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Need help/support my DH has had a nervous breakdown :(

(30 Posts)
worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 12:22:11

My DH has been put under a large amount of stress at work over the past 8 weeks, he has a new area manager who is on some major cost cutting exercise and DH's work has increased due to not being able to have enough staff to cope. (this is a national company) it seems to me as though he is trying to pressure the older more experienced managers (who are on the most money) to quit, so far 15% of the managers have found it unbearable and have quit, but the area manager is quite clever in making it look like he is going by the books.

He had a meeting with DH 10 days ago and said the company is moving in a different direction these days and your style of management is 'old school' and not what the company want, he then proceeded to tell dh about the younger managers and its what they have to offer is what the company want, and what you have to offer is not longer required at your current level, poor DH has been in the job for 20 years and up until 8 weeks ago has always been let to believe he was doing a good job (3 monthly reviews proved this), DH asked him what he needed to do to change, but the area manager replied "what do you think you need to do to change" but as DH had always thought he did a good job, he needed guidance, but he did not get any.

Then he saw DH again a few days ago and suggested that he take a demotion with a 1/3 drop in salary, this would leave us very tight at home, and it sent DH in a bit of a panic, the area manager knew dh was struggling as DH told him, he then told dh yesterday he has a few days to make his decision and if he is staying on in the current role he wants a report on how he is going to improve things, and made it clear that if there was no improvement he would start disciplinary action !! dh was already not sleeping or eating properly and left the room and called me in tears, he was not making much sense, I told him to come home, someone else from work bought him home, dh walked in the door, slid down to the floor and cried uncontrollably for half an hour, I called the doctor who gave him an appointment, dh was in tears throughout the appointment, was babbling and not making much sense, the doctor said he was stressed and it has caused depression and anxiety, he prescribed ad's and referred him to counselling as well as signing him off sick from work.

Since we got back he has done nothing but lay on bed/sofa spaced out, having uncontrollable bouts of tears, he keeps saying to me and the kids he is sorry (its not his fault and we tell him that) but I just hate seeing him like this, I do not know what to do or say to him, I keep cuddling him and telling him it will be ok.

He has started the citalopram, he is feeling spaced out and dizzy today and disorientated.

I just needed let it all out so thanks for anyone who has read this.

When DH is better I think we seriously have to look down the route of making a formal complaint about his mistreatment.

Parsley1234 Sat 19-Jul-14 12:47:51

That is terrible ! So sorry for you all has your husband got a union at work ? Such a disgusting way to treat people I hope he gets the help he needs if he is off sick is he on full pay ? Can CAB help atall ? If he's been with company 20 years he shd be on a fairly good contract ? Good luck

worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 14:15:09

Yes there is a union at work, but he has never had any problems before this and has never joined sad

Yes he will be on full pay for a while.

Trooperslane Sat 19-Jul-14 14:18:21

Union, definitely.

And the citalopram will help. Dizziness and spaced out - totally normal.

Look after yourselves.

His manager is a prize arse and I hope he falls on it very, very hard.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Sat 19-Jul-14 14:36:19

So sorry for your dh. Sounds like he's in a similar profession to my dh and being treated quite similarly. I had to drive him to work the other day he was so upset but refusing to see a doctor, the only other person at the same level as my dh was signed off with work related stress for a month too, my dh also feels like they are trying to get rid of him too. Hate it when they are so unhappy and you can't help hmm

worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 15:01:53

Thanks when he is up to it I will suggest the union.

Mother, it is awful, and I do not know how they can live with themselves treating people this way.

He has given over 20 years to the company and has stepped in an help out at other sites when needed, and this is how he is repaid. Worst thing is we are supposed to be going on holiday soon, but I do not think he will be up for it.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Sat 19-Jul-14 15:21:51

I know i don't know how people live with their behaviour. We relocated 300 miles and left all our friends for this company which i think is making things seem worse for him.
Your poor dh, maybe if you can get him on holiday it might help? Hard to say :-(

worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 16:38:38

Mother, that is awful too.

I will wait and see how he is in a few days, then make a decision.

Luckily the holiday is only an hours drive away, but will have to wait and see.

joanofarchitrave Sat 19-Jul-14 16:53:26

I'm so sorry to hear about the despicable treatment that your husband is experiencing.

I would strongly recommend that when he has recovered but before he goes back to work, he sees an employment lawyer.

In the meantime, I'm not an expert but my husband does suffer from similar problems (long term). From my own point of view, it helps tbh if you dont' have to look after the children and him simultaneously - you have moved away from friends - would any family member travel up and look after them for a day or two? Then I just sit with my dh and let him talk - if he can't talk, I occasionally say something like 'You look as if you're in pain', something descriptive. He likes to hear something positive so when the moment seems right I say something like 'There will be better days than this' and I also go proactive in saying 'I love you' as he is apt to start stressing that I will leave him because he's ill /not able to work/not able to be the strong protector. I also try to have some lighter conversation, if only about the weather and getting out for a walk. And it's all true - there really will be better days. And get out for that walk whenever he feels even vaguely able, even if it's only to the end of the street.

worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 17:17:01


Thank you for your post. I am lucky my eldest is 14 and he has taken care of his sister, while I have sat with DH, all I am getting is one word answers at the moment, he said he feels scared and shaky, I have reassured him its the med's and will settle down in a few days (hopefully).

