Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Navigating the D & inability to make decisions

Community Member

I’m a 53 year old man with younger kids (& adult kids) who has been battling depression for 30 years, or so.

I am mostly well for decent periods, with medications & lifestyle choices helping. Unfortunately, I have been in a pretty deep & long episode of depression for 10 months.


Initially I battled on, but eventually needed to take some time off work to recover. I took 6 weeks off, then changed jobs about 7 months ago.

During my time off I ate healthy, exercised often, spent quality time with my family & began to feel a lift in mood. 

Unfortunately it didn’t last & I have been grinding away at life for the past few months.


My job is unfulfilling with too much time to ruminate which doesn’t help my mood. ‘Or’ is my mood making the job unfulfilling?


I know that taking time off again will help. To do all the things that helped last time, particularly having time to work on my physical health, which positively affects my mental health. 

Money, or lack thereof would be an issue needing to tighten our belts with the drop in income. I also feel that working part time & being the main carer for the kids would be helpful. 

Sounds like I have a plan yeah?


Problem is I can’t make a decision in my current head space. Balancing what will work & what I want to do with what I feel is expected of me, or what men in my situation should do is paralysing.


I’ve been agonising for the past few weeks but can’t make a decision.


Has anyone experienced this? Made a decision or not? How did it go?


Any responses would be appreciated. 


3 Replies 3


Hi FromtheGong


Thank you so much for your post to the Forums and for joining this community. We really appreciated how you are shared today and want to thank you for you courage. You never know who you might read this and feel less alone on their own journey.


We can hear that making this decision is really hard for you right now, these are never easy and can take a lot of effort and energy. We are sure that someone from the community will jump in soon to share their perspective.


If you want to chat to us in the meantime, we are here for you 24/7 on 1300 22 4636. Thanks again for joining and for sharing


Kind regards,  Sophie M

Community Member

Dear From the Gong

You do have a plan that your wise self has given you. Sometimes you need just to step into the plan to allow it to unfold in a workable form for you.


The most important thing is your wellbeing - this will sustain you and your family.


It's better that you can be a healthy version of you for yourself and your family. Our family remembers the type of person we are, not the possessions we gave them. Your thoughts reflect real love and caring for yourself and your family. Both are important.


All the very best for you and your family.

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi FromtheGong,


I just thought I'd mention that my cousin has become a stay at home Dad in his second marriage and it has worked out extremely well. He is a great Dad (and a grandad now too!) and I'm sure has made a wonderful difference in his kids lives. He and his wife worked out that this was best for each of them and their family.


I am neither male nor a parent, so I cannot related directly to your situation. But I have recently been coming to accept certain limitations I have and I'm being encouraged to apply for the disability support pension due to ongoing long-term health issues. I have found it so hard to let go of continuing to strive to get back to work, but with each attempt I've just relapsed worse than the last time. Finally now I am letting go and realising that the best thing for my health is to apply for the DSP where I can still work a few hours but I am under less pressure (if it gets accepted).


So what I am wondering in your case is if you feel that you've kind of instinctively, intuitively made the decision already that part time work and being the main carer of the kids is going to be the best health-wise, then that may be worth at least trying to see how you go, if you can arrange your life that way. I've had to learn to let go of the expectations of others in terms of what I 'should' be doing and begin to act in my own interests. Often things start to fall into place in a positive way once you do that.


So I'm not wanting to try and suggest what to do, more just encouraging you to listen to your intuition about what feels right. What will be health-giving for you will have flow-on benefits for your family as well. As far as expectations about what some people may view as being a typical male role is concerned, I think that is really changing. I suspect there are many Dad's out there who would love to go part-time and be in more of that care role, and many may look at choosing that path as being a wise and courageous one.


One thing you can do is reflect on each decision you could make and then just really listen in to yourself as to how it feels. Often our body tells us what we need to know even if our mind is going back and forth between the pros and cons in what seems like an agonising decision process.


I wish you all the best and hope you can find a balance that works for you and your family.