To feel unable to deal with mentally ill partner?

(32 Posts)
Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:07:26

Now that I have young baby I can't handle my partners mental illness. It's the longest story ever regarding his health but he's mostly ok no just finds it extremely hard to function out In the world and I need him now more than ever to be able to do so, he doesn't work but we don't get any benefit as I work but now on mat leave obv things are very tight but he has depression, anxiety, social anxiety, ocd and I've been with him so long and could help him before but now when he has down times I can't cope and just get upset by it. I want so much to be right for my baby, want her to have good role models as parents etc. I wish I had someone to talk to about it but I don't, my friends don't understand at all and I'm not close to family In that way.
I don't know anyone who knows what it's like living with someone with mental health issues.
Sorry for rant, just having a sleep deprived bad morning!

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Mar-14 11:10:27

No you're not being unreasonable. It is incredibly difficult to live with someone with long-term mental health problems. (And I speak as someone who has had MH problems in the past.)

Is your partner doing everything he can to get support for his problems so that he can return to work?

Could you consider a period of living apart (but still co-parenting)?

Freyalright Thu 27-Mar-14 11:13:58

It's tough, very difficult. Hope you sort it out.

When you decided to have a child, what did you expect would happen? How did you think he would change?

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:14:30

Well jean he won't take meds as this messed him up before, he goes to group therapy for anxiety at moment and had cbt in past. He joined an agency that helped with mental health employment but they were rubbish to be honest, it's like they just set up an office and employed people but nothing that really helped. I don't think I could live apart as I love him and it would break his heart

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:16:52

Frey he seemed to be managing well before we got pregnant, and he thought that having a child would be enough to push him to succeed as he would want to provide and be a good dad

HarderThanYouThink Thu 27-Mar-14 11:21:08

Could he try different medication? I have social anxiety and struggled for years until i was put on Sertraline which has made a massive difference.

Is he receiving any help for the OCD?

SybilRamkin Thu 27-Mar-14 11:23:57

I think he should re-consider medication - there are lots of different drugs for anxiety now, and they don't all work in the same way. It can take some time to find one that works for you, but it's totally worth the time spent looking for it.

Branleuse Thu 27-Mar-14 11:24:10

its his baby top, and thinking that someone with mental health issues that is mostly alright, isnt a good role model for your young baby, is shitty.

Noone can make you be in a relationship you dont want, but youve got the baby, and now gone off him. Are you sure its his MH issues that are the problem?

Fusedog Thu 27-Mar-14 11:24:10

Not being funny but now your a mum ypur first duty is to your baby then yourself then your partner

I don't think anyone would blame you if you left
I would imagin when you go back to work you will have to have childcare dispite him not working

Is he getting help can you ask his support nurse if there is any help for families

Fusedog Thu 27-Mar-14 11:26:02

Think you really. Need to think about what best for the baby here Hun

Fusedog Thu 27-Mar-14 11:27:15

And if he's not taking his meds well you don't want a incident to occur having a small baby is stressful for most people who are well I can well remember having a few mini breakdowns due to the lack of sleep ECt and I don't have mental illness

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:30:29

harder he has had ocd for many years and had treatment before and he manages it well now, I doubt he would never try meds again as his view is that it's not solving the real issue and also he had such bad reaction before it's scared him. I may have made it sound worse than it is as he does generally cope ok, it's just he can't seem to get out there and get a job, he says he doesn't know how to talk to people, how to actually do a job or work, that kind of thing and when he says This I feel sad as I just want a 'normal life' he doesn't socialise with any of my friends, I always go alone, he comes to family things but is shy which is ok I know. At home he is so lovely and considerate and supportive to me and we have been together a long time now, he is my family

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:36:34

bran I think you misunderstood or I portrayed it poorly. I didn't say I want to leave him, I want to help him but find it hard is what i meant.
I believe that how you grow up will strongly affect the way you are when your older, my partner is the biggest example of this as his childh

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 11:37:57

Childhood was shitty, I want us to teach my child to be confident and loved and social, I think we have to so those things for her to understand that iyswim

BreakingDad77 Thu 27-Mar-14 11:38:44

I don't think you are being unreasonable, he needs to get to a manageable place. I felt quite guilty for breaking up (some months before we were planned to get married) with someone who had bipolar disorder who just wouldn't accept at that time that they had a lifelong illness that would be need to be managed. Key them leaning on locum to come off their lithium (I didn't know this), then them slowly falling into an episode, audio halucinations, up late, violent etc, option to section. With family and clinic (they were well off) chose to treat her at home. Difficult period of anger of her getting herself into this state, seeing her now a tranqulized shadow of herself while her brain calms down and lithium reintroduced.

She sensed I was going to leave and said she would understand, we split not so amicably at the time, but this did kickstart her into getting hold of her illness, got back into teaching which she always wanted to.

If you have an illness you must-must get a handle of it.

SelectAUserName Thu 27-Mar-14 11:58:34

Choc I have every sympathy. My DH has suffered from bipolar for the whole 20+ years we have been together and it is hard. I can only imagine how much harder when you add a new baby to the mix. Fortunately my DH is medication-compliant but unfortunately he is treatment-resistant so the meds he does take have limited effect.

