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DH has bipolar, aibu to want him to work?

(32 Posts)
MrsZombieMum Thu 07-Dec-17 00:06:15

DH has been bipolar (diagonised) for 3 years now... on 4 types of meds.. not been manic for ages and ages. I am the only one who works, we have 2DSs. AIBU to want / expect him to work? Not fulltime, but anything to help. This is the 3rd xmas /year i've paid for everything on a part time nhs wage. I pay for it all, bills, food holidays etc... I dont want to put him under any pressure... but Im under a lot of pressure too and thought that at husband and wife we'd share lifes stress & Pressures...
So, does biopolar mean that he will never work again? And that he, my DSs and I are destined to a life of poverty and me saying no to my DSs and DH all the time cos I cant afford haircuts, treats or anything!

Poshindevon Thu 07-Dec-17 09:01:45

Bi polar people can work a part time job can help self esteem etc It depends on the job , employers and the type of work on offer. Does your husband have a psychiatric health care professional you could discuss this with? The Jobcentre can be very helpful. Also websites like Bi Polar UK. I am assuming your in the UK
Does your husband receive any disability benefits? If not Citizens Advice can advise you.

dirtyprettything Fri 08-Dec-17 20:29:23

I have bipolar and work full time, it’s a godsend for me actually. That’s not to say everyone is the same though. Does he feel able to work?

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 19:24:17

Thanks for the reply, says he wants to work but its the tablets that stop him being able to do so...
He does get ESA, but that barely covers any bills etc when we have 2ds, a mortgage and evertything else! Somtimes just sometimes I fell like I need some help / support.

TeachesOfPeaches Sat 09-Dec-17 19:31:12

Why are you only working part time if your husband is at home full time? What kind of work is he qualified to do?

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 19:35:06

he was self employed builder, I work part time in nhs in admin.
Im not "only" working part time, I look after DH, my dad, two kids, run the house, if I worked full time I also would need medication! Thansk for the question TeachesofPeaches

hendricksyousay Sat 09-Dec-17 19:41:16

Why doesn't he look after the house ? If you are working he should be at least looking after the house and children and cooking ffs ! And yes I knew all about depression , I grew up with a Mum , Dad and sister with mental health problems !

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 09-Dec-17 19:42:56

If he isn’t capable of looking after himself, the house and the children so you can work full time is he capable of having a part time job? Sounds like he needs to be working on those tasks first.

NapQueen Sat 09-Dec-17 19:44:05

You up your hours and he does the lions share of the house/childcare.

expatinscotland Sat 09-Dec-17 19:44:44


museumum Sat 09-Dec-17 19:46:21

I think Teaches has a point. If working outside the home is tough for him then he should be running the home in order to share the pressure with you.

KittyandTeal Sat 09-Dec-17 19:47:05

I have bpd but it was diagnosed as bipolar for years as it was so similar. I worked full time. I now work part time, partly for ease of school run for dd but also partly because I think full time teaching would set me off again.

He absolutely can work, even a low stress, part time job would help

gingergenius Sat 09-Dec-17 19:54:11

The tablets are fuckers. Make you feel like a zombie. Yes they stop they mania but they they make you feel like you're ghosting through life. It's horrible.

Auvergne Sat 09-Dec-17 19:56:10

Why do you only work part time?

expatinscotland Sat 09-Dec-17 19:57:11

She already said why, Auvergne, because he does nothing in the house.

Fairylea Sat 09-Dec-17 19:58:28

Every person with chronic illness - I’m including mental illness in that- is different. Some will be able to work, others won’t. There are no rules. My husband has severe depression and went through 2 years of being unable to work. He then went through 3 jobs in a very short space of time because he wasnt really well enough to return and found it extremely stressful. He then found the “right” medication (after lots of trial and error) and he’s now been so much better and in work in the same job for nearly 3 years. Things were very difficult for a long time. I think you have to be very open to the idea that he may be very unwell for some time. However; he should be meeting you half way and making sure he is doing everything he can to help himself too.

Auvergne Sat 09-Dec-17 19:59:11

That seems to be the first step, then.

Apologies, I did miss that.

