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View from the Sufferer Side? -Carers UK Forum

View from the Sufferer Side?

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi Folks
I am new to this forum so please excuse the long post. I am at my wits end and I don’t know what to do.
My husband suffers from mental health issues and has done our entire marriage. He suffers from anxiety and OCD (intrusive thoughts about health issues) and now depression. Strangely for a hypochondriac he is really scared of going to the doctors in case they find something actually wrong with him. We have been married for 15 years and we have had some good times and been very much in love but its also been tough and draining. He has in the past made some attempt to help himself. He won’t take medication but he has had lots of therapy which helped for a time with his OCD.
He is incapable of holding down a normal job and in fact does not consider himself normal, he is the epitomy of ‘doesn’t suffer fools gladly’ and pretty much everyone else around him he considers a ‘fool’. He is extremely intelligent and musically talented but incapable of channelling these skills into anything really useful (he finds this more frustrating than I do)
I am the breadwinner, child carer (1), housekeeper and anything else that needs doing. He blames me for everything that has gone wrong in his life (music career not working out, his problems with alcohol, his overeating, his recently diagnosed hormone issue) and looks to me to fix it. He tells me he loves me more than anything but I am not sure why considering I apparently caused all his issues?
About 2 years ago we were at the point of splitting up – we had started to talk logistics…..when his dad (who he was very close to) died very suddenly and unexpectedly. Within a couple of months something happened that sealed the fate of his music career and his got diagnosed with a hormone issue. So, he fell apart and I put all plans on us splitting up on hold.
For the last two years he has been deeply depressed and talks about killing himself on a daily basis. However he also sits and laughs at posts on facebook. Is that normal? He begs and begs me not to go to work, telling me his is in danger of hurting himself, but if I didn’t work we couldn’t live and if I let that happen (we end up homeless and hungry) I know he would then blame himself for that. And quite frankly much of the time I want to get away from him. He sometimes self-harms by banging his head against a wall, in front of me. I don’t really react, I don’t know how to react apart from telling him to stop it.
He refuses to get professional help. I found him doctors (for his hormone issue, he is self-medicating currently because he is scared of medical tests), doctors to help with depression, alternative therapists, even a residential retreat for people who are suicidal – but he rejects them all.
He asks me questions – ‘what am I going to do?’ – now I just don’t answer because don’t know what to say to him. Everything I do say is wrong and causes an argument.
I want to leave (with my daughter), I don’t love him like a wife (but I care and I want him to be well and happy) but he keeps threatening suicide. I am the breadwinner, I can easily live financially with out him but he has nothing. He can’t or won’t work, he has no way of taking care of himself. And so I can’t do it, I can’t leave, but I am sure I am making him worse because he knows I want to leave.
My daughter? She seem OK, I try and keep things as normal as possible for her. If I have been up at night with him I am still cheerful in the morning for her. I talk to her about him a bit and his issues but only to reassure her that I am coping. But what would I tell her if we left and he hurt himself or worse actually followed through on his threats? And how would I live with myself?
I just don’t know what to do for the best. I need to protect myself and my daughter from the black hole he is sucking us down into but he is so incapable I just don’t feel I can leave him to fend for himself.
Thanks for listening. I would really love to hear from people who have been on his side of this fence.
Hello Tinhead,

Welcome to the carers Uk forum. I read your story and I just cannot imagine the difficultly of your caring situation. To care and do so much for such a long time is not only amazing, but inspirational. Your story was such a great read and I have learnt so much from it.

I am wondering if you manage to take time out for yourself. Do you get any support?

Hello tinhesd, welcome to the forum. After s terrible time, for different reasos, I now pay for private counselling sessions. My husband and I were really close, he was a sensible practical man, who always seemed to find a solution. Since I was widowed 8 years ago, I miss that. My counsellor has, in effect taken that role, helping me find the right course of action. I have two carees and health problems of my own. You have a daughter whose well being is presumably a major consideration. Counselling might help you decide what you should do.