked part time and taken care of childcare (we have a 8yo son) while I work full time as I have the better paying job. I'm getting on well at work which is making things worse. But tesco changed his hours so he left because he was angry and took the first job he could get, which is full time working from 4pm to midnight. It's really crap and the money is awful. He applied for a night job and got an interview but didn't get the job.
He's now talking about just leaving, quitting his job and taking off away from everything. He hates everyone and everything. He said he doesn't know what he wants or where he's going. He's stuck in this dark pit and I don't know how to help him out of it. Everything I do just seems to make things worse.
Sorry for the rant. :(
I suggest that you have counselling focussed on YOU, not him. Your hopes, your dreams, and what you want from your own life.
Depression is a dreadful condition to endure, whether as the person with depression or those, like you, who have to cope with it.

What I would suggest is this. You don't mention that your partner is in treatment of any kind. Has he ever had treatment for his depression? If not, or if it has lapsed, then you could simply put to him that 'the deal' you can cope with is this: that he MUST see his GP, he MUST accept treatment (which will probably be ADs to begin with, and then psychotherapy/counselling), OR his marriage will be in serious danger - you are the end of your tether and cannot keep going like this.

From what I understand (my neice has chronic depression), the GP puts you on ADs first, which serve to create a kind of 'platform' underneath your feet - depression is like sinking endlessly in a swamp, you just can't get a 'foothold' to start getting on top of it- so the purpose of the anti-depressants is to give you that initial foothold - it gives you a 'break' of sorts form the crushing negativity of depression. From what I understand from my niece she had to be on ADs for something like six weeks, and then she is eligible for counselling (the waiting list on the NHS is, of course, pretty grim!)

The point is, I would say myself, that your partner really has to 'accept' that 'something has to be done', even if he doesn't want it to (or 'can't' because of his depression.)

What is so dreadful about so many conditions of MH is that 'support' for the patient can so easily slip into 'enablement'. ie, you 'facilitiate' his continuing in the state that he's in.

Depression is pernicious, almost a 'cancer of the mind' perhaps. It paints the world black and haunts its victims day and night. Your partner is so fortunate to have you 'on his side' but sometimes, and it would seem this is one of those times, the way you HELP your partner (and yourself!) is to make HIM seek and get help. It won't be a magic wand (nothing is in life, after all) but if it lifts any of the blackness in his head, then it has to help.

I do agree about getting some counselling for yourself. Sadly, the person who is most important here is not your partner, and it's not even you - it's your little boy. His future is what is most important.

how is your partner with him? Is he kind and loving and affectionate (at least sometimes). I do hope so.

This isn't the easiest time in the world to get a decent job, but it does sound like trying to get something 'better' than the current one would be good - but it's always best to job hunt from a state of employment, not unemployment..,..

Wishing you as best as possible. There are other members here who have to cope with a partner suffering from depression and other MH issues, so you are most definitely not alone.

Kindest wishes, Jenny
Have you and your husband every attended a support group. If you husband will not would you think of attending one on your own.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anx ... roups.aspx
http://www.depressionalliance.org/infor ... nd-friends

I know it sound easy but not perhaps in practice. Does you husband understand the possible impact on your child.

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... depression
Hi Emma I completely understand you're predicament. You must be feeling exasperated with the never ending cycle.
Can I suggest your hubby gets a second (or third if necessary) diagnosis? Depression usually stems from something else.
My hubby was wrongly diagnosed with depression and anxiety for years and we wondered why ADs weren't working. A bit of Internet research and I realised it was personality disorder. GP was initially very reluctant to listen to us, but we pushed for therapy and finally they agreed it was BPD.
Your hubbys depression sounds like a symptom of something else, so don't let the GP fob you off because without the right diagnosis, your hubby can't get the right treatment.
Good luck x
I am my wife's carer and I do all the fretting etc which I feel is right because my wife can concentrate on her fight for life. I am not one to talk, even at work yet my work colleagues understand and leave me too it. Not ideal because I feel alone but I hope your husband can find it in himself to talk to someone because it really does help to work out all the emotions rattling around. The question is how does my poorly wife put up with my mood swings? I am mindful this is not the way to be in front of my wife and manage to keep a lid on it most of the time but sometimes I hate myself for what I perceive as a weakness and this adds to my overall stress levels. So he could be angry with himself because of how he effects you.
William, have you asked your GP or Carers organisation for some counselling, to help you think differently? I found it a huge help.
Would it be so very bad if your husband did take off? Apart from the little matter of how he was going to support himself, would that give him a kind of 'break', and also, I hate to say it, you as well, from a situation that is clearly very grim?

I appreciate your little boy would miss him, but if he kept in touch (where is he planning on going - or is it just 'anywhere that isn't here'?), and visited etc, would that be so bad?

Do you fear that he might 'leave for ever'? Or would it just be to get his head sorted?

I'm afraid I wouldn't worry about everything you do making him worse. Don't pussyfoot around him, you've got quite enough to cope with. His depression is not your fault, and you should not take any flak at all for it. The more you pussyfoot around him, the more of a 'sensitive flower' he'll be! He's lashing out, and you are in the line of fire. NOT ON, considering what you do for him! Does he ever apologise?

Remember, grim though this is, you, alone, cannot get him out of that pit. He has to do it himself. With your support, yes, but don't be his whipping girl!