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Hi everyone - Carers UK Forum

Hi everyone

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi I'm new here, signed up yesterday. To be honest I've known about this organisation for a while but never thought to join until I'd decided enough is enough, I need to voice my opinions and worries to people who are in similar situations, and stop living by the 'I can handle this alone' method as it doesnt always work.
I'm currently caring for my partner of 8 years who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his late adolescence.
I currently am out of work but studying my medical secretary diploma and raising our three children also, thankfully they are all in school now so they don't always bare witness to things that go on at home.
My partner is a good man who longs to hold down a job and be a family man but it's not always that simple.
He's had past drug addictions but now since moving to the west Midlands has thankfully left that all behind, unfortunately to replace one vice with another; alcohol ( I will get to that shortly)
He regularly attends his reviews and has his depot injections fortnightly, due to his progress over the past year they lowered his dose slightly and I've had no need for contact with his
doctor or any services.
This is the tricky part, over the past few weeks he's been drinking quite heavily every night, weeping, sleeping during the day, not wanting to get up in the morning, he's started expressing that he feels ' the pain of the whole world' and it torments himHe tries to explain his sorrow to me but I can't always understand and this frustrates him further leading him to sit at bus stops drinking all night then coming home and collapsing on the floor.
I've always been calm in these situations but last night I felt so pressured and stressed as the children witnessed his drunken outbursts before bedtime and were very upset by it, I calmed them down and put my partner to sleep on the sofa as he could barely stand up.
Now my problem is this, what do I do? Whom should I tell? Everything has been wonderful until this point, I've seen him change into a better man so quickly, one who wants to work and commit to family life, yet something's taken over and a stable man can become a broken man so quickly.
I see relapse indicators, yet he's had his review this week and is currently in psychotherapy as I write this having taken the bottle of whiskey from the fridge with him!
How are they not picking up on these indicators?? Like I explained previously I've had no contact with his doctors over the past year as he's been stable, so my question is how do I approach this the best possible way?
Many thanks Cassie.
Hi, Sorry I have not been in your situation so am unable to help except to suggest you make an appointment with the GP and ask to discuss the situation with your husband most GP"s wll listen to what you have to say although few will make any comment on your husband's health, my other thought is that most areas have a crisis hot line (if you don't know it the Samaritans often have it) in the areas we have lived the hot line is for people who are seriously worried about someone with mental health issues, my husband would refuse his meds and sometimes become threatening and they would talk to him on the phone.

Does your husband receive any disability benefits as this could well help you link into social services who depending on the council may well be able to help.

Your chldren, well I would say give them lots of hugs, tell them if they have any problems about anything to come and talk to you rather than Daddy as he isn't very well at the the moment, if need be let the school know that he isn't well, teachers do care and will listen to the children.

I wish you well I am sure someone else on this site will be able to give you a lot more detailed advice, they are all very undestanding and non judgemental, and will give you lots of verbal hugs
I'm so sorry to hear you are in such a difficult situation, especially when things seem to have been more stable up till now.

Although of course the mental illness is a huge complication in terms of its interaction with addiction, would it be helpful for you to get in touch with some of the addiction charities that help families and partners, to get some guidance on the best way forward, and how best to protect your children?

Although addiction is a 'pathology' and so is 'mental illness' (ie, something is 'wrong'), I could argue that 'despair at the state of the world' is actually quite a rational reaction to the human condition. We, as humans, live on an endless knife edge between happiness at our own existence, and despair at what can be seen as the 'futility' of existence ('What is it all FOR?'), a question that has beleagured philosophers and theologians for millenia, on top of which, of course, is the despair we can feel at the hideous suffering so many, many people endure, from starvation and natural disasters and bereavement and illhealth, to man's inhumanity to man.

Countering those sources of 'despair' is something each of us, in a way, has to do - most of us do it by simply 'not thinking about' things that are too painful to think about. But that may be something that not everyone can do, especially when afflicted by mental illness as well.

In that sense, perhaps your partner's current sadness and despair, feeling the pain of theworld, is not actually 'pathological' - it is 'natural'. It is only his current inability to 'block' those feelings, the way most of us do simply to survive (we'd never be able to sit down to a meal if we continually saw the starving gazing at us with hungry, desperate eyes....), that is 'wrong' or 'faulty'.

I guess what I am saying is that as well as medical help, or psychological help, it could be that your partner needs some kind of guidance to come to terms, as surely we must do, or suffer ourselves, with human suffering, and the possible 'pointlessness' of our own existence. As I say, that's something humans have been struggling with for millenia.

I do hope you can find the help you need for your partner. Kind regards, Jenny
Hi Cassandra and welcome to the forum,

I have no experience of your situation either, but you are right to be seeking help. Do you and your partner have the same GP? If so you could talk to your GP. He wont be able to discuss your partner but he will be able to listen and suggest what course of action you should take.

I hope others with more experience/knowledge of caring for someone with mental health issues and/or drinking issues are able to advise you.

Hi Cassie.
It sounds as though you have reached the point of needing that help now.
I have no personal experience of your actual circumstances and I am sorry I can not offer tailored advice, but as its been said, I believe going to speak to your GP will be a starting point for you to get some information on where to go next. If you're both at the same practice they will want to see your partner, so perhaps you could ask them to do a home visit. I know practices operate differently, and from experience I know not all are willing to do a home visit based on what you tell them about someone else, but some will and if you explain the severity of the situation, even if this means you making more than one appointment to see several doctors to talk about this, I'm sure someone will make a visit to your partner, and at least then the 'ball is rolling'.
You wonder how no one has picked up on the changes in your partner at psychotherapy, maybe at those appointments he is not giving out anything that indicates he is having the problems that he is?. would it be possible for you to speak with the therapist involved and explain your concerns? at least then you know they have all the information to treat your partner. You would think that these professionals could spot even the subtlest of indicators, but for whatever reason, perhaps this is not always the case.
You could also contact MIND http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
and they also have local support contacts.
As has already been said,continue to give your children the extra love to help them feel secure and reassure them that everything is alright, that their father is just not well at the moment. Make sure you do get the help you need.
I hope everything gets better. Best wishes xxx