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Am I a carer? - Carers UK Forum

Am I a carer?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.

My partner of 4 years lives with Bipolar 2. At the hardest times, he won't get out of bed without me asking him to. I have to prompt him to brush his teeth, take a shower, every single task throughout the day. His depressive times last for so many months and get so severe that he is often close to catatonia. He is very proud and stubborn and won't admit that we both need professional help. I do all housework, paperwork, phone-calls. Whenever I need to leave the house, I call him at least once an hour, he calls me just as often. He is frightened of what he might do and says he constantly needs me nearby for reassurance. He suffers from severe anxiety and panic, as do I. I lost my job because I was checking up on him more often than my bosses liked. I haven't worked for several months now. I offer my partner 24/7 emotional support to the point where I have no time for myself, the idea of going back into employment scares me because I have no idea how he would cope without me. His family make light of it and will not accept how serious things are, his friends are scared and unsure of how to behave around him. I worry that I have allowed him to rely on me too much. I also worry that he has figured out how to manipulate me into giving him my undivided attention. I don't want to lose my own identity in caring for him. Where do I draw the line? The romance in our relationship, which can be wonderful when he is feeling like himself, is slowly disappearing. Everything feels like a grey area. Carer or partner or both? How do I find a balance? Is it even possible to find a balance.

I am so, so tired, so lonely and completely lost.

Any advice or empathy would be really appreciated.

You are BOTH carer and partner. If you look at the top of the page you will see a tab entitled "Help and Advice", click here and a wonderful online booklet appears. Is your partner claiming any disability benefits? If he cannot function normally when he is so ill it's very likely he's entitled to them, however whether or not he is prepared to claim is another matter. If he is awarded Disability Living Allowance then you would be entitled to claim Carers Allowance. Incidentally, if your boss objected to you ringing up to check your partner was OK, then you should get in touch with ACAS and discuss going to an employment tribunal on the grounds of disability discrimination. ACAS or someone else on the forum will probably explain this better than I can.
Im sorry you feel so tired, lonely and lost ((((hugs))))))

You are most definitely a carer as well as a partner and it is indeed difficult to find the balance. Have you been to your GP to get some help for yourself? You cant make your partner get help if he doesnt want to, but you can get some for you which will help you look after him

Stick around the forum - you are not alone, there are many others in your position and we all help each other. Join in the chat on Roll Call (in the members Corner) too to help you feel less isolated.
Thank you so much.

I will definitely use this forum very often. Can't believe it's taken me this long to find. Probably because I've been in denial about everything until recently.

It's a huge help just to know that there are other people who feel the same way I do and understand how difficult caring can be.
Hi and welcome to the forum Image
Hello - welcome to the forum Image

sending you hugs to start with. i know exactly what you mean and fully understand.

i care for my disabled husband and i feel like im just his carer no longer his wife. im only 43 and my husband 50 but hes been physically disabled for ten years now with spine problems.

get by on few hours sleep a night which leaves me totally drained. just get emotionally and physically exhausted.

would love to have the closeness back in our marriage but it just doesnt seem possible.

feel free to pm me if you want to chat privately.

Hi & welcome. I too know exactly how you feel. You must remember that you are not just a partner and a carer, you are a human being with your own thoughts and feelings above all else.

To start with, it seems easier to pander to their needs and do everything for them rather than struggle & stress with getting them to do it themselves, but in the long run, it kills both of you. I learned that the hard way. A bit of tough love, even if it seems futile and makes situations seem worse to start with, can do both of you the world of good in the end.

I hope you find a way forward and I hope you find the same help and comfort and understanding that I did here on this site

can i just say kiki u have a wonderful way with words.
everything u said is true. i often try the cruel to be kind approach but im an emotional softie and always end up giving in

Hi & thanks Diane. I can't say I am always (even 50%) successful in carrying out tough love, but when I get the strength (and its normally when at the end of my teather Image ) it usually makes a huge improvement for a while. I just hope we all find positive ways forward and simple pleasures amongst the daily strains, which make us feel... yes, it is all worth it! Cos it is. There are many wonderful people on this site who go thru so much more than I every day and it is their strength that is so uplifting.