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View from the Sufferer Side? - Carers UK Forum

View from the Sufferer Side?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
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.
Hi and welcome

I would have a word with the gp
Welcome to the forum.

Sounds pretty grim from what you say. Seems it's all being going on for some time now. mental health issues are so very hard to deal with and effect not only the sufferer but all in contact, yes? And it must be very frustrating that he is not accepting or seeking professional advice.

So sometimes you want to leave him and take your daughter and yourself off somewhere else but you you care about him and worry about him coping without you. have I got that right?
If so, your indecision is totally understandable. Change is scary but feasible.

Nobody can advise you, not really. All I can add is that relationships break down all the time, for a variety of reasons including ill health. I went through a painful divorce but it was a good decision in my case. Whether it is the right decision for You and your child .... I have no idea. Whether it is the right TIME to make a decision is the first question to ask yourself.
It's lonely isn't it?

I hope you have some local or family support, people who know you well. Meanwhile this is a good place to talk things through and vent when needed. Hopefully nobody will judge you
And if you stand by your man we may be able to offer some comfort in times of stress. If you don't.... That's OK too.

I will say that I suspect, deep inside, you already know what is best for you.
This is how most of us make decisions.... We follow gut feelings after a loooong time dithering and it often turns out better than we fear.

Thank you for your replies and kind words. I am absolutely terrified he will try to kill himself if I leave him. That's what stops me. Sometimes I think he knows that which is why he talks about doing it so much. When I was seeing a therapist he told me that someone who talks about it in that way is almost certainly not going to try it. 'Almost certainly'.....
I know you guys can't reassure me and I have to decide wether to stay or go - but thanks for listening, it really helped just to write it all down and know that I am not alone.
Hello and welcome, you are never alone on here
Firstly, welcome! You certainly threw yourself in the deep end!
It's a deeply personal issue, and only you know, in your heart, what is best for your daughter and yourself. And also how much more of this kind of abuse you can handle without exploding. And it is abuse: depression is one thing, but heavy drinking, suicide threats: that's no way to treat a partner or a child. If you are like most parents, you will put the child first.
I'm not going to sit on the fence on this one: we usually get to know people better before offering advice, but I'm not sure that's why you came here. You need help!
I think he needs much more aggressive treatment for his mental health condition, to be honest, and maybe you need to start to negotiate from your position of strength now, rather than let things drift down into a spiral.
Hi tinhead. You are in a difficult place and I can see your dilemma
However, there is one thing that nobody has mentioned - your daughter. I find myself wondering what effect living with someone who is drinking heavily, self-harming and threatening suicide is having on her.
Have to disagree with therapist

People do do it when they mention it and some do not say anything I would
Speak to so done because must be upsetting for you and your daughter
Hello again Tinhead. Been thinking about you.Wondering if you might find it of value to speak to Samaritans, by phone or by email. Of course they deal with MANY problems other than suicide but they are certainly very aware of all the factors involved in suicide threats etc and the affects on the family.
As the threats seem to be your stumbling block ... Might be worth getting input from Samaritans. have a think about it.

Just another suggestion for you.

And for the avoidance of doubt I too think you are being abused, from what you have told us. And personally I am not generous when it comes to forgiving men (or women) who abuse, manipulate or bully.

Thanks again for responding.
My daughter says she is OK, seems OK (doing well at school etc...) but of course she should not be exposed to his behaviour. Much of it takes place when she is asleep but she does see/hear some of it. I worry about her thinking that this is a normal way for a man to treat a woman...
Interesting that a couple of you mention abuse. My therapist said, after I had been talking a while, 'you sound very like someone who is being abused'...but I didn't pay much attention to it at the time because he has never physically hurt me. Today he has a stomach ache (sound painful, trapped wind, but nothing else, just an ache) and he is texting me at work, demanding that I come home and look after him (like he is a child!). I said no. In many ways I am strong, I don't give into his (mostly) ridiculous demands.
Thank you thank you thank you - this is really helping me.