Don't know what to do!

For the last 18 months I have gradually become more and more unhappy and worried about everything. My mum has been clinically depressed for about 2 1/2 years, she was diagnosed about a month before my husband left me which made her worse. Through medication and counselling you got better and was able to return to work. About 2 weeks ago she went downhill again though something that happened at work. My dad was starting to show the same signs just before she went back off work but because mum is bad he is concentrating on her and seems a lot better.

I'm 34 yr old with my own business, about to move into a perfect house for me to run my business from but I've also just lost a client so now I'm panicking about being able yo afford the house. I'm worried about both my parents, my business and my finances on top or worrying about my boyfriend who is just in the middle of selling his house to move onto a boat he has been building which is no where near habitable with no heating or water. He keeps saying I'll be alright I've been in the army, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

Unfortunately I keep taking all this worry and upset out on him and for the umpteenth time I've nearly ruined our relationship. I've told him how I feel and I've done a self test on nhs website which says I'm suffering from depression but I can't into the doctors until next week. My boyfriend doesn't understand that's can't help how feel and last nights had totally had enough and I actually thought things would be better for everyone if I wasnt here anymore. I didn't do anything about it but this morning the fact that I even thought of ending my life is scaring me. My boyfriend isn't talking to me and has even refused to go to the doctors with me now after offering to go with me in the first place.

I really don't know what to do at the moment, Ive spent the last 2 months pretending to my parents that my life is perfect and I'm happier than ever, this has all been a show and probably hasn't helped me. I don't know how to get my boyfriend to understand what's going on with me either, maybe we just aren't meant to be.

I'm actually in floods of tears typing this and I'm struggling to see the screen. This has been so hard for me to write, it feels like I'm admitting defeat.

9 Replies

  • Hi Life123 you do have a lot on your plate at the moment and I am not at all suprised you are having problems coping with it. Anyone would. It does sound you have depression which isn't a weakness and I do think you should consider going to your doctors for an official diagnosis. Meds and/or counselling should be able to help you start to feel a bit better. Maybe your fiance will take you more seriously if he knows it's real? But realistically many of us find that loved ones and friends really don't understand depression. That's the beauty of a site like this because we all do.

    But you have taken the first step in posting on here which is great. It's lovely to meet you and welcome. This is a very good supportive community and we are a nice friendly bunch who all help and support each other. I am sure others will be in soon. Stay with us and we will help and support you all we can. xx

  • Thank you for your kind words. I have got an appointment booked with my gp on Monday, I'm just hoping it's not too late after last night. I can't get in any sooner unfortunately. I will try to stay positive in the meantime even tho it isn't easy.

  • If the GP is able to offer counselling do go for that - perhaps as well as a mild med - as it sounds as if you have a lot of worries right now and being depressed is a natural response to that but sharing how you feel may help you to get things into perspective. For example, what's the problem about your boyfriend living in fairly primitive conditions, what are you afraid of? I wonder whether your mum's depression has left you afraid of loss or some harm happening in a general sense. Talking things through is likely to help you.


  • Thanks for your response, it is the fact that a lot is happening all at once and overwhelming me, and counselling could possibly help.

    The problem I have with my boyfriend living on his boat at the moment is that he is still building it, there are no facilities on it what so ever and nowhere for him to actually sleep due to the fact that he is doing the interior at present and is fast running out of space to put his tools never mind sleep. Also he is quite a bit older than me and he has said himself that it's too cold this time of year for his joints to go to the boat but now all of a sudden he wants to move into it before he has finished it and bought the stove which will eventually be used as heating.

    My mums depression has just meant I constantly worry about her and don't tell her stuff that could make her worry more as I don't want to make her any worse. Neither of my parents have a clue what's going on with me as I have kept it well hidden up to now but keeping it up is becoming harder and harder.

    I will see what is said at the doctors on Monday, I actually went months ago about this and was sent for blood tests which is a really bad idea with me as I have a major phobia of needles in my veins so they didn't manage to get the blood as I was shaking too much for them the put the needle in. On returning to see my gp from this I was told to just go home and see how I get on. This is about 6 months ago and I've just been getting worse, and hadn't wanted to go back to the doctors just to be told to go home and see how I get on again. I'm now hoping this time will be different as things cannot continue, things I should be looking forward to like moving into a fantastic new house I'm actually dreading. I've lost interest in all my hobbies and I'm loosing confidence with my work which is a really bad thing.

