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Worried- parenting with bipolar/bpd(6 Posts)
Long post sorry in advance!
My DP has various mh issues - ocd, anxiety & after his appointment with the psychiatrist today either bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder or a combination of the two. He has recently come off sertraline as he was on a high dose & made his moods rapid cycle & feel horrendous
We have an 18m DD together, he has her during the day while I work FT. He has recently admitted that when he is low he does struggle with looking after her - she is never neglected, always loved, fed & changed when needed, he feels guilty more than anything that he can't go out & 'do' things with her. I know that regardless of how he's feeling he will always put her needs first. She is a complete daddy's girl.
He has support from CMHT & is visited at home every 2 weeks by a specialist MH Social worker (this was started as he is still on the waiting list for iapt from Nov last year) he will be starting new meds in the next few weeks & will be seeing psychiatrist every 3 months.
What I am worried about is will there be any intervention from social services, given that he is the sole carer of our DD while I work? Aside from that everything else is down to me - housework, bills, managing money, making appointments, cooking, getting everyone out of bed etc. I am considering asking work if I can go part time, but doubtful this will be accepted. At the psychiatrist today he mentioned to them that he was 'struggling' but then didn't go on to explain himself & started talking about something else. I know that they have a duty of care to ask about her welfare & maybe it was me being paranoid but I felt that they asked about her a lot. Hence why I'm worried.
There is absolutely no violence & if I was ever concerned he wasn't looking after her properly I would walk out of my job.
Are SS likely to get involved? Any advice appreciated! Thank you
The MH team wouldn't (or shouldn't) refer to children's social services without telling/asking your DH first. We've had 2 referrals and each time I was told/asked about it.
If it does happen, it sounds more likely that they'd be looking into supporting DH with parenting tasks/finding out about what support is in place already/what safety plans you have in place rather than because they were worried about neglect. They have to ask about kids/childcare when a parent has MH problems, as otherwise they wouldn't know about the person with MH problems roles and responsibilities and also they could be seen as failing the child if they do not ask questions. So, please, don't worry, it's all pretty standard!
Thank you for your reply, it is reassuring!
I'm bipolar I, PTSD, OCD and EDNOS (great list yeah?). Never been referred to Social Services, my 3 and 4 year olds are happy and well rounded. They attended nursery, no one even knew I had MH issues. The eldest has just started school.
I have told my GP, Psychologist and Psychatrist that I find my children difficult to look after. They were reassuring and said that children are hard work. Not a reflection of my health.
They are well cared for, fed, bathed and read stories. Sometimes I'm down and I find it hard, but I'd never harm them. The worst I'd do would be sit them in front of CBeebies with a bag of crisps and a juice and let that entertain them if I'm not up to it. I beat myself up that I should be one of those mums who do everything. I work, and at the weekends I'm knackered. A trip to the park is a marathon. I have managed a few trips out lately as they are getting bigger and easier to engage. I wish I could do more but they seem happy enough.
Unless there is abuse or neglect there is no reason for SS to become involved. My children do know mummy gets poorly sometimes, but they don't judge. Children are amazingly forgiving and just happy to be with a loving parent. Even if it's just sat on the sofa in pjs.
Not one professional has ever mentioned SS to me and I take my children to the same GP I see. She always compliments me on their appearance, behaviour and development.
The bad people fly under the radar, your DH is not hiding anything so I can't see a problem. SS are overworked as it is, I doubt you'd be on their list.
Is your little one entitled to nursery funding at 2? A few hours at nursery can be great for both parent and child.
Your DP sounds like he's doing a good job, no need for groups and stuff. A walk around the park with the buggy is enough and can be good on a down day. Don't stress
I know a few parents with MH issues with no SS involvement. I only know one that struggles but she uses alcohol to manage her bpd and it isn't a great combination. Her dd does not live with her as she finds it hard to cope with the mood swings and emotional abuse. To be honest, SS weren't even involved there, and she made her own decision to move out when she was old enough to decide.
I had a chat with one of the CPNs in DHs team yesterday about us having kids in the future as this was concerning me too, especially as my GP had been realy negative about it. He was very supportive of us having kids and very reassuring. He told me that if they are working with somebody who has a child under 5 in the house they have to send a standard letter to the health visitor informing them of their involvement, but thats it. He was also very reassuring that if DH became unwell we would be well supported by both his team and social services if necessary. Overall he was very encouraging saying he thought we would make good parents and not to let a MH diagnosis get in the way.
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