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DP mental health, advice on how to cope

(16 Posts)
McNo Wed 02-Oct-13 21:43:28

My partner has developed severe anxiety after bring signed off work with a medical condition. He returned recently but was signed off again due to his anxiety.

His GP has advised him he is not ready for going back to work but financially we cant manage without his income.

He is receiving counselling from his employers and has been referred to a CPN from his GP

He is due to return to work in the morning and he is really struggling to cope.

I'm finding trying to support him is really taking its toll on me aswell

Any advice??

Hoofdegebouw Wed 02-Oct-13 22:46:43

Do you have someone who you can talk to away from your partner? I know how hard it is to be the supporting partner.
If you have friends or family you can lean on, lean hard. Ask people to take the kids for you for a few hours, to give you time to spend uninterrupted time with your partner, or for you to go and do something for yourself. You know that you need to be strong now, so you have to do what you need to keep you going. Say no to anything that's going to take your energy, be kind to yourself. If you can find the time, exercise is great - for both of you.
Does you partner get sick pay? Because if he does and the gp feels he isn't ready to go to work, it may be better for him to take more time to feel well before he goes back. If that 's not sn option, can he ask for changes in his tasks to start with to take the pressure off him?

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 08:02:10

Thank you for the advice, I'm struggling to manage work, home and DP but I'm hoping this is something we can get through together.

He has used all his sick pay and wouldn't be entitled to anything.

He couldn't face it today and has spoken to his employer and agreed to start on Monday. He feels he needs the extra days to get his head straight.

Hoping he feels better for Monday hmm

usernameless Thu 03-Oct-13 08:12:02

Does your dp know what he is anxious off? Is it work itself?

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 08:24:46

He's always been a worrier but not to this extent. He is worrying about pretty much everything. Work, money, his physical health as he has a medical condition that may get worse in time.

He feels like he has let his employers down and although they have been brilliant he feels paranoid about his colleagues opinions.

He is ok at the moment as the pressure of going to work today is not there but i think he might feel as bad on Sunday

Fragglewump Thu 03-Oct-13 08:31:08

Have either of you considered anti depressants? I was on them for anxiety and they changed my life and I could function again!

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 08:45:11

My DP is on medication for his anxiety but tbh it feels like its making him worse. I have been on anti depressants before and they helped.

I think i just feel that since he recognised his anxiety and sought help it had somehow got worse.

He hasn't met CPN yet, think he needs to do this asap but he lacks motivation to arrange appts so i might have to do it for him

cestlavielife Thu 03-Oct-13 12:07:44

he can get SSP - you need to be clear on his entitlements . "You can get £86.70 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks."
speak to a CAB if you can - or call MIND helpline

if gp signs him off and says he cant work then he will be entitled to something.

go chat to your gp as well aand see if you can get ou own space to talk eg nhs counsellor at gp surgery. or keep calling MIND helpline or rethink t ot alk things thru .

tell friends and family too.

ColouringInQueen Thu 03-Oct-13 12:27:12

Hi. Sending sympathies - I know this us really tough for both of you.

How long has he been on meds for his anxiety? They can make you feel worse before you feel better. I would see if you speak to his gp again - if for financial reasons he must go back to work then would adjusting his meds help? If your dh is anything like mine then you could be right re sunday.

Sounds like his employers are being ok. Has he met with them to plan a phased return? My dh did this when returning after anxiety/depression. It involved him returning on reduced hours eg 3 days per week, one working from home. Other people find just working the mornings is doable - a less daunting prospect and then he can gradually increase the hours as he feels able.

(Worth having a telephone conversation this week so he can ease himself in next week and make it more achievable? Oh and my dh gp sent a letter to his workplace to say a phased return was necessary.

I would also echo visiting your cab so you can get a clear people of what you would be entitled to financially if he does need to be off for longer.

I know none of us like doing this, but just wondered if there was anyone in the family might be able to help you out financially for a month?

Lastly (!) Do whatever you can to look after yourself. Earlier advice is spot on. Say no more to non-family demands and be kind to yourself.

With best wishes.

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 14:04:10

Thank you so much for all the responses. I do appreciate all the advice.

My partner has used all his SSP entitlement when he was signed off the last time. He has only worked 3 weeks this year, and had just finished his phased return to work when he was signed off again two weeks ago.

We met with his employers this week and they were happy for him to be phased in again, supposed to be 2 days this week, 3 next week then 4 and finally full time again. The other thing they have agreed to after discussions with his GP is not to work alone so he will have another colleague with him at all times which is easily achieveable in the type of job he does. He was working alone for the first time after his phased return when he took a terrible anxiety/panic attack and was signed off for 2 weeks.

He has had to take holiday pay to cover the last two weeks he has been signed off. We have a supportive family and would be able to manage short term without his income but my worries are that if this is a long term problem and he is unable to work then our lives will change drastically and we won't be able to give our DD things we had hoped to if that makes any sense.

Being off work also makes his anxiety worse i think as he retreats into himself and doesn't socialise and spends a lot of time alone.

With regards to his medication he has had this changed about 2 months ago as the first kind wasn't working, he has also had it increased recently. He is taking venaflaxaline i think its called and they have also given him propananol, which the advised him to increase.

ColouringInQueen Thu 03-Oct-13 17:11:48

Sounds like you've had a tough year. Has he had any counselling or cbt. The latter can be especially helpful for anxiety and was v effective for my dh. I think cos quite practical and not airy fairy counselling iykwim! If your gp hadn't reefed him I'd push for it given the length of time is been going on for our If that's been covered, consider private cbt.

It is possible to recover, tho I completely understand how hard and worrying it is after such a long time. Hang in there x

ColouringInQueen Thu 03-Oct-13 17:13:36

Hasnt referred (not reefed)...

MMcanny Thu 03-Oct-13 17:27:16

Might be antipsychotics he needs. Sounds like he is being pushed back before he is ready which could lead to a full break down. If he has only worked a few weeks this whole year I think you should maybe start preparing yourself a bit more realistically for being the sole earner. Have you looked into tax credits with just one wage coming in? Perhaps you should be looking to move to a higher earning job/taking a second job if you think you really can't cope on your current salary alone, downsizing your home and all of that. It sounds harsh and I can tell from your post it's not what you want to hear but it sounds like you are flogging a dead horse trying to get your DP back to work when he is still so paranoid. I have suffered this sort of mental illness, you can't just pull yourself together, I can't believe he's been off so long and is only now getting referred to a CPN. Either it's getting worse or the doctor didn't realise the extent of his problem. If he's been off this long and it's only now the mental health problem is showing it really does sound like the start of a long term illness, not the end. Sorry to sound all doom and gloom. I could be wrong. The silver lining is I agree with poster it is possible to recover. The things you'd hoped for, for your child, may still happen but could be years away. x

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 17:59:21

I appreciate everyone's comments and honesty. I'm prepared to be the sole earner and go without the extra's to support him I'm just not sure if i can work more and manage home, look after DD and DP. Its a scary time for us all.

The CPN referral has come as his anxiety is getting worse, his medical condition was the reason for him originally being signed off and he didn't feel able to discuss his anxiety until it was time to return to work.

He has been offered CBT but didn't take up the offer. He is looking at the info on anxiety from mood juice at the moment

HoopHopes Thu 03-Oct-13 19:02:42

If he is under a CPN then you are entitled to a carer's assessment which you can request. It varies from place to place I think who does them, here it is done through adult social care.

Shame he turned down the cbt.

McNo Thu 03-Oct-13 19:24:53

Thanks i will look into the carers assessment.

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