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DH's OCD and a job offer.. just don't know what to do

(24 Posts)
jellyjem Mon 10-Feb-14 12:25:39

My DH has a contamination OCD and used to have to keep everything related to his job away from his home life, he suffered panic attacks because of the OCD and had a compulsion to shower for 7 or 8 hours everyday after he finished work meaning he never saw our daughter or me in the week. The situation was a complete nightmare, so much so that it was actually a relief when he was made redundant 2 years ago.

DH still has the OCD but it has changed, since he left work he only feels the need to wash his hands and arms now though this also causes problems as he has to do it everytime he touches something probably 30-40 times a day and each wash takes about 15 minutes. DH has not worked since he was made redundant and we skrimp by on my salary and working tax/child tax credits.

We are about to loose our house as we cant afford to pay the mortgage, however we are currently going through the mortgage rescue scheme so hopefully we will be able to stay in the house as rented tenants instead of mortgaged homeowers.

Yesterday his old boss from a previous job rang and asked if he would like to go back to work for them. My DH doesn't know how this would effect his OCD (ie he might end up spending his life in the shower again).

I think our mortgage is too far behind now for us to back out of the rescue scheme as DH's salary would only be £19,000 and we are nearly £5,000 in arrears. If we carried on with the rescue scheme and DH was working I don't think we would qualify for housing benefit anf would have to arrange for after school childcare for our DD so we would probably not be any better off financially.

However, DH needs some kind of job to help his self esteeme as he is getting very depressed at home with nothing to do. He will accept the job offer if I want him to but he cant promise me his OCD wont get worse. The job is 40 hours per week and quite stressful, stress generally makes his OCD worse. We have to let his old boss know today and I just don't know what to do. This feels like our last chance at a life away from benefits but it could just make things a whole loss worse, I don't know what to do.

PeerMon Mon 10-Feb-14 12:29:42

What does he want to do? In your position, I would put his mental health above the financials.

HermioneWeasley Mon 10-Feb-14 12:33:42

Is he getting any treatment for his OCD?

MyNameIsKenAdams Mon 10-Feb-14 12:34:57

He used to be in the shower for seven or eight hours a day?!

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:36:58

I think that the priority is for him to access treatment for his OCD. if he is unwilling to do this then you need to consider the long term impact on you and your dd. Your post made me feel sad, the huge effects his condition is having on every aspect of your life.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:37:41

He says he doesn't know how much the job will effect him or the OCD but will do it if I want him to. DH generally avoids making decisions and leaves it to me.

I want him to be as heathy and as happy as he can be. I think he does need a job but probably something just a few hours a week but we have not been able to find anything part time.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:38:40

unless my Maths is rubbish, he is spending as much time washing as he did showering (15 minutes for each wash, 30-40 times a day)
this is not simply about work stress.
how old is your dd?

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:39:50

Yes, 7 or 8 hours a dat in the shower when he was working. He is (was) an electrician. He does have treatment for his condition but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:39:56

"Dh generally avoids making decisions"
hmm well IMO he needs to start making decisions, the first one being to seek help with the OCD.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:41:43

ok, so he is having treatment. would you and he be able to speak with his therapist together to clarify the likely outcome of the treatment? And how the therapist feels he is progressing and if anything else needs to be done? or perhaps if it is not helping, a second opinion is needed.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:41:56

DD is 6. DH is a great dad.

Sillybillybob Mon 10-Feb-14 12:43:08

Is he getting treatment? He really needs to at least try to address it - I have 2 close family members with OCD. I understand how debilitating it can be and the effects it has on the whole family so I am sending you a lot of hugs and sympathy.

You can really only assume though that returning to work will lead to his showering compulsion again.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:44:03

He doesn't see a therapist at the moment as he has had the maximum treatment allowed with our gp. He can be recommended again in 6 months. We can't afford to pay privately

GemmaPomPom Mon 10-Feb-14 12:45:01

However, DH needs some kind of job to help his self esteeme as he is getting very depressed at home with nothing to do.

I think for this reason alone he should accept the job. I have OCD and at times it was as bad as your DH's, although a different type. It has gradually got better.

There is nothing to stop him working and getting treatment.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:46:57

Silly - I think you are right, the showering probably would return with a vengeance. I wish his old boss had not rang and brought all this up. I feel like we are turning down our last chance.

msrisotto Mon 10-Feb-14 12:47:44

I would strongly encourage working if he can and treatment is vital. If current treatments aren't working very well, go back to the doctor and ask about alternatives.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:48:41

when he previously had therapy do you know what kind of support/advice he was given? Could he reflect back (perhaps with you) on any techniques he learnt?
do you have more than one bathroom? From a practical point I am wondering how he reacts for example if dd or you need the loo/bath and has a compulsion to wash.

Sillybillybob Mon 10-Feb-14 12:49:55

Are anti-depressants an option? I know one of my family members was offered them and refused as she wanted to try therapy first - fortunately it worked for her. But they may help to tide him over until he can access more CBT perhaps ?

LIZS Mon 10-Feb-14 12:50:54

Could he get help through Occupational Health if he had a job ? 2 years is a long time , has his OCD prevented him applying for jobs in the meantime ? Has he claimed JSA/ESA ? Mortgage company would rather you made some contribution to arrears than none , they won't expect it back at once and can you sell to clear the rest? Do you work ? You seem to be putting up obstacles re. your dd at a time when he needs a push, what about him negotiating pt or flexible hours ? wouldn't you get tax credits towards the cost anyway ?

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:54:55

He washes at the kitchen sink and is constantly getting under my feet sad

DH takes fluoxetine for the OCD. I think writing this down has helped me get it straight in my head, I think the job would be too much for him, it's 40 hours a week and quite stressful.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 10-Feb-14 12:56:47

sorry to hear things are so difficult jemjelly. hope he gets the right treatment and support.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 12:58:47

Liz - you might be right re obstacles, I am just scared of the job making him worse, it was such a relief when he was made redundant and the OCD symptoms lifted. If he went back to how he was it would finish us and I want to help him get better and get our lives back to normal.

jemjelly Mon 10-Feb-14 13:01:28

I think he needs a part time job. The job offer is for full time hours only.

LIZS Mon 10-Feb-14 13:03:20

Has he applied for any on that basis ? What about retraining so he could, for example, do quotations and ordering for jobs rather than carry them out. Maybe IT skills ?

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