Just chanced across this forum whilst looking for something/anything to make me feel like I’m not alone!
Mostly, my wife and I have a really good relationship. We have two beautiful daughters and a nice home. I have a good job and from the outside it all looks lovely. But sometimes, on the inside, it’s just such a slog. It’s constant and sometimes I just feel like there’s sympathy, help and support for everyone except me!
My wife has a long term mental health condition. They used to think it was bipolar disorder, but now they talk about a long term depressive condition with traits of Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s been good lately, but just now, things have got dark again and I don’t have much energy left.
I think I use need to see there are others out there who feel the same. I’m particularly fed up of everything being my fault, or every tiny disagreement needing to be expanded to bring in everything else she hates about my personality.
What do you say folks? Surely I’m not unique?
No, not at all.
Have you ever had counselling?
It needs to be a properly qualified person who can talk to you about some of your frustration, someone you can “offload” to. It was life changing for me, just wish I’d had it about 25 years earlier.
Sadly, the NHS waiting list is very long. My own counselling was funded by Social Services, after a Carers Assessment.
Have you ever had a Carers Assessment, looking at the support you need for your caring role?
My in-laws are both dead now, but their relationship was often the way you described! As an outsider, I always felt it was a situation that was hard on both of them - as well as everyone else.
My mother-in-law would complain about everything until my father-in-law lost his temper. And they both made each other worse…But basically, both of them felt trapped by my mother-in-law’s mental health problems and the stress eventually affected my father-in-law’s health. Both were on antidepressants for more than 20 years until finally they were able to wean themselves off with support from their GP. In their case, it helped to some extent, but it’s not something I’d recommend for everyone - and absolutely not without GP support.
See if you can find mental health therapy. When I was dealing with a mental health issue, I went to see a specialist who was based at the hospital I was treated at once a month for coping techniques and tailored advice. It helped me. You should be able to find one easily these days. Often times MH therapists are located solely at hospitals but you still can try to find a good one who is community based but private. Try it and see what happens as a result. I advise making notes and doing some research.
I can appreciate how mentally, emotionally and physically draining it must be for you, you sound thoroughly worn down by it all.
You are not alone, you are here.
In this forum members are unpaid carers for their loved ones or friends and their caring is for a variety of causes, medical, physical, mental health and learning disabilities, an eclectic mix of caring and carers.
Do you have any boundaries? any ‘me’ time?
Counselling depends on the strength of that and yourself against the strength of your wife’s unravelling of it thereafter. However, retaining your self esteem etc are integral and counselling may help.
I know nothing about such things, but it seems that you need to remind yourself about what is good about you to counteract the erosion of your self esteem that is going on.
Have you got some light at the end of the tunnel - eg timescales for tests and diagnosis then treatment? a prognosis of how long this will take and when she should reach mental equilibrium? This could give you hope and help with tolerance, provided that is the correct diagnosis…
Here are some other websites that could be helpful to you too, if you have not seen them already.
Welcome to the forum.
You may already be aware but if not, I’ll just highlight our online meet-ups.
Every week we run a Care for a Cuppa video chat for carers where you can take a little break and spend some time talking to people who understand what you’re going through. Please see details here: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/online-meetups
We also run weekly Share and Learn sessions which are fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers share tips and skills on a range of topics. Please see details here: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/share-and-learn-online-sessions
Community Engagement Officer
Carer support team