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Caught in the middle

(7 Posts)
Springliketoday Mon 08-Feb-16 14:07:48

I'm sorry if this is long, I've nc too.
My lovely dd who is 16 has recently been diagnosed with anxiety, depression & borderline eating disorder. I have been taking her to her weekly appts at CAMHS which tbh so far have been a bit of a waste of time and we don't really feel any further forward. I have been off work for the last 3 wks (have amazing employers) and have virtually spent all available time with her. She is struggling, really struggling. We have an apt for Family work this week which she is dreading but we have been assured that it will help. But. .
Her dad, my DH also suffers from anxiety and depression (never been diagnosed) and is absolutely freaking out about this appt. He's told me he will be unable to go and I shouldn't make him. He knows he "should" go for our dd, but doesn't think it will help her so that's his get out clause. I have spent years with him like this, refusing to ask for help, refusing to see a GP, refusing to consider medication or talking therapies. He is on the whole, quite a lot better than he used to be but this has really thrown him. He obviously blames himself for our dd suffering the same condition.

What do I do? I know I should support him, but I also need to support our dd. I dont want her life to be blighted the way his/ours has been. I'm verging on thinking that if he cant step up for her now - then that's something I cant forgive and would need to walk away. 17 years of marriage, 3 amazing kids - he couldn't ever find it to help himself and I have endured the repercussions of that for a long, long time. But if he cant find it in himself to help her - then I'm not sure our marriage can survive that.
So, do I let him decide and don't pressure him? Or do I say how vital it is he attends with us or give him an ultimatum? Above all else our dd must feel supported and loved, and to me that means both of us attend this apt no matter how difficult it may feel. Id really appreciate any suggestions from those with more experience than I have

NanaNina Mon 08-Feb-16 14:34:52

Just turning this round a little. I wonder if your daughter will feel more stressed knowing that her dad doesn't want to be there and will no doubt be showing he is very stressed. You're right of course that your DD must feel supported and loved but she also needs to feel that those around her are calm and supportive. Why not go to this first appointment with her and talk to her dad about it and he can go to the next one, so long as it's not going to cause additional stress for your daughter.

You've obviously had a rough ride over the years but now is not the time to be making decisions about your marriage. Do you know what is causing your daughter's problems. She might find the website YoungMinds helpful. Agree that CAMHS are in general not a lot of good though it depends who you get of course.

Springliketoday Mon 08-Feb-16 14:49:37

Thanks for replying, I have considered this. I've been to every appt so far (7) so I do feel as if it's time for him engage now. I'm not sure I'd get an honest answer from our dd as she won't want to put any pressure on her dad either way.
We think that bullying at school is a major factor, but she's a perfectionist and feels as if she's a failure sad

NanaNina Mon 08-Feb-16 19:40:44

Oh sorry I somehow thought this was a first appointment but if you've been to 7 then I definitely think her dad needs to join in. It's hard being a perfectionist especially when you're a teenager isn't it.

dangermouseisace Mon 08-Feb-16 19:56:01

springlike I had depression and eating disorder as a teenager, so had those family therapy sessions (my dad was asked to stop coming by the psych as he was a pain in the bottom grin) I would still encourage DH to go, but if he doesn't, well maybe that would say quite a lot about yours and your daughters situation re DH and maybe that would need to be discussed as part of family work?

It must be hard work supporting your daughter and your husband flowers

daisydalrymple Mon 08-Feb-16 20:14:09

Has your daughter given any sign so far that her dad's behaviour has contributed to her own anxiety? If you think there's any chance of this, would it be a calmer, safer environment for her to talk about it without him there anyway?

And even if there's no chance whatsoever she feels he has contributed to her anxiety, your DH possibly feels he has and may be really frightened of flood gates opening for himself and having to face up to a lot of his own demons.

I think it sounds like you've been an incredibly supportive mum and wife tbh. It takes a lot of strength to deal with this and provide understanding - even when you don't actually undersrand the whys and whatnots! As hard as it might be for you, he still needs your support and encouragement, but he really needs to have his own sessions too if he's going to be able to support your daughter.

I wish you all the best and really hope you can all find some peace through this. Just don't neglect yourself, and I hope you get some time out and a chance to talk yourself in RL too.

Springliketoday Mon 08-Feb-16 20:51:46

Och you guys have made me cry with your lovely words blush
Dangermouse - that is a really good point that I hadn't thought of actually. So far, she hasn't really opened up about anything, its like pulling teeth. She thinks her dad isn't interested and doesn't believe her - whereas he is just overwhelmed with uncertainty about what to say to her etc. Do you mind if I ask what helped you the most?
Daisy thank you, I don't feel very strong right now!
Nana I think so, yes. Its exhausting just watching how her mind works sometimes

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