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DH Suffering from Anxiety - how do I help him?

(23 Posts)
TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 14:38:21

My DH has admitted he's suffering from Anxiety.
We got together young, have been together almost 30 years have 2 DDs (aged 4 & 8).
He also has suffered from depression in the past.
He's done loads of research and has accepted it, we talked about it and he went to the GP and was prescribed medication and is waiting to hear about therapy.
I can't remember what he was prescribed but he had a really bad adverse reaction to them. He explained it being like parts of his brain heating up, then it moving to another part. He was completely 'wired' and unable to sleep.
He was so frightened he went to A&E (midnight) but after waiting around and the initial tests being done, he decided to come home and get some sleep and made an emergency appointment with the GP.
He saw a different GP (the initial GP retired the day DH saw her) and was prescribed different drugs, with a lower dosage.
He is now too scared to take them - but he will, because he wants to get better.

I've told him I'll be there every step of the way and will do whatever he needs me to, but my question is, what do I do to help and support him?
I've done online research but wondered if anyone can tell me from experience.

Sorry for the essay, didn't want to drip feed.

DaDman66 Mon 22-Aug-16 14:45:32

Just be understanding and support him through the often difficult mental health service process.
I have terrible anxiety (GAD) and have history with depression too.
My GF, whilst she tries, doesn't understand at all. Comments like "snap out of it" or she'll have a pop at me if i'm quiet at a social functions. She often mocks too, she thinks she's making light hearted comments but doesn't realise the damage they can do.

Just be reassuring and make sure he knows you've got his back.

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 15:10:03

Thanks for replying DaDman66 and sorry to hear you're going through this too.

I was diagnosed with PND and slight anxiety with DD1, so have a bit of an insight, but it wasn't on the scale it is with DH. His life on paper is a dream to most people, but he just thinks he's a failure.

I don't think I'll ever understand it because I'm not going through it, but I'll always have his back.

WrigglyWorm2016 Mon 22-Aug-16 15:32:46

My husband is very lucky to have private medical insurance through work and there's a helpline with qualified staff that he can talk to if he just needs to step back. More importantly he has six free sessions with a therapist which has helped a considerable bit, so much so that we're looking at budgeting sessions into our outgoings. The NHS wait he was given was one year! The therapist marked him with severe anxiety and moderate depression. So what I'm getting at is maybe it might be worthwhile going private for a bit if you can. My husband's GP or therapist has never suggested medication (well not so far) and our previous GP suggested he had a genetic predisposition to mh issues due to it in his immediate family. He also has some pretty bad physical problems related to his mh.

I honestly can't get it and the closest thing I have ever felt to it is a recent event surrounding childbirth, but because I don't normally have anxiety issues I could rationalise it all. So I don't try to help, just listen when he wants me too as I'm likely to say the wrong thing (maybe like this next line), it's his problem he needs to deal with it with the tools the professionals give him because I can't give him an alternative even though I want to be able to.

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 15:48:15

Thanks wriggly.
He's been to counselling in the past (he got severely depressed after being mugged), which was NHS. Might look into private counselling though. And as if by magic, I glanced over to the right there' a useful link "find mental health services near you".
Will look now I am not getting much work done today

dangermouseisace Mon 22-Aug-16 16:20:53

Your DH is lucky to have such a supportive DW OP star

This is what I found useful-
- medication. If he's scared to take them maybe you could be the one in control of that? I only took medication as I was meant to when it was given to me- sometimes it's hard to take it if you're anxious about it, or don't like the side effects.
- having other people accept my feelings/thoughts as genuine but not panic/be overly restrictive of my life.
- reassurance that things will get better. This will have even more weight coming from you, because you have known DH when he has been better. When I am in the depths it feels like this is how it has always been. Reassurance is probably actually the most useful thing. And staying calm.

WrigglyWorm2016 Mon 22-Aug-16 16:22:56

To be honest it is very consuming for the entire family. we want to make one of the key elements to our family better.

I once read someone suggesting that a person displaying their issues was really actually very selfish. I agree to an extent in that if our dhs didn't want to get help then they're prolonging everyone else's suffering as well as their own. But when mh issues are bad they're really bad and can consume the person you know so much so they don't even recognise themselves so obviously the person is not being selfish. I suppose something like that just shows how people with mh issues can't fully understand. My Husband once had a GP that told him to snap out of it! How unprofessional if nothing else!

