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DH depression...do I nag or leave him alone?

(24 Posts)
fledtoscotland Wed 28-Nov-12 19:09:13

Cheery - DH has a diary with a list and tick boxes. Gives his acknowledgement of what he's achieved and done rather than focusing on what he hasn't.

CheeryCherry Wed 28-Nov-12 19:07:29

fledtoscotland can you repeat that please?! No I won't overload him, will just try find things to do- and that's never usually a problem. Thankyou.

fledtoscotland Tue 27-Nov-12 18:55:41

Cheerycherry- you know that repeating posts is the first sign of madness too much mumsnetting keyboard errors!

Post all you need. Depression is a horrible illness affecting the whole family although only the patient gets treated. Make tentative plans but don't overload your DH or that could make him feel pressured and he could hide even more <<hugs>>

CheeryCherry Tue 27-Nov-12 17:09:49

Oops sorry!

CheeryCherry Tue 27-Nov-12 17:09:17

Fledto and CJCregg thank you. It helps to know I'm ok to discuss how I feel with him...it is tricky to know how go play this. He did apologise for staying clear of everyone on Sunday, as I did a rubbish job of hiding my feelings on my face!! I told him i felt disappointed as I thought he was making an effort, and that I felt like a slave blush .... Bit silly but true at the time. Will try as others suggested, keep him busy on a weekend, then see how that goes. Thanks all.

CheeryCherry Tue 27-Nov-12 17:07:47

Fledto and CJCregg thank you. It helps to know I'm ok to discuss how I feel with him...it is tricky to know how go play this. He did apologise for staying clear of everyone on Sunday, as I did a rubbish job of hiding my feelings on my face!! I told him i felt disappointed as I thought he was making an effort, and that I felt like a slave blush .... Bit silly but true at the time. Will try as others suggested, keep h

CJCregg Tue 27-Nov-12 09:28:18

I really feel for you, OP. It's very hard because we're so often told 'what not to say to a depressive' and I certainly become very wary and start tiptoeing around my DP, worried I'll say or do the wrong thing - which I quite often do hmm. But then a HUGE fucking steamroller of resentment builds up and I end up blurting it all out in the worst possible way blush.

I agree with the people who have said that a (gentle!) kick up the arse is needed. At the weekend my DP spent quite a while 'absent' - either asleep or just not engaging, with any of us, including his children who were with us for the weekend. I had a very tricky talk with him, basically saying 'I can't do this all on my own', and although he looked pissed off we managed to get beyond the anger and resentment and remember that we are supposed to be helping each other in this relationship. I ended up saying 'I'm sorry, I don't want to give you a hard time' and he ended up saying 'You are right, I need to do more.'

He has been so much more together and engaged since then, it's almost miraculous smile.

Please don't suffer on your own. You have the right to tell him how this makes you feel, and to ask for help too.

fledtoscotland Mon 26-Nov-12 20:57:26

Have lived with DHs depression and anxiety for most of our relationship (15yrs) and at times he would love to stay in bed all day and "hide" but my foot and his arse have been known to make contact. He had a brief hospital admission in 2011 which gave us all breathing space (voluntary admission rather than sectioned but recommended by mental health crisis team) and although the easy option would be for me to walk away, I love him and he has periods of chronic illness donuts not like it's his fault.

I would get the gp to refer for psychological therapies (cbt/counselling) as well as medication review. DH has a period on mirtazapine and slept for 12-14hrs a day as a side effect of the meds. He's now on venlafaxine and is a lot more stable.

PM me if you want more info or just to moan x

CheeryCherry Mon 26-Nov-12 19:23:37

He is on prozac. He is sleeping well now but only got 2-3 hours a night in august/sept due to anxiety. Yes I agree some tough love is needed now. Thanks for sharing your experiences, makes me feel less isolated. Have noone to offload to in RL so this helps.

EldritchCleavage Mon 26-Nov-12 14:47:01

Neither nag him nor leave him. But spell out for him what you need, and negotiate with him what he is going to do at weekends and for the family. Obviously it will be less than if he were well, but he needs to be doing something, for all your sakes. Your needs and the children's needs haven't magically disappeared, after all. And the kids don't get this time back, so if he opts out long-term it will be very hard on them.

Part of the negotation could be what he needs to do to help himself, eg walking the dog every day because exercise will be beneficial. He may find it hard to get up in the morning (I did, when on ADs) so he could instead take over on weekend afternoons to sort out children, while you have a rest.

And don't feel guilty. Imagine you had the depression and he was having to hold the fort-would you do as he is doing? I know that when I was very ill with depression the fact my family were enormously supportive but quite firm about what behaviour they would not put up with was very helpful to me in the end.

bruffin Mon 26-Nov-12 14:35:51

What ads is he on?

DH was like this for a while. What I did notice was that he was jumping in his sleep a lot, like when you nod off and wake up. Hypnic jerks is the proper name for it i think. Its normal to have one or two a night, but Dh was doing it a lot more than that. Although he was sleeping I dont think he was getting proper sleep and was constantly tired.
That was clomipramine, he was changed to sertraline which doesnt seem to have the same side effect.

CheeryCherry Mon 26-Nov-12 14:13:44

He is seeing the Dr regularly, he does want to be better. He's been on ads since end if September, they've been increased and his panic attacks/intense anxiety has subsided so that's progress. We don't get chance to talk, busy ferrying DCs around til late, DH not home til half 7. I suppose we should make an effort to chat ..... must find my patience from somewhere as I have definately misplaced it at the moment!
Like the idea of having somewhere to go, can do that on Sat, will have to find something for Sunday! Thank you.

fatcuntroller Mon 26-Nov-12 13:51:49

Having been in your dhs position, I'm going to say you keep nagging.

