Mentally unwell partner making himself worse(37 Posts)
I’m posting here because I’m very irritated with my bf at the moment and I think perhaps I’m being unreasonable because he isn’t well.
He’s been depressed and suicidal for some time. GP puts him on antidepressants but he won’t take them. Then he wonders why he still feels terrible. He was referred for counselling /CBT but didn’t respond to the letter and so they’ve discharged him.
He seems to put himself in the middle of situations where there is drama going on that won’t help him - ie driving round to friends houses who have mental health issues themselves in the middle of the night. Spending time with bereaved friends and then saying he feels like crying. Well he would wouldn’t he??
I know I sound lacking in empathy because the bottom line is he is not well so his decision making is off. Obviously it’s normal to want to support friends. But if you’re ill yourself then what use can you be when you’re rejecting help yourself and depriving yourself of sleep?
I should say I haven’t been with him very long. I get irritated with people who completely refuse to help themselves because as someone with MH issues myself I do find that medication helps hugely.
This can only end badly. I'd be giving him 1 last chance to get and accept help or you're going to leave. The situation at the moment is toxic for you.
What Manc said. I just can't see this situation getting much better if he refuses all treatment, and actually it could get a hell of a lot worse.
You can't fix him OP. I don't think a relationship is what either of you need at the moment.
That's not to say you can't support him to get help but ultimately that's his choice.
He's responsible for himself op. Your not responsible for him. As it's a new relationship that's already under strain due to his unwillingness to proactively get well it's doomed.
He can get better but he has to do it! He's not a kid, you can't fix him.
Honestly with this being a new relationship I would take a step back. Tell him you like him but for the sake of your own health you can't be in a relationship with someone who has untreated depression/MH issues and who won't do anything about them. If in six months time he's sought help and is doing better you'd happily go on a date but until that point you're going to take a step back. And then actually do it. No being friends or meeting up, go no or very low contact and stop providing emotional support as it's helping him coast along without getting proper treatment at detriment to you.
You can't help someone who doesn't want help. If you were married with kids I'd have some different approaches but this isn't worthwhile to you while you have your own issues and it's so new.
Look after yourself and let him get on with sabotaging himself if he wants to.
You should not take on his issues. I would back off.
This is who he is - if you force him to make changes he won't thank you for it
Thanks for your responses. I was checking to see whether people think it would be ok to leave the relationship over this because frankly it’s annoying and I already have three children and I don’t want another who’s d enough to know better. He also won’t allow the doctor to sign him off work.
Oh gosh yes, just leave. I say this as someone with recurring mh issues! People have to want to help themselves and allow others to help, neither of which he is doing.
You can’t fix him, OP, this is a toxic relationship and it’s only going to get worse, unless he gets help and you can’t force him to do that. You need to protect yourself and your 3 DCs.
I have MH problems myself and I also find that medication helps hugely.
Yes, leave him to it. I also have MH problems myself and I believe strongly that as MH issues can wear down those near to me, I have a responsibility to get help for them.
sonjadog I agree 100%. I have a MH issue and I've seen the strain it puts on my partner. In the worst times in our first year I often told him he could walk away and I'd understand but he stuck it out. In better times when talking about it (it is recurrent and will probably keep coming back) he's said honestly that although he supports me completely, if I was this way and unwilling to try and help myself in any way he probably wouldn't have stayed with me. Which is a very sensible attitude and I'd be the same. When my own MH affects him, I have a duty to do my best to deal with it and improve it, through medication, therapy, self help or whatever it takes. Otherwise it'd be selfish.
I’ve told him I’m not prepared to see him unless he helps himself and his response was ‘wow that hurts’ 🙄
You are not responsible for him but you are responsible for your children. You are not a bad or unkind person to leave this relationship. I would not offer any more ‘chances. You are only prolonging the inevitable. I say this from personal experience.
Stay away, no good can come of this if he isn't even willing to try to help himself. You have children to think about and he will zap your energy. I'd run and not look back...
Sounds like has had a relationship with someone a bit codependent, and is trying to drag you into that dynamic.
I had one like this it kind of went along the lines of
‘Drama! Drama! Woe is me, I’m going to have poor mental health and do all of the things to make it worse and I’m going to drag you into the middle of it all whilst still refusing any professional help’
He was really shocked when I just dead eyed him and said ‘hadn’t you better sort it out then’
No good can come of it
Cut him loose. He’ll try to emotionally blackmailing you into staying, stay strong. You’ve got kids to protect
I have suffered with MH problems. You can't help someone who won't help themselves. It can be hard to face up to needing pills or CBT but if the alternative is staying unwell then you need to do it. (Speaking from experience.)
It's a new relationship. You have kids. You're not thinking of breaking up over the illness. It's the complete refusal to get help that's the issue. If he won't change how could this have a future?
Remember that some people can be too unwell to help themselves or follow the best advice, and it could be that he is simply more unwell than you are in that he cannot choose to help himself and "see sense", whereas you can.
It is the worst of all worlds where a person is so unwell that they make terrible, irrational choices and yet are not taken into hospital or otherwise prevented from making their life worse. (obviously that is complicated ethicallly)
That does not mean that you have to stay involved with him obviously. It would do you no good to be dragged down by spiralling chaos. And if he won't/ cannot listen to reason then, there is little you can do to help him at this point. You need stable environment for you and your kids.
You might have hurt him, but perhaps that truth might help him in the long run.
He may not have high expectations for his own life, but you have shown him that you have higher expectations both for yourself and for him, so one day that might mean something to him.
I'm going to go against the grain here and say leave him, but for his sake not yours. Your attitude is toxic, shallow and clearly has no understanding of how mental illness affects individuals.
You don't get to tell him how he deals with it. It's not a case of being 'old enough to know better' - that's a disgusting opinion to have.
I'm maybe a little oversensitive about this because I've had a massive dip in my own mental health but I know what it's like and what a prison it is, and how scary it is to make change, and how you want to bury your head and go on and pretend you don't need to do anything. I know that. I have done that. And it's not your place, or anyone else's place, to tell someone how to handle it. Yes, you can see what seems like a dead simple solution. But you are looking at it clearly, from the safe side of the bridge, not from his side. Maybe you don't mean to sound so callous, but honestly, you're attitude is the type of one that hurts.
‘Your attitude is toxic, shallow and clearly has no understanding of how mental illness affects individuals. ‘
I don’t think I’m shallow. Perhaps I am unsympathetic. I do realise that some people who are depressed don’t want to help themselves because they are depressed. But why should that be my problem?
I do find it strange though that he is not too ill to go to football matches on a Sunday but can’t find the time to arrange for counselling that is being handed to him on a plate?
I think I would be shallow if I refused to date him because he’s unwell. I don’t want to be with someone who has to cut our date short because he’s not taken his meds for 2 weeks and he’s been up all night with another suicidal person 🤷♀️
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