Above & Beyond

I've run out of happy and this just isn't what I signed up for. Partner's work abroad and very active baby have left me empty and exhausted,

I am exhausted and have come to the conclusion neither me or my partner are happy. In fact i think there is a strong chance we are both depressed. He's a soldier based in germany but was meant to be leaving earlier this year in May. He hates the job and has been as loyal to them as possible & in return has been treated very unfairly. I don't want to sound big headed but I was his rock through his tour of afghan, been the voice of reason when he's wanted to quit and loved him with everything I have whether home or away. He's my best friend, knows the true me and I have always enjoyed life, especially with him, but in the last year iv lost myself. He is a wonderful father and loving partner, I couldn't ask for him to treat us any better so why I am so sad? I think its been affecting me since at least this time last year if not longer. our beautiful boy arrived in February and i was only going to be on my own with him for 2 months max, (all our family member live far away and we just moved to a new area so didn't have many friends) but my partner has been messed about so much, he nearly missed the birth of our son, dates of his termination change weekly and it is now all we talk about, I cry everyday, sometimes for no reason and dread talking to him for the precious 20 minutes on Skype in case bad news is lurking. Our relationship has gone sour and with it my happiness, it is now affecting how we are when he is home for leave/weekends which in turn affects my relationship with everyone including my own son. I am not sucidal or think any harmful thoughts towards my son/anyone else but i have lost hope in ever being able to spend this life with my partner&son enjoying him growing up, and any enjoyment from what I was hoping to set up as a business. I feel like i can't get a new job to meet new people as our funds are limited for childcare and he keeps saying soon he'll be home for good. is it worth going to see my doctor? I am worried that they will react to the fact I have a mother who has been taking antidepressants for nearly 10 years and my grandmother who was bipolar. I don't know how i feel about admitting to a professional that I put on a happy face everyday and inside I'm really hurting incase i get labelled. any advice please?

1 Reply

Please go see your GP. It may be depression but it could also be a lot of other things and there is no point in just suffering. There is a blood test that the GP can do to check that it isn't something physical like a thyroid problem that is making you feel so tired. You might find it useful to ask for a double appointment as that gives more time and is important where mood is implicated in what is going on.

You might also find it useful to listen to the first half of a Radio 3 program from last night Free Thinking Festival of Ideas Debate: Controlling Moods and Minds: Depression and Smart Drugs


particularly as there seems to be a family history of susceptibility to stress/depression.

Treatment doesn't necessarily mean drugs - there are a lot of other therapies - MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapies) are currently showing a lot of promise.

In relation to your partner - you might try suggesting that he gets in contact with an organisation like 'Combat Stress' - which is specifically set up to support service and ex-service men who are experiencing problems with their mental health, as there are specific issues faced by servicemen that aren't generally understood outside. They will also support the family of the servicemen that come to them.

another alternative might be an organisation like Relate that would help to provide a neutral environment in which the two of you could talk about problems that you might be experiencing in your relationship.

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