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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.

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What's New Today

3 days

My wife has blown off our 6 year anniversasry today. She also told me not to go to any events., She wont get her back fixed. Im in therapy. Help.

11 days

I've been with my husband for 15 years - married for 8. We have 2 kids and both work full time in relatively demanding jobs. My husband has a family history of bipolar disorder and severe depression on both sides - and we've always been aware of the issues his family members have gone through, but not until our first child was born - about 5 years ago - did we start recognizing that he was going through the same things. All the sudden things would trigger fight or flight, like the sound of our baby crying would cause him to literally panic. After our first child was about 2 (and could communicate) things got a ton better and we thought we had it figured out, and do when he choses to take care of himself. But over the last year that hasn't been the case - he's stopped working out (a huge influence on how mentally healthy he stays) and drinks a decent amount of alcohol (definitely another factor). Things have continued to get worse as we've gotten older. As much as we both know how to make him stay healthy, I can't make those decisions for him - he has to, and isn't. Now stress at work, alcohol, road rage - everything seems to be setting him off the deep end, and sometimes into a small bit of rage, or sometimes into a week long depression where he just disappears for the most part, leaving really early for work and coming home really late at night after everyone is asleep and not answering his phone or text at all. I've become the scapegoat - it doesn't matter what triggers him, he takes it out on me with anger and says terrible things when it's happening. When he makes it through the "spiral" he tells me how sorry he is, that he didn't mean it, that I deserve better, etc etc... and I do believe him that he's sorry and doens't mean it - but it doesn't make it right or easier. I don't know what to do. We love each other and there are more good moments than bad, but the bad is bad, and we have 2 kids that I take care of for the most part on my own and sometimes I wonder if they'll look back and wonder what was going on with their daddy all the times we just said he was working because we were hiding the fact that he was depressed that day, and knew it was better to stay out of the house until they went to sleep, rather than showing them that side of him that wasn't good.

11 days

27 days

My husband and I have been together for 18 years. 2 years ago he had a brain surgery and he was never the same. 3 months after the surgery he attempted suicide and was psychotic. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and major depressive disorder. He hasn’t been able to work; which is something he loved to do and that has added to the depression and other symptoms. I find myself getting angry with him sometimes. He’s still nice to me but I miss who he once was. The husband, father and man he was before this. Sometimes I feel like I’m in this world alone. I’m a nurse so I spend my days at work taking care of people and my time at home taking care of my husband and kids. I feel so guilty for getting angry. But at the same time I feel like some of it is my fault bc I enable the behavior by trying to de stress his life. I just never know if what I’m doing is the right thing.

about 1 month

Husband suffers with paranoid personality disorder. Often accuses me of having affairs being forced to sleep with others to protect him from gangsters. It’s really difficult and I really don’t know if I can stay in this relationship! This has been ongoing almost 8 years! He is on medication but he still has these thoughts about me! We are together 15 years, I think he always had this condition but was able to manage it! Has anyone survived this in their relationship

23 days

BB17 said...

about 2 months

Husband been diagnosed with MDD and suffering since 7/2015. Lately all he focuses on is that he’s ‘faked’ the depression - not sure how to deal as he’s severely depressed. I’m starting to really struggle

Marse Mark said...

about 2 months

I have an enormous amount of caregiver duties -- I cant handle all of it, esp the estranged wife who is clinically depressed, possibly bipolar and diagnosed with PTSD from life experiences telling me daily that her life is ruined and its because of me -- there are other pieces, incl my mom who is demented and the school of which I am principal is full of HS kids with anxiety and depression needs -- its too much

grateful78 said...

about 2 months

about 2 months

Most of my and my husbands family thinks depression isnt real, so I just need somewhere to let this all out....Ive been struggling to cope lately with supporting my husband through his depression. I cant even talk to him about my struggles in that regard because it makes him feel worse and say things like i'd "" be better off with someone else". I want to be there for him but Im only human. I found out he has been skipping his meds so I have to check that he is doing that everyday. I do all the cleaning,all the cooking,pay all the bills, handle all the money. I feel more like his mother than his wife. He cant even pry himself away from chatting with his friends in an online game to spend time with me when I feel down like I do for him. Then I feel guilty because these things sometime make me resent him, but, I know depression is a disease and that he doesnt mean to hurt me too. He has had depression since we have been dating. It got worse this past year where he worked a rough work schedule such that he rarely got enough sleep and then recently lost that job too. Ive just been feeling so alone trying to always be there and on top of things for him.

2 months

My husband is having some problems with depression. I scrolled down this page and find that the situation is fairly minimal compared to most posts on here. We do not have any kids yet(we are still pretty young) , and he is not self harming, or harming me physically in any way. No form of abuse.

I em super independent and very self confident, however he told me tonight he does not like me or love me, totally matter of factly. It wasnt meant to hurt or demean me, thats just his reality. He cant say why or how it came to that point, cant tell me one single thing i am doing wrong. He has no interest in anything aboutour relationship or about me. I dont know how anyone does this- how do you fight for a relationship that does not exist- even if you love them?

racerpast10 said...

28 days

2 months

My husband has schizophrenia, not on meds he thinks he can control it himself. The problem is ,I am the only one he plays the mental illness with. I need help he seems to be distant with me . He is still friends with all of his ex's., they see him as his funny self and I see parts that are cold and distant. Help

KIWH said...

2 months

Anyone have experience with ECT? My wife is on 3 different antipsychotics and a bunch of other meds to minimize side effects. Her prescriber is suggesting ECT. I want to know if anyone has experienced being able to reduce medications. It is issue because all the meds are causing cognitive and memory problems. Thanks for any insight.

2 months

etrainor said...

12 days

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