Feeling angry & worthless

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi
My fiancée has Clinical Depression and has been off work 3 months. He had PTSD & depression 7 years ago and the drugs seem to have stopped working.
He’s having CBT and his psychiatrist has prescribed various meds (he’s now on mitrazapene, venafellaxin & 1400 lithium) just to try to “level” him.
He’s been irrational and dillusional since October and is either silent or angry and horrible to me and my 2 children 11 & 15). He feels safe at home as long as we aren’t there. He over eats, sleeps loads, has no memory, seems not to hear us if we talk to him and doesn’t recall anything he says/does. If that’s cry or get upset he doesn’t care.
I am at breaking point, yesterday he called me a rubbish parent, today because I went food shopping I got all the wrong things, I got upset as am so tired so was then told I need to “stop playing the pretend victim” and seems to believe that his illness dies not affect anyone else other than him. I work full time, do everything in and out of the house and just don’t know what to do anymore.
Any advice?
Hello Emma
Can I just check a couple of things before I comment?
Is he the father of your children?
Is your home rented or owned? If rented, in whose name (s)? If owned, who by?
How long have you been together?
What support do you get?

Kr
MrsA
OK, so you say 'fiance' so you're not married to him, which has implications for things if you split up, and yes, whether he is the biological father of your children etc etc.

If I said to you - what would you like to happen now?, would you say 'Leave him' or 'Change him'.

If he won't or can't change (and that might be so now?) would leaving him (or better still, him leaving you!) be the next best?

What do your children think? Would they prefer him 'not there' in the house?

You need to know what your rights are in this situation, and then decide what you want to do. You should NOT continue to live in this toxic atmosphere - at the very least it's hardly happy for your children!

Wishing you a better 2018./....

PS what was he like before he got as bad as he is now?? Is he 'worth' fighting for?? Or cutting your losses and living without him? Hard choices, I know, but it probably boils down to that
Your children must be top priority. You have some tough decisions to make this year. I suggest that you have some counselling - your GP might be able to arrange this for you.
Sadly, your fiancée is unlikely to change very significantly, so the counsellor might be able to change the way you and your partner respond when he is nasty, but sadly, you may decide that you need to move out, as the effect on you and your children is too great.
I had counselling a few years ago, the counsellor helped me work out what I really wanted, as opposed to what others wanted me to do for them.
Presumably you are still cooking and cleaning etc. for your fiancée? What is he doing for you? Do you have a truly fulfilling relationship, or are you just a convenient pair of hands now? Too late, I realised that we are all responsible for our own happiness, we can't control anyone else, but we can and should control our own situation. I don't expect answers to these questions, just regard them as food for thought. Come back here as often as you want, we all know the challenges that caring brings.
However 'incapacitated' your partner is, he should be contributing what he can do, however little. He should NOT be getting a 'free ride in life' from you, just because of his mental health problems.

Sadly, those with MH can be incredibly 'self-focussed' (that's a genuine psychological term by the way) and fail to understand both that they have responsibilities despite their MH, and also, as you have noticed, that their negative impact on others takes a toll on their family.

Even with MH you have to pull your weight, even if that weight is not the full weight you would pull if you didn't have MH.

Blaming others (you!) may be part of his MH. Yes, you make SOME allowances - but not to the point where you are a walked-on doormat.

You were not responsible for his problems.....bear that in mind!
Emma_1712 wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:22 pm
Hi
My fiancée has Clinical Depression and has been off work 3 months. He had PTSD & depression 7 years ago and the drugs seem to have stopped working.
He’s having CBT and his psychiatrist has prescribed various meds (he’s now on mitrazapene, venafellaxin & 1400 lithium) just to try to “level” him.
He’s been irrational and dillusional since October and is either silent or angry and horrible to me and my 2 children 11 & 15). He feels safe at home as long as we aren’t there. He over eats, sleeps loads, has no memory, seems not to hear us if we talk to him and doesn’t recall anything he says/does. If that’s cry or get upset he doesn’t care.
I am at breaking point, yesterday he called me a rubbish parent, today because I went food shopping I got all the wrong things, I got upset as am so tired so was then told I need to “stop playing the pretend victim” and seems to believe that his illness dies not affect anyone else other than him. I work full time, do everything in and out of the house and just don’t know what to do anymore.
Any advice?
Hello Emma,

I only joined today and I had no intention of posting at all. I was information seeking to help my daughter and I. But I read your post and I felt I should respond.

I will start with I have had clinical depression since I was 16. Where I find the world hard work and insensitive. I am soon to be 44. You see life is challenging for us all and those feelings you are currently feeling is what your partner is as well. When I at my lowest I switch off to everyone but my daughter. I am angry, I am tired and I say things I don't really mean. I have learned to control this. It eats me alive after I have done it.

