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Mental health, overdose and support(21 Posts)
My partner took an overdose last week.
It was unexpected.She says she didn't mean to die but just wanted her bad thoughts to stop.
She's suffered with her mental health for decades and been let down by MH services in the past, and subsequently avoided help. I've done my best for her whatever was going on at the time. Now this has happened , MH services are being brilliant, ringing her every day and have been to see her, appointments etc.
Anyway she has a grown up son whom she's very close with, lives in a different county but they speak every day more than once. Me and him are very close too and have a great relationship that I am proud of.
I think she should tell him what's happened. Because he has had mental health issues himself that he manages very well, knows the system and will help her, also he's confided in me that he feels she needs help and doesn't ever ask, and he also feels she can be quite 'hard' and wants to feel the softer side of her. I also (selfishly perhaps) know that was he to find out what had happened, he'd hate me for not telling him. Again selfishly, I would like to not be the only one who knows about this thus is the one offering support-I feel like I could do with someone else close being there too.
I also think he deserves to know. He loves her and it doesn't seem right. Maybe that's my agenda? I don't know.
My paramount is to go by her wishes and not tell him but, all the reasons above I feel are valid. A huge part of me wants to tell him.
He has a supportive partner who I speak to and we've often said we're in the same positions as we support them and love them him with son and me with Mum. I'm also wondering of telling him and asking opinion but not wanting to do it just as a means of offload.
It's where do I breach confidentiality and do what I feel is best.
Obviously I am glad she's getting help and I will support her through it no matter what else goes on. I wish it hadn't taken this for her to get the help, but for now I have to focus on that she is and she's (luckily) okay despite the overdose.
What does anyone think please?
I am doing one more bump which isn't like me! And then I'll leave it.
I think it's up to her to make the decision, although I know you're considering doing this for the right reasons.
She is engaging and getting back on her feet. The best thing you can do is to continue to support her as best you can and if she feels that she wants to tell people you support her with that too.
Go slow, these are big steps that she's taking. My concern is in breaching her confidentiality you scare her away from recovery, which is priority.
And if you feel like you need support, please reach out to the MH services. They often have support groups for people caring for those with MH problems.
I wouldn't tell her son. She is capable of making her own decisions, and that would be a betrayal of trust.
It's usually enough to let someone know you're struggling, no need to go into details. People can feel deeply ashamed about acts of self harm. Also, your partners son having MH problems himself doesn't necessarily mean him knowing would be a good thing. It could trigger problems for him too.
Thank you for the replies.
And yes, all makes sense. I just know he'd hate me for not telling him. I have considered that, danger .
She will NOT talk to me about it, at all. Not at all not one bit. MH services keep coming to see her and if I am around she wants me to go out or be upstairs.
She also is a total ostrich by nature anyway. So I sometimes have to be proactive. She didn't want to tell her son she was in hospital (and I am not exaggerating he rings 10times a day or more. She was just ignoring her 'phone. I had to tell her to say she was in for a different reason. She was hiding bills recently because we're short of cash and I didn't know we'd got them. I found them luckily, otherwise we'd have got into serious trouble-some of them were from the council.
I can understand your partners reluctance to talk to you- but only because I'm seeing it from my perspective which could be completely different to your partner's. She's talking to MH services which is the important thing. She might not feel that it's appropriate to talk to you about her thoughts- MH people are trained and supported and know what 'do' with/about those thoughts. I'd never tell friends or family my 'bad' thoughts at the time- it's too much of a burden/worry. Most things I NEVER tell non professionals. Your partner might be more willing to discuss what went on given time.
You sound like a hugely loving and supportive partner OP. The best thing you can do is just to be there for her, and it sounds like that's just what you are doing.
I am trying, but it is difficult. I am just being normal really. I've always been very supportive of her, I know I have.
I am going out tomorrow night(long time arranged thing) and am scared of leaving her alone in case it happens again. But, I know if I told her that it would probably make her feel worse! It's so difficult.
I am a counsellor too, which probably doesn't help me, as I am feeling such a failure that I help people and this was going on under my nose.
She has to discuss the bills though!
Being ostrich like is a depression symptom...but it creates problems in itself, as you found out.
Maybe when she's feeling a bit better you two can work on the necessity of openness and communication in a partnership?