Finding the right medication is an inexact science and requires patience and good communication between medical practitioner and patient. Just because one (I assume it was one) type didn't suit him, doesn't mean another won't. It's the same procedure as finding e.g. a high blood pressure pill that works. For all your sakes, he really needs to go back to his GP or even better, be referred to a psychiatrist who can prescribe from a place of specialist knowledge.

If you ever need a sympathetic ear from one who knows what it's like to suffer from periodic "compassion fatigue" but without ever wanting to leave, feel free to PM me.

Chocoholism Thu 27-Mar-14 12:14:03

Thank you so much select reading what you wrote was nice and to be honest I just wish I knew someone who understood as usually I just keep it all to myself. Does your DH work?

BearsInMotion Thu 27-Mar-14 12:20:45

Hi OP.

DP has OCD and we have a toddler so I do understand. DP works but really struggles with some things, our house is always a mess and I'm too embarressed to have friends round (his OCD means he finds it difficult to throw anything away).

We don't go out much, but DP is more sociable than I am, it's just the logistics of two parents working full-time that stops us!

Not much advice to offer, just to say I do understand and feel free to PM me smile

SelectAUserName Thu 27-Mar-14 12:23:11

No, he was medically retired a few years ago due to his condition. He is classed as disabled and in receipt of DLA due to the severity of it.

Aventurine Thu 27-Mar-14 12:25:08

You are in no way being unreasonable. If he had a physical illness which incapacitated him, you would also find it very hard to deal with that and a newborn baby. This is no different. You have done very well to support your husband until now and you should not be criticised for now finding it tougher now that you have a baby and for wishing you could have support yourself with your newborn. I grew up with a mother with mental health problems and i found it extremely hard, so that is probably why i really sympathise and understand. It's a shame your dh hasn't been able to find meds that suit him yet as my mum has been helped immensely by finding the right meds. Has he given up on the idea entirely?

Is he making any effort at all to get better? If he is refusing to take meds, see his GP or follow any instructions then it's not unreasonable to end the relationship if he is too much of a burden. You have to prioritize the baby and yourself now.

BookABooSue Thu 27-Mar-14 12:33:04

There are some online support groups for partners of people with OCD, and there are also some support groups in RL too. Could you possibly go to one?

My df had MH issues and it was difficult to live with and I'm not minimising your concerns at all, however, some of your anxieties are just normal new parent anxieties eg the example for your dc; you feeling stressed and upset because you're shouldering most of the burden of dc; money being tight on maternity leave, etc. For that reason, maybe some parent and baby groups would help too? You'll be able to tease out where your specific concerns are, see that you're not alone and hopefully draw some support.

Latara Thu 27-Mar-14 12:37:52

I have MH problems including depression; the right meds help A LOT.

Even so, I still have times when I get really down (usually once a month due to period - not an issue your partner will have! grin )

I accept those times and am trying to work with the feelings I have.
Not sure how I would cope with a baby.

I think your partner needs to try harder to get better or at least to be stable now that he has a baby.

Samu2 Thu 27-Mar-14 12:54:37

My husband has bi-polar and it is bloody hard work at times.

He takes his meds like clock work and they work well for his mania but no drugs or therapy have ever made much of a difference with his depression so he is pretty much always depressed now and his social anxiety is through the roof. He has been on meds for over 20 years and this has been the best cocktail for him so far but we have lost hope that any meds will do much for his severe depression. Trust me, he has tried pretty much all of them at this point.

When we had children it was harder for a while because any big change in routine will make him worse but thankfully he carries on with this treatment.

I also have OCD and health anxiety. It is very normal for people with mental health issues to have bad spells when a big life change has taken place, you may find that after a few months he becomes a bit better.

I love my dh to bits and can't imagine a life without him but it IS hard work and sometimes I get sick and tired of it, but because he is always trying to push himself and takes his medication I can take the bad times, if he didn't take his meds or made an effort then I couldn't remain married to him simply because I refuse to live with someone with a severe mental illness which affects me if he couldn't even take his medication. Same goes for me with my illness.

Try to remember that having a baby is hard on a man too so he might just need some more time adjusting and within time things might get easier again.

The best thing I have found is to not let his illness stop me doing what I want to do. I wish I could have more of a social life with him but that isn't going to happen but I make sure I still have one and when he is severely depressed I have to work very hard at not letting his mood rub off on me.

My husband is a wonderful, loving caring man and it breaks my heart to see him suffer so much, but I am human and at times I need to detach a little for my own sanity.

If you want to talk then feel free to PM me. I have OCD so have a lot of experience in that department as well.

Jesuisunepapillon Thu 27-Mar-14 13:02:25

No answers, just a lot of sympathy. I ended a relationship with someone severely depressed because he wouldn't get medical treatment. He wanted to manage it with diet and exercise which is fine with mild depression, but with him it meant i had to watch him get iller and iller and like you I went to social events alone and had to do everything to keep us going. Although in his case he was well enough to go out drinking with his friends by himself, which caused many arguments. We really wanted children together but I was terrified that what has happened to you would happen to us and it would break my heart.

Ultimately I felt I couldn't live with someone with such a serious illness but who wouldn't get treatment. I felt sad but so relieved to end it. I don't think there is going to be anything you can do with this guy, it has to come from him. And no one would blame you if you left. You have to put your baby first. It might give him the kick up the bum to try new meds too and work to get you back. OCD, depression, all those mental illnesses are absolutely vile and exhausting to fight but some treatments are very effective.

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