Fiancé has anxiety and depression

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

I’m really struggling at the moment coping with my fiancé’s anxiety and depression. It’s been bad for a while and he was starting to get help but a couple of months ago helost his job and everything has spiralled from there really.

He has had thoughts of seriously harming himself before and when he lost his job was very close to that point and if I had not got there probly would not be here anymore. His anxiety has gotten so bad he is struggling to leave the bedroom just to get food and wants to be left alone almost constantly. We don’t live together at the moment and he can barely cope with me visiting once a week so most of our interactions are over text which is really hard for me. The last time I was there I got upset and said I didn’t want to leave and it resulted in him having multiple panic attacks and hurting himself.

I’ve tried encouraging him to go back to the doctors as he needs his anxiety med increased and needs to review things from his last visit but he says he can’t as it’s all to scary. Soon his medication will run out and I’ve no idea what to do and I’m scared to mention it for fear of him losing it.

I’m really struggling to know what best and if leaving him for a while to recover from the job loss etc like he says is best because all I see is it getting worse not better. If I say this I get accused of not caring and putting to much pressure on him or attacking him.

I’m really finding it hard to cope with it I feel constantly worried and confused. It really hurts when he says I don’t care or don’t love him or he says hurtful things and I know it’s selfish but I have to apologise constantly for everything but I don’t get anything back. I have to understand when he snaps and is short with me and dont get me wrong I understand completely but I feel like I have to just take it and get my feelings hurt with no understanding given back to me.

I’ve had mental health issues as a teenager and self harmed a lot. I’m recovered now but when he hurts himself it feels really triggering and recently have had a lots of thoughts start to float around in my head about it and how it used to feel. During the day I’m constantly checking my phone for texts from him and if there isn’t anything I feel scared and worried but at the same time when I hear my phone go I get hit with fear and am scared to look at my phone. I feel like I’ve lost confidence at work and in doing daily things. Just today I got to into my own heard about ordering a coffee in the shop because I was embarrassed about saying the wrong thing and ended up nnot bothering.

I keep getting upset about everything and a few nights ago I was just crying hysterically for a good half hour. I ended up ringing Samaritans which helped.

All this also makes me feel guilty as I feel like I’m making it all about me.

I just see this person that I love suffering and I can’t do anything to help and I feel like I’ve lost him.

Sorry if this isn’t appropriate or relevant or if I even deserve to be using this forum.

I just feel very lost right now.
Be assured, this forum is for ANYONE who cares for ANYONE...and that means YOU.

Of course you deserve to be here!

MH is a 'pig' to cope with - whether it's the person with it, or the person looking after them. And when BOTH of you are affected by it, then it is a 'double pig'.

One of the 'bitter ironies' of MH is that, alas, when a patient refuses treatment (as your fiancé is, being scared to go back to the doctor) there is little anyone can do about it....

Do you think he can explain WHY he is scared? Do you think he's scared he will be 'put in a lunatic asylum' (my niece with MH has fears of this, so it's very understandable)(I tell he 'Poppet, the mental health wards are BULGING - they wouldn't even look once at you, let alone twice! You'd have to be screaming your head off and slashing at folk with a knife to get sectioned these days!).

I wonder if it would help if you went to his GP and explained his fear. Now, the GP can't talk to you about him (patient confidentiality), but they can 'receive information'....they can also speak in general. Eg, you could say 'for someone with my fiancé's fears and problems, what would you do if he came to you now'....hopefully they will say what they would do, and then you could relay that to your BF? And then, do you think if YOIU went with him, he would agree to go?
Thanks for replying

I’ve tried asking him why he won’t go and he can’t explain he just says it’s just to much pressure and even the thought of it is almost to much.

The last time he managed to go I did take him and went in with him which was the only way he could manage it, but now as his anxiety has got worse even that isnt possible. He knows I will be with him and do it at the drop of a hat but it’s just to much.

