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How bad does it need to get?!

(19 Posts)
user8485954 Thu 15-Oct-20 15:24:00

Desperately looking for some help/advice on MN as seems to be zero in RL.

SiL has had several breakdowns over the last few years and is now in the midst of a really serious crisis. Suicide attempts, drinking, unstable around children. DB has repeatedly pleaded for help from GP, crisis team, community MH team, but the support they are getting is frankly pitiful.
She seems to have reached rock bottom and DB is truly fearful about what she might do next - he has had to tell her to move to her parents house (nearby) as he is worried about effect on the DC.

He has had a conversation with a MH SW this morning who has said she will visit SiL this afternoon but she is reluctant to discuss sectioning /hospitalising "pressure on beds.... Covid risk....etc etc". Seriously this is such bullshit - if immediate action isnt taken DB is convinced the worst will happen. If it was a serious physical illness she would have been taken in immediately no questions asked.
Meds, counselling to date have made no difference and she is no longer safe nor able to make rational decisions about her treatment. she needs to be in a safe place where finally she can get the help she needs.

What can DB do? He is worried that because the SW is seeing SiL without him, SiL may put a front on and deny how serious things are. He is literally at breaking point and desperately needs effective immediate help

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user8485954 Thu 15-Oct-20 16:55:31

Hopeful bump

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DianaT1969 Thu 15-Oct-20 17:00:45

Sorry, not an expert, but shouldn't it be a doctor your DB speaks to about sectioning, rather than a social worker? Can the family ensure that she doesn't get her hands on alcohol or drugs in the meantime? No money, no easy access etc? It sounds very hard and separating her from the DC at the moment seems wise. Are there particular triggers at the moment? Covid etc?

Inthemane Thu 15-Oct-20 17:07:29

You have my sympathy and I know how hard it is to bear witness to this. It is incredibly scary to realise there is no safety net for people in dire mental health need.

Mental health care in the NHS is failing so many - my friend of many years was badly let down last year despite being in a desperate state. However the 'desperate state' we thought he was in presented as 'clean and articulate' on his records. We kept taking him to A&E and they'd release him as there were no beds in the local hospital, despite him saying clearly over and over again how unhappy he was and that he wanted to take his own life. The mental health outreach team saw him and decided he wasn't a risk. He was released in the middle of the night on his own and went home and killed himself, we found him in the morning.

Your brother is doing the right thing by getting your SIL out of the home environment. If your brother can get everything in writing - email GP, crisis team, community team, SW emphasising her previous suicide attempts, ask why she hasn't been assessed by a psychiatrist, underline the risk of suicide - he may have already done this but keep on emailing/calling. Be the squeaky wheel they have to pay attention to - you are competing for attention with people who are homeless, drug addicts, pregnant and more obviously seriously unwell. In the eyes of an overworked MH professional, the fact that your SIL has a concerned family and a place to stay means she's lower risk (I know this is wrong but unfortunately it's the truth).

If there are any funds available for private care, please consider this. If not try - unfortunately they aren't open for residential stays but they have online and telephone support.

This might be useful too:

I really hope your SIL gets the help and support she needs. Give her the opportunity to talk, tell her she's loved and valued. She is lucky to have you all looking out for her.

user8485954 Thu 15-Oct-20 18:20:45

Thank you... I gather the person who visited is a mental health nurse who works for social services acting as an 'umbrella' across all the agencies.

SiL refused to let DB be present at the visit, only agreeing to her DM being there. Obviously not easy for DB to be shut out but I suggested that's indicator of her current state of mind and at least she's engaging.
The SW still doesn't think it's severe enough for hospitalisation but as DB wasn't present he thinks SiL may be covering up. More meds prescribed and follow up in a week confused

All I could say is that at least she should be safe with her parents and for the meantime just get some breathing space with the DC.

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user8485954 Fri 16-Oct-20 17:20:42

So things have gone from bad to worse and DB has called an ambulance. Her parents can't stop her drinking and roaming around. She's fallen over and is a danger to herself and people around her.

He is really scared though that they will just discharge her and he will have exhausted all avenues of help.

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user8485954 Fri 16-Oct-20 18:53:22


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cherrytreeblossom Sat 17-Oct-20 07:41:05

Hi, how are things now ? I can't imagine how worried DB is ! I hope things didn't worsen

mrssunshinexxx Sat 17-Oct-20 07:50:17

This is so so sad you can almost see what's going to haPpen in the near future just from reading a few of your posts. Her poor children and husband and poor her
You are a fabulous sister trying to help I wish I had more advise. Maybe ring her doctors on your brothers behalf and just cry/beg

Purpler5 Sat 17-Oct-20 07:55:56

This is close to home for me and sadly PP Inthemane is right that she will be overlooked due to having a caring family etc. The same poster has given the best advice regarding being the squeaky wheel etc.

