Caring for a Spouse with Mental Illness
Mental Illness is different than cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, or other conditions that society accepts as organic and 'real'. Have you chosen to stay with your spouse or care for someone who suffers from a mental illness? This groups is here to support you.
Help spread the support to more people in need -- Please tell a friend or two. Thanks!
What's New Today
5 days ago
I have been with my husband for almost 5 years. He has suffers from depression and anxiety. We have two small children. It's so hard. He's taking his medicine, and going to group therapy but there are some really hard days. It's really hard when he sleeps for hours on end, and how he has to visit his mom's house several times a day. It leaves little time for the kids and no time for me. I'm just looking to get support from other spouses who know how hard it is when you love someone, and get that they have an illness, but you feel so frustrated sometimes. that's how I feel today, frustrated. Today my husband got mad I made dinner and refused to eat it and told me my cooking was shit. Yea, today was one of those hard days
9 days ago
Hi, first off i hope this help is real. I've been with my wife for approx. 7 years. When we first started out everything was fine. I moved in with my wife and i would say for the first yr or 2 everything was still good apart from the normal arguments nothing serious, after maybe the 2nd yr. I remember my was acting little extreme. She has anxiety issue, all kinds if fears,anger tamtrums. Trust issues,OCD,
11 days ago
Hi I have been with my husband for almost 10 years married almost 5 . Late May he was dignosed with bipolar and sometimes I feel idk what to do and if I help or just make him worst. Sometimes he ask me how I feel about everything and I tell him we are in this together but he doesn't believe I still want to be with him or he is always overthinking something and idk what to do or what to say . He gets in moods and sometimes I feel pressure on me to be perfect and I'm not i am also a human . I just want to be able to be the best support and help I can be to him and no one else understands unless they experience it . Some think it's so easy and how can I loose my cool sometimes but it's not always easy . I hope just maybe someone can understand a lil of how I feel so I don't feel so alone at times like it's all of me
18 days ago
I've been with my boyfriend for 6yrs now and he suffers from depression. He is in therapy and it seems to help him but hi s therapist wants him to be on meds which he doesn't want to take them. He has had a lot of changes in his life this year which makes his depression worse. I've done a lot of research on how to deal with his behavior and I do love him but it's starting to get harder everyday. He tells me to stay by his side as he has many times checked him into rehab facilities because he was so depressed. I have thought about leaving him multiple times as it's so hard to deal with at times. I'm looking for advise as there isn't any support groups where I live
21 days ago
I have been married to my wife for 2.5 years and we have been together for nearly 4. I knew when we started dating that she had PTSD as a result of childhood trauma and suffered from anxiety. I also knew she had chronic migraines and was recovering from a head injury. I was in love with her (still am) and figured that I was stable enough to handle whatever mental health hardships there were. Well, since then, the same issues still exist, but she has also been diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. She has been off and on suicidal for years. We have moved 5 times in the past 3 years, and I have changed jobs 3 times as a result of the moves, in order for her to find a job that she can do with all of her health issues. What has finally led me to seek out online support groups today is that she recently was offered a job that pays well and would finally provide us with financial stability (we have gotten into severe debt while trying to figure out her health issues). She started the job and worked for 2 days, and then realized that she can't do it. It is causing too many panic attacks and
22 days ago
My husband and I have been married for just over a year and I knew going into the marriage that he has PTSD, anxiety, depression, and is borderline bipolar. He is seeing a psychologist every three months and a therapist every three weeks. He has a 6 year old daughter from a previous marriage that we have two days a week. (The previous marriage is a contributor to his PTSD-because of it. he's constantly afraid I'm going to walk away, even though I never say such things and regularly reassure him that I am not going anywhere).
He works for 911 communications in our city, which doesn't help his stress and anxiety, but he is scared and doesn't have the self-confidence right now to look for other work. I am currently only employed part time (not by choice, I am actively seeking FT employment daily), which is adding to the stress factor because of financial concerns. I try to talk to him about my successes and challenges in my search for a job, but this only seems to cause him more anxiety. For example, I was offered a position at a communications center yesterday, but the job doesn't start until Sept. and I wasn't sure if that was the right move. I wanted to talk to him about it before I make a decision, but it only sent him into an anxiety spiral that lasted overnight, and this morning he was angry and irritable and got mad at me for simply trying to help him make his lunch for the day.
Then he asks if he needs to work overtime. While the OT would be helpful in terms of our bank account, I hate asking him to work it because I do not want to add to his stress level. I tried to explain the reason for my hesitation, and he got upset because I wouldn't give him a straight answer.. He left for work without saying goodbye or I love you this morning, which is uncharacteristic. I broke down and cried when he left because I don't know what to do. I just want to help him.
I know in my head that it's not my fault, but still I wonder if I am doing something wrong to set him off and make things worse for him. I am constantly trying to self evaluate and anticipate his moods and his needs, but it doesn't seem very effective. There never seems to be a "right time" to talk about the difficult things in life that you are supposed to be able to share with your spouse.
