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Mental health meltdown - Carers UK Forum

Mental health meltdown

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
108 posts
Good morning
I have not posted in some time so I will quickly re cap my situation. I was carer for my ex partner almost a year and a half ago now. He suffers from depression and anxiety and is on medication for this. He has only recently been offered CBT after a referral to Healthy Minds from his GP. Trying to get this first appointment has been a complete shambles. He's been told different dates,different centres to turn up at and as of yet still hasn't had his first CBT session. He had a complete mental health meltdown last weekend over a personal issue which to a person without anxiety would seem trivial but to a person suffering anxiety this can all to often intensify. He reclused himself away last weekend and I could not reason with him at all. He was worried about his actions towards the person causing him the issues. Although he carried nothing out he was worried because he had thoughts of this. I managed to get him out and to my home on the Monday morning in which we tried getting in touch with the mental health centre who would be offering the CBT. When he did succeed in getting through he explained about the mix up with his CBT appointment and went some way in explaining his mental health meltdown that weekend. He stressed that he felt he desperately needed to talk to a mental health professional and was told someone would call him back to which even up to now no one has. We have been in touch again and again explained to be told the same thing. He can go back to his GP but its professional mental health professionals he needs to talk to and we can't seem to get that. He told his GP just before Christmas hehad been experiencing suicidal thoughts and was then given the referral to healthy minds and the best advice if he had further thoughts would be to pray to god. I'm actually speechless. Although the meltdown has passed and he is fine at the moment I cannot believe how hard it is to access support when facing a crisis. He's terrified to go to the RAID team at the local hospital because he is convinced they will section him. I don't know if anyone on this fabulous site could offer any advice
Many thanks
Dear Christine - your ex's sorry tale I guess shows just how dire things have got in the NHS re MH services. Sometimes I wonder whether all this 'mess up' is semi-deliberate on their part - the end result is that fewer people get to see the doctors/therapists, and so that reduces demand!! (The kind of insane 'logic' that can so often permeate the NHS - like when the government said all A&E arrivals had to be seen within 15 minutes, or whatever- resulting in nurses/staff going round immediately, taking down details and 'entering them into the system'......so yes, they had been 'seen' promptly.....and then left them to wait six hours to actually SEE a damn doctor!!!!!!)

As for the 'pray to god' advice, ironically that is, of course, actually a brilliant idea. People with religious faith are demonstrably less anxious and distressed etc, as of course, to them, God is looking after them all! However, faith isn't something that you can just help yourself to in lieu of an appointment with a psychotherapist!!! So not actually much use as medical advice.....
Thank you for your reply Jenny
I got my ex to see his GP Friday and he explained how he was feeling to which the doctor did say he felt that he needed to call the police because of what he had told him. They managed to not have to do that which was quite distressing. His GP finally telephoned the Mental Health Centre and told them he would be sending my ex straight down to them to be assessed. I accompanied him to the centre and we saw a wonderful CPN who was just a god send. He is now finally awaiting a appointment to be seen by a psychiatrist to have a reassessment of his Mental Health and having his CBT started asap. Things are looking a lot more positive for him and he is getting the help he has desperately needed.
Brilliant - sounds like you've finally got the breakthrough so desparately needed. Relief!

You mentioned earlier that your ex is worrying a lot about something 'nasty' he thought of in respect of his friend, even though he never carried it out. I wonder whether if he wrote a letter admitting it, and most importantly, regretting it, that it might help assuage that fear and guilt he is feeling. He could assert at the end that he would never do any harm to him, and wishing them well.

He could give the letter to you to post, perhaps?? (But you would not, unless you thought the person did actually have a 'spat' or whatever with your ex, giving rise to the 'bad thoughts'??)

Another possibility, maybe, is for your friend to do 'something good' ....perhaps, say, to put some money in a charity box (I'd suggest lighting a candle in a church, but that might come under the same problem as advising him to pray!!!!!!), as 'penance' or whatever for having had the 'bad thought' and 'making amends' for it? Might that help him stop worrying about it????
Thank you Jenny
Its been a distressing couple of months for him and its been awful watching, trying to help and not being able too. A question that the CPN asked me was if I thought he was a danger to others? He's a man suffering a mental health breakdown who was terrified of admitting to anyone the thoughts he was having. My answer was easy, no he isn't a danger he was just in a really terrible way mentally. He feels awful about the thoughts he was having and it has scared him at how much his mental health had detoriated in a short space of time. Thankfully he is now getting the support he needs and we know it is going to be a difficult road ahead and we are just going to take things little steps at a time. I will always be there for him as part of his support network. It is heartbreaking seeing someone you've known and at one point loved struggle. But he is trying to remain positive as best he can allow himself to be. His battle with his own mind is a challenge every day. CBT is due to start soon so I'm very positive that this will begin to help him
I wonder where the 'bad thoughts' are coming from?? I speak entirely in ignorance of the MH issues here, but I wonder whether they stem from 'supressed anger' for want of a better term.

