Mothering Forum banner

How can I help DH through his depression? x-posted in mental health

89 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Penelope
So we're in a bad place right now and dh isn't dealing with it well. He's pretty depressed. He hates his job and where we live. We're looking to get out, and I've said that it's a priority that needs to happen within a few months, but what to do until then?

I'm having a hard time being patient with him, and it's hard to know how much to forgive of him because he's having a hard time, kwim? He brings his frustration home from work with him and is short-tempered with ds and me ... kicking walls, yelling ... I feel pretty much unloved by him lately, which is hard even though I know he just has no energy for it.

So, of course, there's no guarantee that he won't bring his depression with him wherever we go, but I do think that change could only be a good thing in our situation. The problem is, he has little motivation because of his mental state to make decisions and actions to get us out of here. Should I just take charge and do it myself?

I guess I'm just looking for advice from people who have been in this situation on either side as to what worked, or if you've been depressed, how would you have liked your partner to support you? Because, honestly, my selfish self just wants to leave or yell at him to snap out of it and get it together. Awful, I know, but honest. I want to do better than that though, because I love him and believe that he can be happy and satisfied if he has the eneregy to do what he loves and believes in.

What do you think? Thanks ...
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Has he been asessed by a physician or therapist? If he's genuinely suffering from depression, moving to a new place isn't going to make his brain chemistry better, kwim? Sometimes it's tempting for someone who is depressed to blame all the problems on some external factor (a job, a town, a social situation, a spouse) but this can become an endless cycle of blaming without any improvement in the problems.

My dh has struggled with depression all his adult life. It wasn't until he was prescribed antidepressants and took them consistantly *and* got serious about therapy with someone he clicked with that I started to feel confident about his mental health, instead of apprehensive. He went through phases where he did blame all his problems on whatever felt most frustrating at the moment, and it's not very productive.

If you can pursuade him to see a therapist, it might help a lot. If he refuses, consider therapy for yourself, because at least you'll have a guide and supporter for coping with your dh.
See less See more
I'm currently in the process of seeking treatment for depression. I have often thought about things like moving, buying a new/different home, etc. because I felt a big change might be the catalyst for me to feel better. But I agree that while a different house would certainly be an improvement, it isn't going to solve what is at the root of my problem. If my husband took charge of moving us to a new home/job without my help I would probably be livid, and more depressed to not have any input into the process. I like to feel that I have control over the major events in my life, and that would not be a good idea for me. However, I also understand the feeling of "I wish someone else would just take over XYZ completely, because it stresses me out so much" (usually housework).

Can you just ask him? Say, "You know, I've noticed you've been really stressed after work lately. Would it help if I did some of the job hunting for you online?" or "I'd like to look at some houses and if I find any I really like then you can come and look at them too, that way it won't take so much of your time." Something like that so he knows that you're willing to take on some of the stress/responsibility but still let him have input.

I also absolutely think that you should suggst therapy/counseling if he is not already involved in this. If my husband said to me in a loving way, "I really am concerned about you. You seem really unhappy, and angry a lot of the time. I'd like you to seriously think about getting some counseling to help you cope with the stress in your life." I think a lightbulb would have gone on over my head. He didn't, because I think he didn't realize what I'm like when he isn't here, but he was very supportive when i told him that I planned to go.
See less See more

Originally Posted by Lousli

Can you just ask him? Say, "You know, I've noticed you've been really stressed after work lately. Would it help if I did some of the job hunting for you online?" or "I'd like to look at some houses and if I find any I really like then you can come and look at them too, that way it won't take so much of your time." Something like that so he knows that you're willing to take on some of the stress/responsibility but still let him have input.

Yeah, he actually told me point blank that he wants me to do more in the new home search because he doesn't want to do it all and he wants me to be more involved. I got all defensive at first but then realized he was right, I just *hate* making phone calls and feel like he's so much better at it so I was happy to let him do all that ... but I need to get over that. I'm also not a very take charge kind of person and *I'm* happy where we are now so it's hard to get motivated to move.

I hear what you're both saying about a change of situation not making the underlying problem go away. The thing is, we live in a house on the property of dh's boss, where he also works. It's kind of all-consuming. He feels like he's a slave to his boss, who he REALLY doesn't like. Plus he doesn't believe in what he's doing, and dh is a pretty idealistic guy .. if he doesn't believe in what he's spending half of his waking hours doing, he's going to start to hate himself. I have brought up that that is likely to happen again at another job, because it'll never be perfect. So we're looking to start our own business, but realistically one or both of us will have to work for at least a few more years.

About his brain chemistry ... dh's mother is manic depressive, with a heavy emphasis on the manic. Dh is 33 and I was under the impression that if it hadn't shown itself by your 20's you probably haven't inherited it. I guess he could have a mild version? Dh says subtle things every once in a while about thinking maybe he might have a touch of it, and I guess he would know better than I but I've only noticed him being slightly subdued and sad in the winter, which seems so common for so many people. Does anyone know much about bipolar?

Thanks again.
See less See more
As far as depression goes (I don't know much about bipolar) I can only tell you about my personal experience. I have never been a really optimistic person, and I've had minor bouts of situational depression on and off throughout my life, but alway managed to pull myself out of them or the situation would get better enough that I'd feel okay. But I only ever had to look after myself before. Now that I'm in my 30's, with a husband, a mortgage, and 2 kids, I have way more responsibilities than I did 10 years ago. I can't cheer myself up by driving to LA for the weekend to hang out with one of my friends or stay out dancing until 2am. I definitely feel that I do not have severe depression, but I also feel that I have reached a place where I can no longer go it alone.

Your dh may have had some form of depression for a long time. He may just now be showing signs of depression because there are more stressors now in his life than before. Whatever the case is, it sounds like he feels unable to handle it all. He has already asked for your help with the housing issue. I really think suggesting therapy might be a good idea. They might give him ways to cope with the stress better and just the outlet of talking to someone might help. They might suggest medication, but he is not obligated to try that if he doesn't feel he wants to.

I think you sound really caring and concerned for his well-being. If it is bad enough though that you sometimes want to leav e him over it, I would think it is bad enough that he needs help. Hugs mama, I hope that helps.
See less See more
Just because he (apparently) isn't bipolar doesn't mean he isn't having major depression that needs treatment. Having a parent with depression or other mental illness makes a child (or adult child) much more likely to suffer from mental illness. If he thinks he might be "somewhat" bipolar, it's a good idea to get a professional diagnosis. I can certainly understand that if he has had negative experiences via his mother's treatment or lack thereof, he's maybe less inclined to do that.

I get what you're saying about your living situation being a big problem! But it's still possible that a major change in situation might not make things better right away, esp. since moving is so stressful.

He's lucky to have you as a partner.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.