Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

I'm struggling with my dp

(10 Posts)
tinkerbell246 Sat 25-Mar-17 21:50:29

I've been with my dp 3 years. The first year was great. Then he had a schizophrenic episode and since that my life has become increasingly difficult. He has been on medication for 1.5 years and it has turned him into a completely different person. My whole life revolves around how I can keep him well. I feel like I'm just part of him and not my own person. I'm really struggling with everything. Any reassuring words would be welcomed. Thank you

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 25-Mar-17 22:09:00

Hi, I support my DH who suffers episodes of psychosis, I know how hard it can be. I'm going to have to get some sleep as working in the morning, but will post more tomorrow.

Bluntness100 Sat 25-Mar-17 22:13:55

If more of the time with him has been support than something that benefits both of you, I'd end it op. You are not his carer, and as much as it's very sad he has mental health issues, you cannot sacrifice your life for him, you are a person with needs too.

Post no 1 is nothing short of a piss take, you don't respond to something like this whith something like that, deeply unpleasant behaviour.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sun 26-Mar-17 08:11:34

In our household I am the mentally unstable one. It has cost me my career and pension. I am not socially easy and we have few friends. My wife has lost numerous career opportunities because of me.
I would have understood if she left me but somehow we have stuck together (for 35 years) because we still love each other.

I don't need "care" as such, but I have to take meds to maintain a fairly stable mindset. I can't change because I am what I am. I suggest you need to think carefully about your future. You say his meds have changed him. Is it a change for the better? I am guessing not. It is possible he may be able to reduce his meds of change them for others that don't have such a bad effect. But it is very unlikely he will ever be able to live without them. Schitzophrenia is quite nasty.

In the end it comes down to love. Can you love the man as he is when medicated? I feel for you.

tinkerbell246 Sun 26-Mar-17 09:08:07

Thank you anxious.
I don't even contemplate leaving him as I wouldn't want to as I do love him. I'm just finding it so hard as the meds have stopped him being very ill so far but on the other hand he's changed a lot for the worse being on them. He still struggles with schizophrenia but not as bad as before he was on medication. I want to be able to help him but I'm no doctor and very uneducated about all this.

tinkerbell246 Sun 26-Mar-17 09:08:50

I mean the side effects of the meds have changed him.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sun 26-Mar-17 18:49:41

Hi Tinkerbell,

I'm sorry if my post last night caused offense, I saw your post just as I was about to go to bed and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. At the same time I knew that I wouldn't be able to spend time giving you a propper answer and get up in time for work this morning.

Anyway that brings me nicely on to the most important piece of advice that I would give anyone who is supporting someone else. Make sure that you put yourself and your health first. Supporting someone with their MH is hard. We need to look after ourselves because if we don't and we go under we can't look after anyone else. It's like on a plane they tell you to put your own oxygen on first. What do you do for you? What support do you have for you? If you are providing a lot of support for your DP then you are entitled to a carers assessment from social services. I'm not sure what support they can give to be honest as I haven't had one myself.

DH has a diagnosis of depression and episodes of psychosis, rather than schizophrenia, but I know that psychosis is a large part of schizophrenia so there may be some similarities in our experiences. We are lucky in that with a combination of antipsychotics, support from an early intervention in psychosis team and lifesyle changes DHs symptoms were well controlled for about 3 years (since diagnosis) and our life became much easier and happier. Then his psychiatrist decided to stop his antipsychotic and he had a relapse last year which was very unpleasant and traumatic for both of us. He is back on the antipsychotic and we are both recovering (I've been treated for PTSD from this last relapse) and both now back at work.

After DHs first major crisis (which led to his diagnosis) I found myself asking myself a lot of very hard questions about our relationship and our future. We even seperated for a few months. If you do want to stay with him its definately worth finding out more about schizophrenia and really thinking about how this is likely to impact on your lives together and your futures. Do you live together? Do you want children in the future? How will your DPs condition impact on these things?

I really recommend watching professor Elyn Saks on utube. She is a professor of psychology, psychiatry and law in the USA and also has schizophrenia. I found watching her talk really helped me understand psychosis in a way I hadn't before. I'm reading her autobiography at the moment, but haven't got very far in yet.

How involved have you been in your DPs treatment? Have you had any support from his MH team? (Is this a new diagnosis or a relapse?) DHs team have been wonderfully supportive allocating a CPN to support me and they used to run a friends and family support group too which was very helpful, though unfortunately they lost funding for that. I found it very helpful to sit in on some of DHs CPN appointments particularly in the early days. We have also done joint work with both CPNs, which we are doing again at the moment. Is this something your DP and his team would consider.

With DH the meds haven't changed him as a person, infact they have allowed all the good parts of his character to remain without the more difficult aspects which were from the psychosis. From a side effects perspective when he is on a high dose (as he is at the moment) he gets very tired and sleeps a lot (can easily sleep 18 hours straight) and doesn't have much energy for going out and doing things, he has put on a lot of weight and is constantly hungry. The high dose can also make things more difficult in the bedroom. How do you find the meds have changed your DP? Ultimately it is likely he will be on meds of some sort for life so this a consideration for you too.

Its a nasty illness and I think when DH is poorly it affects him as much as me.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sun 26-Mar-17 18:53:37

That should be it afects me as much as him

tinkerbell246 Sun 26-Mar-17 19:22:08

Hi anxious. Your post did not offend me at all. Thank you for taking the time to get back to me. My dp has all the side effects you have mentioned. It's got to a point where he could happily sleep most his life away. I'm sorry you are going through this too. I currently have no support but am thinking about talking to my doctor about this. You are 100% right to say it affects you as much as him. I know they are the ones with the illness but it affects us too.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sun 26-Mar-17 21:23:16

Hi tinkerbell,

DH sleeps a lot, sometimes it gets frustrating if I want to do something, especially when we go on holiday, but I've learnt to compromise. I will often say I'm going to do such and such tomorrow do you want to come. If he doesn't feel up to it I go anyway. When we go on holiday we tend to go self catering so he can sleep when he needs to and I take things that I can enjoy doing to relax if we are staying in such as books, painting things, knitting. I've got better at just being too rather than doing all the time. I have suggested DH asks to reduce his dose at his next review as I think it must be so hard to work full time when he is so tired all the time. But then he managed for a long time on a low dose.

Talking to your Dr is a good starting point. I've been on ADs a couple of times when things have been particularly difficult. I've also had councelling which has been helpful. Do you work? I've been very lucky to be able to access councelling through my occupational health department whenever I need to. My work also understand that I am DHs carer and are very supportive. I am allowed 3 days a year carers leave if there's an urgent need, they are also flexible about me taking annual leave at short notice if he is poorly.

Is your DP aware of how difficult you are finding things? It can be really hard to share when we are struggling as we worry about putting extra stress on them. DHs MH team have really helped us improve the 2 way communication and support. This has been very important recently as I have really needed his support with the PTSD. Have you had the opportunity to speak to your DPs care coordinator or anyone else from his MH team? Would he ask if someone can speak to you?

DH is kind and loving, he would do anything to make me happy, he can always make me smile and laugh even in the darkest times. When he's ill its hell but generally life is good. For DH the side effects of his meds are so much better than the psychosis. With the meds has come relative stability, he's able to hold down a job for the first time in years, he's able to cope with everyday life that most of us take for granted.

Feel free to PM me if you want.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: