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I don't know how much longer I can cope with this - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

I don't know how much longer I can cope with this

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I’ve been tempted to end the relationship for about 2 years.
Definitely time for a confidential chat with a counsellor then.
What kind of counsellor? Not sure what you mean.
Someone qualified to talk things through with you to find out what is best for you in the future. Your GP should be able to arrange this, or recommend someone.
As carers so often everyone is focussed on the person who needs care, not the carer. It helps to talk things through. You cannot change the person you are caring for, but you can change how you feel and react, an dyou can put your needs first.
Since I posted on Wednesday he's been absolutely fine with me. Tidying up even and arranging a family day out (it's half term). We haven't been on the day out though as his stomach problems resurfaced yesterday so we put it off to today and this morning he's laying in bed saying he feels awful. So I guess it's not happening again today.

I think the worst part is the lack of understanding from anyone around me. Both DH and DS "look" fine so there's no offers of help or any sympathy of any sort. My mum has cancer and is visibly unwell, friends often ask me how my mum is doing and how my step-dad is coping - which is nice of them of course, but because DH has mental health problems no-one sees it. DS has SPD (possibly undiagnosed ADHD/ASD) but because I bust my tits looking after him and providing therapies etc he presents as neurotypical a lot of the time. So no-one gets it. I feel like my caring is invisible. I opened up to a friend and told her all about DH's suicical episodes and depression and she was sympathetic during the conversation but has not once in the last 4 months asked how he or I am getting on. My sister is understanding in that she and her family forgive his irrational behaviour over and over. She will have DS for me but he returns wound up tight because she doesn't do any of that "funny stuff" with him so he comes back full of sugar with no sensory input and havign spent hours playing video games. Giving me a lot of work to do to get him steady and regulated again. So it's not worth the "help". There's just nothing for me. No help. If it weren't for offloading online and talking to my cousin (who gets it - hurrah!) I couldn't cope.

Thanks for listening.
A lot of us on here 'get it' too Joanna
I think it's the invisibility that adds to an MH/autism carer's stress levels, plus the lack of outside resources and the continual 'on duty and on edge 24/7'
That's why it's so important you look after your own health and well being. Do you get any respite at all? Even an hour or 2 a week just purely for yourself can work wonders.
I go to a dance class which not only gets me out of the house but ticks the exercise and using my brain boxes too. I have friends there now who know nothing of my home situation and that too adds to the sense of respite.

With sister and boy it might help to leave written instructions or show a video of a melt down after as she may not realise the extent not having seen it for herself, as you said it is invisible.

I also think DH was better behaved for a few days because you laid down the law and were assertive. You may need to do it again and again until it sinks in. You have a right to have feelings and opinions and to expresss them.

Hope this helps a little
Thanks Mrs A :) I go to a Spanish class for an hour every Friday lunchtime, there's coffee and cake involved and I make sure I always go. That helps. Other than that, it's 24/7 alertness like you say. DH has been better the last few days with his MH, although his stomach problems have flared up but he's been perfectly reasonable behaviourally.

We are lucky that DS doesn't have meltdowns, but when he's disregulated his sensory seeking goes crazy (think running at walls, jumping down a flight of stairs, unable to listen to simple instructions, very frustrated etc.) and sleep gets even worse. I can deal with this as I know how to bring him down again and get him on an even keel but it's irritating that it's a price to pay whenever we have time without him.

I've really started just getting on with life, DH is welcome to join in but I can't spend my life waiting to see if he feels better. I feel a bit tight but I wasn't born to serve his needs. Why should he always come first just because he's ill? Constantly.
Joanna_1902 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:27 pm
Hi, I hope I'm posting in the right place. My DH started with MH problems 7 years ago when our business went bust. Panic attacks, depression, anxiety etc. At the time I was working part time as our baby was 6 months old so I upped my work (I'm freelance) and until our son went to school I worked nights and naptimes and was a full time mum in the day. I have supported our family financially ever since. DH works but doesn't earn much and always spends his money on frivolities and holidays.

I have supported DH through thick and thin. He took to abusing alcohol to deal with his MH problems and became dependent on it, he took up vaping to try to replace alcohol but now he's addicted to that! He tried an anti-depressant which gave him a psychotic reaction and scared his off the GP. Following a trip to A&E a few months ago with suicidal ideation he is on a different anti-D which agrees with him more. He also has awful IBS, inflamatory arthritis, and some sort of eating disorder. It's all a big mess. He has systematically alienated most friends and family through his erratic, aggressive or paranoid behaviour. He refuses to get CBT because he "doesn't need it" or "doesn't feel well enough" depending on when you ask him. When drunk he can be really obnoxious, I often take my boy upstairs for the evening to avoid him when he's off on one.

This week he stopped drinking. He is - of course - irritable, having awful mood swings, can't sleep, bored, angry about not knowing what to eat, the list goes on... He has awful headaches and says he's going to stop his anti-D so he can take codeine for his head (hugely bad idea!)
He's not much easier to live with then when he was drunk :(

I just don't know how much more I can cope with. I feel constantly shaky and achy. His emotional outbursts are like water off a duck's back, I'm so disconnected from him. The thing is, we had 10 very happy years together before it all went wrong. That lovely, caring, funny man I fell in love with is in there somewhere. But will I ever get him back?

Our son has additional needs too, I do 99% of the parenting, DH's idea of parenting is letting a 7 year old stay up until 1am playing on the playstation or giving him sweets in bed. I don't have much local support, my mum lives ten minutes away but has stage 4 cancer so isn't up to much. My sister and adult niece have very busy social schedules so can't help me much. DH won't accept help from anyone anyway, apart from me.

I feel like I'm being abused but he can't help it. I just don't know what to do. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face.
DH has taken the dog for a walk (first time in ages) so I'm hoping the fresh air will help his mood and the naughty pup doesn't run off!

If you've read all that, thanks for listening xx