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Topic: Supporting a depressed husband - seeking hope

  1. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    17 August 2020
    I am married to an amazing man. We have been together 20 years, married for 15 and have 2 amazing daughters. We have always stood by each other, and he has always been loving and supportive.

    Towards the end of last year, my husband told me he was depressed. At that time, I asked him to get help. He said he didn't want to and we left it at that and things got better for a few months. But for the most part of this year things have been very up and down,. A couple of weeks ago he admitted that he wanted to die.

    I know nothing about depression so every time we talk about it, I ask him to get help. However over the last few weeks he has stopped talking to me, and started sleeping in our spare room. He has told me that I can't help him, he wants to go it alone, I haven't been there for him, and may other hurtful things. I keep telling myself that it is the depression, but it causes me great pain and sadness.

    Last week one of his oldest friends contacted me to tell me that my husband had been to see him. He told him he's lost and disconnected, doesn't know where he is, and how or where I stand with him. But his friend told me that he loves me, and that I can't give up, even when/if my husband says he has. He hasn't given up. But I need to be patient and try to find a way to reconnect. I cry every time I think of this.

    I do believe there is still love there. But I can also appreciate that the depression probably leave very little room for him to feel/see anything else right now.

    I know the priority is to get him help. However as he keeps refusing, I feel there is little more that I can do.

    I know he needs professional help and as long as I still have the strength to, I will keep trying to convince him to get help.

    I am writing this post basically because I need hope. I need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I need to know that loving him and simply being there for him (even though he says it's not enough) can get us through this. So if anyone has any experience, stories to share, tips and suggestions on how to reconnect, I would be very grateful.

    I know that it sounds highly idealistic, and we don't live in fairy tales. But I have to keep believing that we will get through this somehow.
    2 people found this helpful
  2. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    17 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I'm really sorry to hear that you've been going through this. Seeing someone we love go through a difficult time can be so challenging and heartbreaking. I can see that you really love your husband and you want to be there for them.

    From my personal experience with knowing people with depression, they can stop doing the things they used to enjoy doing and isolate themselves socially. Is there anything your husband still enjoys doing? For example watching a tv show or reading? In saying that I can understand that with depression it can be hard to concentrate and energy levels are low.

    I have heard that sunshine and getting outside can help, even for 10 minutes it can take us out of the environment and gives us a new experience.

    I can understand it is really hard when you urge someone to seek help but they don't want to. Has your husband ever considered speaking to Lifeline or Beyond Blue?

    I am really grateful that you posted on these forums 815 because you will get responses that will make you feel not so alone and help to ease the pressure on your shoulders.

    Here for you

  3. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to missep123

    Hi missep123,

    Thank you so much for your reply. It means a lot to know that there are people out there who can provide support.

    I have asked my husband to seek help. I haven't mentioned any particular organisations or helplines because until I have only just started to do research and find organisations that could help.

    My husband is a keen golfer who golfs at least once a week. Unfortunately we are in Metro Melbourne and subject to Stage 4 restrictions due to coronavirus. Things were starting to improve for a while until this latest lockdown as he was still at least able to get out on the golf course a couple of times a week.

    The thing about my husband is that in front of everyone else, our families and friends, he is still the same sociable, fun guy that we all know. But at home, he basically ignores me. He tells me that I haven't been there for him in the past few months, that he's never felt so alone and that it's too late for my apologies. He says he doesn't know if he can let me back in.

    And to be honest I feel guilty that I haven't been able to do anything for him. And I feel like I have failed him in so many ways.

    I've asked what I can do. He says to leave him alone. Which I have for the time being. But I worry that the longer he ignores me and the longer I 'leave him alone' by also not attempting to speak to him, that the love will fade and we will have no chance to work through this. I worry that by 'leaving him alone' he will think that I don't care of that I am not there for him.

    I have 'left him alone' as that is what he has asked. Plus I think we both need time and space to heal (as much as we can given that we are all stuck at home with the restrictions).

    Should I try to speak to him again? How much longer do I wait? Has anybody written a letter/email to a depressed partner about how they're feeling and found that it's worked?

    I know that no one will have the answers for me as every situation is unique. However I would really just appreciate some thoughts and suggestions and support.

    Thanks.

  4. White Rose
    Life Member
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Dear 815

    Welcome to the forum. There are many of us who have gone through the same or similar experiences and we want to help and support you as much as possible.

