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Husband suicidal, but reluctant for help. Really need advice..

(15 Posts)
fixarupa Wed 05-Dec-12 14:12:19

Thankyou everyone, especially NanaNina. I was quite shocked by the posts from SG. I am glad that someone else could see how off the wall those comments were. I might have expected on AIBU, but not on here. The very nature of this forum is that there may be some quite fragile people on here needing help, so this harsh judgement was totally un called for.

Anyway, moving on. My husband is on his second week off work, following a very nasty bought of Flu, which of course has not helped his mental state. He is very sure now that he wants to restrict his alcohol consumption to just social occasions. I feel confident he will be able to do this as I know there is no underlying addition to alcohol. He has not had anything for weeks anyway.
He does seem to be muddling through, although clearly the problems is not going to disapear. I contacted mind and printed off some info on suicidal thoughts. I have given him a leaflet on depression to read. He has had a look through and said he found some of it useful. I have a medical background, so am quite resourceful and able to access info for him. I just don't want to overload him. I have asked him to be honest about his suicidal thoughts so i know when he is at a low.
So I have the practicalities sorted but you can lead a horse to water etc. etc. He has started on St john's wort and he is considering my suggestion to go back to another GP. Form for his referral to therapy CBT is in so I guess we can wait and see what that delivers. Thanks everyone again for the support x

NanaNina Tue 04-Dec-12 23:40:00

I still think Fixarupa that your DH's GP needs to know how much he is suffering. I think sadly that the stigma of mental illness still exists and this is one of the reasons why people don't like seeing GPs (having it on their record) etc. Does he know that 1 in 4 people will suffer from depression and anxiety at some point in their lives, and 6 people inthe population are suffering at any one time. Almost one third of GP appts are about mental health issues, so he won't be telling the GP anything she/he has not heard many many times before.

One thing I wonder about that Hoophopes has mentioned and I have heard it said on the MH thread so many times, about going to A & E to ask to see the "duty psychiatrist." I don't know if such people exist in other Hospital Trusts but they certainly don't in mine. I had a very severe episode of depression Easter 2010 which built up very rapidly and my DP and friend were so worried about me they got me an appt with an out-of-hours GP. As it turned out he was awful, totally unsympathetic and never looked at me (I was leaning on his desk with my head in my hands saying "I just want to die" (which I certainly did) and he asked my friend if I was suicidal! He said I needed to go to A & E and should have been referred there rather than seeing him, but he wrote a note that he faxed over.

We got to A & E about 8.00 pm and after about 30 mins I was called in and a dr started asking me questions. My friend came in with me and all I could do was cry and he again he ignored me but said to my friend "how long has she been like this." Then he asked us to wait. Well we waited and waited and as time went by my anxiety lessened a little. I realised now that I was being triaged to see whether the "Crisis team" should come out. At 11.00 pm I was finally called in and seen by 2 people (man and woman) and didn't tell me who they were. One asked questions and the other took notes, and only seemed interested in my risk of suicide. Eventually I learned one was a CPN and the other a Dr. However they did say they would refer me to the conslt psychiatrist. They prescribed diazepam and sent me home. The next 2 days were a blur - a GP from mu surgery came and was lovely and gave me more diazepam and said a CPN would call to assess me later that day. However he then phoned to say that the psychiatrist was coming out to see me the following day. He did so and asked if I was willing to go into hospital, which I was and stayed for 3 months. Not made complete recovery - depression is now intermittent. I had a CPN for 12 months after discharge and he psych followed me up for 12 months too.

Sorry OP this is probably not helping you but I read so often of MNs going to A & E to ask to see "duty psychiatrist" and I honestly don't think it's that easy. Maybe it is in some areas I don't know.

Hope you can get your DH back to the GP Fixarupa but if he refuses, all you can do is help him all you can. Sometimes I just need to cry on my DPs shoulder and be held because I am so scared. I'm sure you know anxiety and depression usually go together, and anxiety is fear, so there is often a lot of fear about, and there is no specific reason for feeling afraid, other than fear of how you are feeling, if you see what I mean.

You must also look after yourself too - christmas is a bad time for many people becasue I think it tends to heighten whatever emotions we have.

Hoophopes Tue 04-Dec-12 22:18:40

Although your dh wasn't able to be totally honest with the Gp he did come out with a referral to counsellor, so the Gp did see enough to know that he needs help. The counsellor should hopefully be able to work with him and perhaps give your dh the encouragement to go back to the gp if he thinks the gp can help further- such as medication. Although it may only be a short course of counselling, it is a start . If he is really strugglling he can go to a+e at any time for emergency help, if able to go, adn ask to talk to the on duty psychiatrist

amillionyears Tue 04-Dec-12 22:00:56

SG, he went to the GP today, so he is starting to do something about it.
The op loves him and wants to help and support him to carry on getting appropriate treatment.

LowennaGirl Tue 04-Dec-12 21:54:02

Hi Fixarupa. Your husband took a huge step forward in going to the GP, with your encouragement and now hopefully you can do the same and encourage him to see a counsellor. If you are able I would consider finding a private therapist. The people in the NHS are great but it's likely there will be a wait list and, presenting with symptoms he is minimising, he will get only a short-course of therapy or some basic CBT. If you can't go private then encourage him to be frank at least in his assessment (he would probably have an assessment before being allocated to someone). Writing it down might help so he can rely on his notes in the session rather than having to come out with it all. I wish you both the best in dealing with this. It's always important to take suicidal ideation seriously. Hubby is lucky to have your support! He may also want to try cutting out the beers and the one joint for a couple of weeks. It doesn't sound like a lot to be but can exacerbate things where depression already exists.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 21:40:47

It's very, very hard to live with someone who has MH issues. It's a lot harder if that person will not accept help or make any effort to help him/herself. My point is that it's not fair to the OP or her children to be expected simply to live with it indefinitely. Because it won't just go away by itself.

