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Bipolar - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum


For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Misunderstood - I think the situation can also be the complete opposite of what I said in my first post! ie, that what happens is that 'everyone else' in the family 'dumps' on one particular person, and all the family 'neuroses and problems' get targetted on one vulnerable member - and then everyone else runs like hell ....

It's interesting what you say about 'oh, we've never had this in our family' (especially when they had!). All too 'embarrassing' to admit to mental illness.....
Our first child was adored by both sets of grandparents, the very first grandson for each. Then M was born, and soon his behavioural problems became evident. Both grandparents went through the "nothing like that in our family" stage for years. When we needed them more than ever. Neither set of grandparents EVER took him out, and he's 35 now. My husband's parents would babysit (M was the spitting image of my husband as a baby) but my mum and dad were always "too busy" or it "wasn't convenient"!
I've just been speaking to my brother in law it turns out my husband told his family in a very unpleasant way to back off they thought I was on board with that they did not check with me. I was able to speak my mind about everything that has been said hopefully this makes us stronger however it doesn't change the fact I feel alone I'm living with the BPD person its me that is affected by my husband's spending, agitation and life choices at the end of the day they can close their own front door and sleep soundly while I'm on night watch then go to work. I need a coping mechanism that helps us all.
Hi B I know your situation is not the same as mine but I can relate I feel I have a little emotional support however when it comes to respite especially over night everyone seems to be away for night if you get my drift maybe I expect too much
Hi Jayne
Sorry to hear how rough it is for you at the moment. It may feel as if you are all alone but we are always here for you.

the most important thing to remember is that you are not to blame for his condition or his behaviour. you didn't cause him to have to go back to hospital. As tempting as it is to feel we must mollycoddle our caree, I found that this just encouraged my husband to act like a child.

What worked for me was to have an agreement on what I expected from him. in your case, for example an adherment to taking meds, a limit on spending, maybe with you taking control of credit cards etc if he is unable to stick to this. It's important to try to be in agreement about decisions, trying to be respectful as much as possible. However protecting safety and finances has to be paramount

I wonder if you would feel comfortable in asking for what help in particular you would like from his family? You said that you felt overpowered by them and maybe they are unsure whether to pitch in or wait on the sidelines. if you were specific in asking for help, for example, asking for someone to sit with him while you were at work or drive him to appointments etc, then everyone will know what is expected from them and you would feel more in control.
From what I have learned from my years of caring, I think the most important thing is to look after yourself. Being a carer is draining and frustrating on all levels and if we neglect ourselves, we will be unable to look after others.
Secondly, stop beating yourself up. Unless you have lived with mental illness or work with it, nobody could expect you to know all the answers. You're doing the best you can with the resources you have. Nobody could expect any more.
It's a shame your husband's family compares him with his Father. Everyone's needs are different because everyone is different. You must do what works for you and your husband. You are the experts in your own house and relationship.
I wonder if directing your own family to a website about Bipolar would help them to understand what you are dealing with?
Do you have friends? How do you feel about Counselling? Are there any low cost Counselling services in your area? Or a Carer's support group?

What help and support do you personally need at the moment? some time for you? A night out? maybe you could make a list and see what can be done.

Hey M you have made me feel so much better I should be clearer about what I want and what I expect of hubby however my husband does seem to have this habit of agreeing with what I want and doing the opposite he's like that even when well, I will try again tho. My employer put me in contact with a counselling service however I rang and explained how I felt but the counsellor said how do you think your poor husband is feeling so I felt like I was moaning there was no helpful practical advice. This Forum has been a god send

Thank You M