    Before I go on I want to point you to the beyond blue fact sheets which give excellent descriptions of depression and help. Got to The Facts at the top of the page and navigate from there. Also look at the Get Help options.It's always good to to have information about our various medical problems and I hope these will be useful. Perhaps you can give them to your husband. You can download any of the fact sheets and print them. There are various booklets but these cannot b e downloaded. You must ask for them to b e sent to you, no charge.

    One booklet is for families and friends and you will find that helpful. It talks about understanding depression and how to help those you care about.

    Writing a letter to your husband sounds good. I think it will also get your thoughts in order. Don't rush into it. Consider what you are writing before giving him the final edition.

    Being with other people when we are depressed is good. As you have discovered, your husband functions better in the company of others. I think this partly because he does not want anyone to know how he feels and partly because this is expected of him. Is he tired when you are on your own again? Keeping up a front takes lots of energy.

    I am presuming your husband is working from home at the moment. That's probably contributing to his depression. Plus all the lock down provisions. I am in Qld and finding our relatively easy provisions at this time still have a great affect on me. Because of my age and medical condition I need to stay away from groups of people. I can go shopping and my family can visit me but I cannot do many of the social things I could do once. I am struggling at times.

    Depression is a horrible thing and I sympathize with your husband and how he feels. I also thought no one close to me cared what happened. In reality my children were very worried and tried to help as much as possible. I just could not 'see' them. Perhaps this is your husband's view. When missep recommended beyond blue or Lifeline it was to suggest you could talk to them about what was happening to you and your husband. You also need support. I think knowing about depression is a good start.

    Please continue to post here.

    Mary

    2 people found this helpful
  5. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi White Rose (Mary),

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post.

    And thank you for pointing me to additional information. I am slowly realising that the more I can find out about depression, the better equipped I might be to help him. I guess it is something that I should have done some time ago, but I have been lost in a fog of confusion myself. And I feel guilty every moment for this, because I feel like I should have been focusing on him.

    I have drafted many letters to my husband, but have not sent them. Because I have been taking the option of trying to talk to him as I felt it was more sincere...And to be honest, despite the fact that I like to write in my spare time, I have felt vulnerable in putting pen to paper with my own thoughts to him. I sometimes feel that sending him a letter makes it easy for him to not read it or ignore it. And I guess I'm also scared of the rejection of that. And I know that at some point I need to get over that and put my vulnerability out there...

    We have both been working from home since late March. As I mentioned it was OK for a while again when we had restrictions lifted for a while and we were able to have visitors or visit our family/friends. But this latest set of restrictions has made things really bad.

    The thing about my husband is that despite what he thinks, he is a very strong person. Each and every day he is still here for us, and he gets through his work day and spends time with our daughters helping with remote learning as well as their extra curricular activities that they have been able to continue from home.

    I have also gone on the online chat to chat to someone about what we are going through and I will continue to post here and keep seeking help for myself. It has been a very difficult road but I will continue to keep hope.

    Thank you.

  6. Maccas100
    Maccas100 avatar
    7 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Dear 815, welcome to the forum - I am very new to it myself. Reaching out, even to virtual companions, can help so much in realising that there are others going through similar difficult times. I wanted to share an experience my husband and I had and what I did about it as it might give you some ideas. I wanted to talk. He didn't. So I wrote 'the letter'. I was very honest about my own feelings and was very clear about what I wanted from him. It took a lot of thinking to make it 'clean'. I didn't want it to be about the past or dragging up old, unfinished business. And I wrote it with love and the intention and expectation that it would help us. When I was satisfied with it, I made two cups of tea, made sure he wasn't engaged in anything important, and asked him to come and sit with me. Then I read out aloud my letter - pausing in places so that I could look at him and gauge his reactions and allow him to comment. I am happy to report that the outcome was great. We were able to talk together about the hard stuff.

    So you might share in your letter some of things that you have shared here - that if you haven't reached out as much he might like, it was because you were so confused and didn't know what was best. Or whatever sounds right for you.

    Good luck with this long and difficult journey - but not one without hope. Depression can feel like there is no hope - but that a feeling not a fact.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to Maccas100

    Hi Maccas100,

    Thank you so much for your reply, and for sharing your own experience.

    I know every situation is unique, and what might work for one couple may not work for another. But the biggest reason I posted in here was because I wanted to hear stories of others' experiences and so I am very grateful to hear yours. And I am so happy to hear that you had a great outcome.

    I am hopeful.