WrigglyWorm2016 Mon 22-Aug-16 16:24:43

Without mh issues

cestlavielife Mon 22-Aug-16 16:26:33

look after yourself too.
get your free nhs counselling too to vent and draw up strategies or look at MIND or RETHINK for carers

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 16:59:02

Thanks everyone, this is really helpful advice.

It pisses me off when people expect someone with MH issues to snap out of it, you wouldn't say that to someone with an overactive thyroid!

dangermouse interesting point about the medication. On the one hand, he's terrified of taking this new medication because of last time (even though the recent GP expressed surprise he was put on such a high dose); but on the other hand he desperately wants to get well. When I took medication for six months when I had PND with DD1 (albeit 20 months after she was born because I wanted to be able to beat it without medication because I'm such a stubborn bitch ). I found it just took the edge off things, like the problems were still there but they weren't all consuming - I didn't feel as anxious about them. This is basically what he wants from medication. He's also in a very creative job, and is scared that the medication will zap his creativity. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Good point about reassurance - I've been doing a lot of that and it's good to know that it's probably being a help. I'll carry on doing it.

Basically anything I can do to help I will. In sickness and in 'ealth and all that!

I'm sure we'll get there, thanks again.

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 17:02:08

thanks cestlavielife I've looked at some private counsellors in our area. In case the NHS take a year!

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 17:02:32

Also thanks cestlavielife I've looked into private counsellors in our area, in case the NHS waiting list is too long.

TransvisionTramp Mon 22-Aug-16 17:03:28

apols for the double post. Stupid phone said it hadn't posted. blush

DaDman66 Mon 22-Aug-16 22:28:04

You sound like an amazing partner and it will really help your husband get through.

It can get better. My anxiety is the tail end of a long period of being in a abusive relationship, having depression & PTSD. I got through all that and i'm now in a happy relationship, my kids are happy and so is my GF.

So i'm fucking anxious it's all going to go belly up!

Anywho, my point being; it's fixable, especially with support from someone as amazing as yourself.

TransvisionTramp Tue 23-Aug-16 12:07:18

Thanks DaDman66

I'm sure we'll get there, it's good to hear that people do come the other side. I'm under no illusions, and realise that it's always going to be there. We just need to work on controlling it etc. I'm currently reading reading reading as much as possible to try and get my head around it all, and understand how he's feeling.

DaDman66 Tue 23-Aug-16 13:29:22

I'm sure with someone so supportive behind him he'll get a handle on his issues.

Wishing you both all the best.

TransvisionTramp Tue 23-Aug-16 13:43:17

Thank you so much - he was amazing when I had PND.
(Christ we sound like a Mills and Boon couple - we couldn't be further!)

DaDman66 Tue 23-Aug-16 14:56:01

I've never read a Mills & Boon so the analogy is lost on me!

DaDman66 Tue 23-Aug-16 14:58:57

"Basically anything I can do to help I will. In sickness and in 'ealth and all that!"

Awwww! This thread, despite the issues raised, has reet cheered me up today.

TheLegendOfBeans Tue 23-Aug-16 15:08:26

Firstly OP; you sound lovely and I also love your username (good to see another Wendy James fan wink)

However I'm sorry to crash this thread but Wriggly please can you DM me with the name of the insurer your DH is with?

The arrangement he's got sounds EXACTLY what I need right now (been struggling with anxiety for 6mo since both of DD and just today been signed off work).

Thanks in advance backs out of thread now

TransvisionTramp Tue 23-Aug-16 15:49:24

haha DaDman66 neither have I, I think my auntie used to read them in the 70s/80s. I but do know they're cheesy romantic novels that are full of sickly sweet couples that are never found in real life grin glad we've all cheered you up, thanks for your help - wishing you all the best.

TheLegendOfBeans thanks! Not many people get the name - I think she's ace. Also, really no need to apologise for crashing the thread, I'd be chuffed if you found something here that helped you too. Sorry to hear you're going through it and fingers crossed you've got the support and can get the help you need flowers

yoink Tue 23-Aug-16 19:56:29

If you've not seen it already, this book is really good:

Also, check out for information and they offer CBT and other therapies available on a sliding scale of payment, depending on household income. They can often find a therapist to start within a week and they offer phone and skype therapy if it's more convenient.

Good luck op flowers

TransvisionTramp Tue 23-Aug-16 22:32:00

Oh thanks yoink I'll check the link, we've just been talkin about it all and he's agreed that it would be beneficial to see a therapist before taking the medication. It will hopefully help get his head around taking this medication after the first lot gave him such a bad reaction

Fingers crossed.

I can't thank everyone enough for all your help and suggestions smile

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