  • No no, it's not defeat. A lot of people with depression feel they are admitting defeat and feel ashamed to admit their illness. But it is not shameful and it is NOT weak by any means.

    You have a lot to cope with between your parents, ex husband, your business and financial worries and now your current boyfriend to add to the mix. That's a lot, Darling! So trust me you're not defeated, you just have a lot being thrown your way...

    If both your parents have depression, then it could be genetic? That may be something to consider, does anyone else in your family have it?

    Have you sat your boyfriend down and confided in him?

    People who are army trained can be much harder to life. What I mean is, they are trained to deal with things like home-sickness and any debilitating emotion while they are away on tour etc. I briefly dated someone in the army before.

    And in terms of him wanting to live on a boat. Maybe think about why he would rather live like this instead of in a comfy house? Do you think there could be financial troubles or is it to do with his personality, maybe he misses being in the army where they live a rough life? I'm not sure, I'm just throwing ideas at you. Perhpas you need to sit him down and have a good chat, so you will better understand one another.

    Good luck xx

  • I know it's not defeat really but it is when I have been trying so hard to sort things out myself and I'm actually getting worse not better.

    I will certainly be telling my gp about my parents when I go on monday, but no one else in the family has ever suffered as far as I'm aware. I have told my boyfriend everything, he knows exactly how I'm feeling about things and said he would help and see the gp with me but since I snapped at him last night for no reason whatsoever he won't accept my apology and is refusing to go to the Drs with me, which make me feel even worse.

    As far as him living on his boat goes this is something I don't have a real problem with once it's finished in fact I intend to do a bit of travelling up and down the camels with him when it's finished, it's as I said in another reply before, I worry because of lack and room and his age and the fact that he's the one who been saying it's too cold to go in winter. I have tried to talk to him about this and his only response is 'I've been in the army me love, I can handle it' at which point I ask why he doesn't go to work on it over winter and he replys 'it's too cold this time of year' I then say but you can live on it at this time of year, he replies again with the same sentence about being in the army. He doesn't make any sense.

    Makes no difference at the moment anyway since he won't speak to me.

  • Hi Life123,

    Submitting your post is a really significant achievement and is something you can build on (whether your first step or not) it’s a step in the right direction).

    Working through and listing the challenges you face is a difficult enough exercise when in your head, to put the details is your post, although difficult, is a positive sign.

    I would hate that you think comments like these are patronising and seek to inflate seemingly insignificant steps whilst ignoring the real issues. You need to know this isn’t the case and when faced with a myriad of seemingly overwhelming problems, it’s very easy to overlook the positives (however small we may this they are). However, the positives are important (they are essential) they will provide a foundation on which you can build, so before carrying on reading rest of message …

    ..pause… acknowledge that you have taken this step and that it’s important and will help.

    Next… Nothing in your post is equal to you admitting defeat, far from it.

    How you are feeling, your worries, your concerns are all genuine and perfectly understandable. That so much is happening at the same time would be difficult for anyone to cape with (or even a group of anyone’s!).

    The thought that things would be better for everyone if you weren’t here anymore….

    (A)Is wrong… sorry…. IS WRONG

    You not being here, you ending your life would not solve any of the items you list. Truth is, things would be worse, the people around you, those you care about would be left with your less, they will struggle, they won’t understand life for them will be more difficult, it would have lost something of value, someone who is precious and someone they care a great deal about.

    (B)These items to not devalue you as a person

    (C)You have / do and will have a lot to offer, to contribute

    (That you might not see this is part of the problem…but don’t worry about that and remember, just because you can’t see these things doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

    Think of a young child learning to play hind-n-seek, their first instinct is to stand where they are and cover their eyes. They think, if they can’t see you, you can’t see them.

    This isn’t true…

    … your eyes are closed, your hands masking the positive values, strengths and qualities you have. It may take a little time, but you will learn that’s it’s safe to put your hands down, that it’s ok to open your eyes… only then will you once again see (and know) everything you have, all that you are….you’ll be amazed.

    (D)Depression is an illness – its effects can be very difficult to experience and seemingly impossible to comprehend and explain for those around us.