  8. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5688 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to 815
    Just a quick note to let all posters know another version of this thread exists but has now been closed under the Depression section. In case you want to check what's already been said on this topic, here's the link to that one: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression/supporting-a-depressed-husband---seeking-hope#qxO5D3HzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A
  9. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3053 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I hope you're doing okay today.

    I replied to your last post in the other section, but because it's locked now all the replies will have to be in here. I'm just posting here so that if you reply to me I'll be able to see it :)

    rt

  10. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Sophie,

    Thank you for consolidating my threads. I had posted in the Depression section earlier, and reposted here as I thought it was more appropriate. I wasn't sure how to get the original post moved so thank you for sorting that out.

  11. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi rt,

    Thank you for reply in the other thread and for posting in here too. I did see your reply this morning.

    I know there is no right answer, no quick fix. So I thank you for all your thoughts as it helps me in a lot of ways to consider different things that I may not have thought to consider myself.

    I will continue to talk to him, continue to be with him, and be here for him.

  12. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I'm so glad that there have been many responses to your thread. When I came on here to reply to you I was really happy that others have been replying as well. How has that been making you feel? I hope that you feel a sense of support and comfort from us.

    I think writing a letter is a good way to sort out your feelings and 'say' exactly what you want to say and in the way you want to say it. I can understand that the situation in Melbourne at the moment is really challenging which poses more pressure on the situation. It sounds like golfing was one of your husband's protective factors so I hope that he is able to do that again in the near future.

    May I ask, have you ever considered seeing a relationship counsellor? The reason I ask is that they are able to help open the communication channels between a couple. Depression can be really difficult for the person dealing with it but also the partner as we can see in your case and many others that I know.

    Please continue to keep us updated! Here for you!

  13. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    20 August 2020 in reply to missep123

    Hi missep123,

    Thank you again for your reply and checking in. It does provide me some comfort and support that there are people out there willing to respond and share stories, no matter how difficult. However I am still extremely sad that my husband has to go through this, and that he feels he needs to go through it alone.

    Through this journey, I know there are two things that need to be addressed. First and foremost is my husband's depression. I still don't know the way to move forward with that as I feel he's not letting me help him. However I will keep trying and have started writing my thoughts down and will hopefully be able to share this with him soon.

    The second thing is our marriage/relationship. But I feel like this can't be addressed until we make some progress in addressing his depression, as I feel like that is all that is on his mind right now. However I am not sure that one can be addressed without the other. But in the meantime I am trying to focus on getting him help first. I will try not to neglect our relationship but I acknowledge that we will both need help through this. So I would definitely consider seeing a relationship counselor at some stage.

    Thank you all again for the support. Hope you all have a great day.

  14. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    21 August 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Just felt the need to post in here this morning. The sun is shining through the front window of our house. I hope this is a sign of hope, but I do feel very sad and very guilty this morning and I am really hoping that my husband will forgive me.

    He has told me on many occasions that I have done nothing to help him. I have asked him what I can do to help and he says nothing. Of course, this confuses me. So I have gone from backing off, to begging and pleading for him to get help. However I haven't forced him or done it for him myself...However I never felt that I could force help on him and felt very much that this is something that he needs to choose for himself. That may sound like a cop out, or an excuse, and so I feel extremely guilty for not pushing him and I feel in many ways I have failed him.

    I know I can't turn back time and I can only look forward. I just really hope he can forgive me for failing him.

    Anyway I just needed to get that off my chest.

    Hope everyone is well.

  15. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I'm sorry to hear this. It sounds like you have so much on your shoulders. I don't think you are failing him, in fact it sounds like you are trying everything you can to understand his perspective and what he is going through. I think it's also important to make sure to look after yourself because in my own life I have seen it where the partners of those who are depressed also feel a lot of pressure to 'fix' the situation.

    Can I ask, do you have self-care in place? Little things that will help you feel better?

    Here for you!

  16. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    15102 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hello 815, when a person in a marriage or a relationship say to each other that one needs to get help for whatever type of depression they have, and they say they'll be alright, there could be a chance that they can improve their mood, whether it's real or pretending, but after a while, it becomes too much and falls back into depression.

    My ex tried to talk with me rather than write a note, but this only made me feel the guilt that I was causing, and as I self medicated with alcohol only wanted me to try and numb how I felt.

    The problem with being able to cope socially when friends come around, only appears to our spouse/partner, we've overcome this illness, but really disappointed when they've gone and we fall back to depression.

