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Has anyone walked away from a relative with MH issues

(36 Posts)
Waypasttethersend Fri 29-Jan-16 19:10:45

And did they kill themselves or get better?

wotevaaaa Fri 29-Jan-16 19:40:26

Neither, they continued to live a life of misery

roundandroundthehouses Fri 29-Jan-16 19:50:26

She continued as she had done before - lapses in and out of the addiction. Still doing so, AFAIK.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Fri 29-Jan-16 20:21:40

Actually the other way round.
My relative was sectioned, but was and still is in denial that anything is wrong with him (it is everyone else).
After hundreds of hours of listening to his psychotic and paranoid reality, I told him that I would help him seek help. (He wasn't taking any medication and his condition was degenerating, and understandably he was very scared that he would be sectioned again, which I think would have destroyed him).
Since then he will not contact me because I am now also an enemy and cannot be trusted.
I do still try and contact him but not as much and often worry that he has committed suicide.

goldierocks Fri 29-Jan-16 21:10:42

For years I tried (and obviously failed) to 'fix' my now EX-DH. He was diagnosed with multiple different MH conditions and was/is also an alcoholic. He had been sectioned three times.

He threatened suicide on numerous occasions, never acted on it.

He committed an offence against me and received a suspended sentence and restraining order....he is not capable of controlling his anger around me and has an overwhelming desire to cut my throat.

EX-DH has permanently damaged his brain through alcohol abuse. I suspect there was more - I found 40 cans of empty spray glue in the garage, and he never, ever fixed anything. He's not ever going to get better (if that means returning to a pre-substance abuse state).

marzipanmaggie Fri 29-Jan-16 21:37:31

I walked away from a close friend with MH issues when I was younger. I am still haunted by it but at the time I felt I had no option. This person had become so toxic towards me and the friendship was so dysfunctional making my life so chaotic as a result that I felt I had to do it for my own self-protection. I know that depression is a cruel disease and that willpower alone can't turn it around, but I also got to the end of my rope with the self pity and self-destructive behaviour. She seemed incapable either of taking any responsibility for the scrapes she got herself into or of helping herself to move her life forward.

She didn't kill herself or anything as dramatic as that but she didn't really get better either and to the best of my knowledge (nearly 20 years later) is still mentally ill. One of the cruellest things about depression is that it makes people bloody selfish and tedious to be around, and actually they repel other people when they most need their help. It does take a lot of stamina to support someone in the throes of a major depressive episode and the vast majority of "friends" will walk away from someone in this situation when the chips are down. I still wonder a lot about whether I would have been able to help her if I'd stuck around and I still feel bad about it, but ultimately I valued my own sanity more.

ClutterBox Fri 29-Jan-16 21:42:24

I am considering that myself. Dh with mh issues that have become almost intolerable in addition to other stuff. Will watch this thread with interest.

mrssmith79 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:46:12

Yes, to save my own sanity.
They are still, afaik, actively unwell but alive.
Ironically I am a mental health nurse.

amarmai Fri 29-Jan-16 22:01:41

even if you were qualified to 'save' the person with mh problems , you still have to put yourself and your dcc first.

dlnex Fri 29-Jan-16 22:07:35

Yes, I did ex h. Similar to mrssmith79, to save my sanity and I am a nurse, although not MH qualified. I had lived in a situation for years, not recognising how unhappy I was. Someone suggested I read a book by the wife of someone with depression who stayed. Ex H is alive, re-married, I dont know anything about his MH, very little contact. I am pretty sure the new wife has a version of events very different from mine, but my in laws always very supportive of me. Eventually I could let go of that bit of my life, and I think I have grown as a person because of it. Hard though.

summerainbow Fri 29-Jan-16 22:09:43

Still and in hospital 1st as I type hopefully getting aa diagnosis and some other health issues started.
Famliy member.

Snarklepoo Fri 29-Jan-16 22:15:07

Yes, my sister after many years of destructive behaviour. I realised I couldn't win, couldn't help and didn't want to any more. Sometimes you just can't do anything any more and walking away (leaving your heart open or firmly but quietly closing the door) is the best for all concerned. It's cost me my relationship with my mother and the last few years of regular contact with my ageing Dad. It has also raised many questions about my 'place' in the family. It's been heartbreaking. I don't miss my family, but I grieve every day for what could/should have been. I think the two things are different. Do what's right for you and take the consequences as a positive opportunity for personal growth. You're not on your own. Follow your heart and all the the very bestflowers She's carrying on merrily making my parents miserable. Your loved one will do what they will regardless.

aprilanne Fri 29-Jan-16 22:58:49

my husband of 25 years is very ill with mh issues possible early on set dementia he is only 49 .it is hard going his memory is poor he always asks me has he had his tea straight after eating it .it is hard going we have no married life together .we are just patient and carer it is hard .sometimes i resnt this life i have now as i am only 45 but would i leave him .no i promised in sickness and in health .

SirChenjin Fri 29-Jan-16 23:00:46

Not walked away as such, but contact is minimal - basically to check in every couple of weeks with a phone call to make sure he's alive.

heavenlypink Fri 29-Jan-16 23:04:41

No but I wish I had done

SIL - we are NC now and have been for almost three years. When she was ill it was all about her ...... and I did everything I could to help her. Yet when I had my own MH issues and she was "well" at the time she told me to "pull myself together" and "there was plenty people worse off than me"

Waypasttethersend Fri 29-Jan-16 23:16:57

I think I might have to. It's been over a year and as much as I would nurse and cajole them through it, I keep falling again and again for false goalposts which I'm then accused of moving. I have young DC getting the fallout from this and I'm starting to feel freaked out low and anxious on a regular basis when I've NEVER struggled before.