    (E)Assistance is available and things can/will get better.

    That you have an appointment to see your GP is great, there are times when the system can seem a little slow, but this is an important step.

    Depending on where you live NHS trusts offer a wide range of services for individuals struggling with issues such as depression. Whilst your GP (providing they fully aware) should be able to access these for you this isn’t always necessary. If you can, I would look at what is available locally and see if these can be accessed by ‘self-referral’ (i.e. you pick up the phone and say ‘I need help’)

    NB: accessing services this way will not / should not detract from seeing your GP, but can be a quicker way to ‘get the ball rolling’.

    When it comes to support then there are a range of options, if you can keep an open mind it will help.

    1.Medication – this can make a big difference. It usually takes a little time to have any impact, you’ll probably start on low does and this will be reviewed. Whatever you do (or don’t!) do not stop taking the medication. Know it will take time (6 to 8 weeks wouldn’t be unusual). That said if you have significant side effects see you GP, there are lots of medications and not all suitable for everyone.

    2.Therapy / Counselling / CBT- Yes, the talking stuff and no, usually doesn’t involve lying down on a couch (those some do have them, if you want to give it a try!). I personally believe these services can help, it can be a matter of finding the right one and right person, so if at first not right for you, don’t give up. Provision via NHS can be difficult. Most services have a waiting list (anything from weeks to months) and when accessed the number of sessions can be restricted. It is worth fining this out so you know what to expect. The most important thing to remember with any ‘talking therapy’ is your willingness to engage, not day one, but you need to be open to the process and the person you working with. If engaging a therapist privately (especially if you have health insurance).. then stop reading (not that you already haven’t and start dealing)

    3.Support- if you have someone, a long term friend, somebody who knows you (somebody who want rush to judgement…a. could I please have their number!…. b. they should be next on your list)

    4.Every Little…Helps: (I will be careful less a shopping giant thinks I misappropriate their phrasing!) Don’t be afraid to look for alternate options to help deliver solution and ease the pressure. In practical terms this could be:

    (This is stab in dark, so forgive any that not relevant)

    i.‘meals-on-wheels’ help ensure your parents eating reasonably

    ii.On-line shopping – get you food ordered and delivered – can be quicker – and saves the job of going out (if time is an issue)

    iii.Cleaning services – lots of options available (ironing / gardening etc)

    As a general principal get other people involved, don’t try and do everything yourself.

    In relation to other matters, I do understand the additional concern you have owning your own business and especially at a time of buying a ‘perfect house’. However that house (as great as it is, bricks and mortar… same way as a car (not an issue, but I like to labour a point)… is tin(ish) on wheels) As important as we believe these things to be in our life, they do not determine our experience, enjoyment or value in life and if our current experience of these has to be adjusted, that doesn’t take anything off the table for the future.

    When suffering from depression it’s often difficult to see things clearly, carefully, comprehensively and with true prospective review all matter and consider options. Now is the time to get assistance here as well, local business chambers, IFA, accountant even (if you can find one) a business ‘bank accounts manager’. In practical terms also worth considering, if anyone else can help with the business, someone who can be responsible for the ‘day to day, again this would provide some assurance for you and hopefully ease the pressure.

    When these matters are considered (by others, for/with you) not’s exclude reviewing any insurances or policies (inc health) that you or the business might have.

    Going back to your parents, if your mum is being seen by the GP that again that will help. If counselling has been provided previously and helped, it may be available again. The one aspect I would be more cautious about is your dad, it’s easy for someone in early stages of depression (or similar condition) to neglect their experience and focus their efforts on someone else.

    If this is happening, odds are he won’t know this is what he is doing and probably won’t be able to access / acknowledge his situation. You could label this as being ‘denial’; odds are it won’t be intentional. The problem is, if he is ill, whatever the condition (depression or something else) is very unlikely it will get better and there is a real risk it will get a lot worse and very quickly. I don’t say this to scare you, just to highlight the importance of not allowing this concern to go unaddressed.

    Your comments seem to point to contributory factors at work, if they (with support available to them) can identify the specifics this will help and again be open to a range of solutions.

