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DH - just don't know where to turn(10 Posts)
My DH has had fairly bad MH problems for years but only went to the docs in the summer. Since then he's improved thanks to meds.
However he's had to come off them due to nasty side effects and is unable to take any more until he's had some tests which are booked for tomorrow.
The past few weeks have been horrific. He has barely been able to get out of bed and will not engage with me at all. I am desperately trying to keep things normal for DR who is 3.8yo, which has meant taking her to and from school, activities, playing with her, feeding with her - the usual. DH doesn't work. So on top of basically being a single parent I am also trying to hold down a job and run my own small business. I just had to let them down for tonight's shift because I'm not prepared to leave DD with him in this state.
Before I realised I had to stay home tonight I came back from collecting her from school to find DH having just written me a note. He was going to go off without saying anything. Not to commit suicide, I don't think, because he had the number of the mental health team out as well. But I know he has had suicidal thoughts.
I am no good at dealing with this. I have absolutely no concept of his illness, I am lucky never to have experienced it. My method of coping is to do: already I'm wondering how I will get childcare so I can go into work tomorrow and who will look after DDog on the weekend (DD and I going away for the weekend).
Now he won't leave, won't call the MH team and is using DD to prevent a discussion or any action (I.e. calling MH team, getting childcare or whatever).
I don't think I'm very sympathetic to his condition but I am so low on coping reserves that I'm struggling to care. Life would be easier for me right now if I was a single parent. This awful, suffocating limbo is no way to live, and it's not fair on DD.
Christ this is not explaining it very well. He's just come down and accused me of blaming him for his condition. He's right, I do. I blame him for not seeking help for the first 8 years I knew him. I blame him for making my life a misery. I blame him for spoiling my career, my social life and my friendships. But I also know that that's not really very fair.
He's just challenged me to ring the MH team myself. But I have refused, that is one responsibility too far for me.
I just don't know what the fuck to do.
Huge hugs to you. I've been in a similar place to you, but without a DC to factor into things. I will put together a better response to your post in a bit. Just in a bit of a crap place with my MH right now. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. If you think that DH is goingvto harm himself and its urgent call 999. And yes I would contact his MH team. Does he have a crisis team number for out of hours if he/you need it?
OK, I'm going to try and formulate a more helpful post, please bear with me because I'm in a bad way myself tonight.
YY to not leaving DD on her own with DH right now. It's a really hard place to be in for both of you right now. You are completely right in putting DD first and trying to keep her routine as much as possible. Next you need to prioritise your own needs. Are you employed or self employed? Basicly are you entiyled to sick pay? You have a lot on your plate right now and I suspect if you went to your GP they would be more than happy to sign you off with stress for a few weeks to get things back on the level again.
When thinking about DHs condition remember that this is an illness, DH didn't ask to feel like this any more that someone asks to break a limb, have a heart attack etc, and part of mental illness is that 1.the way it affects you can mean that you struggle to motivate yourself to seek help and 2. The stigma arround MH issues makes it hard to seek help. Having said that you are completely entitled to feel resentful at the way DHs illness has affected your life. Remember feeling resentful of his illness not him as a person is the key here.
I would highly recommend some councelling yourself to help you work through your feelings about DHs illness as the way you are feeling right now, whilst very valid is probably not particularly useful to you. Does your work have an occupational health department? As they maybe able to access councelling more quickly than the NHS.
Make some time for yourself to do things for you too, this is vital to maintaining your own mental health. And look at what boundries you need to set with DH too.
Who is involved in DHs team? Does he have a CPN? It would be worth asking if they offer carer/family support in his team too. I have a CPN from DHs team allocated to support me too, as the team realise that couples/families opperate as a unit not single entities. I have just finished a family therapy session with DH and both our CPNs which I find really useful.
Hope that was relatively cohearent, feel free to PM me if you want to.
Thank you Anxious. Waiting for crisis team. An achievement of sorts.
I hope you start to feel better yourself soon
X post. Thanks again. Your post is very helpful and I will look into counselling for me in some form or other.
Will update after crisis team have been.
Glad crisis team are involved. Its a really scary place to be in for both of you right now. Do you have any friends or family who could take DD at short notice if needed. If you can think of someone and forwarn them it may make things smoother if you need someone to look after her in an emergency.
Everything that Anxious says.. especially the bit about DH being ill in exactly the same way as if he got food poisoning or malaria. It is more difficult because when DH is off balance, he can't think straight or make sensible decisions and thinks he is being reasonable. I know as I have been there.
As Anxious says it is frightening for you. You have come to a good place to ask for help.
Crisis team came last night and stayed for over an hour. Went over everything: his past, his present, his coping strategies, meds, moods, the immediate crisis etc etc.
He seemed much better after that. In fact it seemed to me that he almost blossomed while they were talking everything through. Is that normal? Certainly I know he has had a lot of success with a counselling programme which recently finished.
They spoke a lot of sense about meds and suggested some excellent ways to deal with the tapering up phase and the physical side effects he gets once fully back on them. He has a GP appt today so hopefully things will start to improve.
Thank you for your support, both. And Anxious I hope your own MH improves very soon
Really glad ciris team helped so much. I can understand exactly what you mean about your DH seeming to 'blossom' whilst they were there, I've seen the same with my DH and his CPN. The CPNs have a way of helping people to see things from a different perspective, especially when they are in a very dark place and can see no way out. These little shifts in thinking can make such a huge difference to how we feel.
The mental health services arn't easy to navigate, but now you have both discovered how to access the crisis team that is a huge step forward. Hope the GP appointment goes well too. What day to day support does DH have at the moment from MH teams? Its likely at the moment whilst he is so low that he will need a lot of support, I found DHs MH team really helpful talking me through stratagies to use to support him when he's unwell, it might be worth ringing them for a chat yourself. It can we really hard ballancing being a carer and wife, as I'm sure that like me you want to be an equal partner. Its taken me a longvtime to recognise that I am a carer too and that you can be both. It sounds like you are at a turning point now he has services involved. I found that took a huge weight off me. Keep talking to us, we will help you through.
And thank you, this bad patch will pass for me, as it will for you and DH, all things pass and I've survived worse.
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