    If alcohol is involved with friends, then this is another reason why they want friends over.

    Can I suggest that you consult with your doctor, as your health in this situation is so important, feel for the two of you.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    Sleeping in the spare room doesn't mean he doesn't love you, it's only because he doesn't want to keep answering any question, that's too complicated and he may not know the answer.

    Writing a letter would depend on how long you've been together and how you have been able to communicate and if trust between the two has always been established.

  17. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    23 August 2020
    Hi missep123 and Geoff,

    Thank you very much for your replies and being here. It's just been a low few days for me, which undoubtedly will happen during this journey.

    Living in Melbourne, self-care is somewhat difficult right now. And with having to care for the children as well, it's hard for both of us to get a time out.

    However I do still do my best to take care of myself with a balanced diet, regular exercise (though I have taken a week rest for now) and just trying to spend time with my kids.

    Geoff, thank you for the words of hope about my husband's choice to sleep in the spare room. It makes sense and I need to respect his choices right now. I do believe he still loves me. But I guess things are a bit foggy for both of us.

    We have been together for a long time, communication and trust have never been issues until now. I'll have to keep faith that we will get through this.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone and thanks again for taking the time out to show your support.
    2 people found this helpful
  18. missep123
    Community Champion
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    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to 815

    We support you 815!

    As Geoff has said, your health is so important during this time. I am so glad that you have a balanced diet and try to exercise regularly. Exercise is great at releasing endorphins! Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed it definitely helps me.

    Sorry to hear it's been a low few days, I'm really glad you're reaching out to the forums so you know that you are not alone and that we care about you and your wellbeing.

    Please keep us updated!

    1 person found this helpful
  19. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    25 August 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you again for your support. A bit of an update...

    I wrote a letter with the intention of going to him and reading it out aloud. I chickened out. It just didn't feel right. Instead I went with my instincts and went to 'talk'. I told him I didn't want to argue anymore, but that I just really wanted him to get help.

    He told me he had been to the doctors last week (I had a feeling since he left the house without telling me where he was going, but I wanted to give him the opportunity to tell me himself). He has been diagnosed with severe depression and is now on anti depressants. He is seeing a counselor later this week... I am grateful that he has found the strength and some sort of clarity to finally seek help.

    I asked what he needed from he. He says he doesn't need/want anything from me. I still find this extremely painful and difficult to think about. He said that in some ways, I have contributed to his depression because he feels that I haven't taken it seriously and I have just brushed it aside...But I just really haven't known what to do or how to help him. I do feel extremely guilty and like I have failed him. I honestly don't know if he will forgive me for not being able to help him.

    I am grateful that he has opened up to me a little, even if it wasn't the things I wanted to hear. I know that he could have chosen not to tell me anything about seeking help or admit to me that I am part of the problem.

    I am not sure where to from here. However I do hope that this is the start of his journey towards recovery, and that in time he will forgive me and realise that I have only ever wanted him to be happy again.

  20. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    26 August 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Just after some support and some thoughts or suggestions on what next...

    He is seeing a counselor for the first time tomorrow. Should I ask him afterwards how it went even though he's asked me to leave him alone and not help him anymore?

    I know that this will be a long journey to recovery, and the first priority is his health. So our marriage/relationship, has taken a huge hit, and a backseat. I know he feels that I haven't been there to support him. From my perspective, I have tried everything. I'm not saying that I was always right, but I did what I knew best - and that was to try to love him and be there for him. To be honest I am still not sure what he expected of me, and hopefully in time he will be able to work through those issues with the help of the anti depressants and speaking to a counselor, and maybe address those issues with me.

    And although I know that his health is still priority, I do want to give our marriage a chance to survive through this too. But I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to remain connected throughout his recovery if he's basically told me to leave him alone and doesn't want my help (because I don't know how to help).

    Would anyone have suggestions? Should I continue to try to talk to him? Or just leave him alone as he's asked me and just hope that he will open up to me with time? I know there's no right or wrong answer, and a lot of it will be something that I will need to decide and work out as time goes on. But was just looking for some guidance.

    Thanks again.

  21. missep123
    Community Champion
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    771 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I think that it is really good that your husband has seen his GP and is going to see a counsellor. Do you know how it went?

