New Member

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello.
I am a carer for my wife who has Bipolar disorder.
I have cared for my wife over the last 15 years after her initial diagnosis during periods of mania and the subsequent depression.
The typical onset, being mania followed by the depression, was something I could manage with the help of the NHS mental health teams.
Unfortunately the last episode my wife suffered was a mixed effective state which lasted nearly 4 months. This quickly showed the limits of the NHS mental health teams and left me, at the time, barely coping.
My wife is currently in good health but I am left with the constant fear of her getting ill again, exposing my inability to cope.
Sorry for such a long introduction but it has taken me many months to open up about this and when I started typing I found it difficult to stop.
Hello ~Strongman and welcome to the forum :)

Firstly you never need to apologise for the length of your posts or for ranting on here - in fact it's almost mandatory ! and believe me there are plenty here who's posts are 10 times the length of yours :) :shock:

We are a friendly bunch and our caring experiences are wide ranging from caring for the very young to the very old and cover all sorts of disabilities and conditions. Personally I have no experience of mental health issues so cannot give you any advice but there are plenty of our members who do have such experience and I'm sure they will along later to welcome you.
Hello Strongman and welcome
Don't ever apologise for long posts. There are plenty on here as so many have so much to get off their chests. Indeed your post was really short. :)

Well done for finding us and having the courage to post, that first time isn't easy.

Your experiences of bipolar and the mental health services will be invaluable so I hope you keep posting to share your experience, good and bad, with others.

If you haven't found it already there are lots of threads on Mental Health under the Specific Conditions heading. The purple search box searches the forum ( the red search box searches Carers UK website)

Nice to meet you,
MrsA
It's me again
Please don't berate yourself for not coping. Bipolar, and other MH issues are very very tough on the carer as all one can do is support as best one can, but sadly not cure. Its heartbreaking to watch and very frustrating. Youve already done 15 years, many carers wouldnt last that long. Be proud of what you have achieved.

What do you do to keep you self going? I find exercise (in the form of dancing) helps me. At least if I'm concentrating on not falling over my own feet I'm not thinking about caring! :)

Kr
MrsA
Thanks for your kind replies.
With regard to keeping myself going, exercise has been very good and I also read a lot, so as to lose myself in books.
If ranting is accepted then my posts may get longer!! I've found of late that MH services are appalling, with little concern for the people doing the difficult jobs, i.e. the carer. This is what my main anxiety is, the fact I am utterly alone, even if I am not coping.
I will look into the specific areas on the forum & hopefully find some things I can relate to and take guidance from.
It is so nice to be able to get these things aired with like minded people. I can't share my anxieties with my wife as she thinks she is a burden if I try, which is not the case.
Hi Strongman
I'm afraid you might find people in the same situation but no magic answers. Mh certainly seems the poor relation in NHS services, and carers ignored.
But you will find support for you and a good place to air what you can't in front of wife
I care for my 22 year old son with anxiety and self esteem issues so I can't make a phone call or share a coffee with a friend without him hearing so this forum is a godsend, and a mine of information.

Oh and rant away, it's a very safe place to let emotions out. Search rant and you'll see just how many and how long they can be :D
Kr
MrsA