I am looking for a local support group, but have yet to find one. Thanks for letting me talk.
25 days ago
I had to admit defeat today and reach out for help. My husband had a breakdown and started taking pills to try to shut his mind off. I hid them. Pleaded with him to stop. After no sleep, I had to call the police when I tried to get him in the hospital for overdose symptoms and he became violent towards me for the first time in our 12 years together. I had to call the police and see him taken away in an ambulance. We went through a suicide attempt just months ago, have been seeing a therapist weekly, and he seemed to be getting much better. It just so hard, trying to keep someone safe. Trying to convince them that there are better things ahead. It's just so hard to hold it together and pretend things are okay. To try to hide everything from everyone. In minutes, he will be handcuffed and involuntarily hospitalized in an institution he is terrified of. But I can't keep him safe. I can't keep me safe. I've been awake for 35 hours now, wondering which pieces of the past day have been real. Unfortunately, my only choice is to push them in the back of my mind and be strong for him. Sometimes I just wish I had someone to be strong for me.
28 days ago
My husband and I have been married for 17 years. When we were dating he told me he suffered from depression. As a special needs teacher, I thought I knew what that meant. In reality, I also thought that a lot of what I saw as issues due to his unique work schedule (Thurs - Sun 12 hour shifts beginning at 6 PM) were actually issues related to his depression. In other words, I thought some of them would get better once he worked different hours and was in a different situation.
Over the past 17 years we have weathered many, many storms caused by his depression. It has not been easy but I thought we were stronger for having gone through them together. Now, I am at my rope's end and just don't know if I can take any more or do it again. And, I don't even know if I should try because of the impact it is having on our 16 year old daughter.
Two months ago, his depression turned from being primarily MDD to being almost exclusively anxiety driven. Yes, he still exhibits depressive tendencies and issues, however, now the biggest issues are panic attacks, anxiety induced nausea, and a complete lack of ability to focus. Multiple medication changes have not helped at all. His psychiatrist has now recommended ECT. That tells me he is pretty much giving up hope on medication things to try too. We asked him about the new ketamine transfusions but he is not in favor of trying those because there is really no research out there and our insurance won't even think of covering it ECT is scary for anyone but especially for someone who makes his living working with numbers and computers (he's a senior network engineer and security specialist at a trading firm); the possible memory loss issues are a significant hurdle for both of us to overcome to even consider this.
His job is at risk. Right now, he is scheduled to begin an Intensive Outpatient Program next week. The doctor hopes that will help him get through the two week ramp up period to the new medication with the addition of lots of Valium. Obviously, I am doing all of the insurance work (because he is not capable of it) and they are a major pain in the ass company for mental health coverage if you need anything more than counseling. I just don't know how much more I can take.
I love the man I married. But I have not seen that man at all for over two years and he was really sporadic for the last 5. Now our choices appear to be risking him being gone forever if the ECT steals his memory or living in this hell of solitude with no one for support for me at all. Most days I wonder why I am even still married because it is like having another child instead of an adult to share things with.
I need to hear from those who have had ECT or lived with someone who had it and what your experiences were. All of the info out there pooh-poohs the memory loss aspect of it and, honestly, our doctor did too.
And, yeah, reading this, I realize I need some counseling. I'll be arranging that for both me and my daughter tomorrow morning.
about 1 month ago
my darling's depression is one strong beast that I feel like I don't have what it takes to handle or beat at times. He lives with his parents that have the same illness that are addicted to pills with a fat dog that would nip me in a second once it glances its bulging eyes out at me. I work two jobs, and try to pull it together, on my days off all he wants to do is sleep. So I'm stuck,... here. i want more then anything to be engaging and building memories with this person i love so much but instead I'm dwelling in sorrow wondering how much longer can i take this silence, worry, get scared, and the withdraw. I know i l;loved him since i layed my eyes on him and he is who i want. but will his illness ever let me have him?
about 1 month ago
I love my wife. When we first started dating I did not realize what her anxiety was. I was hedging my bets and still talking to a couple of other women. I stopped that after about two weeks. Yes, it was wrong, no excuses. I have spent every moment since trying to prove I love her. When she's doing well, she knows it and appreciates it. When she's feeling anxious, any woman I mention, even innocuously in passing conversation, I obviously have a thing for and am chasing. I love her, do not want any other woman in my life, but these accusations get very old. She knows how to push my buttons, then when I get upset she uses it against me to say I have a guilty conscience and I am going to leave her. I know I screwed up, and I know that it complicates what her disease does to her, but I have been trying for over a year to help her trust me. Nothing I do helps or seems to be enough. I am at my wits end. I don't want to end my marriage I just can't deal with always being accused of cheating when all I did was talk to a few other people right after we started dating. Help!
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