    I know that from the previous posts it has been a very difficult, strenuous and challenging journey. I for one can see how much effort, love and care you have put into the process. Speaking from experience though from knowing people with severe depression, often they are in pain and 'lashing out' can be a mechanism. Sometimes we have all this pain and don't know what to do with it.

    Forgive me if I have asked before but have you ever thought about seeing someone yourself? I know partner's of those who are depressed can really feel the shockwaves of it and it's really important to take care of yourself too and make sure you have support.

    How are your children with this situation?

    Here for you

  22. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    87 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I'm rather new to this forum as well with my own issues, but I wanted to write to you as the support I have received has been amazing and I want to pass that on where I can.

    My husband has been a sufferer of depression and anxiety for 20+ years. It comes and goes, but when it goes, it's never really gone. I just wanted to let you know that it's not your fault and you aren't to blame. In my experience, my husband has blamed me as well and also accused me of being unsupportive and not helping him. Like you I tried all I knew how to do and in some cases I didn't go to him because I didn't want to make the situation worse or anger him. Our marriage has also taken a hit. We're still together, but other factors have me doubting.

    All you can do is be an open ear when he does feel comfortable to talk and make sure he knows you're open to talking when he is ready. Unfortunately I think they have to have someone to blame and the easiest person is the one they love the most and the one who they think won't judge or leave. My husband is social and popular with everyone external, but behind closed doors I can be blamed for almost anything - whether I've caused it or not.

    Please try and look after yourself and your kids - I didn't and I'm emotionally drained literally hanging on by a thread some days. You're early into this, you can get through this. It's so good he's sought help on his own, that is a big step and the most important one.

    Please take care and I hope it does get better for you soon.

  23. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15102 posts
    28 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hello 815, and everyone who has replied or to those who are just reading, because there is so much depth in these comments.

    A person who is suffering from any type of depression could be lost in direction and blame the person they love and feel the need to blame someone for the situation that they are trying to cope with, and unfortunately, this could be the one they love.

    There are times when people feel that no one seems to understand or care, and that they seem to be insincere in the questions they ask, but this only happens, simply because it's not easy to know what is the best way to ask in a caring manner that will allow this to happen, and by no means is it any fault of yours.

    Even showing the greatest love towards someone suffering may not be strong enough to regain any connection until they receive the help they need.

    As has been suggested are you able to get help yourself and ask your doctor about the 'mental health plan', this entitles you to sessions paid by Medicare to see a psch.

    Please keep talking with us.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    28 August 2020 in reply to missep123

    Hi missep123,

    Thank you again for your reply. I know it is a huge step for him to have sought help. I did ask him last night how the appointment was. He just shrugged. It was done via phone given our current restrictions in Melbourne. He said he will be speaking to him again next week, and has to speak to him for a year. He didn't offer any further information and I didn't want to push him to talk if he is not ready. But I am hopeful that he seems committed to the treatment plan even though I know it will still be a long difficult journey.

    Thank for recommending that I seek support and help myself. I know I will have to in time. It is still very raw and hurtful for me to process and I know I need to also take care of myself and the children.

    The children seem to be doing OK. Of course I don't know for sure how it is really impacting them. However despite my husband's depression, he loves our children deeply and spends time with them and our routine has not changed much. We all still eat meals together (though conversation between us does not exist and my kids usually do the talking otherwise we eat together in silence), my husband and I participate in the bedtime rituals and because of lockdown we still do family movie nights each Saturday night.

    They know my husband sleeps in the spare room, and he has told them that he finds our bed uncomfortable and doesn't like it. They haven't questioned this further. They have noticed that he has been going to the GP a bit more regularly and ask if he is OK. For now, I think they are quite well protected from all of this and I hope in time things will improve and we will have the chance to function as a loving family again.

    Even though our current restrictions are not the sole reason for his depression, I think it has contributed to it. However ironically, I find that being in lockdown makes it easier for me to not have to deal with our family and friends during this time and just focus on his recovery and mine and my children's wellbeing.

    Thanks again for your support.

    P.S.Thank you also to emotionallydrained and geoff for your responses. I appreciate them so much and want to take the time write separate replies to each which I will try to do later today.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    31 August 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotinallydrained,

    Thank you for taking the time out to reply to me and I am sorry I didn't have a chance to reply sooner. I am so sad hearing that you have had to go through such struggles and for so many years. The fact that you are still here, and still trying to support your husband, shows such strength of character.

