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Carers UK Forum • Coping with both husband & daughter
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Coping with both husband & daughter

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:54 am
by Penguinmad
Hi all,
I am new here and looking for support and a listening ear, like us all.
Both my husband and daughter aged 15 (almost 16) suffer from mental health problems. It is like walking on egg shells most days.
If my daughter is not well than my husband gets bad and vies-versa.
I have been managing both of them for nearly 12 years. My daughter started to show signs of not coping from a very early age and use to have extreme panic / anxiety attacks and this has over the last 5 years, turned into quite bad depression. She is now unable to attend school and is home tutored.
My husband has suffered since before I met him. His mother was bi-polar and committed suicide and this is when my husbands depression stared to develop. He will also drink when he is really down as a way of 'dealing with the pain in his head'.

My daughter is saying that when she turns 16 she is going to see if she can be place in a unit so she does not have to live with her father any more and my husband is also now saying that he can not cope living in our house.

I feel stuck in the middle and don't want either of them to go. I feel CAMH and my husband’s psychiatrist are not very good and work with a family where there are two people with mental health problems.
I could write a book or two on both of them and their illnesses but I am sure you get the picture.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who is also coping with more than one person with mental health problems.
Thanks for reading.

Re: Coping with both husband & daughter

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:00 am
by bowlingbun
Hi Penguinmad,
I don't know anything useful about mental health, but know a lot about a special child leaving home at 16. My son has SLD, I wanted to care for him but without any break at all other than school times, my health nose dived and I was left with no option other than boarding school. I cried buckets when he left, but his school was only a few miles away and we soon developed a routine of regular visits home. To the school's surprise, M could easily cope with this, whereas most children tended to be unsettled by home visits. This meant that between his visits, I could get on with other things - including keeping an eye on our 4 elderly, disabled parents. M gradually developed, through school, a farm college, residential care, supported living, until now he lives on his own in a privately rented flat which is spotless. We supported him through all this, making sure that he knew he was loved and could rely on us to make sure he had everything he needed. If your daughter wants to try living away from home, then encourage her as much as possible. At some stage in her life, she will have to manage without her parents, hopefully a long time in the future, but it is the most certain fact of life. Give her the best possible chance of living independently, or semi-independently. In our wildest dreams we could never have imagined M. living as he is now, you don't know how your daughter will manage until she tries. Don't end up in the situation where she has to move out suddenly if you become ill. As your daughter is almost 16, be sure you check her benefits situation. M is now 34, but when he was 16 he became eligible for IS in his own right, as rules for children with special needs are slightly different. However you need specialist advice on this area as it's complicated.