NanaNina Tue 04-Dec-12 20:11:37

SG I am absolutely appalled at your ignorance about mental illness and the content of both of your posts. You seem to think that this man is dangerous and that is quite ridiculous and the OP and the children do not need protecting from him. This man is ill and is not self medicating with drink and drugs - people who do this are usually addicted to these things. YOu clearly know nothing about the criterion for a person to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act and frankly you are talking nonsense about this man's condition. The OP does not want to prioritise herself, she wants to help her DH who most certainly needs all the help and support he can get.

Fixarupa I am going to report SG's posts to see if MNHQ will delete them. PLEASE ignore her and come back and tell us how things are. It is so unusual to hear this sort of thing on the MN MH thread.

amillionyears Tue 04-Dec-12 19:53:07

SG, the op is not suggesting that these problems "can be cured by love and kindness".
Those are your words, not hers.

Has this happened to you SG? That someone, either you or someone close to you has had it said to them?

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 19:36:49

OP: 'self-medicated' and 'undiagnosed' depression in men is very very often an excuse for being a lazy PITA and even an abuser. From the information in your first post, it was possible that your situation was one of those.
Even if it's not, you can't help him if he won't help himself. He either has to go to the GP and be honest about how he feels or, if you are afraid he is too ill to be able to do so and is a risk to you and the DC or himself, then you can call the doctor and have someone come round to assess him, but they will either take him away and section him or, if he bullshits them, things won't improve.

My point is: if someone in the family has bad MH problems, these problems cannot be cured by love and kindness. If the person will not seek help or do anything towards recovery, you need to start protecting yourself and the other members of the family. It's not bad or selfish or shameful to prioritize yourself and DC in a situation you didn't cause and can't control.

fixarupa Tue 04-Dec-12 18:44:50

Solidgold, what a ridiculously unhelpful post. I really came on here for help and advice and was heartened by most of the responses, but this from you is beyond the pale. What exactly in my post led you to think that. The ONE joint per week which a great many people (some even on MN, shock horror) may well do. Or perhaps it was the occasional alcohol binges when he is struggling to cope. My husband is a wonderful partner and father to our two children. The whining around the house, as you put it was him today sobbing in my arms that he is so afraid of the feelings he is having. I really suggest you should find a little understanding about mental illness or just leave out the hurtful comments.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 16:07:08

Depression is a terrible thing but this man is a weedsmoking pisshead who hangs around the house whining and won't do anything to improve his situation. He just expects the OP to scurry around putting up with it. I'm advising her that she (and any DC she may have) are important too, and there comes a point where you can't help another person and therefore need to take care of yourself by backing away.

NanaNina Tue 04-Dec-12 12:51:39

Oh huge sympathies to your DH - it's only those who have suffered the torment of mental illness that can understand it, though most of us have similar symptoms. Depression makes us think and feel things about ourselves that arn't true.

The suicidal thoughts are very common in depression and they are mostly suicide ideation (which means that you think about it a lot but you won't actually carry it out) but on the other hand 25% of people with severe depression do commit suicide, so it has to be taken seriously.

I think the way we respond to depression differs with out personality types. If your DH is a reserved sort of man who likes to keep his thoughts private, then it is a big problem, because he needs to be honest with the GP. It is good that your DH is able to admit to you some of his symptoms (self loathing and despair are very common. I also feel like that on bad days and ashamed as well. Can you take this a step further and ask him about other symptoms and make alist and then you need to make another appt with GP that you attend as well and make sure the GP gets the full picture this time. Even then you might have a problem getting him to take meds, but they really can help to lift the symptoms so life is more bearable.

IF he refuses all help, there is not a lot you can do, but I do hope your DH gets the help and support he needs. It really is torment to suffer from depression.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 04-Dec-12 12:42:11

If you've had years of this I would concentrate on taking care of yourself. You cannot fix someone else by loving them, and you certainly can't fix someone who is refusing to be fixed.

Do you have any children with him?

NagooHoHoHo Tue 04-Dec-12 12:38:07

I would encourage him to attend the counselling, they are trained to see throught the pretending.

If I thought he was in immediate danger I would call the police, I would worry about what he thought about that later.

fixarupa Tue 04-Dec-12 12:26:20

My husband has suffered on and off with depression for many years. He has never sought professional help and in the past has coped by using maruana, alcohol and just general denial. He currently only has one joint once a week (I know this is all) He does have a tendency to drink a little too much (say, about 2 cans a night) His coping strategies vary in that he does not drink all the time and definitely would not consider him to have a substance or alcohol problem.
However, after a tricky couple of weeks the depression has reared its head once more. I managed to get him to admit how he feels. He is plagued with feelings of self loathing and despair. This time he has finally admitted that he has been having fairly consistent suicidal thoughts and really feels hopeless. He went to the GP today but played down his situation and came out of the surgery with a diagnosis of very mild depression, and a self referral form for counselling.
My dilemma is this; how do i get him to be honest and face up to this? He thinks he can bury it and pretend he is ok when he is clearly not. He is reluctant to talk to me let alone a professional. He readily admits that if he saw a professional he would very likely lie to pretend he better when he is not.
How can I help him?

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