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Struggling to see a way forward…(7 Posts)
Hi all – would be hugely appreciative of any advice/shared experiences here.
DW and I have been together for getting on for 20 years, we have a brilliant toddler and another on the way next year. Like all long-term relationships we’ve had tough moments, but overall I think we’d both say we’ve been extremely happy together.
Since PFB was born (or, in hindsight, possibly slightly before) DW has suffered enormously with anxiety. This manifests itself in numerous ways, but usually around things like obsessive cleaning, finding insects around the house, etc. I was certain from a fairly early stage she had post-natal anxiety and after waiting quite some time for the NHS to get round to it (they were brilliant in all ways relating to the baby’s health, but sadly not the mother’s!) this diagnosis was confirmed.
We then waited months and months for NHS counselling to be arranged and when it was it proved to be useless (obviously this is second-hand, but it was over the phone, the bloke concerned didn’t sound interested or helpful at all, etc.) and was clearly causing even more anxiety in terms of prepping for it, etc. I reluctantly agreed with the suggestion that she should stop doing this and in hindsight I wish we’d paid for a private practitioner and regular face-to-face counselling.
After a relatively good period – and understandably news of a second baby on the way seems to be the key impetus here – the anxiety is now back with a vengeance. This time though, DW is adamant that she’s “not mental” (not my words), definitely doesn’t need counselling and that all her/our problems are entirely to do with our house. Our house isn’t perfect, but objectively (as far as that’s possible) it’s pretty good and most of the things identified are (in my opinion) minor annoyances or things that could happen anywhere.
I’ve tried to be sympathetic and positive and focus on solutions throughout this time, but there’s always something and selling/buying/moving seems like a step too far. I guess my question becomes at what point do you become less understanding and have to flat-out oppose someone who is (imo) being irrational? This whole thing is now calcifying around moving becoming the only solution and – even ignoring all the practical challenges that presents – I just don’t believe it will make anything better.
This is all putting a horrible strain on our relationship. I feel like I’m watching the person I love fall apart, she’s increasingly shutting herself off from me, and now we seem to have reached this stalemate where I just can’t see any way forward.
I could write a lot more, but that looks like too much already… Would love some advice or to hear from others, especially those who might have suffered from similar anxiety/depression/etc in the past. Thanks.
I think you are right that moving wont solve the problem. She is fixating on the house rather than the real cause of her anxiety which is.....?
Could you talk to her about getting some one to one counselling for say 6 months and if she still feels the same then you will look at putting the house up for sale?
Then you can be sure that she is getting help to deal with her anxiety, and she will know that you are not just brushing off her desire to move.
Gladys makes sense.
Agreeing to a potential move depending on outcome of counselling or treatment seems like a plan.
I wish you both luck.
Hormones are dreadfully powerful things, and when i had post-natal anxiety, it would manifest very similarly to your DW. I found when i was getting increasingly wound up / frustrated and fixated on my perceived "state of the house" ( anything from clutter to structural issues - the whole range!) i learnt to realise that was when i was unwell. She isn't "mental" as she seems frightened of being labelled, she is just at the wrath of hideous hormones, they wreak such havoc with mental health. I was prescribed citalopram - i was reluctant to go down that route but had never previously done so and had huge misconceptions about them. Seriously, they saved my life. Within 3 weeks i felt "me" resurface, they gave me a stability and a base to kick up off the bottom from. There are equivalents which she can take whilst pregnant. Quite simply my brain was just out of whack, hormones all over the place, the meds evened everything out and replaced the serotonin I didn't have. Best of luck.
Thanks for the responses so far, especially Suddenly, which is reassuring. I hesitate to just say "hormones" as the cause of all this (as per Gladys's initial question), but I do think there's a lot of truth in that in this instance too.
Surprised you haven't had many responses op - but good responses so far.
In a rush but 1. NHS counselling IS crap. Can you afford private? I say 'can you afford' but frankly some things are an essential expense and some things have to go by the way. Eg holiday's etc.
I would get in touch with GP and HV and REALLY push this. Don't hold back, get balshy and difficult - or rather, pushy. She needs immediate attention and, sadly, you have to push your way to the front.
GP/HV should link you to orgs that specifically address anxiety and PND eg. GP needs to get on this re blood tests and meds. This needs to be managed medically, it's not good enough it hasn't been. Time for you to step up and shout (iyswim).
NHS offer eg CBT which IS good. Also mindfulness. Gp should arrange for her to get on courses pronto as a good and solid first base.
All the best xx
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