The sleeping and generally hiding from real life is a symptom of his depression and needs to be dealt with.

How long has he been on his anti depressants? Has it been long enough for them to start working? Has he improved at all?

He needs to go back to his gp and discuss things. Make him an appointment and go with him. Tell him that he has to go for all of your sakes, refusing isnt am option.

Fairylea Mon 26-Nov-12 07:08:36

Do you think going out more would help? You say he can get up if you have to be somewhere, how about making up somewhere you have to be very earlyish at the weekends so he has to get out of bed?

You're not being unreasonable at all. I've had very severe post natal depression and still managed to care for my dd as a single parent because I had to. If I didn't get out of bed no one else would feed her! I do think your oh is letting you do everything because he knows he can..... when he knows you're not there it seems he can and does do it.

CheeryCherry Mon 26-Nov-12 07:03:38

Ria thank you, I have no time to look after myself as I am too busy doing everything. I did escape for half an hour yesterday though to take the dog out and cry. Yes I need to have another chat. I was just so fed up with it all yesterday I couldn't be bothered, which is terrible nursing I know.Thank you, and I hope you're better now.

Hmm, having been in his position, I know that for me when I got like that often I needed help (nagging/encouraging) to get up and about, but generally once I was up I felt better. On the other hand, there were days when I just couldn't face the world, and being made to come out of hiding would just make me worse. Which is very helpful to you, I know!

Is your dh able to articulate to you how he feels and what helps? It may be less frustrating for you if you understand what exactly the problem is. Possibly at weekends he loses the 'must get up NOW' of workdays and just can't (on his own) muster the energy, in which case pushing him is the way to go. But it may be that after five days of forcing himself out if the house he really needs the weekend to recharge by avoiding anything remotely stressful. Perhaps you could agree with him beforehand what you'll do on weekends and stick to that for a few weeks?

If his ADs aren't helping, or not enough, get him back to the GP, most people don't get the right drug/dose the first time. Either way, don't forget to look after yourself too, at the end of the day your dh is an adult and you're not his doctor.

CheeryCherry Mon 26-Nov-12 03:26:40

Oh no! My incessant moaning has stopped anyone else replying! Anyone else in the same boat?

CheeryCherry Sun 25-Nov-12 21:17:39

Fairylea that's the way I'm thinking. I'm bloody exhausted doing it all and getting annoyed now that he is just lounging around. I can't believe he can see its acceptable and I'm beginning to resent him, which is awful as I know he's ill. Will have a talk again. He's more positive during the week, but its all shite at the weekend. Beginning to wonder if he's just avoiding us...but he says he isn't.

Fairylea Sun 25-Nov-12 19:45:58

If he can get up for work then he can get up with the kids. He is capable of compartmentalising essential and non essential. If he was seriously losing touch with reality he wouldn't be up for work. That to me says he's not getting up because he knows you will do it. I'd threaten him with the mental health team unless he starts getting up. Sleeping in till early evening is not acceptable. That sounds harsh but perhaps that's what he needs to hear.

CheeryCherry Sun 25-Nov-12 19:15:46

He is on anti depressants, can get up most days for work, just hides away on a weekend. The idea of having him sectioned is shocking to me, I hadn't thought of it as that bad. He sees our FO every two weeks, is having telephone counselling until a slot comes up for a proper session. I think I'm just pissed off as he had a bit better week, and I stupidly thought he was improving. I kind of want to blame him for upsetting me every weekend, but I don't say a word, just plod on. I want to talk about and plan Christmas but don't dare...it will knock him sideways. Thanks for your replies.

Elibean Sun 25-Nov-12 19:00:21

My dh suffered from depression, years ago - I found the only effective intervention was to tell him, truthfully, how I felt (sad, worried, exhausted, furious) and then tell him, if he wanted our relationship to work, that he needed to get help.

It was pre-kids, though - so much harder with kids, I imagine. Good luck, it really does sound as though he needs some help.

shadylane Sun 25-Nov-12 18:58:42

Is he seeking any help with his depression? My DH suffers too, and goes through periods like this. He needs to know how you feel but nagging will only make him hate himself more. Which is why he needs to speak to a professional. My DH becomes more depressed if he has long periods of inactivity.

Fairylea Sun 25-Nov-12 18:56:57

What help is he getting? AntI depressants? Counselling ? Mental health team?

If he is incapable of getting out of bed and functioning I'd be ringing the mental health team and asking them to take a more active role with a view topossibly sectioning him... I did this with my ex and the team came round. If he isn't that poorly and is just choosing to opt out with mild depression then it should give him a bit of a knock... and if he is genuinely struggling then he will get some proper help.

CheeryCherry Sun 25-Nov-12 18:53:27

I've started threads about him before, but its getting to the point now where I'm losing patience which I know is unfair. He sleeps most of the weekend, and I leave him to it, just taking up hot drinks every now and then, but generally giving him space (and dashing round like a mad woman taxiing DCs and catching up with jobs). But I wonder now if I should be dragging him out of bed more. It was 4.30 this afternoon when I finally went up and suggested he got up. Yet last Saturday when I had to be in two places at once, he managed to get up and help out. What should I do....nag? Or keep on keeping on? <sigh> it's all exhausting.

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