If his 'bad thoughts' are about 'hurting and harming' others in some way then trying to work out why he feels that way must surely be important. They are coming from 'somewhere' that is for sure! But it may not be straightforward, and may be 'diverted' from something else.

For (cod-psychology!) example - if, say, he is angry at his parents for things that happened in his childhood, that anger may now be 'seeping out' in the form of the 'bad thoughts' which focus, say, on 'punishing' them for what they did to him, but because he feels 'repressed' or 'guilty' about 'punishing' his own parents, he's diverted that towards other 'neutral' people??

Sorry if all this is sounding bonkers, etc, but I think the key point is that whatever is going on in his poor head, it's coming from SOMEWHERE. Something in his life has happened that is causing the effects of his MH, and to my mind until and unless these are identified, confronted (safely) and then unravelled and, hopefully, 'cured/healed' (some to acceptable terms with) he cannot really ever 'get truly better'.

Wishign you as well as possible in a distressing situation for you, and him.
Hi Jenny
I totally agree,the bad thoughts are stemming from somewhere. His childhood wasn't the best,his mom left taking his sister with her leaving him and his two brothers with their father. I strongly believe this is the source but he refuses to accept this saying it isn't the reason. I beg to differ with this. Both his mom and dad have passed away now,his mom's being the recent, 3 years ago. He has flitted from relationship to relationship, never seeming to fully commit even though children were involved in 3 of his relationships. We were together for 13 years( the longest relationship he had) . I have a lot of theories regarding the abandonment he faced as a child impacting his adult life. Again he refuses to accept this could of impacted him greatly. He wasn't close to his mother at all. Another theory I have is that he's buried it deep and its to painful to address. If this is the case,as painful as it maybe it needs addressing so he can make sense of it. Thank you for taking time to answer, your advice has been a great help.
Oh my goodnesss, that screams alarm bells, doesn't it!

And the fact that he is saying that being abandoned as a child by his mother WASN'T hugely distressing and disturbing is tantamount to admitting it WAS.

And of course it must have been! At the very least scar tissue has grown thick over the wound.

He says he 'wasn't close' to his mum - but he HAD to be 'unclose'....because SHE was 'unclose' ...ie, walked out on him. Of course there might JUST JUST JUST have been some kind of 'extenuating circumstances' but it's hard to think of them off hand.

Is he in touch with his sister (who wasn't abandoned by her mother, but was yanked away from her father) and his brother who suffered the same fate as he did. Are THEY suffering from MH? (Especially the bro).

I appreciate that any counsellor/therapist he has cannot discuss him with you, without his consent, which is probably unlikely at this stage, but there is nothing to stop YOU writing to them, and telling them (a) what you know and (b) how you think it may be playing out in his MH now. At least then the therapist may have that information as 'input', which might, for all we know, not be something that your ex has yet disclosed in therapy?? It does seem to be the obvious 'target' of any psychoanalysis (even if other factors have contributed as well).

You say he's had 'commtitment issues' in that he's had fleeting relationsips only....but again that points to issues over childhood abandonment. Why would he 'dare' to commit to loving someone, when they might to do him what his mother did - ie, walk out on him. And if it was HIM doing the walking out in the relationships, then again, that might have been 'pre-emptive' - ie, he walked out on the woman before she could walk out on him....

Again, if his behaviour during any relationship was 'intolerable' then that could be the inner wounded child both 'testing' whetehr this woman would 'put up with him' (because obviously his mother had NOT put up with him - abandoned children SO often think THEY are to blame for the parent leaving - they 'must have done something wrong' to make it happen)(because surely the Mum he loved could never have not loved him enough to take him with her ...scary to be so rejected, so we reject the rejection.....and blame ourselves instead), and he could be 'instigating the inevitable' - ie, 'I know she's going to leave me, like my mother did, so I might as well 'get it over and done with' by being so rubbish to her that she walks out or kicks me out' ....ie, self-fulfilling the abandonment again.

As ever, the phrse that comes to mind is that sad sad sad saying 'To understand all is to forgive all'.....in this case, understanding, perhaps, that there is a lost, abandoned, rejected and deeply wounded child inside this tormented and tormenting adult.....
Good Afternoon
Well thing's are appearing a little more positive for my ex partner which is great. Awaiting appointments for CBT and to see a Psychiatrist. Its terrible that people sometimes have to reach breaking point before anything is done. He has a long road ahead but hopefully he will begin to feel a little better
Well, that does seem to be heading in the right direction, so hope that continues. Yes, so often one has to 'break' before they come to pick up the pieces. Happens in many caring situations, alas. They just hope we'll 'go away' and won't bother them!

I do hope this is a corner being turned ,and that the combo of psychotherapy (to get him to understand the cause of his unhappiness)(BAD MOTHER!!!!!!!!) with CBT to retrain his mind into happier paths, may bring about a much happier outcome for him (and you.)

Wishing you both all the best -
108 posts