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Depression from the other side

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#1 ShawnMichaelsAteMyHamster



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:34 PM

I found out a year ago that my dad was signed off work with clinical depression. He'd been suffering for a year before but parents hadn't really told me as I was in Japan etc.


He's been getting better and we moved in with them when we got back to England as upstairs there's a bedroom/small bedroom attached which we could have as a mini flat really while we were looking for work and therefore getting ourself set to rent/buy.


Anyway he tends to vanish off out without much warning on some nights (mum can generally tell when he will) and he got a bit drunk the other week (he's not supposed to drink now but vanished out and obviously had a few) and got morose and a bit mouthy towards me.


My brother (who is younger but 6'5" and built like a tank) stays some nights because he WAS sleeping here before we moved back as he's getting married in the summer and will then move in with his wife. My mum has kind of kept him away a little to avoid dad bringing him down.


Anyway my dad was weird last night, but then we watched the Spurs game and he was kinda happy. After that he went out though. At 12.44 at night I went through to the lounge to speak to mum who said it was the longest he'd been out. She was going to wait up but told me to go to bed so I did. Woke up at 2am to hear him drunkenly whinging on downstairs and then crying in the bathroom with mum, in between telling her how everything is her fault. My wife went down to use the loo (separate room to bathroom) and heard them. She came back upstairs and we had a cuddle to calm down a bit.


This morning she went out with my daughter to see a friend in London (thankfully). Dad went out and rocked back in at 11.30am. They were suppsoed to have friends over at 12 and he was supposed to prepare lunch. He'd been smoking (quit when I was tiny) and back to screeching, swearing (he never swears, I've never heard him before in my life), crying, having a go at mum and making kinda scary sounds. I'm upstairs in our bedroom. I was going to go to Canterbury but told mum I'd hang around just in case. She says he never hurts her, just gets very angry at her, hates himself etc. She's called some useless psycho guys that she can call when he has a day like this and they come round to have a chat. They don't do much good apparently. She just came in to tell me that she just hopes he goes to bed. At least it's raining so it's unlikely he'll go out again today.





So, as much as I love my mum, as much as I want to protect her, stay with her, keep an eye on her just in case, I've only got two people I have responsibilities towards so I'm about to message my wife to tell her to go straight to her parents (same town as mine) and I'll take bags over and we'll stay there the night/two nights. Yeah he's never gotten physical but the atmosphere is poison. He's not my responsibility. My mum wouldn't want me to take a responsibility either. Up until now my family life has always been wonderful. I've read about everyone else and felt sadness and pity but never experienced it myself and it's brutal. Mental health treatment is useless in this country. There's no support and they don't have spaces to take him in for a while.


I know a number of you guys have depression or similar issues/problems/illnesses. I read about how bad it is for you and it sounds terrible, especially as it's not anything you asked for, wanted or expected. Life can be massively unfair. However it's made him selfish, self-centred, full of spite, petty-mindedness, anger and he's no longer who I know as my father. It's NOT my responsibility to be all supportive and loving of him when I've got my wife and baby daughter to protect. My mum has been worn down by him and yet still loves him as she remembers who he was. He's pushed their friends away, makes it harder for her to have people round, gets worse when she has to do an extra day at work (he's not allowed to claim any money ridiculously) and as she's on £490 a month, she earns more than the £120 or whatever a week that the government things a couple can live on.


So, yeah, add me to the list of folk who have bored you with such nonsense.

#2 ShawnMichaelsAteMyHamster



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:40 PM

...and he's gone to bed thankfully. Time to go give my mum a hug.

#3 Adam.


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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:42 PM

Sorry to hear that Hammy, it sounds like a really rough situation for you and your family to be in especially as he didn't use to be like this.


In my experience though, yes, the mental health structure in this country is severely lacking and is certainly much more useful and helpful in other countries. I can't remember where I heard it but the quote "mental illness is society's last great taboo" rings true I think.

#4 Social Justice Nerf

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

Don't really have much in the way I can offer in advice, unfortunately. Just that mental health can do some brutal stuff to a person, but deep down they are still the people you love. I hope everything works out for you and your family Hammy ({)

#5 RPS Ginger Minj

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

Hammy, as somebody who has lived with somebody who suffers from depression, I know how you feel. It is really, really fucking tough. I struggled at first dealing with living with somebody who had depression and just the chaos it can cause in your life. I was really angry and awkward about it at first. But I think through time you get perspective. That's not to say your feelings or anger right now is wrong, I think just in time you'll think about it differently. As time passed by, me and my family came to realize that for how uncomfortable and awkward it was for us, it was worse for the person suffering from depression and we just had to be there to support them however you can. It is a tough position to be in, and one I personally struggled with for a while. But it does get easier.

#6 fhqwhjosh


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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:12 PM

Very sorry to hear about that, CSAMH. As someone who has been and is clinically depressed, it's worth noting you did the right thing. Your dad does need help, but not at the cost of others' safety.


Separate from the depression, I know that feeling of discovering your parents' problems after years of thinking everything is okay. One day during grad school, I was getting ready in a bathroom on one end of the house when I heard my parents arguing several rooms away on the other end. The arguing became louder and louder and I eventually realized it was just my dad, who was getting beyond intense. Shaking with nerves, I finally bolted toward that end of the house in time to see (and hear) my dad throw some heavy object at the wall near my mother. She was sitting silently at the computer, basically shut down and trying to ignore. I remember just screaming for him to shut up, and he appeared flustered before leaving through the garage.


I don't know what preceded it, and I can only assume my dad went for a drive to calm down. Before leaving for school, I asked my mom if she was okay. She was careful to say he doesn't (or didn't) do that often and hinted that he never became physical, but she ended up in tears and started expressing her sadness about several different things, some not even related.


I only share that to say a) even the best of parents can go through quite grueling periods and come out the other side, and b) just being available to your mother was a huge help. You sound like an awfully good son.

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