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In need of some support and advice....

(4 Posts)

Crikey, this is going to be long but I hope that at least some of you will stay with me until the end. My DH has depression and other mental health issues, and has suffered since he was a teenager (possibly before). In brief most of his problems stem from some severe bullying at school and physical abuse by a family member.

I really had little knowledge of this before we were married, he wasn't taking his meds regularly at the time but managed to hide most of his problems although there were some unpleasant times which now, given all I know, make absolute sense.

He has had two major breakdowns since I have known him, and also suffered from mouth cancer a little over three years ago. 5 years ago he suffered what was thought to be a stroke but I am fairly convinced it was more psychological - a sort of stress induced event - as no physical evidence of stroke was found on the brain. He had some left sided weaknesss which passed after a few weeks but which comes back when he gets stressed out.

Anyway, yet again we are going through a very stressful time. I have changed jobs and now work shifts (a change he was very supportive of and actively encouraged). His work is going through some major re-structuring, which will involve changes to his job or the option of voluntary redundancy, although the company have re-iterated that they do not want to lose anyone. DH is very worried about all this. We have talked about the possibility of taking the redundancy package and doing B and B from home and for a while (about 8 days) he was really keen on this idea but then all the doubts and worries set in and he started back tracking - this happens a lot.

I am finding it really hard now. The children are older and more aware of emotions and things going on around them (11 and 9). I find it hard not to get drawn in to the whirlpool of emotions - I have a mantra at the moment which is 'don't let him stop the enjoyment' which sounds dreadful but when I know he is struggling I am totally preoccupied by it, worrying about his state of mind and constantly trying to come up with solutions.

I would really like any advice or help from anyone else going through similar, just please don't flame me for being unsympathetic - I am, it's just I have to start looking after myself and the DS's now - I don't want them to be damaged by all this but equally we have to have a family life together.

Thanks in advance x

Iwasinamandbunit Sat 16-Aug-14 20:06:00

I'm the equivalent of your DH but my DH knew I had problems before we got together.

My DH can sort of switch off from it sometimes, I have never stopped either him or dc from doing anything. Though there is the odd thing we can't do together as a family because I can't cope.

After my last major crisis it was decided I had to stop working, it was mutually agreed but DH earns enough to support us easily.

Has he ever had any kind of therapy? I had many years of abuse at the hands of parents and first DH. You do have to be very willing to co operate though and it is incredibly hard work.

I think you would benefit from maybe something like a carers support network for yourself .I know my Doctors surgery have one.

Is your DH fully aware of how much he impacts on your life? I am and I wouldn't want to live with me. I wouldn't flame you at all and as I mentioned I'm your DH and it sounds like we have similar issues.

I'm rambling now so hope that makes sense.

Thanks Iwasinamandbunit. I think that it what I need to develop, the ability to switch off from it. I find this so hard as I just want to fix it all and make him happy.

He is aware how much it affects me and tries to hide it but it is usually painfully apparent that there is something wrong, and the fact he is trying to cover up adds to the strain. Although I do press him to tell me, so if I could do the switching off thing that might help.

He's had loads of therapy, all sorts of counselling, CBT etc. You name it he's probably tried it.

He is a lovely man and when he is well I couldn't wish for a better husband. When he is having a crisis though he can be awful and I allow myself to be dragged in, I believe him when he says things are terrible, worry and panic and generally get in a tizz. Sometimes I feel (this is awful to admit) we would be better off on our own. None of which help any of us.

I am a strong person, I just hate seeing him like this and I suppose I have to come to terms with the fact that this is a lifelong thing for all of us. Naively I suppose I've been hoping I could 'fix' him all these years and am starting to realise there will continue to be crisis after crisis after crisis (always slow on the uptake me).

Iwasinamandbunit Sat 16-Aug-14 21:18:35

It is awful watching people we care about suffer, though I have my own issues obviously I still cannot stand to see others suffer.

The only people that can really fix us is ourselves so please don't ever feel as if you have failed in any way.

It does sound if he makes an effort to be as well as he can.

My doctor said this to me recently.
You function at different levels and we just always want you to function at the best level you can.

You sound like a really lovely partner.

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