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New here, caring for my fiances mental health - Carers UK Forum

New here, caring for my fiances mental health

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Hi i'm new here and struggling to find my way around. I am 19 years old and i have been caring for my fiance for the past year. She suffers with severe mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety, social anxiety and emotionally unstable personality disorder. She is on medication and has learnt techniques to manage her mental health over the years but we found out that we are expecting our first baby (a little girl) in January 2018. I am really looking for practical advice from others that care for loved ones with mental health issues. On a good day My fiance can get herself, washed, dressed, and i can go with her to the shops without too much stress. But on bad days she can not even answer the phone as the sound of another persons voice scares her. We have recently put a simple structured routine in place that gives her some responsibilities around the house and this seems to be working. I would love to connect with people that are going through similar situations to us and get any advice i can as we are slowly moving back towards a positive stable life and i know we both want whats best for our future daughter.
Sure Start if their is one in your area link in when your baby is born great support network for you and your partner
Is their tenancy support in your area for mental health they can be a great asset supporting you day to day
ive heard good things about sure start. Thank you, i'm not aware of any tenancy support in our area. we are trying desperately to move as our current home isn't safe due to a mixture of mold, damp and people that harass us.
Hi David, welcome to the forum. I'm really worried by your post, because you are such a young age to have such a responsibility. Do you drift into this situation, is it really the way you want to spend the rest of your life? I'm not trying to be at all unkind, far from it (and I married the love of my life at 19, so not against young marriage either) it's just that these years can never be reclaimed, they should be so special, full of fun, laughter, adventures. Think carefully.
not really helpful. no i didnt drift into this its my choice and i never regret it. i do laugh with her, and love my life with her. what would you suggest? walk away from her and my baby? give up on her? get someone else to care for her when she doesnt trust anyone?
It is virtually impossible for one human being to care for another 24/7 year in year out. Your fiance is going to need to accept outside in some form or another, as are you, especially when the baby arrives.
Given her history of poor mental health it is very likely the the medical and social services will take a deep interest in the family.
You cannot be her sole support, she needs professional help, and is likely to need even more after birth as hormones play havoc.
Do you have any family close by, or other support?
Yes routines will help, but babies can't read timetables.
A lot is going to depend on your fiancee motivation to get well and stay well. You cannot be responsible for that. She needs to do a lot for herself, emotionally and mentally I mean.

Looking after someone with mental health issues is a very very long haul that can take too much out of the carer. It is not like a physical illness that has a good chance of cure. It will tend to rise and fall but rarely disappears all together.
Have you found the Mind website which has much advice for family and friends
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-sup ... eone-else/

It is a large task you take on, just be ready to accept any and all help offered.

We have my fiances mother but she is ill with lung problems. we have asked for help from doctors and CMHTs but the services in this area are awful. she is normally much better than she is at the moment but we have had a lot of issues including mold damp and rats in our home, no offer of council housing and struggles with PIP and ESA changes. I cant bring in another carer as we dont have access to any services. I was really joining this forum for advice as to techniques other people have used. My fiance is a contributor to mind and is a very educated person so she understands what is happening to her when she faces a crisis. I have found that she asks for help, such as calling 111 or asking for support but there isnt any when we do.
David hi and welcome - I think it's because most of us here on the forum are 'middle aged women' (that's probably about right?) that there is feeling of 'alarm' so to speak in your situation.

I doubt any MAW would want their own 19 year old son/daughter to be facing what you are facing now - it just isn't something a parent would wish on their teenage offspring! To take on a partner with substantial MH issues AND to be about to become a parent themselves! On paper, this is something any parent would shout 'NOOOOOO!' to!

So do take that on board with the answers and replies you are getting.

HOWEVER, as you say, the situation is as it is, and it is NOT entirely 'negative' at all, BUT it is, most definitely, challenging on two, if not three counts - ie, your partner's mental health, the forthcoming baby and, the third of course is financial.

Whilst, in principle, again, I doubt any parent would WISH 'young parenthood' on their adolescent children themselves, nevertheless, it happens very very frequently and is NOT always inevitably a 'bad thing' - after all, by the time you are 40 you'll be 'empty nesters' and can have a 'delayed carefree youth' then if you wish!

But that's for later, much much later.

Again, whilst it could well be said that the LAST thing someone with substantial MH issues needs is the extra complication of motherhood, nevertheless it COULD serve as the very 'making' of her - becoming a parent herself might be just what is needed to pull the fractured strands of her mind together, to knit well, and focus on caring for her baby as a 'new adult' herself.

Speaking personally, I would say that the key focus of attention right now, up until the birth of your baby, is going to be to do as much 'healing' of your partner as she can attain in the coming months. What is her current treatment plan, and can that be improved? eg, can she have access to more therapy than she is (I hope!) currently getting, to explore just WHY she is as she is and what has created it in the first place, and how best to understand what is bedevilling her, and why, and once there is understanding of the causes, THEN comes the healing and mending and 'exorcise' the troubles in her young mind. Mental illness does NOT have to be a 'life sentence' but if the underlying issues are never understood and resolved, that is when it cane become a 'cancer of the mind' and sit there like a cloud over her for many many years, perhaps, sadly, all her life.

So that is why I would emphasise getting as much therapy - whatever is the most effective for her, and it may take multiple types, eg, 'analysis' to understand WHY she is as distressed as she is (personally, I don't think any of us can get to grips with our problems until we know how they arose, from what pressures and problems in childhood etc etc, and with our own parents, etc etc), and then maybe something like CBT to give her guidance in how to 'escape' the ruts and grooves that her troubled mind sinks back into, ie, to provide her with a ladder to continually help her climb upwards and outwards and into a happier life that CAN await her - and all of you.

There is so much to be said in relation to your situation, but that must be enough for now!

So, my first 'message' is to maximise therapy for your partner before the baby is born, so she is in the 'best mental state possible' in the time left, prior to the HUGE impact that becoming a mother will have on her.

Kindest wishes, and you are very clearly a devoted young man, and I wish you all the very very best, and a bright and happier future for all of you, to make a happy family for yourselves.

Kind regards, Jenny
Hello David
How devoted you seem. I was married at 18, my husband 23, and I was a mother at 19. A good mother too, if I say it myself. Baby was born 10weeks early! Hubby and I got through that, and many many ups and downs that life throws at people. I'm still devoted to him.
So here we are, nearly 50s on. Sadly he now has suffered strokes and has vascular dementia. In a nursing home.
So, lovely sounding young man, I'm sure you will cope, but please accept as much help as you can, have some respite regularly, because you are important too..
On the subject of the baby, if you haven't done so already, find out if there is a Freecycle group in your area, or Facebay, and join ebay.
There are some amazing bargains to be had on all three, don't fall into the trap of buying lots of stuff new, it's really not necessary. My grandson has some lovely things that cost next to nothing.
Encourage your partner to breast feed if at all possible, not only because the milk is the right temperature and always available (hopefully) but it is an incredibly bonding experience, for me seeing my son's little face looking up at me whilst feeding was the very best bit of their baby years, and it can be very calming too. Maybe you could read up about it?