    With regards your ‘boyfriend’, understanding what you are going through is very difficult, if he will engage with you accessing services (i.e. seeing the GP) that would be better, if not, it MUST NOT stop you from doing so. If he doesn’t engage now, doesn’t exclude him doing so later on.

    There is an implication (apologies if I am wrong) that there may be wider issues in the relationship, his intention to leave ‘half built’ boat and your concerns. Don’t take too much on at once, he’s a big boy and let him get on, you need to focus on you. When you able you can start to reflect on the relationship, talk, listen and try understanding why what he is doing is so important to him and hope he is able to do the same for you.

    That he is ex-military, means (as a generalisation) he will have a range of skills and a mind-set when dealing with items in his life. (Men are predisposed to see everything as ‘what is the problem’ followed by ‘what is the answer’.) Military training is focused on a range of skills, a set of objectives, understanding priorities and the necessity to archive an objective. It is rubbish at dealing with the thoughts, emotions and aftermath. He will probably less incline to recognise personal feelings, understand the impact of emotion, even acknowledge they exist. Do not despair; this is a common ‘issue’. There are support services ran by and available to ex-military personnel and such services are not restricted to ‘battle field’ experiences.

    He may need a little time, if you (and I appreciate how much support you need) can facilitate that than I would start there.

    Most important, YOU.

    You have made a really valuable contribution here already and it will help others.

    You are a string person

    You are a person of value break

    You are needed, wanted and can/will make a difference

    You…. Give yourself a break.

    It’s important to know there is no quick fix, no magic pill no single therapy, no waking up in morning and everything is fixed overnight Giving yourself time adjust to your illness, to put in place the support and give them time to take effect, Yes, this is very easy to say, can be a lot more difficult in practice, however it is essential.

    You need to know you are not alone, whether people in your community and/or on here. Don’t keep things ‘bottled-up’, the people here are very supportive and will provide encouragement and advice.

    You have achieved a lot in your life

    You are a person of value

    You can overcome

    You are important

    Ok… I seem to have rambled on a little, I am sorry about that (I personally find reading log posts difficult to process – again part of the illness, but not, it seems difficult to write!)

    I do wish you all the very best


  • Hiya and welcome.

    Firstly I'm not surprised that you are anxious and stressed, you have so much on your plate and so much that you are taking responsibility for.

    I got overwhelmed myself last year after about 18 months of increasing anxiety and counselling helped me. I took responsibility for everything and it sounds like you have that trait. I liked to be in control and to try and achieve perfection (really?!) when it is unobtainable and adds so much pressure.

    You have done the right thing getting the appointment with your GP.

    I would ask you to push responsibility back and try and draw some boundaries. It will be hard. Your boyfriend is an adult. He makes his own decisions and is responsible for his own living environment. You aren't responsible. He doesn't expect you to be but in your mind you are taking responsibilty for him. Same with your Mum and

    Dad. Of course you will be concerned but they have to be responsible for their own health. Be supportive but only they can decide the best way to help themselves. That might be your mum changing job, for example.. I'm not trying to be harsh because I do understand how we can easily we take responsibility for things we aren't responsible for and become crushed.

    Sarah x

  • To be honest it sounds like you will be able to patch all of this up :)

    I dont think your going to loose your boyfriend! So try not to worry about it or let it add to your feelings... If hes ignoring you he just needs time - In these situations I always tell my boyfriend how much I love him when hes angry at me for being mean to him - sweeten him up abit! Cant hurt! haha. And Im sure all is not lost!

    Plus all of your worries about business are way in the future... you might gain a new client - you dont know whats going to happen. But whatever happens just know its all going to be okay. Maybe talk to your boyfriend calmly and explain how you feel, that you love him but you need him to sort his boat situation because its making you upset and putting strain on the relationship and the last thing you want is to loose him.

    It sounds like you may have a touch of depression but its probably because of all the stress you've been put under. I know how stressful family and parent issues can be, thoughts about parents are full of all sorts of emotions and whatever they do through - we go through as their children. Try to stay positive because although you want to help your parents, all you can do is support them the best you can - which Im sure you to a super job at by the sounds of it. And for you to do that properly you need to take care of you. Maybe have some you time and do a few things to make you happy and get some head space... Because making decisions when your feeling like this is never clever...

    Do you have any siblings you can talk to? xxxxxxxxxxxxxx