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How to deal with DH who won't look after his health?

(9 Posts)
Rhubarbcrumbled Mon 17-Feb-14 09:16:09

2 weeks ago my DH broke down in tears and told me he had thought about taking his own life. I knew that he wasn't at all well but hadn't realised it had reached this crises point. He is rarely happy and spends a lot of time laying down and sleeping. He can't cope with noise (we have 2 young and loud DS) or with mess or anything at all really. He's struggling at work which is causing him further upset and stress. He shouts horribly at the DSs, really screaming at them. I try to intervene but I get told he can manage and I'm trying hard not to undermine him. The police came round one night after his shouting was reported to the NSPCC as domestic abuse. I know his temper is linked to his poor mental health but he needs to let me help when he starts to get wound up. I dread him taking the boys out in their own as I know he will almost always come back in a foul mood with them. They are just 4 and 1.

He was diagnosed with epilepsy about 3 years ago and I thought he had it under control but occasionally I suspect he has had an episode or he tells me he has had a episode when I'm asking him to do something. This should be reported to his neurologist but he says it doesn't matter.
He doesn't exercise much, rarely leaves the house unless it's for work or I make him come for a walk or day out. Quite often he will insist on taking the boys 'off my hands' for a couple of hours which I would be grateful for if I wasn't so worried about his tempers and how he comes back.

I've had 3 episodes of depression in the past, one of which was when I was with him. His response was to stop being so selfish and this is just life and I need to get on with it. This is how he feels about his own health too. But it's affecting the rest of the family too no matter what he says about ignoring him. Last week I thought he was going to have a breakdown as he was crying and shaking so much but he wouldn't let me call the doctor. He said he had been to the dr the previous Thursday to discuss the suicidal thoughts but I have doubts he went as he reported the dr said that he couldn't prescribe antidepressants as he is taking tegretol for his epilepsy and that this is an anti d. It's not. He has apparently been referred for counselling but nothing else. Surely if someone says they are having suicidal thoughts the dr would do more than this? He wasn't even told to go back to his neurologist which is what you should do if you have suicidal thoughts and are taking tegretol.

He promises he's going to see the dr again this week and also make an appointment with the neurologist but he said he'd do it last week and didn't. He hasn't taken his epilepsy drugs for 4 days as he lost them and has now forgotten to take his prescription to the drs today. I'm at the end of my tether with him. I went to stay with my parents last week with the boys as I was so worried about them and his treatment of them. And my own mental health was feeling fragile too. He said he needed space to sort out work and have a break so I didn't run out on him, it was an agreed break away. I came back yesterday and he said he was still tired and had done nothing all week.

What should I do?

pussycatdoll Mon 17-Feb-14 09:19:48

Could you talk to his family about having a word with him?

Tbh for the safety of your boys i'd tell him unless he gets help you'll have no choice but to leave

Go to the gp with him

Rhubarbcrumbled Tue 18-Feb-14 08:37:40

Right, I've told him where we stand and how I'm feeling about it all. He admitted he didn't go to the drs last time but has made an appointment for today. I'm going along to make sure he goes.
He now knows that if he doesn't sort this out then I will take the boys for their own safety. I don't really want to leave as I do love him but this can't go on. Thanks for the advice.

Thebluedog Thu 20-Feb-14 07:46:59

How did it go Rhubarb? My DH is in a similar position and off to the docs this week

Rhubarbcrumbled Sat 22-Feb-14 06:58:53

He went to the drs on Tuesday and this time I believe he did go. He was told this time to go to his neurologist for advice on drugs as the drs can't prescribe anything compatible. They've referred him again for counselling which he has already said he doesn't believe in. He has spoken to his neurologist who has asked him to go for counselling and to come back to him if he feels he needs a change of drugs.

This week his behaviour with the boys has been good, but there is still the weekend flashpoint to come. He's played and laughed with them and not got upset at all. However, he doesn't know how to deal with bad behaviour unless he's shouting so everything is being referred to me now! But at least there's no shouting or name calling.

He has said to me that he is feeling better and that he is sick of feeling depressed and miserable and is determined to change so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I'm just not sure of my feelings anymore and I'm in a pretty low place. Although the shouting has stopped and he is actually doing something about his health he still doesn't really engage with me. I get a a cheek offered to kiss and a muttered greeting when he comes in after i have gone to him (he normally just mutters through a closed door) and I have to push for him to ask about my day. Last week when we got home after a week it was no different.

So I went to the drs myself yesterday to see if they had any advice on how to deal with the depressive moods, shouting etc. And everything came out. I didn't realise how bad his behaviour is until the dr looked shocked and asked if I ever felt in danger and I realised that there have been moments I have when he has hit himself on the head when he's upset. I'm worried about the impact his behaviour and shouting has had on our 4yo already. He thinks the answer to getting his own way is shouting and I think he has self esteem problems already eg he can't take any teasing at all. I've been given contact details for various groups and told there is support for me and the boys through this situation. I've also been referred for counselling as she is worried about my mental health too. I also have a referral to the HV and am going to CAB on Monday to find out what support I can have if this all kicks off again.

Sorry this is so long but I need to put it down to get it straight. Maybe I should have it moved to relationships as this is really moving away from sorting out my DH to sorting out the marriage in general. After reading a couple of threads on here about abusive fathers I don't think I can put my two through this for years and years and I don't think my mental health will survive if I have to keep walking on eggshells around him. My parents have made it clear that they will also help if I want to leave. But if I leave he will have to deal with them on his own on contact days and that's one of the flashpoints for his temper so I'm staying so I can at least be here for the boys all the time.

This is really a bit of a mess, isn't it!

livingzuid Sat 22-Feb-14 11:28:21

Oh you poor thing. Relationships will be a huge help i think for you. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this.

On the mental health side - untreated and undiagnosed people who are ill can do strange, hurtful and dangerous things. But that's just one side. He knows he has a problem yet he is refusing treatment for it. That's not acceptable. Saying that he doesn't belive in counselling - well he's not willing to do anything to get his depression and epilepsy under control. It's hard work but it can be done. But he's not prepared to do it.

Imo he cannot blame his very bad behaviour on his illness given he's refused chances to get better.

Instead he sounds abusive I'm afraid to both you and your sons. I'd ask to have this thread moved to relationships. You sound very strong and like you are doing all the right things to safeguard you and your dcs. Stay safe. thanks

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Mar-14 12:08:13

Hello Rhubarbcrumbled, we have moved it for you now. Hoping that it helps you to get the help you need, they are a kind and knowledgeable bunch on there.

Rhubarbcrumbled Sun 30-Mar-14 08:34:12

I'm just bumping this to make sure it doesn't disappear! I may need to add to this later.

cloudskitchen Sun 30-Mar-14 08:55:49

I just read through your thread and wanted to send you a big hug. It sounds like hell. To be perfectly honest I would be looking to seperate until you both feel stronger and your dh has sorted out his depression. You and your dc deserve a chance to be happy and it might give your dh the kick up the butt he needs to get it sorted thanks

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