I do think that there needs to be spa sense of shared responsibility here but there can also be an assumption that because it is mental health it can be cured, or at least, worked around. I have no idea whether this is the case here or not but the problem with many MH conditions is that much like physical conditions they are well managed as long as not alleviated by certain stresses.

I think ideally DH would be taking over in the house and leaving the OP free to work full time.

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 20:11:06

Thanks for the replies. I dont expect him to earn loads like he once did,. another £600 a month or so would mean we could eat something other than basics, we could have a xmas, I could get a haircut, could get my DSs new school shoes when they need them rather than gluing the old ones... I want a future for my 2DS. It breaks my heart seeing my DH like this, however, I cant help but feel this is it for us now. I see other people with MH issues working,& he got us in so much debt pre diagnosis, all of which i sorted or we would have been homeless
Its so hard being the partner of a person with MH issues.

mareemallory Sat 09-Dec-17 20:13:02

Has he talked to anyone professional about going back to work, or is he just assuming it's not an option?

My partner was recently diagnosed as bipolar and getting back to work has been one of his main goals. With the encouragement of his psychiatrist and counsellor he's started volunteering in a charity shop and it has been really good for his mental health to get out of the house, do his own thing, and spend time with people who aren't me. (He also takes care of the vast majority of the house stuff.)

But this is so, so specific to him, his personality, and the medication he's on (though please there are options! My partner had lots of discussions about side effects with his psychiatrist when deciding what to try first, and tweaked dosages etc until he found something that worked).

redannie118 Sat 09-Dec-17 20:14:19

Ok so my DH has bipolar and works full-time-has his whole life. His mood is significantly worse when not working-he needs stucture and routine.An outdoor job is the best case scenario, the daylight and fresh air are instant pick ups and doing something manual will tire him out and help him sleep. My DH was out of work for 6 months a while ago-(i was working full time) he did ALL housework, cooking , shopping, cleaning and gardening. He stated on several occassions it was only keeping busy and getting outside that stopped him having a complete breakdown.i mean this kindly op-obviously everyone is different, but there is no reason he cannot help more round the house and maybe even work. I would begin by sitting down and telling him structure and activity are good for him-draw up a job list and see how he gets on. If that goes ok add some more jobs and maybe even some job searches-charity work would be ideal and would help him get his confidence back and will look good on a CV. You may need to push-but you will both benefit in the long run. In the meantime both go to the gp and ask for a medication review, also ask fir a crisis team visit for him AND you. I found as a couple this was an enormous help.You dont have to do it all alone flowers for you-i know how hard it can be.

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 20:18:36

Thanks mareemallory, thing is DH doesnt want to / wont talk to me about the meds, says he is on the highest dose., and takes 4 diff MH meds. Says the GP is rubbish and they cant change his MH meds, so it wating for an appt to see his MH team, which will take ages.
I feel so mean asking him to get a job, but I literally can not go on like this,. its been about 4 years now.....

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 20:23:18

Redannie118, thank you. DH does take our DS8 to school as I made him get into a routine, but that is about all... if the teachers need to talk to him cos DS has been naughty, DH panics and I have to deal with the fall out of that later, i.e why is he so crap at even talking? His words...! At least he now has a bath without me making him! Typing that makes me realise how far he has come since the diagnosis. Now I feel i ABU

mareemallory Sat 09-Dec-17 20:25:40

Just wanted to add, if you haven't seen it already please have a read through this Mind stuff on being a carer. You need to look after yourself too.

Fairylea Sat 09-Dec-17 20:26:29

If you don’t feel you can live with him like this then you know it is okay to leave. You don’t need permission from anyone. I know that sounds really harsh and may not be what you’re thinking but I just wanted to put it out there.

For us, it was something we just accepted and worked through. We had 3 years of really low income (I’m talking no lights upstairs as we couldn’t afford to fix electrics for example) but it never occurred to me to leave my dh. He needed me more than ever. But I appreciate not everyone feels that way and that’s okay. It is really tough at times!

MrsZombieMum Sat 09-Dec-17 20:41:30

Fairylea, its not that I want to leave, we've been together 20 years. Its the kids going without, being cold etc... sort of feel I need to do what is best for them & their futures... if it was just me and DH, I'd be happy in a caravan in a field.

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