    I appreciate your advice and I will continue to do what I can for my husband, as I still do believe that behind all of the depression, the anger, the sadness, the hurtful comments - that there is still love there. It is just behind the cloud of fog and I hope that over time, with the right treatment and support that cloud will lift.

    I hope for the very best in your situation. Please do continue to reach out, and as you have suggested to me, please look after yourself too. I know I won't be able to provide much advice, however please do know that I am also here to provide any sort of support and care that I can.

    Take care.

    1 person found this helpful
  26. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    31 August 2020 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    I hope you are well and thank you once again for your response.

    I appreciate all of the advice and the insight into what my husband is going through. It helps to know these things and gives me hope that we have a chance at working through this together. I will continue to be by his side through this.

    I do realise that I need help myself and I will get there too with time so I appreciate the push.

  27. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    31 August 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    You have lots of support here! We really do care about you and your wellbeing. I'm really glad to hear that your husband is going to be speaking to the counsellor again especially since it can be really hard to find the motivation to keep going with treatment, so hopefully they have a good relationship, he feels comfortable and the counsellor can help.

    Please continue to keep us updated on how you are going! We are definitely here for you

  28. 815
    815 avatar
    205 posts
    4 September 2020

    Hi everyone,

    I've been off the forums a little just trying to process everything. However I am after some thoughts on something.

    I went to chat to my GP on Monday. My husband knows I went out, but I didn't tell him where I went. Do you think it would be helpful for him to know that I went to seek help, on how to support him? So that he knows I want to go through this together? Or is it better for him not to know that I sought help, seeing as I don't want to burden him with the thought that this situation is difficult and hurtful for me to.

    I know ultimately the decision to talk to him about it will be mine. I was just after some thoughts or experiences others might have had.

    Thank you.

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Happy Chemicals
    Happy Chemicals  avatar
    1 posts
    5 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815, When I noticed my partner's mental health gone down hill, I called his GP and spoke to him of my concern. He suffers from chronic pain, he has been taking pain killers and smoke marijuana to manage his pain. GP advised me to speak to him and make an appointment for MH assessment. I did not tell him immediately as our relationship is not very smooth sailing, I waited until 2 or 3 weeks later. I told him my concern and assured him I am willing to hold his hands to guide him and walk with him on the journey. To my surprise, he was so calm and agreed for me to make the appointment for him with his GP for MH assessment, get referral to see psychologist. So 815, don't be afraid if you need tell him, you just need to find a right time to tell him.

    He emailed the psychologist office for appointment, but very reluctant to follow thru. I gave him time to follow thru, however, he did not bother, kept telling me they will let him contact him. I told him I am going to call the psychologist office. So I called the the psychologist office and explained my situation, The practice manager was very kind and understanding, and managed to get an appointment time for him. Yesterday was his 1st consultation with the psychologist, it went very well, Phew.. He likes the psychologist, both of them has same wavelength he told me. It seems like he is very comfortable taking to him, and told me next appointment will be in 2 weeks time.

    815, Being silent reader to this forum has given me so much support and strength on how to support and care for my partner and focus on getting him well again and claim our little happy family back from MH. Sometimes words that came out from his mouth can be very hurtful, I just told myself that is his MH talking not him. Of course being a carer, we have to look after ourselves too, stay grounded and make sure you have someone to talk to and take some ME time for yourself.

    Working from home since Covid19 has opened up my eyes, I see how unwell my partner's MH is lately, managed to step up and intervened. He used to be doting father to our child, kind, lovely man (He is still one one good day).

    Take care

     

  30. Juliana 15
    Juliana 15 avatar
    4 posts
    5 September 2020 in reply to 815

    First, well done on going to seek support yourself. It is a big step and I hope it helped you feel that you are not alone. As you say, whether you tell your husband about it or not is something you need to be guided by instinct on.

    I have sought support on several occasions to help manage my own emotions in supporting my brother who has several MH challenges and an alcohol addiction. I once told him this in anger and haven’t again as I know he will overreact and add to his “victim” behaviour. I also haven’t told my parents I’ve sought the help as my father has his own MH issues and tends to view me needing help as a failure on his behalf (long long story).

    The way I deal with it now is to say “I’ve done some research and have you considered xx” and then if challenged, say I have consulted popular support services such as this one. If you can keep it objective and being about helping tackle the problem, it may be received less emotionally than if he thinks you went to the doctor to talk about him, if that makes sense. My brother is still on a very long path but I’ve had more success with the objective information route.

    Sending you positive vibes and again well done on taking the step.

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