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Topic: Help me help my husband

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Deborahb
    Deborahb avatar
    4 posts
    25 April 2018

    Hello

    I hope I don’t ramble too much and wonder if you fine folk have some advice for me and my family.

    My husband has suffered from depression since his teenage years and is now 48. He’s been on medication for ten years but recently has become really depressed and suffering from depression. I have not helped this as 20 months ago we sold everything to move to Australia and try to make a new start. This was always my dream and not his but he supported me in it. It’s not working out for him here, he cannot get a job and his self worth is very low. He has never been able to hold down a full time job for a sustained period of time and leave all the administration of running the house to me. He does take the children to school and cook so I appreciate this.

    Anyway we will go back to the U.K. but he is so low that I’m not sure how to help him. I love him dearly but his mood (although cannot be helped) is so low.

    Any advice would be helpful

  2. kanga_brumby
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    kanga_brumby avatar
    4883 posts
    25 April 2018 in reply to Deborahb
    Deborah by the sounds of it you are doing most of the support for your hubby alone. If possible try to get him into your local Men’s Shed. Right it is not paid employment but it will support him mentally. Plus with the contacts he gets there he could find work through them. He has nothing to lose by going there.
    Kanga
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    Croix avatar
    10565 posts
    25 April 2018 in reply to Deborahb

    Dear Deborahb~

    I'd like to join Kanga in welcoming you here. It is very hard to help a partner wiht depression, and puts extra pressure on you too.

    The fact he takes the kids to school and cooks is a pretty good thing. True in many male's eyes it does not feel the same as having a job and being a breadwinner, which is a pity as work at home is just as important.

    If he has been on meds for 10 years has he recently had them reviewed? I've found as circumstances changed they needed to be changed or become ineffective.

    Coming to another country is an enormous thing. Everything is just similar enough to be misleading, and friends and family may be far away. Without a job it can seem very isolating. I'm sure both of you will have felt the effect.

    Does your husband wish to go back?

    Kanga's idea of outside activity is a good one, what sort of interests has your husband had in the past? While it might seem very hard to start with getting involved in something can make a load of difference. When I was invalided out of my job I took up study which filled my days and eventually lead to other things. I'm not suggesting that is right for your husband, but there may well be something.

    Do you have any support yourself? I wonder if you go to work? If you do and have children and and your husband to care for then you have a pretty big load.

    I do hope you come back and talk somemore

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Deborahb
    Deborahb avatar
    4 posts
    27 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi guys

    thank you so much for your advice. It helps.

    I like the idea of joining groups and have suggested this lots of times but he just point blank refuses. Everything I say or suggest is met with negativity. He’s doing an open university degree course he’s coming to the end of a module and now wants to give it up. He does this at every challenge - I think it’s a learned behaviour.

    He definately wants to go back to the U.K. and I fully support him but we spent everything we had so life again will be tough.

    Our oldest children now 27,24,15 just think he’s attention seeking and are sick of him. I work full time and pretty successful but he seems to resent this.

    Im feeling a little miserable but have very broad shoulders and will scrape through by the skin of my teeth I think.

    I don’t actually think I can help him.

  5. Deborahb
    Deborahb avatar
    4 posts
    27 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Also has increased meds as per GP and has been commenced on a pathway - awaiting to see a psychologist

    thabk you all for your support xxxx

  6. Deborahb
    Deborahb avatar
    4 posts
    27 April 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    Thank you kanga for replying- he will not join anything. He won’t put himself out there - I’m not sure he has the confidence

    He is so talented musically but I think has got himself in a rut

  7. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    13059 posts
    27 April 2018 in reply to Deborahb

    Deborahb,

    You are very determined and compassionate wife but to you sound a bit tired and disappointed.

    You mentioned trying something and then giving up, I can relate to that. The fact he has stuck with a module is an achievement . How far through the course is he? I think when depressed we tend to be full of self doubt.

    Do you know when you are returning to UK? Will your children go with you?

    Do you think if one of his mates or a man from the men's shed or a music group asked him to join that would make a difference.?

    It is very tiring for someone living with someone with depression and it is difficult living with depression

    Croix mentioned about you having support. It is important you look after yourself.

    Take care

    Quirky

  8. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10565 posts
    27 April 2018 in reply to Deborahb

    Dear DeborahB~

    You were saying you did not think you could help your husband. I can't say I agree. You go to work and provide finances. That might not seem related to his mental health but it most definitely is. You provide perspective. When depressed it is very easy not to see what needs doing, or judge oneself with clarity.

    By making suggestions and setting an example you are showing him what direction to take. You show him love and are a permanent pillar in his life.

    Agreeing to return to the UK for his sake is something he should understand is a very wonderful gesture.

    All these things are necessary but need him to take an active role in trying to get well. This was not an even thing for me, when really down I was unable to do much at all, but as I improved, even temporarily, I tried, as much from feeling bad about how I treated my family as anything. Hopefully the increased meds and psych will help.

    Children tend to have fixed views about how their parents should be, and when they don't seem to come up to scratch can be pretty judgmental. Do you think their assessment is deserved, or do they simply need a little more life experience?

    With the uni course I guess one needs to understand each unit is a victory, and having been victorious once one can be again. As I mentioned I studied and often wanted to just give up, fortunately I was successful enough to encourage me to keep going. Is he basically interested in the subject matter?

    Perhaps as well there might be something in music he would enjoy?

    Keep scraping through Deborahb :)

    Croix

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