Is my husband depressed?

Been married 17 years. This year has been difficult. Unable to sell house, my parents splitting up, his mum being diagnosed with dementia, my disciplinary at work, he's just had a carpal tunnel op plus all the usual stresses that 4 kids bring. We had a long talk last night and it turns out that he has been feeling fed up and unhappy for years. He doesn't know if its him or the marriage that's making him feel like this. He has no hobbies himself and resents mine. He is always stressing about money and finances. He's now talking about moving back to where we came from. His mum has depression, could hehave it too? To be honest I'm totally gutted. I knew things weren't fantastic but I didn't know he felt this bad. I feel like the worst wife ever.

6 Replies

  • Hello BOB here

    Dementia,in its own way can cause a disruption in family life especially when it is a relative,especially a mother or father.Many problems dealing with dementia include dealing with GP,Social Services. You have not said how old the mother is and if she will need to be put in Residential home. If this is the case he could be worried regarding fees, and His Mothers estate The stress could be getting to Him.

    Possibly His mother may be able too live in her home although Social Services, O/T and other Services will need to see her as she is now unable/or will be unable to look after herself . Your husband may be counting the cost regarding all of this on His time and pocket. It may be an idea to discuss all of this with GP, Council, etc. This sort of problem I assure you is one big trial, as I have been through this on several occasions. Possibly CAB could also be assistance.

    The condition with regards His hand,may be a concern,although if it has been operated on should be in a better condition.

    Depression therefore be a problem, so it may be an idea to take him to the GP and have words there,take a double appointment to discuss these problems

    Relate may be another way too go although both could help.

    You also seem to have your independence regarding hobbies, He seems has none, Generally being a married couple could you try and get Him involved with your hobbies ? Possibly now He feels that you are drifting apart Sadly the children could be on the loosing side.

    One thing you need to understand Depression is a different problem to Dementia, in the early stages of Dementia possibly, although that will be caused by flustration and anger of Dementia. not forgetting confusion. that could be effecting her

    Generally you need to discuss your husbands problem with Him discuss problems together, most important take an interest regarding Mother in Law, take advice regarding that and find out where you are. If possible go with him to the family GP and discuss, I am not a doctor or Specialist regarding above all is in general terms. I am sorry if I have assumed to much

    Good luck


  • Thanks Bob. I've just written to his GP as he has an unrelated appt in Dec. I want the doctor to ask some relevant questions. His mum is 65, still married and at home. She suffered from depression for years before dementia diagnosis. He would no more get involved with my hobbies than fly to the moon!

  • Hey brijjy,

    As Bob says, we are none of us clinicians here, so your husband does need to see a GP to get a proper opinion.

    That said, a low mood and unhappiness for that long, without being sure why, definitely has the potential to be depression. There are a few conditions that have depressed mood as a symptom though, which is why GP is the best route.

    Why does he not have hobbies? Is it a lack of motivation to do things? If so that can be a big sign of depression.

    What does your husband feel/think about it? I might be off the edge of the map here, but reading between the lines it sounds like he might be in a bit of denial about potentially having depression - which wouldn't be at all surprising if he's seen his mum suffer with it long term.

    The one other thing I would say - and this is from someone who definitively has depression - don't feel like a bad wife. You aren't. There is no way you can help with what you don't know. Also know that for those of us who feel depressed, the people closest to us are the hardest to tell (the fact that he hadn't said anything about it also makes me think it may well be depression). And trust me, we are extraordinarily good at covering up how we feel when we want to be. Make sure you look after yourself, and don't feel bad over your hobbies - not your fault how he reacts to them.

    Hope you stay on here and let us know what happens - keep posting if you need advice or to have a rant ;)

  • Thank you x.

  • can't really add much to what Bob and Will have said.

    Depression - or at least susceptibility - can run in families but is usually triggered by something.

    It's really difficult when you recognise that your partner is drifting away from you. That doesn't mean that you have been a bad partner - things happen for all sorts of reasons. It is very common for partners to drift apart as children get older, unfortunately, and don't need to be the centre of attention in the same way.

    Do you think there is something that both of you like doing that you could take up as a hobby together.

    RELATE is a good idea if you feel he might go.

    The person you really need to take care of right now is you because you can't take care of anyone-else if you wear yourself to a frazzle.

    Sorry to hear about the carpel tunnel - suffer myself but seem to be able to manage it by making sure I don't put my wrists into awkward positions but that doesn't mean there aren't things that I used to do that I don't and wouldn't do now, like knitting.

    Hope things work out but whatever happens, feel free to post and see this as a place where you can just put your thoughts down and get them out of your head if you need to.

  • Hi

    It seems to me that you are both under a lot of stress so don't be too quick to go along with the idea that the relationship is the problem. Perhaps you can make a list of the problems you have and sit down together to try to discuss them to see whether there are any ways you can deal with them jointly, also it may be worth talking with people like CAB to see whether you are entitled to any help. If you are unable to discuss things together then it may also be worth at that point talking to someone from Relate as not sharing problems is likely to lead to problems developing in any relationship - Relate charges according to means.

    I am in a very similar situation to you and think depression is a very natural response to all sort of problems that there is no way of resolving, thus leaving me feeling helpless. I will blog about them elsewhere, but therapy is gradually enabling me to cope with the feelings in a way that means they don't affect every moment of my life.


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