Sadly in my experience this could go on and on without your SIL getting the real help she needs. The skill is to make sure she doesn’t take her own life (intentionally or unintentionally) in the meantime.

Charities rather than the NHS could be a good bet.

I’m so so sorry it’s so shit. MH support is completely inadequate in all cases from mild to severe.

MJMG2015 Sat 17-Oct-20 08:06:01

I hope the night was peaceful

Just wondering if it would help if she came home fir half term & your DC went to stay wuth their grandparents?

Being removed from her DH & her own home, might not be helping. (Though I can understand why it was done).

I'd pay (if at all possible) for some assessments, not rely on the NHS, in normal times, let alone now.

I hope you can all find a way to get her through this.

Iheardarumour Sat 17-Oct-20 08:16:10

I am so sorry this is happening to you and your family. I had a breakdown 2 years ago and the support was shit. My husband and I both have mild bouts of D&A. I have social anxiety all the time. At my worst and lowest time my husband had to make a nuisance of himself to get any help. It is an almost full-time thing trying to get support. You are doing the right thing. Keep putting on the pressure. Get things down in writing. Keep a diary of events. I know you are supporting your DB but you will burn out without your support. Talk to friends, or vent to the Samaritans on 116 123 which is a freephone number. I have no legsl advice and I don't know how the mental health act works but I hope someone can give better advice in that regard soon.

user8485954 Sat 17-Oct-20 09:26:35

Thank you so much for your replies, I am really grateful.

One of the major main reasons DB finally told her to stay with her parents was because an anonymous call to SS raising concerns about the DC. Very vague but apparently that DN had expressed how sad he felt about what was happening. SS contacted school, meeting held and thankfully it was all shut down. You can imagine how utterly paranoid and terrified DB is now feeling; this is why he thinks it best for SiL to be under another roof for the time being. Also other peripheral incidents all adding up to being a danger.

I am so angry for them all - fuck all support or help, yet straight on it sticking the boot in. The DCs mother may be going through a really bad time but DB is an incredible father who has done absolutely everything (and I mean everything) for those kids for at least months. SS should be applauding that and helping him.

As for last night, the ambulance arrived after 3 hours (wasn't safe to travel by themselves). Paradmedics took her off and said crisis team will likely discharge her today! angryangry
I've told DB to have a stock answer "no she can't come out, it's not safe" Repeat ad nauseam.

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user8485954 Sat 17-Oct-20 10:16:35

Discharged at 4am. Back home

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Purpler5 Sat 17-Oct-20 20:56:32

Sorry to read this, what a nightmare. This is awful. But unfortunately I’m not at all surprised. I’m sure you’re all beside yourself.

No wise words other than just try to look after yourself so you have strength to support your DB.

covidmonkey Sun 18-Oct-20 16:00:49

My friend has had similar problems and was only hospitalised couple of times. She has been in a&e over fifty times. Her main problem was drinking which then caused other problems. There was no end in sight until she ended up in hospital in horrendous pain. Pancreatis, liver problem and inflamed stomach. After that she hasn't been drinking and things seem to be calmed down.

user8485954 Sun 18-Oct-20 18:23:16


My friend has had similar problems and was only hospitalised couple of times. She has been in a&e over fifty times. Her main problem was drinking which then caused other problems. There was no end in sight until she ended up in hospital in horrendous pain. Pancreatis, liver problem and inflamed stomach. After that she hasn't been drinking and things seem to be calmed down.

Yes I suspect her drinking and MH are intertwined. Before the MH problems became evident her drinking was full on and her behaviour quite uncomfortable to witness.

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User8485954 Mon 02-Nov-20 11:33:03

Desperately need advice.

So things have gone from bad to worse. Still drinking heavily even with the increased meds. Permanently suicidal, taking other random meds. She was triggered by something on Friday whilst out and the police were called - they did nothing. She's a total mess.

DB called an ambulance again yesterday as SiL was in and out of consciousness and they refused to come out!
Then called Crisis team who wouldn't come out.
He has now moved himself and the DC out and been forced to take a step back but when he went back round this morning she'd clearly taken something again. Ambulance called and thankfully they have taken her but he thinks they will just send her home again.

Once she has sobered up he says she will tell them she is ok and they'll send her on her way.

I am so angry, even though she refuses help all she says is that she wants to die, support services are doing fuck all and DB is utterly convinced her will find her dead.

I have told him to demand a mental capacity assessment whilst she's still in A&E which he will do but thinks she'll be able to convince them she's not that bad.

I am desperately worried for DB; I can't physically do anything as I live hours away and of course lockdown.

What else can he do? If anyone has any more advice I'd be so grateful.

User8485954 Mon 02-Nov-20 12:27:53

Bump 🙏

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