Living with a partner who has severe mental health issues
How does one help their partner who has severe mental health issues? How do i stay strong after years of him struggling? How do i deal with this when we don’t get answers and his health is deteriorating rather than getting better? I feel so empty and alone……i feel lost and don’t know what to do for him anymore and it breaks my heart…. Our relationship feels lost because of what he is going thru and i try to be strong but even my coworkers called me an ambulance at work a couple weeks ago because of sharp pains in my chest which the doctors said was purely stress related (after several tests were done)…. Im….a write off….. I need help. I need to know what to do?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Mental Health Support Group.
It's very, very difficult to see a loved one suffer and decline. I joined support groups such as DBSA (Depression BiPolar Support Association) and NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness). There may be more in your area at hospitals or mental health centers. I encourage you to seek them out.
Prayers with you.
I see this is your first post on Mayo Connect and I'd like to welcome you to this supportive community. We are all on different journeys but still seeking support and encouragement.
I feel for you in your situation. Your sadness and frustration of feeling alone is a difficult place to be. As @calypso mentioned in her post, you need to get some support for yourself in order to carry on. Have you talked with a professional counselor, pastor or your primary care doctor about your feelings? If not, this would be a good place to start.
The NAMI group that calypso mentioned is also great. They have "Family Groups" where others get together to support each other when they have a family member suffering from mental illness. Here is a link where you can find a support group in your area, https://www.nami.org/Find-Support
Do you have a group of family, friends, church group that might be able to listen to you and encourage you?
Please keep in touch, I look forward to getting to know you better and offering support for you.
my story is the exactly the same. We have tried so many things and nothing seems to help. Like you, it is impacting my mental heath and our family. I have not reached out to a support group yet. I am just beginning to realize I need help. Being a care giver is almost as painful as what my husband is experiencing.
My husband has OCPD with possible cte impact. I live in a very small community. I have been married 29 years. For us, I have been through the trying to be a better wife, thinking that would solve our problems. It began as picking at me about house cleaning. Then the depression (his) deepened. And the rages and verbal abuse intensified. I prayed. I begged him to get help. I could see his anxiety, just like a pot that varied from simmer to full boil but never calm. I was able to step outside myself and see that I have never seen him experience joy or even just a good belly laugh. Even the birth of our children was just another occasion for worry. After watching the movie “Blindside” our high school aged children said that reminded them of dad. So I began researching. I also began searching about Alzheimer’s which his mother had and my high school junior said seemed like dad. About 10 years ago, hubby suggested couples counseling to “fix” me. I agreed. After 5 months the psychologist suggested we had come as far as we could and asked for individual exit sessions. He explained OCPD to me. Made sure I had an exit plan for safety. Told me to keep my friends close because he might drive them away. And told me that he was treatment resistant at that time – he had not followed through with any homework. When I googled it I felt someone had sat in my home and written our life. I have been able to back away from my expected marriage relationship I was desperately trying to hold onto. I have had my own bedroom for many years and we have not been intimate for years. Instead of trying to fix him or our marriage, I have come to see he is unable to experience joy or the level of marital intimacy I need. So I am focused in myself and finding joy in each day. For now I am still married. He is living in the master bedroom/bathroom. He doesn’t dress most days and often gives me the silent treatment, but I have taught myself to not let that into my bubble. I go for lunch or supper with friends and have joy. I look at it as living in a beautiful home with a bad housemate who most often is not present. When he rages, I have a go bag packed and have stayed in hotels, but 6-7 nights in a hotel every couple of months is cheaper than rent and utilities. I’m not sure if this is forever, but is working for me so far. I am hoping 2020 brings me 2020 vision and wish the same for all of my brothers and sisters on this journey. A website that has given me much hope and many resources is outofthefog.net
I hope that finding out you are not the only one brings you comfort. Mental health impacted marriages can be lonely. If our spouse has cancer, we don’t hesitate to tell others. They visit, send cards, bring casseroles, and pray for us. Too often we keep mental health a secret, and even if we share people we thought would be part of our support team disappear. You are not alone.
@rpg A powerful post. Thank you seems inadequate here, and I really am sure it has meant a lot to many, me included. I am a person who has adult-diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome, so technically I am on the autism spectrum. My anxiety and non mainstream ways of dealing with everyday things is something my husband struggles with, and his emotional and verbal abuse to me is something he doesn't see as unacceptable.
Thank you for allowing me to see your side, and like you, I wish all of us a peaceful journey in 2020.
@kibrma2020 Welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a diverse group of patients, family members, and caregivers, who offer support and share our experiences with others. We are not medical doctors and cannot give a medical diagnosis. I hope you will look further into finding a support group for you, and might consider some counseling with your husband? I also urge you to read the post by @rpg who words really resonated with me! Being a caregiver is a tough job, and taking care of yourself is important. Please tell us how we can help you today?
Yeah. I think they and I struggle with the daily normal things even though we don't mean to be. It's out of love ALWAYS I promise. I just think that him, my husband, and you suffering is another way we have to deal with certain situations. Even taking the trash out or running to the store for me atleast several times a day. Simple things that to myself seem so minimal but to people with pain it's like climbimg a mountain. Another wards if you hear your spouse huff under his breath or rolls his eyes it's not u. He's retaliating at the fact that you are in pain and can't do it yourself which we all want to do it ourselves. and him knowing that he knows that you wish you could. I hope I got the situation straight on who's in pain. But I hope you get the just.