I bet he feels like he's a failure and that is part of the condition. We learn to adapt and control our anger in time. I can go years at a time and feel fine. Not need medication or help. I just fight my demons. I know the signs after so long and when to reach for help with my GP.

Cognative behaviour is about mind set. But first he has to help himself by wanting change. Staying home all day and not going out is not an option. This goes for you as aswell. Fresh air really does help mental health. Please see your GP. For you and uf they have an emotional well being service. That can help too.

But one thing, you may love him but you also have to look after yourself too. There is a poem by Tao and it was a professional that told me about it.

Doing herself too thin
She breaks her connections
Staying too busy she has no time
Doing for others she neglects herself
Defining herself through others, she loses her defination.
A wise woman waters her own garden first.

It means to look after others you have to look after yourself. Because if you keep giving to others you leave nothing for yourself including being able to continue to give.

Sorry for the long message. But I do hope it helps you.
Firstly, thank you for all of your posts and comments it is good to hear from other people who understand.

Our situation is that we have been together for six years, the children are mine (he has 3 adult children who aren't involved with him at all when he is unwell as it's easier for them to stay away from him). We own our house although only purchased last year so have in joint names and not much equity (also we live in Sussex so renting a 2 bed flat is in excess of £1,000 a month).

He isn't getting a 'free ride' he is fortunate in that he is paid for the first 12 months for any serious medical condition so currently he isn't working but is still paying into the joint account so currently the day to day bills/life financially is as OK as it was before.

I have spoken with his therapist subsequently to my original post as had only had contact with his psychiatrist, she was quite vague but I have established that he is expecting them to 'fix' him like a hospital would a broken leg and has not taken any responsibility for taking an active part in his recovery other than turning up at the correct times and taking his medication which is continually increasing. They seem to just talk about how has the last few days have been and where he is at. He had PTSD before and she referenced this (it was fall out after a 21 year terrible marriage) and that the scarring from this is still deep and unresolved. However, he will not let the "wall" down as he calls it so will not discuss, and geuinely seems unable to actually communicate or even understand the thoughts/feelings he is currently having about situations now and about his past. He has never at length gone into all the details of the past he has buried it away.

Also when well, he will either instantly fix a problem or if he doesn't now how to totally ignore the problem and pretend it isn't there - he has according to his children always been like this and I know he doesn't like confrontation. But until he takes any responsibility I don't see how he will recover. I have sent a strong message to the Psych/Therapist stating he actually needs bullet point step by step instructions, he has expressed his concerns that he asks questions and the responses are very "well, that is up do you" "how do you feel about that" and so on I think he needs a good shove in the right direction and as he is so nasty and horrible to me, I have asked if they can try this - they don't generally respond to me very quickly unfortunately.

Prior to this when we met and for the first 5 or so years of our relationship he was the kindest, loveliest, chattiest, bubbliest person you could ever wish to meet nothing was ever too much trouble, he'd give a stranger the last of his money and always put his family and friends before his own needs. (the opposite of my awful ex husband) we were a great team/partnership and I think that makes this so much harder as now I am back alone, and I really miss the partnership and the relationship we had. We did have ups and downs, mainly over intimacy as the venefelaxin affects him in that way and that has frustrated me the whole of our relationship. I also got frustrated that if I was upset he would ignore issues he knew he couldn't fix but that was it, everything else was amazing. He took my 2 children on and did so much for us all.

Now - my children don't understand him, we live in an eggshell situation never knowing what mood he will be in, can't crack jokes or have a normal conversation at the dinner table, don't go out as a whole family, avoid most social events etc, Christmas was just stressful for us all although I made sure the kids enjoyed as much as they could. All my friends/family are offering help and are there for me to talk to but they just don't really understand. When/if they have seen him (we have tried to avoid many visitors) he is silent, looks down and can't speak so they don't realise how nasty and horrible (verbally) he is being.

I am going to a carers forum on Monday that is local to me, booked in on time to talk and booked to see my GP but the advise is just go and talk to people - how do I help him to take responsibility for his recovery if the psychiatrist isn't giving this message?

So frustrating - sorry for the long message!
Emma, apologies for not replying. It's a complicated situation, isn't it. I suspect you may have to 'set boundaries' and basically set out what you will and won't put up with in his behaviour. He does have to accept that he can't lash out at you, and you have to challenge him on that every time he does it, however angry he might get.

'Walking on eggshells' has to stop. His anger is his problem, not anyone else's, and he has to see that it has no effect on you except to make you rebuke him for it.

It's interesting that you say he treats his MH as he would a broken leg, wanting it 'fixed'. My niece has chronic MH (and some other difficult-to-manage conditions such as IBS and FM), and recently she was in a bad way, and blurted out to her mother, my SIL 'I go to the doctors and ask for help and they don't give it! I just want this FIXED!'

She has failed to understand that THEY cannot 'fix' it, or her. ONLY SHE CAN. Sounds similar to your man???