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Positive suggestions on how to get DH to go to the Drs for his mental health

(9 Posts)
Arana Thu 06-Oct-11 07:47:25

DH has been mildly depressive / manic depressive for as long as I have known him (11 years), and we have so much other stress going on in our lives at the moment that I just don't have the energy / headspace to continually prop him up like I have done in the past.

He has also just started a new job with the same company, so is throwing himself into his work, trying to make a good first impression, taking on extra work and turning the business around. He has been there for two months and has already totally revolutionised the workplace in a brilliant way - people can't stop going on about how great it is now he's there, he's being praised right left and centre, by everyone from the people he manages to the MD for the whole company. But he won't relax at all - he is still tryig to take on new work (he wants to take ownership of it, so that he can get more good credit for when he turns it round). When he was taken on in this new position it was a bit of a risk for the company as he didn't have previous experience, so he was initially on quite a low wage for the position. He is hoping that the work he has done will give him a good pay rise come pay-reviews in April and May, so I can see why he is working so hard. BUT...he doesn't need to do any more. He has already made a fantastic impression. He needs to ease back and focus back on his family that have had to make sacrifices for him to be able to do this job in the first place. I'm not asking for much, just 5% say of the effort he puts into work into his family instead. And not just physical time and presence, but coming home in the evening not totally drained, miserable and exhausted. He enjoys his work immensely, enjoys the challenge, but it totally drains him.

I don't know if this is classic bipolar/manic depressive behaviour (he goes through mildly manic and mildly depressive phases anyway) but he is always manic at work, and depressive at home. The more manic he is at work, the more depressive he is at home. He can be lifted out of the depression at home by doing family activities etc, but he usually has to throw himself head first into these in a manic way.

So, anyway, I've got the point where I can't handle this any more - he wants more support from me, and I just can't do it - there are no more compromises or sacrifices I can make. I've suggested that the ball is in his court - if he is struggling then either he needs to regulate his work/life balance himself, or he needs to seek medical help, but he is unwilling to do either. He point blank refuses to see a doctor, and is so intent on not failing with his new job that he won't ease up at all.

Any suggestions?

Bossybritches22 Thu 06-Oct-11 08:19:44

Arana my heart goes out to you. Living with a BP sufferer can be SO exhausting. My younger brother ( now 47) was diagnosed at 15 & we have battled to help him deal with it all his life.

To me your DH's new job & his manic creativity IS typical of BP & indeed why so many don't take medication becasue they loved the productiveness of the highs so much they are prepared to suffer the corresponding lows.

This however is unfair to you & the family & you can't keep going like this or you will make yourself ill.

HE may not want to go to the drs but YOU still can on your own behalf. He should be able to have the support of Community Mental Health nurse. My bro' had several briliant ones (several male which also helped) but they were & if there for my mum & the rest of us too. If he was "fizzing" we'd get the nurse to drop by & assess him.

Basically whatever HE does or doesn't want YOU need to talk to someone & then form a plan. Is your GP supportive?

Arana Thu 06-Oct-11 08:29:00

We're not in the UK, but I do have GP appointment tomorrow for another matter, and I'm sure I can bring the matter up. I'ts good to know in a way that his behaviour isn't "normal" so at least we can work on it. His view is that he's always been like this, he's too old (34!) to change now. He says he has nothing to lose by going to the doctors, yet still refuses. Like you say, I think he thrives on the creative highs, and just puts up with the lows as a by-product, without realising the destructive effect it has on the family.

Bossybritches22 Thu 06-Oct-11 09:05:44

Ok sorry thought you were Uk based!

Glad you're seeing your GP. See what support set ups there are. You could always ask for a counsellor for you, & if he (DH) says he has nothing to lose then suggest he comes anyway FOR YOU. If he thinks the pressure is off him to be "seen" then he may agree.

Is he on any medication? My brother has had his reviewed several times over the years, tweaked here & there to try new drugs, constantly being improved. Half the challenge is getting them to manage their own illness, like him. diabetes or epilepsy it won't go away but can be controlled.

They can be incredibly selfish at times, (my brother is the sweetest guy but there are times when I could have cheerfully wrung his neck when he was being stroppy!!) but your DH needs to acknowledge how this is affecting the rest of his family not just you.

Good luck. smile

cestlavielife Thu 06-Oct-11 14:39:19

talk to GP and any relevant help groups in your country.

how old are the DC?

problem is going to be if he has a real crash - not just at home but at work too. how many months does his "highs" usually last? with my exP (not officially diagnosed but definite up/down phases) i kind of knew that any "good" phase was always going to come to an end...sometimes half way thru a project eg revamping kitchen etc leaving me to pick up the pieces (literally)

what actual support does he want from you?

maybe try and define it more - and let him know what you and DC can and cannot give. or set precise boundaries - yes you happy to listen to him talk about his day for 20 minutes after work - but after that it stops as Dc have to be fed bathed etc.

and what about your support from him as you try to run the family while he working? do you work outside home too?

cestlavielife Thu 06-Oct-11 14:40:56

thing is they dont want to go see GP when they in "manic" type phase comepleting projects etc.

but you have to watch for and catch the real crash... have his GP onstandby - or will he recognizewhen to seek help ?

Bossybritches22 Thu 06-Oct-11 23:19:53

Good luck talking to the GP tomorrow Arana- do make sure /she doesn't fob you off, you need to get help for you to be able to support your DH.

As Cestlavielife says, he is bound to have a corresponding low after the recent high at work.

Let us know how you get on, if you want to share that is!

Arana Fri 07-Oct-11 11:55:46

I've made an agreement with him that when he has his crash, and he's no longer having the high at work, then he'll go and seek help, with my help.

I'm happy with this, and it means it doesn't interfere with the way it's working at the moment, but hopefully can mean action is taken before it goes too badly the other way.

Bossybritches22 Fri 07-Oct-11 20:16:30

That's great to have that agreement.

But maybe some early intervention with some back-up strategies might prevent the crash being too severe & therefore traumatic for all concerned?

My brother agreed all sorts when he was stable or high, but when he was on the way down he got stroppy & denied all knowledge of agreements!

Over the years we have learnt to watch for the signs of him "fizzing" the start of his manic phase, and also to avoid the triggers. For him it was going too long without a good nights sleep (psyches told him never to go more than 3 nights without seeking help) & he had blackout blinds put in his room because the spring early morning light would rouse him abnormally early.

SO difficult for you, each BP sufferer is different & you as a family have to figure out what you can so. I hope your GP was understanding & some help.

Have a good w/e.

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