Attempted Suicide Aftercare

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Do NOT allow yourself to be blamed for what has happened. My sister in law with PND blamed my brother for anything and everything. It destroyed their marriage.
Make it clear to your wife that you both need to work TOGETHER now, doing everything possible to take any pressure off BOTH of you, so that you can ENJOY your young family.
Is your 3 year old going to nursery/playgroup? If getting there is difficult, then maybe Social Services could arrange someone to help, in the short term?
Does your wife plan her day to give her an afternoon rest period? I changed them both before feeding about 2pm, and then fed my baby in bed. Once weaned, we would snuggle up in bed, read a story, play, sometimes he'd fall asleep, sometimes I would. When the second one arrived, the eldest would still have his story in bed, whilst I fed the baby, the eldest would often go to his bedroom and play with his toys. It was our quiet time.
Then when my husband came home, we were refreshed, not tired, and would spend the early evening together before bathtime. If you are not around in the evening, think about adjusting the routine so you ARE around at bathtime, there is no law that says it must be before bed!
Hi

Just to let you know you're not the only person here coping with the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt. I know how difficult it is living with someone that depressed. I know how impossible it is not to wish little things had been done differently even while refusing to blame myself. I can still grieve for the way things turned out.

This is probably totally irrelevant to your situation but my partner changed gp within the same surgery and that brought a change of attitude and approach from the gp which helped a lot. I don't think some gps understand that depressed people need some empathy with their situation for them to be fit to do their job. We did have to threaten to complain to the GMC before they let him change gp but that worked very well, possibly because they are well aware that we follow through on such threats.

I don't have children so I'm no help on that side of things.

My partner didn't have any ongoing care from mental health services although he's had a couple of subsequent referrals to local counselling services which are generally too little too late.

I definitely think you need some outside practical help. I can't imagine how you can manage 4 small children, a severely depressed wife and a job all on your own. No idea how you'd go about getting any though.

My personal, totally unqualified advice is don't let them fob your wife off with counselling alone. Medication is important and somehow discouraged too much these days.

There are lots of organisations out there for those bereaved by suicide but I've yet to find anything aimed at those close to people whose suicide bids have failed. We can hardly go along to the bereaved ones and talk about how our loved ones didn't die while they're trying to get over those who did. Our circumstances now are very different to theirs too.

Don't lose sight of the fact that there is a future for you all, however distant and unlikely that may seem at the moment.
You are probably still deep in shock and it may well be some time before your head's back in the right place. I know I was still making poor decisions for a couple of years at least. I think there's an element of the stages of grieving involved, ending with acceptance of the new order.

No one else's going to ask so I will. Did your wife have a history of depression or suicide threats or attempts in the past? If nothing else this will affect how shocked you are by events. My partner had been threatening and planning for so long I was thought cold and uncaring when to me it just seemed like the inevitable had just happened.

What are you telling other people? It seems to me that most people lie but I always thought it was too big a thing to hide and was surprised how many people I'd known for years told me their own, previously hidden, stories of living with someone else's depression once I'd told them. Personally I only felt comfortable telling people on a one to one basis or to a couple I'd known both of for a long time at most. I tried to encourage the bush telegraph ie gossip to spread the message but people seemed reluctant to do so in a way I wouldn't have expected them to if he'd had cancer or a heart attack or something. Most people are sympathetic to me if not him and knowing what was going on helped them forgive my behaviour in a way they might have been less inclined to if they had less background information.

I think the belt and braces approach (booze AND pills) is actually what saved both of them. Each offsetting the effects of the other. Also survival rates have gone from about 1 in 5 to about 19 in 20 in the last 10-15 years and the doctors haven't necessarily caught up with the statistics yet. They couldn't understand how she'd survived but they sent her home within 24 hours! Sounds like criminal negligence to me or did they allow her to discharge herself which is different? How were you supposed to adapt with no support over such a short timescale? Did anyone even bother to ask you?