I tried to talk to him a few days ago and said if he can’t do it I can talk to someone or try and do something to get some more help but he just refuses point blank and says he will freak out and it will make it worse because he is being forced into it and then says he is being attacked.

So yeah kinda just stuck at the moment.
Melissa - 'stuck' is where he wants you.

I would urge you to try and separate love and support. Love can REALLY 'muddy the waters' when it comes to caring for someone we love who has MH. It can make us do the wrong thing, for the right reason (ie, for love).

SUPPORT has to be more 'disapassionate'. It has to be 'firm love' perhaps is another way of looking at it. Just as, with a small child, our 'love' for them means we say 'No' when they want to eat themselves sick on sweets (our 'love' for them would tell us 'oh, let them eat sweets all day, they enjoy it!') , so we have to set boundaries and rules for those with MH.

Think of the MH 'inside him' as a 'monster' (it is, isn't it?). The 'MH-person' is NOT the 'real' person - it's like a 'monster' inside him, controlling him AND CONTROLLING YOU.

The 'monster' just wants to go on 'hiding' in his room, refusing to do anything that might reduce its power over him (ie, let him go to the doctor), and, above all, is trying to control YOU - by self-harming etc etc, the 'monster' is trying to make YOU do what IT wants.....

I'm deliberately calling his MH 'the monster' so you don't think I am blaming HIM (ie, the real person). Think of the monster as having 'taken him over' perhaps. It's the 'monster' you have to stand up to and set boundaries for.

It is tricky all the same, mainly because the one REAL power the monster has is to harm the very person you love - ie, turn self-harm into actual suicide. THAT is its power - nothing else, and that is why the monster is trying to control YOU, to force YOU to be 'stuck' pandering to the monster inside him.

So I think your first action should be to see the GP yourself, and ask what is the best way to get your partner to him, for more meds - you can even ask if more meds can be prescribed without the GP seeing him first (probably not, these days) (and sensibly so really). COULD the GP come and visit? I think you should also ask about sectioning - just what would your BF have to do before he is sectioned. How much 'self-harm' for example, or would it need to be a full blown suicide attempt?

The reason I'm suggesting that sectioning could be the ONLY way forward now is that FINALLY it would give the doctor the legal right to IMPOSE the treatment that your BF needs, but which the 'monster' refuses to let him have.

All of this is only 'my take' so read it as such. BUT, I do think that you would also benefit from consulting forums for those who, like you, are 'stuck' with someone they love with MH. Especially on any forums where others who are being 'controlled' as you are, by the threat of suicie, as to how they can 'break through the wall' and get treatment going.

Finally, it could be that there is, sadly, NOTHIGN you can do for this poor man. And leaving is the ONLY option. Or you will be 'stuck' as you are for all your life, and all his life.

Somewhere, he has to find the courage to seek help.
Hi Melissa
It is very easy for someone (you) on the outside of a mental health issue (your fiance) to get dragged in, and eventually under by them, even if not intentionally.
Unfortunately there is nothing the person on the outside can do to change or speed up their recovery, it really does depend on them.

When he is as low as this, the most you can do is make sure he knows where and how to get help. So leave the Samartians number handy, and the doctors, and his mental health team number, and anything else you can think of. Then just keep reminding him they are there and even, occasionally hand the phone over, or even ask if wants you to dial the number for him.
If you think it's the calling and speaking thats too difficult for him then show him links to online forums that may help.

Try not to nag or push, but try to make sure he knows he knows you care and that you know he will do it when he's ready.

He must learn to reach out for himself, you just ensure he has the means to do so. Don't try to "fix"him yourself, you will end up breaking yourself.

Modelling good healthy behaviours and lifestyle will help him too. So look after yourself mentally and physically. Eat healthily, exercise, fresh air, socialising, working, counselling, expressing emotions, talking , meditations, mindfulness etc will all slowly and surely become part of his normal too, but on the way they will have helped you too.

Kr
MrsA