He is not eating much, all he had eaten up to an hour ago was a slice of toast, but I have managed to get some more food down him.

Breaking my heart seeing him like this, but I do know it will pass and he will get better as I was on the same ad's when I had pnd.

Cleanthatroomnow Sat 19-Jul-14 17:37:16

So sorry to hear this. A breakdown like this can be seen as a protective mechanism--the mind shuts down and stops you in your tracks. It may help to see it as that--he's protecting himself. Lucky to have you. People do pull out of these situations. It takes time, though.

FabULouse Sat 19-Jul-14 18:34:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

worryforhubby Sat 19-Jul-14 19:02:14

Thanks Cleanthatroomnow.

FabULouse, that is the problem, all the chats with my DH have been 1-1 and undocumented, dh says this guy is very clever, brags about reading psychology books and knows people inside out.

joanofarchitrave Sat 19-Jul-14 21:50:43

Actually he sounds profoundly stupid but that doesn't stop him being dangerous.

Proudmummytodc2 Sat 19-Jul-14 22:10:07

If this is going to be a long term situation I would make a claim on employers liability insurance go to a solicitor about this and get the proper information as if your are injured or ill as a result of work all employers in the uk with employees must have employers liability insurance. Go talk to a solicitor about it because I would take them for everything you can get before they remove your husband from the position as you have good legal standing as the work has caused this and you have your dh dr to back this up.

I hope your all ok and you all get through this as quickly as possible.

worryforhubby Sun 20-Jul-14 06:55:39

Thank you for all the advice, as soon as DH gets better we will talk about it.

3rd pill taken, he still feels sick, dizzy and tearful, but at least he has eaten some toast.

nihatsgirl Sun 20-Jul-14 07:10:50

Sorry for what your family is going through. If your husband's company have an occupational health service, get him to request a referral. This is entirely out of order especially if they are a national company.
All this needs to be documented properly, so that he can sue for workplace stress related ill health

worryforhubby Sun 20-Jul-14 09:15:54

Thank you nihatsgirl,

The worst thing is this is a national company that actively promotes the well being of its staff.

Kids are being fantastic, they are getting through lots of films with him when he is up to watching it and when he needs a little quiet they happily leave him in peace.

SilverStars Sun 20-Jul-14 09:37:07

I would second joining a union now. And insist on union rep attending every meeting with this man. He sounds like a bulky who is trying to force change. Why not post on employment section for MN advice regarding the job - may have some useful ideas there as well?

GnomeDePlume Sun 20-Jul-14 09:45:49

worryforhubby I would strongly recommend you posting in the Employment Issues section. There are some excellent people over there who will be able to give good employment law advice especially regarding the bullying your DH is suffering at work.

settingsitting Sun 20-Jul-14 09:46:26

He has been treated terribly. I will pray for him.

worryforhubby Sun 20-Jul-14 16:58:08

Thank you all smile

HippityHoppityLaLaLa Sun 20-Jul-14 23:24:13

I have some experience of this: my DH was diagnosed with reactive depression caused by work-related stress. I hope your DH finds support and a way through it. My advice to you is to keep being his wife, don't try to 'fix' him or the situation (I tried: silly me!) I can't tell you how it will turn out as so much depends on what kind of person he is underneath - optimistic or pessimistic, does he see this as the end of his career, or as an opportunity to leave something behind and try something new?

You are (probably) not qualified to support him in the way a medically-trained person can, so don't try. You may need support yourself. Tell people how things are. Expect them to focus on him rather than you. They may expect you to be able to make him behave differently from how he actually behaves (you can't). They may get bored of him being depressed (you'll find out who your true friends are). Remember none of this is your fault. I have always told my DH that I will support him in any choices he makes - even when some of his plans were radical, unrealistic, unhelpful and would have been life-changing for me and even when he changed his mind every 2 seconds!! I found detaching a bit helped.

I seem to be waffling, sorry. My thoughts are with you. Please vent on MN as much as you need to.

worryforhubby Mon 21-Jul-14 05:33:39

Thanks Hippity,

We are new to our area and friends are 100 miles away, so feel a little isolated, I have made a few friends but not the sort I can offload all my problems on just yet as they are quite few friendships.

It is breaking my heart to see my wonderful DH like this, we always laugh together but I would give anything at this moment to see him smile.

I am looking for the positives, he had a bath yesterday, I needed to help him in and out of the bath, and we managed a 2 min walk round the block, he felt really panicky, but managed it.

I am hoping for good day today, I have work the next 2 days but as its school hours and I come home for lunch he will not be on his own for 2 long, then I have the full summer holidays off with him.

4 day on the pills today, hope the side effects lessen for him. Its good to write stuff down.

worryforhubby Mon 21-Jul-14 20:40:01

Today has been a much better day smile

I had to go into work for a few hours and when I came back at lunch I expected to find him still in bed, but he had got himself up, and got himself some lunch, we even had a 10 mins walk, it was very slow and gingerly, but we went out and longer walk than yesterday, came back and watched a bit of telly and during you've been framed he smiled and gave out a little laugh a few times, feel really positive about how he is today, he still feels panicky at time, but I have been giving him techniques to try and combat this.

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