As someone who has been through something similar quite recently, I can see why she might not want to burden you with some of her thoughts and feelings. Whilst that may be difficult for you, as PP said, what is important that she is talking to someone and engaging with the support.
It's easier sometimes to say those things out loud to a stranger.
I am sure her son would feel devastated that he wasn't told but would also understand that situations like this are quite delicate and understand that you were respecting her wishes.
MH services can help point you in the right direction for getting finances sorted, if that's a worry, so don't shy away from mentioning it yourself if needs be.
Don't feel like a failure OP. You are a counsellor, you're not psychic and as you know, people will choose what they tell you.
Ive met quite a few people on psych wards who have either lived with MH professionals (psychologists, doctors, psychiatric nurses etc) or been one themselves. It's not a failing, it just happens.
I hope you have a good night out. I probably don't need to tell you, but make sure your partner has a plan for what she's going to do when you're out, and a safety plan. Have you told the crisis team that you're off out and that you are worried? They might be able to help your partner plan the evening.
She won't let me talk to them. AT ALL. Not even to greet them or introduce myself. And I've respected her wishes on this so far.
Financially, part of the issue is we've just moved house and I found work straight away. Not enough to support us both but work nonetheless. I work as a counsellor part time and have a weekend job in a pub. She found a fulltime job in a pub, as a manager, and then once she started they cut her hours to 12 per week. She feels she's failed me. We're behind with the rent. She can't claim benefits without ID which shes' applied for but not got yet. We were in a house share before and everything was easy and cheap. We also had a good social life. She knows nobody around here, its the town I grew up in. So she moved for me. Which isn't helping me with my feelings of guilt. I hear you danger honestly-I know I'm entitled to go out and It's fine I mean, she overdosed when I was in the house but I was downstairs and her upstairs so what difference does or could it make really.. I have thought about cancelling it. It makes me shudder because I sleep like the dead, honestly nothing wakes me but , she was shouting for me and I heard her and was able to call an ambulance.
Yes Gerard he is a lovely person and I guess he would understand. I didn't tell him she was in hospital until she was stabilised and I told him truthfully, that she'd said not to tell him so I hadn't up to now, but then I convinced her she had to tell him or he'd be worried sick why she wasn't answering the 'phone. He understood why I hadnt' told him that (albeit I obviously lied about the reason).
Hmm TBH I wouldn't be happy with the no contact at all with MH services. You need support too! There can be limits on what they discuss with you that she can set, but you should be able to actually speak to them, even if they won't discuss any of your partners details with you.
I put a blanket ban on everyone, but had to concede a little to a couple of family members as it's just impractical/not fair. They don't get told anything bar the minimum though- e.g. Yes she's with us/ok etc, but they can talk to MH people with their concerns/issues.
The doctor rang me from the hospital and told me what she had taken and why she said she'd taken it. Which I found odd really?I am not a relative and could have really been anybody.
I think next time they come, I might ask again can I please just have a word. If she says no, point blank though, I wouldn't feel I was doing the right thing by insisting. It may hurt her a lot. I just don't know. I really appreciate the replies. Thank you.
The doctor may have asked her if she would like them to tell you. Every time I saw someone from the team when I was in crisis they asked if they would like me to tell DP and asked if I would like him to come into assessments, etc.
She sounds like she puts herself under a tremendous amount of pressure and feels like she has failed you in so many ways. With the job, the finances, feeling isolated, and now this.
I would ask her if it would be okay for you to say hi to a member of her team, at least then you have a face to a name and a point of contact. Again, speaking from experience when I was under the crisis team they always reassured DP that he could call at any time with any concerns.
Okay. They're next here on Monday and I will. I might have to be quite insistent. And yes she does put herself under pressure. The doctor went out of the room to speak to me, I asked her afterwards if she was privy to that conversation and she said no, they'd left the room with her mobile (I'd rang her to see when she could be discharged. She told me what she'd taken, what she'd said and that she was lucky to be alive).
I think I would say to dp that you think she should tell ds and that although you won't break her confidence you won't lie for her either. For example if he rings and you speak to him and he asks how things are instead of saying fine you say, you really need to talk to your mum about that, explain to him that you won't break confidences but they should talk properly to each other. Don't tell ds behind dp's back.
Thanks Snowboots. She seems fine generally but as I said she isn't the type to be open about feelings. They have prescribed her anti depressants.
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