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Breakdown - Carers UK Forum


For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi everyone,

Please don’t judge me but I’m having a difficult time at the minute. I’m married and my husband suffers from Bipolar and OCD. I’m the only wage earner in the house and I basically run everything. I’m starting to feel resentment partly because I am worn out and I think I might be on the edge of a nervous breakdown. My husband not working is so hard. I’m struggling mentally and emotionally myself to carry everything and I know I’m not coping. My husbands solution is to offer me a divorce which feels like a huge kick in the teeth when I have invested so much in to us. I just don’t know where to turn.
Hi Dana,
Really sorry to hear about your situation. When I was overwhelmed with my caring role, I had some counselling. It taught me that nothing could change my carees, son with severe learning difficulties and housebound disabled mum (since about 1980!). However, I COULD control the way I thought about things, and I COULD SAY "NO" without feeling guilty.

Ask your GP to sign you off with stress for a week, then try to write down everything you do at the moment. Then write down which three things wind you up the most. Share them with us.

Maybe you could go away for a few days on your own, so he can see how he feels without you? And vice versa.

What is he doing to help himself?
How long have you been married? Did you know of his problems beforehand, or have they only started during the course of your marriage.

In a way, your husband is 'facing the truth' alas when he offers you a divorce. If he is 'maxing' the treatment available to him, and it isn't helping at all, what else CAN be done??

Do you think he could do more to 'heal himself' as well as to 'pull his weight more' in the household?

Sadly, sometimes we just have to accept that NO amount of 'effort' on our part can 'cure' another human being of their mental illnesses.

And spending yet more time with them and on them is just throwing away more good years after bad.