Struggling to keep afloat

Hi all, I’m Grant 36, and i have recently joined. I hope everyone is having a good day.

I suffer with clinical depression, and have been treated for almost 10 years through both talking therapies and medication (Sertraline). My girlfriend and i are engaged, and we have been together for 8 years. Recently, she attempted to take her own life after a depressive cycle of her Bipolar 2 disorder and i am struggling to maintain my own mental well-being. I have been working hard throughout the pandemic within maintenance and rewarded with being Tupe’d in June. This was particularly hard as i had been promised a salary increase and worthwhile training for the last 4 years, but i guess that’s the dangling of a carrot training. My partners cycles seem to be more frequent lately, she used to gamble, and has gambled throughout our relationship on and off, costing us around £25000 in the last 5-6 years. I understand her condition is the reason for this, and regardless of this, i will always support her, no matter the circumstances. Recently she had another low, and although i wouldn’t let it known to her, i am really fighting to keep going. I was able to be signed off from work three weeks ago, (anxiety and depressive disorder) due to a combination of Work stresses, my partners Bipolar 2, and my own mental wellbeing, but i am due back next Monday and fearful of the impact it could have on both of our health, and the view’s people will have of me after breaking down in front of the team. Should i care full time for my partner? In terms of reducing the weight i am feeling, i feel it would benefit us both, but i am worried of the Financial implications. She has been told that she should not return to work due to the condition and will not be, but i would lose £21000 a year. I wouldn’t know where to start for support.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you x

Hi & welcome Grant

Sorry to hear of all the problems you and your partner are experiencing. You are quite young to be thinking of staying at home and possibly becoming a carer. You don’t say the age of your partner.

I would recommend remaining attached to an employment. For as long as you can and speak to the HR dept at work. As you still sound not in a good place to return to work.

You could do a benefits calculator which you can put in varies combinations to see what it brings up. The benefit system these days is a very complicate one. And there are many hurdles to cross to qualify. And the process can sometimes be more stressful than being in work. Speak to your doctor to discuss your return to work. Unless either one or both of you consider that you health issues are so bad. That you are unable to work and can claim for a disability. The benefit system would be very difficult place to be.

Have you ever made contact with MIND UK. As I think this organisation would benefit you both.

You are coping with a lot.
I am not good at advice regarding what you should do but on the off chance you may need help with finances I am recommending this link :

I used them a long time ago when my family went through a tricky time and they are good at helping work out what to do so things don’t seem so difficult. They are a charity and not shysters taking advantage.

I hope you can work out what to do for the best for you and your fiancee. Best wishes.

Hi Grant, Sorry to hear that you and your girlfriend are going through a very difficult time.
I understand why you are thinking of giving up your job but I certainly would not recommend it.
Apart from losing your income it’s not much fun being a full time carer.
I’ve been caring for my elderly mum for 6 years now - it’s a thankless task. I receive Carers Allowance which is £67 per week. Plus many of us feel lonely and isolated as you’re no longer part of a team anymore. Plus the role can be very repetitive and boring not many new skills to learn. And you would be her carer for 364 days each year (assuming you live together).
Perhaps a better idea would be for you to do fewer hours if allowed. This would give you and your girlfriend more time together. Or maybe unpaid leave for awhile.
Encourage your girlfriend to talk about her feelings and it is ok to tell her about your feelings.
Has your girlfriend got any family/friends she can talk to?

Gamcare are a charity that offers free support, counselling and treatment for those suffering from Gambling addiction problems – I’d really recommend encouraging your girlfriend to see if they can help her.

Their website is