It's also financially destroyed me.

If words don't match actions, then you just can't trust a depressed person can you? They aren't going to get better without meds / therapy?! Not even sure it is depression it's starting to feel like angry narcissistic petulance, masking the lovely person they used to be.

Does anyone regret walking away?

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 29-Jan-16 23:21:32

My sister and I just ran out of compassion for our mother. It was too hard to keep trying to support her, knowing full well that she'd never take steps to help herself or accept constructive help from others.

I was slightly relieved on that count when she died in 2014, because it meant an end to everyone's mental turmoil. The torture is over.

SirChenjin Fri 29-Jan-16 23:22:09

I don't regret limiting the contact. It's taken me a long time to get to this stage (it's my dad) but I've now got to the point where I don't let it get to me any more. He made life incredibly difficult and unpleasant for us all and refused to take his meds even after his pysch evaluation. He could have got better, he just chose not to - and chose to inflict his behaviour on us all, despite knowing how upset it made us.

Cleensheetsandbedding Fri 29-Jan-16 23:30:07

Me I walked away from my mother 15 years ago and she is still going strong.

She made numerous 'attempts' to kill her self. She has been admitted to a MH hospital a few times and always made attempts there too but was always found 'just in time'

After she tried to hang herself outside my brothers bedroom on his 16th birthday while he was in it, opening the door to her there I walked away from her. He followed suit a year later.

In the time we have been NC with her there has been no reports of 'attempts'

BUT it does play on my mind that one day she might just do it properly sad

It's really tough

Friendlystories Fri 29-Jan-16 23:35:35

Your DC always have to come first. You can see the negative impact this person is having on you and continuing to give of yourself in this situation risks you making yourself ill and incapable of looking after yourself and your DC let alone the person with MH issues. You have to stop, you also need to recognise that continuing is in no ones' best interests because making yourself ill means you can't look after anyone, including them. Walking away without feeling guilty is hard but your DC are the only ones who really have a right to depend on you so you have to temper feeling guilty about your relative with the knowledge that your responsibility lies with your children first and foremost.

CrazyOldBagLady Fri 29-Jan-16 23:46:08

Sometimes it seems, you lose them. You had a sibling, young and vibrant and funny and maybe even your best alli. You didn't notice they were out on the edge. In my case I was too young to realise there was something afoot that would take my sibling.

I'm not going to drone on, but they are gone now. I'll step in if they need help, but generally they don't want help unless the police and adult services and courts are involved.

The sibling I knew as a young girl is nowhere to be seen. There's no banter, no jokes, everything is serious, or paranoid or delusional. We can't laugh or joke or anything. Sometimes if we share a smile I can take something away from it and hope we understood each other. Maybe. My sibling still loves me and I love them but they are in their own world and I guess sometimes it's frightening for them, they are alone and scared but I can't go after them, I can't help them, and they can't follow me out of there. It's sad but I've disconnected now. Can't say more than this because it would unwind the armour I've put up around me. Sorry if you are in the early stages of this. Really so sorry for you.

Waypasttethersend Sat 30-Jan-16 09:11:52

Thank you, crazy it is like that it's like the person who I knew is there in flashes but they aren't really any more, I'm fighting for a memory and they believe they are fighting but can't see they are just feeding paranoia and being guided by it.

flowers for all on the thread

dlnex Sat 30-Jan-16 19:57:41

aprilanne - huge, huge respect for you. I hope you get the support you need, this must be a devastating diagnoses

waypast - no I dont regret it at all. Your situation, similar to mine, seems difficult to untangle. There may have been a set of symptoms displayed by my ex dh, which fulfilled a MH diagnosed condition, which of course warrent understanding, empathy, etc. However, his behaviour towards me was unacceptable with or without treatment. There are limits to how far I was prepared to 'stand by my man' despite no regard for his role in maintaining our relationship, marriage vows, and joint financial responsibilties. Its hard on my own, I wont tart it up for you, but its WAY better than staying in that situation. For me and my dd. The attention of one rational parent, is in my humble opinion better than that of one arsehole, and the other being consumed by the arsehole's behaviour, mentally ill or not.

Waypasttethersend Sat 30-Jan-16 20:24:08

Thank you dlnex just hope I'm strong enough to do it. It's so ridiculously hard when you see the person they were and the flashes of who they could be again 😔

dlnex Sat 30-Jan-16 20:38:48

Yes, it is hard, I had been with my ex dh for 17 years, and there were flashes as you describe them, but I had a strong feeling he wouldnt go back to be that person again. He hasn't, and I am a different one now. It's lonely, hard work as a single parent, but better hard work, with a clear head, I go to bed tired, not crying, not unhappy. Only you know when its time to quit. You will see it in your own time, and thats ok, dont mind me telling you, or anyone else. If you dont quit, that's ok to, but find a way of living in the situation with him that suits you. I have had some relationships since, nothing serious, nothing successful, but heck when I being taken out somewhere nice by a bloke, it feels AMAZING.

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