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Attempted Suicide - the aftermath as the Spouse - Carers UK Forum

Attempted Suicide - the aftermath as the Spouse

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

As some of you have kindly responded to my post Just a rant, I thought I would see if there is anyone else out there who has experienced what I appear to be going through?

My Husband intended on hanging himself last Monday (New Year's Eve) after I had gone to work. Luckily, having completed my Mental Health First Aid, I noticed before my Husband dropped me off at the railway station that he was acting strange. Despite his insistence on me getting out of the car to catch the train, I decided to sit tight, forgo work and demand he turn the car around and drive us home.

When we got home, after much cajoling, my Husband admitted that he had never felt so suicidal. I called the Crises Team number that I had been given on my MHFC. We spent the entire day in A&E, with the Crises Team , which was inclusive of a 4 hour risk assessment. It was during this, I discovered to what extent my Husband had planned his suicide, and for how long he had been contemplating it.

As the nearest Mental Health Hospital for my Husband to be admitted to would be 50 miles away, it was decided after much discussion that my Husband would be allowed to come home with me on the proviso that we were to have daily visits from the Crisis Team.

The stress and strain that this has put on our relationship has not been good. In addition, I appear to be suffering anxiety and a touch of depression or post traumatic stress disorder according to the Crises Team. One even suggested anti depressants for me! I am due to see my GP this afternoon to see about a Carers Prescription for some exercise, I am currently signed off with stress which will run out next Wednesday. The Crises Team said that I am likely to need longer to come to terms with what has happened and to get back to some sort of normality so that I can cope with work etc. I'm also having a phone consultation with the local mental health Wellbeing service to assess how I am. I am normally a very positive person.

What I would like to know if there is anyone else out there that has been through what I have gone through, and now appear to be going through?

Many thanks in advance

I forgot to add, that the bed sheets he was intending to use, are now sitting in a black bin bag as I cannot bear to have them on our bed!
First of all a virtual hug for you.

I know exactly where you are right now.

I can only speak from my experience. It sounds like you've had some input from the crisis team. I'm not too impressed with my husbands.

My husband has a brain condition. We don't know if it will stay at the same level of deterioration as he's on organ anti rejection drugs or if it will get progressively worse. That's a lot for him to come to terms with as it is. He also has other health problems so is often in a lot of pain. He has vascular dementia which causes other difficulties as some day's he's here and other's he's not with it. So it's difficult to standby and watch if that makes sense?

However, he also suffered a lot of child abuse. So he has issues stemming from his childhood too. They are not sure if anti-depressants work as he has the blockages in the brain etc so it can be quite stressful and harrowing at times.

I find it difficult as I'm responsible for his care 24/7 which I understand. He's my husband and I love him. I'm also carer for my young adult son who has extensive needs. I'm a Mum of a daughter also who has medical problems and she has a little boy my grandson who has substantial health needs and is in and out of hospital. It's a lot to cope with.

When my husband does have suicidal thoughts. I go through a number of things. Bewilderment, horror, disbelief. It's hard to realise that a person we love and have put our trust in can plan these things behind our backs.

On one such occasion last year, it was the week before my son's 21st birthday. My husband had had his tablets and water in his pocket whilst we'd cared for our grandson, gone out for a meal etc. He can't walk far but he'd gone off to a local area that is wooded. An area we'd previously spent many happy times in as a family. I can't go back to that place now. I searched frantically for him at the time. Not a pleasant experience on different levels. First concern was the fact that my husband was in danger but it was also in the back of my mind that a woman had been attacked in this area in recent months and I was out there alone trying to find my husband. I was frantic.

This is one occasion. We've also had other methods. All of which I struggle to get my head around. One such occasion I'd been diagnosed with cancer and was doing my best to make sure I survived so to have my husband considering suicide and the prospect of him leaving me to care for our children and fight my illness etc was beyond my understanding. I think that's the most bewildering thing of all. Trying to understand their thoughts or what is happening in their heads.

I have to be honest with you and say I feel ground down with it all. It's hard. It seems unremitting and you honestly wonder what the future holds. We've had the crisis team out. We've had the psychiatrist out to our home. I've reached the stage where I dread birthdays, Christmas etc. There's no back up. Our mental health team phoned my husband and spoke to him during one of his suicidal episodes. Asked how he was he answered fine thank you....shortly before going out to make an attempt on his life. The mental health team put in his notes that he was fine.

