Above & Beyond

Could I have depression?

I’ve not been feeling great for a few years now. My mother died of cancer 6 years ago. My parents divorced at an early age so my mum brought my older brother and me up. She was my rock, someone who I could talk to about anything. When that was gone I built up so many walls and hid my feelings from the closest ones around me. My moods have been erratic and I just feel low most of the time boredom/emptiness. I have 2 small children, the first is nearly 4 years olds and the second is 7 months old.

My work life is ok, I only work in the summer and that earns enough money to live on for the rest of the year. The downside is I spend a lot of time at home looking after the kids. My partner works part time but seems like full time as she works from home and one minute she is doing this the next she is doing that. I feel like daddy day care at times.

Early morning starts with the kids and spending all day with them is hard, I have zero energy to do things with them. I feel bad as I see other parents playing with their kids and wonder why I’m not the same. Could my childhood be apart of that? I feel the weight is on my shoulders most of the time. I do pretty much everything in the household from cooking, cleaning, doing the washing and getting up every morning. Plus I pay all the bills!

I do feel trapped sometimes by the fact that I have to look after the kids while my partner works. My job finishes in September so I am at home all the time. This probably doesn’t help as its like moving at a constant speed then hitting a wall? I see a couple of friends twice a week for a few hours but that’s it. I find that partner makes me feel guilty for going out like I should be at home all the time but its killing me inside.

I could write down on a post it note how dull my life is, I like material things and I seem to think that will make me happy, buying this and that then realizing I didn’t need it in the first place. I have friends on Facebook but when confronted in the street I avoid them, what’s that all about?

I have a brother but as we work together in the family business I find it hard to speak to him about things as its mostly business talk 90% of the time. I do bury things deep down and on the surface I probably look fine and act normal around friends and family but when I feel low I just wish my life were over, as my current one just seems dull and uneventful.

I’ve thought about counseling but if I can’t open up to my partner about these issues I have how will I be around a stranger, will they be able to get me to open up?

I just want to be able to wake up in the morning, see my kid’s faces and enjoy every minute of the day with them, play games with them and feel happy. If anyone has some advice on what treatment would be beneficial to me that would be great?

3 Replies


You will get loads of great advice here so well done for opening up!

Some here have young families like you and I'm sure they have heaps of good advice. I have no kids and cannot conceive, so well done you! :-) Having said that I come from a big family and went through all the potty training and terrbible twos, the know it all 5s etc..lol. I became a working aunt at 9 years old, put me off kids for most of my life... ha ha.

Okay so your overwhelmed, thats it diagnosis complete... genuis you say but now what :-) . Honestly I don't think you are so much depressed (or shall we say temporarily depressed) as overwhelmed, you sir need help!

Yes it would help talking to a councellor because you can say anything and turn over your ideas to someone impartial but getting a councellor can be a hurdle. I tried and failed in the end, still you should give it ago, its just talking after all.

So if you don't mind me saying, it's about making little changes, your not the only one in this position and you need to think out of the box. It sounds like the first biggest hurdle is the kids, bless their hearts. Because your a man and obviously successful in your working life (work only half the year...yipee!), you are a good problem solver.

So work with me on this, you can't be the only Dad who has this issue and with the net maybe you can find local Dads you can team up with, like the yummy mummys, do coffee mornings, get out of the house and share the kids. Honestly you might find good advice on Mums Net.

I think its all about finding little coping mechanisms. At 4 and 7 months its hard but you need your own quality of life or you cant help the kids, so I think it's about sharing the load with people outside of the family. Some charities help young families and if their are restbite charities for 'carers' well there should be some for parents your a carer!...lol. No, but dont be afraid to ask for help and try and build stuff into your life, so that if your not away from the kids at least you are sharing the load with others. You may only need one or two dads (or Mums) as friends just to make you feel listened to and understood and huge weight could be lifted.

Your life is doing okay you can fix this, you just need to make some changes and soon to save your sanity.

Others here will give you advice about your feelings, Id just like to motivate you to see you can fix this in practical terms. You will have off days, exhausted days but to your credit you have seen the problem and expressed it clearly. So when your ready if you'd like to bounce around some ideas.

Well done for all you have achieved so far Dan and thanks for sharing and keeeep talking.

Facebook eh, was it created by the man in the red suit with horns...lol. I dont do the book myself but people seem to endlessly complain about it. Maybe you dont connect with those people off facebook because that isnt fun! :-)




Thank you CarolineLondon. I'm going to make some steps in getting better. I can't carry on feeling like this, whats the point because life is too short. I have done a few test online to see what symptoms I might be showing and it recommends seeing the GP. I have a member in the family that is a crystal healer so I might try a bit of that too? I have been putting it off thinking I'm ok, I don't need to speak to anyone. But when you loose someone that close to you that you could share you life with it's hard. My partner and I have a strange relationship, we never argue or fight but never really open up about how we are feeling. We have been together for around 6 years but I have known her for years. I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday of all days, we were all suppose to go to London but my 4 year old pushed me so far I just walked out and went to London on my own (I was working not jollying) and when I came back we must of said 6 words to each other. I have told her what I think is wrong with me so hopefully she will support me and help me get through this.


First off well done on sharing with your other half how you feel (ps Im sure you've done this but have you checked how she is feeling too?).

Kids will test you thats for sure but there is sooo much info on how to deal with the little darlings these days maybe there are some extra tips you can pick up on.

Thing is about grief, it really changes you, sometimes you don't even recognise yourself...you have to be reeeeealllly kind to yourself. As for flipping out, well we all do it and so long as you and her aren't flippin out at the exact same time it's okay.

Really talking to someone maybe a good idea, but I would stress when you explain, to your GP and your councellor, say you are looking for new coping skills not just a friendly ear. Honestly I suspect the best advice is going to come from other mums and dads. I really feel if you could ease your parental anxiety everything would get much better and be easier to cope with all round.

The main thing is like alcoholics you have admit there is an issue, isolated it clearly and are keen to do something for yourself. Well Done it's no small thing.

As for your partner, because of films we always think relationships should be like they are on screen but the thing is they come in all shades. Maybe what works for you two is you don't share the heavy emotional stuff but can communicate about the practical and sometimes fun stuff. There are no hard and fast rules. We tend to think we can only talk to our other half about our issues, but sometimes like friends one is good for one thing and another for another (without wanting to use anyone I must stress). but you get what I mean you wouldn't ask a mechanic to bake you a cake. Doubtless she is overwhelmed too with a 7 month old, so maybe you both need a little outside help, until you get back on your feet emotionally...what do you think.

Regardless, WELL DONE DAN, you aren't doing anything wrong and plenty of things right, your a credit to yourself.



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