Mental Health Support
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Husband suffers from depression

My husband has suffered from depression for the last 20 years, he has had various medication over the years but is currently on 40mg Citalopram and Propanaol (up to 3 times a day). He can suffer the most terrible mood swings which make him feel terrible and makes the rest of his family feel terrible too.

Quite often his mood swings are caused by one of our children being naughty, they are not awful children by any stretch of the imagination, but they are 11 and 9 and as you can imagine have their moments of being challenging. Quite often when I am trying to deal with their moods, he will swing in to a depressive mood and end up getting angry at himself and then have feelings of feeling uselessness.

He has a terrible mis-trust of doctors too, which does not make it easy in getting him the right help and support he needs. When first diagnosed he had great support from counsellors etc that got him through it, but now it is struggle to even get him to see the GP. About 18 months ago he had a terrible episode and ended up in hospital, but since then has seen his GP and refused to go any further with any Psychiatric help offered to him. He will go and see his GP and say everything is fine, because at that moment it is, reality is he has bad times and won't seek the help when he is feeling down. He prefers to deal with it himself.

As you can imagine this puts a great strain on our family life, our children feel upset that they have caused his bad moods and I am stuck in the middle trying to support him but also provide a stable family life for the children. I have thought many times of leaving him, but when things are good they make up for the bad and I do not want to do this. He is the father of my children and they love him to bits.

I don't really know what I am asking for here, just finding someone to talk to I guess as I do not have any friends that I can express my feelings to.

2 Replies

Hello nh2506, welcome to the site, which is absolutely the right place to vent, rage, seek advice and support and I hope that other people will soon reply and you will feel supported by us.

You are right in that you are in such a difficult position. Just as you are a carer for your children, you are also the carer for your husband when he is ill. My husband is my carer and this is recognised by my GP, psychiatrist and the local mental health team. This means if he is concerned about my mental health he can contact the GP directly and ask for help and support, and he doesn't have to deal with the standard reply, we can't discuss another patient.

Have you thought of making an appointment with the GP for him and going with him, so that you are both in the same room? The other thing you could perhaps try is keeping a diary, maybe for a week that records the things that trouble you. Then you will have a record that you can show your husband that gives some insight into his behaviour and how is affects the whole family.

I know how difficult it is to get husbands to the GP. We have lived here for five years and my husband finally got round to registering with the surgery. They did basic health screening and found out that he is diabetic and has high blood pressure. He has most probably had these for years. He is now on the right meds for these conditions and feels so much better. I have to bite my tongue sometimes when I want to say 'maybe if you had registered when we first arrived or on one of the eleventy billion times I kept telling you to, you would have got treatment earlier, and you would have felt better earlier'

Citalopram is a fairly effective antidepressant, but it doesn't work for everyone, he might need to try another one. Propanol is for anxiety and is a beta blocker. When I was prescribed it, it did nothing for me so I stopped it fairly quickly.

I hope this is helpful, you are a very committed wife and mum who wants the best for those you love. But you are in between a rock and a hard place. Try and get sometime to yourself, and do something you enjoy. Keep in touch with your friends, and keep posting here if it is helpful.

Take care.



Hi. My husband and I both suffer from depression. Mine is finally managed well but he has been off work for 3 months. He has seen a psychiatrist who changed his meds 3 weeks ago, although he is yet to start taking his anti-psychotic meds. We have 3 kids (2 together) and I worry the impact this is having on them due to his lethargy, moods and anger. He has had some really irrational thoughts such as my son and I are having an affair, and the atmosphere at home is so bad that my son doesn't feel welcome and has more or less moved in with his girlfriend. My son has also had mental health issues, depression, panic attacks and self harming and so he too is trying to keep things together.

I feel so helpless and unsure what to do as my husband doesn't seem to want to help himself get better...and I can feel the strain it is putting on me. I can't really talk to him about it as I'm worried what that will do to his mood and our relationship.

I know from my own experience that depression can be treated and managed and if your husband has had it for 20 years you know yourself that there will be better times ahead. You just need to keep reminding yourself that better days will come and keep strong for your kids. At the same time don't allow yourself to get sucked down by his moods or feel responsible. You can give him some allowance for his behaviour but you're also allowed to say that you need to look after yourself and his behaviour isn't helping you or the kids. I hope he goes back for some help. Good luck and chin up.


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