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Topic: Partner in denial about depression

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Pgtl
    Pgtl avatar
    1 posts
    13 May 2019

    Hi all,

    First time posting so bare with me. I’m reaching out to get some advice on how to respectfully convince my partner (together for almost 10 years with 4 children together) to speak to someone about his depression.

    It wasn’t always obvious, when we met he was romantic, out going, cool and so caring. Our first child he was an amazing father and still is very dedicated but by our third and fourth he has become less hands on or wanting to be involved.

    I guess I’ve always known that he has ‘issues’ as he had an upbringing no one deserves in my eyes- no steady relationship with his mum, witnessed her be abused, was abused by her, was sent away to his real dad at 17 who he had never met in another country and the only real love he felt I believe was from his grandpa who sadly passed away last year- which is why I think it has reached a point that he NEEDS to get help as it has changed him and it is hurting our family.

    The problem is that he doesn’t seem to want help or he is too ashamed to speak to someone. I’ve offered to go with him or not if he prefers, I’ve pleaded but he just won’t make the first step. He denies it only when he drinks, which isn’t too much at the moment, is when he opens up and let’s his pain out which always leads back to his childhood.

    I need him to do something because he becomes this mean person sometimes and is unhappy where he doesn’t want to work and our family is suffering.

    I have taught myself to be mentally strong and know that when he is snappy or lets out words of frustration (which could be verbal abuse, has never physically abused me) it is a reflection of his own pain but I think to myself if it gets worse what sort of life is this for our family.

    I get very emotional thinking of the pain he has endured and I want him to get help so he doesn’t hurt us. Any advice from those who have been in this sort of situation is much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2194 posts
    13 May 2019 in reply to Pgtl

    Hi Pgtl

    First, I just want to say you sound like such a loving and supportive partner. He is blessed to have you in his corner whilst he faces such an incredibly heartbreaking battle with himself.

    I suppose the key to having someone change their mind, regarding a particular issue, comes down to changing how they relate to the issue. For example, if someone relates to mental illness as 'a weakness', the idea would be to have them try and relate to it as a legitimate condition. Of course, many physical conditions come with symptoms such as pain, discomfort, lethargy and so on. A condition, such as depression also comes with many physical and mental symptoms. Because the brain/mind and body are so interconnected, the symptoms of depression can be vast (emotional pain, mental and physical lethargy, a lack of motivation, extreme and sometimes debilitating bouts of sadness and so on). There is an incredible chemical cocktail that comes with depression and unless we have a masters in chemistry or biology, dealing with such a cocktail can seem both impossible and soul-destroying. Some would actually regard depression itself as a symptom of underlying unresolved pain.

    To have your partner relate to depression in a new way may involve you doing a bit of research yourself. A fairly basic starting point could involve you Googling 'The 4 chemicals for happiness'. I guarantee it's a very interesting read.

    We are truly incredible beings; our interactive and intricate nature (regarding mind, body and spirit) has the potential to shape our entire world in both good ways and bad. What determines our perception often comes down to how we relate to what we face.

    Take care

  3. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    13 May 2019 in reply to Pgtl

    Hello Pgtl, thanks for being on the forums.

    A well described comment and a certainly a caring and loving one you have posted.

    It's difficult to describe depression to anyone that has not had it or experienced it themselves and even if you have had it to a certain degree, a depressed person feels as though no one will understand, and the only time he denies it is when he's been drinking, the alcohol allows this freedom of speech, but without it he doesn't have the courage to open up.

    Depression can and will push him away from the family, I know that's not what you want, so I wonder if one of your children have been close to him, so they can they get to a soft spot he may have.

    You and your family need to look after yourselves at the moment, you can't keep asking him to get help but doesn’t want to accept it, because it's not helping you nor your children.

    Are you able to see your doctor and Kids helpline 1800 55 1800 can talk to your kids, I can't assure you anymore that this will answer some unanswered questions.

    I'm sorry, my reply may seem a bit disjointed because I started replying and then had to go out, so if you want to put me back on track please get back to us.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

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