I'm so lost and don't know what to do

Hi there,

I’m new to the forum and just really need to help and advice please. This is going to be a long one so I apologise in advance.

For the last 4 years my life has been a nightmare. My husband is an army veteran and suffers with severe mental health issues, mainly PTSD. But alongside his PTSD he has developed psychosis. He has had 4 episodes now since his first one in 2017, 5 weeks after our first child was born. As a result of the psychosis he has now been sectioned 4 times and is currently in a mental health hospital, we are 3 months in now. The last time was severe as he tried to take his own life, had I jot found him when I did, that would have been it.
Whilst I know my husband has severe issues, he just doesn’t help himself. Whilst he appreciates he has PTSD, he doesn’t believe he’s ever really been psychotic. As a result, he doesn’t feel the need to take medication as it makes he feel awful and to be fair it does. I have reiterated this to doctors so many times but were still on the same meds. Anyway, he takes these for a time and then stops becuase he feels so awful.
Whilst he’s off medication he self medicates with alcohol and previously weed. He stopped smoking weed nearly 3 years ago as weed was considered to be a contributing factor to the psychosis. This time he wasn’t smoking weed so we can now rule that out. Which is a worry because I now believe he’ll go back to smoking it which I absolutely hate!
He is due to be discharged on 10th June and he thinks he can just come home and do what ever he likes. Everytime I question him about if he’s gojng to drink everyday or smoke or not take his meds he throws his toys out of the pram and says hes gojng to leave me. I’m not acruslly allowed to question him about these things he says he’s a free person and no one is going to tell him what he can and can’t do.
The trouble is, we have 2 children in the middle of this. If we weren’t together I would have to fight for custody of my children and deny access to them due to the fact that his behaviour is so erratic I could never let my children just go with him without being with him permanently in order to analyse his behaviour. But at the same time I don’t want to be living on the edge having him home drinking all the time etc. I do not think thats a suitable environment for my children but when I say this he calls me a control freak. So the way it is is, if the children are to have their father, he has to be home with us and they adore him and he adores them too but not enough to sort himself out. I know this probably all sounds crazy but I’m so stuck. At the moment he is leaving me becuase I questioned his meds. I love him dearly but if he comes home I’m just going to have to live with his nonsense and keep my mouth shut which I don’t want to live like, but if he doesn’t come home our children will be without their dad and he will be without his children. I also fear he’ll hurt himself again or worse, someone else, which I could not live with the guilt.

Has anyone else been through something similar? Advice would be much appreciated

Hi Georgia,

You are in an awful “Catch 22” situation. Are you getting any help from the Army, British Legion, or SSAFA?

I’m wondering if another male talking to him on a Man to Man level might be better?

Have you thought about asking your GP to arrange counselling for you?

Hi Georgia

I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum and to highlight some of the options for connecting with fellow carers.

Here at Carers UK we want you to know that you’re not alone, we are sure that many on here will understand exactly how you feel and offer support. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc.

Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to.

You can find information on how to register to our online meetups at the following pages:

Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK - the next online meet up is Monday 1 June (running 11-12pm). This social is a great way to have a little break if you are able to and spend some quality time talking to people who understand what you are going through right now.

Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK - these sessions range from creative writing activities to beginners Latin dance sessions.

There is also Carers UK’s helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (advice@carersuk.org)

Carers UK also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:

Benefits and financial support
Your rights as a carer in the workplace
Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for
How to complain effectively and challenge decisions.

Hi Georgia, Sorry you are in such a difficult, stressful situation.

Last year I remember watching a tv programme about trying to prevent suicide. The best thing you can do is to ensure he feels he has some CONTROL over his lifestyle and is allowed to make some decisions.
I understand that you hate it when he smokes but ultimately that is his choice, not yours.It is reasonable to ask him to smoke outside away from your home but try not to argue too much about this subject.

Another important issue is financies. Has he got a regular income?

Next time you visit him talk to his doctor/psychiatrist - ask them how you can help him.

Don’t be afraid to tell family members and friends about his illness. They might be able to give you some support.

When he comes home make a fuss of him! Let him know how pleased you are to have him home. Ideally (if he agrees) ask a close relative to look after the children while you and your husband have some time together as a couple again.
I hope this helps.

I would not be happy about him smoking weed, especially with chidren around.