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Husband mentally ill and struggling - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Husband mentally ill and struggling

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

How is everyone doing? I have had a bumpy three weeks or so and I have to admit reading my advice from last time just looks sort of annoying. It is hard to be endlessly practising self care isn't it? Why the Hell can't somebody else do it for a change, eh?

Does anyone recognise this scenario: husband will do nothing at all to help himself, won't try to find a therapist, won't go to the doctor (who is keen to press more pills), won't talk to me because he doesn't feel up to it "at the moment". But there never is a moment. Just endless more of the same deathly silence. Wake up. Work. Lunch. Work. Walk. Tea. Telly. Bed. No interaction. Just scowling.

Does anyone else fantasise about running away to a caravan in Cornwall?

Anyway, I have recently started a creative writing for mental health course, offered through my union because of the stresses of Covid. It is very invigorating ... but like everything the effects wear off after a few hours and then it is same old same old. Sorry to be very down today. But sometimes the loneliness is just so overwhelming.

I would recommend last week's Life Scientific on Radio Four. It is about talking therapies. After pioneering CBT and using it to help people with Schizophrenia, this guy (forget his name, should google it ) did an analysis of years of therapies where the docs/therapists had asked the patients to rate how well they got on with their therapists at various stages through the process. The funny thing was, if patients didn't like their therapist, the therapy, whatever form it took, didn't work. In fact it may have made things worse. But in case where they got on well ... they made a marked improvement. It is almost like we want mates we can talk to!

Anyway ... made me think. Yes I would love a mate. I thought I had a mate.

Keep posting people
I just came across this post and can relate to so many of the things you are all saying. My husband has been mentally ill for a long time (circa 15 years), ups and downs during that time but right now is a big down. He lost his job in December and now cannot see how he can ever work for someone ever again. My son is undergoing diagnosis for Autism and can be challenging at times, my husband doesn't deal with this very well.

My husband has asked for help and has had initial assessments, he is due to start CBT on Monday but over the last two days keeps threatening that he doesn't want to start the treatment every time an argument starts up. He has seemed very stressed since he got confirmation of the apt on Monday and I can't help but feel that he doesn't want to get better.

Tonight there was a heated argument because my son was refusing to bath, my husband got so upset he tried to dial 999 to ask to be sectioned, resulting in the police attending and him talking his way out of how he is really feeling.

Me and my two kids are left worrying for the future, I am scared to talk in case I say something to upset him and I am worried he now will not get the help he so desperately needs.

No-one can really help, but it just feels good to put it down in writing as tonight I am feeling really down about my caring role and am wondering if really can I go on caring for this person who seems to have so little care for himself.

You put that very well ... "I am wondering if really can I go on caring for this person who seems to have so little care for himself". You have it in a nutshell. But he may not realise that he appears not to care for himself. he may not understand what he is feeling, only that he wants it to stop.
I heard a great thing on the radio about mentalisation and MTB. It is concerned with people who seem to have an inability to understand what their own thoughts and feelings, let alone be able to discus them. It means they often misinterpret the intentions of others which can lead to feelings of despair - if you say something is wrong it is because you want to fix it but they might hear it as 'you are a terrible person'. It can lead to aggression when they misunderstand someone is jostling them because they have no room (unlikely these days admittedly).
I thought this was spot on in my own case. The other day my husband and I were discussing the fact that the dishwasher was not working ... first world problems I know. I was suggesting we run a rinse cycle before we run it each time and he was, catastrophising, swearing and saying "it's f***ed". And I said "Well at least I am trying something not just giving up." He went straight up to bed and didn't come out of his room all day.
But we have not been allowed to discuss it. He won't consider therapy and sometimes says he should have a higher dose of antidepressants. But to me that makes as much sense as asking the doctor with help passing your driving test. It is called mental health but it doesn't mean your GP has a solution. It takes effort and work.
Sadly an inability to mentalise (identify your own feelings) can run very deep as it seems to stem from childhood ... but it can be un-learned. You know, let's look at those negative thoughts. When are they worse? Do you think you people will let you down? Breathe, take moment, is it really as bad you think it is ... That kind of thing. I think it closely related to CBT. Anyway ... just my thoughts for today. What do others think? Happy International Women's Day! We got this sisters x
PS Nicola ... did he go to his appointment?
Hi Jane

Thank you for your reply, last week got a lot worse before it got better. By Thursday he blamed me for all of his mental health issues and became convinced that he didn't need help but rather that everyone around him needed to change instead. I went through hell on that day and turned to several different charities to vent out my frustration and anger.

He did at that point cancel his appointment, however his therapist called him on Friday and persuaded him that it wouldn't be the right thing not to proceed and so he did do his first session on Monday. I just hope that he continues with it.

Not sure if I mentioned in my original post that it has also been suggested that he suffers with autism and a lot of his behaviour is down to the traits of this condition. My son is also being referred for autism diagnosis and it is proving to be very hard living with two very strong willed people with the autism traits. But I will persevere.
Hi Nicola and all you other wonderful women out there

That is really good to know. I hope he starts and then continues. My husband went for four sessions (NHS will act quickly when the hear about "suicide ideation"). I think he found it very rewarding so I am so glad your husband's therapist was able to persuade him to go.

It's funny how we can ask them for 15 years to do something about their mental health then the minute the doc says it ... it is caring and sensible not nagging and bullying.

I know what you mean about the strong will ... I have always joked that I have three children, one in his Fifties. But what I think about now is ... how has all this affected the kids? They are grown and away from home now, but early 20s is when they start to ruminate and develop their own hang ups I guess. It is a work in progress.

My trade union is offering Covid recovery funded mental health training so I have signed up to be become a mental health first aider ... I am hoping I will be able to cope better and help him too. But you know what they say about the barber having the worst haircut!

All the best for now
I've only just joined this site and just wanted to say reading through this thread made me sob and feel relief at the same time. I can relate to so much of what you're all saying.
Currently in the position where I'm considering leaving with the kids as I don't know if I can go through years of supporting someone who won't care for himself. And lies and lies about things leaving us in debt and I work so hard to have it all thrown away because he's lied about not going to work.
Long story. But thank you for making me feel less alone.