My husband see's a psychologist regularly. My daughter thinks this is making my husband much worse and I'm inclined to agree with her. They've been doing cognitive therapy with regards to my husband's history with his parents. I'm no fan of my in-laws and if it helps my husband I'd like to support him but if anything, this has made him much worse and I don't think it's ideal to continue the CBT whilst he's suicidal but they all state they are professionals.

It's a difficult situation for you to be in. I understand your bewilderment. I can understand if you feel resentful. I do. I hate the fact that we can't look forward to special occasions without my worrying if he's going to make an attempt on his life. There is no sleep, no rest, no nothing and seems to be just worrying and wondering what's happening. I don't get any time at all to switch off from it and it's driving me to the brink. If I was you, I'd accept whatever help is available and don't be too hard on yourself.

I wish you well.

As the former carer of my son who suffered from schizophrenia for half of his adult life (about seventeen years), I feel deeply for all of you. The only thing you can really do is make sure that you get proper care for your relatives and some respite for yourself. Even managing to get away for an hour or two a couple of times a week to attend an exercise class or have lunch or coffee with a friend can help tremendously by giving you renewed energy to cope with such traumatic situations.
When someone becomes determined to commit suicide, the only safe place for them is hospital - no matter how far away it is. They really need someone to watch over them twenty-four hours a day; sometimes, the only time I could sleep properly was when I knew my son was safe in hospital.
People who suffer from mental illness are not selfish people, but they are struggling to cope with terrible emotional difficulties and really need a lot of care to help them to survive on a day to day basis. It is much easier for people to be sympathetic to physical illnesses, like cancer or multiple sclerosis, etc., no matter how much care is required, but mental illness is just as debilitating and incapacitating.
I joined a carers' organisation and a carers' support group, as they can offer one to one visits, group support and lots of opportunities for stress management and outings. As I am also the carer of my grandson who is nine and suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, I find that this helps me to maintain a balance in my own life that enables me to cope.
Best wishes to all xx
I know how you feel my mum has taken 5 overdoses in the matter of 3 months and it is hard, I now go to work when she is fast asleep. You just need to stay strong (I know not easy) Big hugs xxx
sorry to hear you having such a hard time do hope you have a good support network and the gp can help you

I was unable to carry on with Cbt due to the suicidal thoughts
Mind are doing the best they can. However, It would seem that our local social services are reluctant to give me a Carers Assessment. despite the crises team putting in for a referral, mind requesting & our local carer's charity. I'm so stressed by it all!
Just remind social services that once the request is made they have a legal duty to carry out the assessment, and that it is recommended that it should take no longer than 6 weeks from initial referral. That may help to get their skates on!
A shock helped me to come to terms with my feelings.

My younger son died suddenly four years ago.His chronic condition caused his death.I had been begging for help and support for him, the crisis team were phoned once,but they had "gone home" for the night! It was 10pm.
I was still a Carer after his death.My life was over and I still had to go through the motions of daily living but I didn't want to.
I had had an aunt who took her own life. I had had a work mate who took her own life after the death of her son, I was very close to the edge several times. I didn't want to commit suicide-I wanted not to live without all of my children,and it was a horrible feelng.I stopped walking at the beach because I was scared of my own feelings when I looked at the sea(I had been at school with someone who took his own life by swimming out to sea).
One day, I was feeling even worse than before.Terrible,really wanting to die.I was very distressed by something that had been written in my son's Post mortem report(something later found to be incorrect),and was lower than ever.A friend talked to me on the phone.The next day,the same friend phoned me up in a panic;a local lady my age had gone missing, abandoned her car at one of the beaches. She had taken her own life,my friend thought it was me.Hearing the fear in her voice helped me to realise how much I was loved,cared for and still needed in this world.One lady's tragic suicide,indirectly saved my life.
Thinking of you all in these circumstances. xx
Firstly I would like to say how glad I am you where able to overcome such deep sadness and am so glad you had support and love around you to help you get through your dark times .
I care for my mum , she has had bipolar for 20years but the last years has been worse than ever , she has always used alcohol when having a crisis in the past and would always be aggressive but managable , but she has been sober now for 5years , know she is not using alcohol to mask her problems she doesn'tdeal with her emotions well at all meaning we have had more suicide attemps than i can even count in the last year , as close as to nurses catching her mid air as she's jumped off a building , thank god they had incredibly quick reflexes , I am really struggling to get the correct help and support for her and have been told she does not meet the requirements for a CPN and seems the only time i can get her support is when she is sectioned but as soon as she is discharged the help fades out and is left to me to deal with with a appointment with her CMHT once every 3months if we are lucky , would be really helpfull if anyone else has struggled to get help and support as i have begged and shouted and screamed till im blue in the face but it gets me no where
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