06-10-2014 06:13 PM
I am a wife who has had a husband with depression for 10 years now. He has had multiple hospitalisations, long series of ECT's, and is now not able to work. I would love to hear from ladies who have been, are in, my shoes and was wondering if you would answer a few questions for me.
1. Where have you needed the most help, and, could you find it?
2. What has been your hardest struggle?
thanks in advance and all my best wishes
06-10-2014 10:45 PM
I know there's a few ladies in here who I'm sure could share some advice.
I just wanted to welcome you to the forums, thank you for sharing your story (I've seen your other comments) and thank you asking this very relevant question.
Come on ladies - join the conversation!
06-10-2014 11:35 PM
07-10-2014 06:59 PM
07-10-2014 11:45 PM
I also had 2 small children and worked when my husband took ill and I know what it is like to just have no time at all to yourself.
A support group is out of the question, as they might meet at a time not suitable for working carers. Also, who was going to look after the children? It is also something you might not want people to know, worrying about the embarrassment of having a husband with a mental illness
I fully understand the unpredictability and the loneliness
It feels like you are walking on eggshells all the time in case something upsets him and you find yourself hypervigilant, trying to gauge the mood of the day
The loneliness is something that I didnt realise, until just a few months ago, my mother said to me "You must be lonely" and until then I didnt think about it, but yes, I was and am.
I find myself chatting all the time, trying to keep him interested, with no response, until I stop and say, "did you hear me" "yes" "well why didnt you answer, do you have something to say, what is your opinion" then I will get a few words
But you must be strong, for the sake of the children
08-10-2014 05:12 PM
Hi Zipper and other wives caring for husbands with a mental illness. My husband has had chronic anxiety and depression (untreated) now for years and also drinks every night after work. We have been married for many years, had a large family, and I have felt like leaving him when our relationship has been not going well. But I am still here! It is lonely being married to someone with a mental illness! Over the past 8 years I have been a member of Al-Anon Family Groups. This program helps families and friends of "problem drinkers" - they may be alcoholics, but deny that is what they/we are dealing with. The only requirement for membership in Al-Anon is that his drinking is causing problems for you in your marriage/partnership. There are no contracts to sign, no appointment is needed, and it is non-denominational - not religious, but there is mention of a "Higher Power". Members' anonymity is protected. The program is based on the 12 Steps of AA but not directly affiliated with AA. If teenagers are living with a drinking parent, there is also Alateen for their support. Al-Anon Family Groups meet in all cities and some country towns across Australia. I am the only member of my big family to have found Al-Anon - I am LUCKY!!
08-10-2014 11:33 PM
09-10-2014 08:32 AM
Hi ladies, interested to hear what you set up so that you could continue daily living without making demands on a sick husband, so far I'm needing to get quarterly bills paid & even that is a demand that I get growled (thankfully shouting, swearing & name calling has stopped thanks to the counselor) at about, & creates yet another negative. I think I need to put things in place so these things happen without hassle & growling.
09-10-2014 03:28 PM
Hi Mrs C
Not quite sure what you mean about the bills, but I do understand how hard it can be to manage. We have gone from a 2 income family to now surviving on benefits and boy, have we (I actually mean, me!) have had to do some juggling
My one suggestion in regard to bills, etc, it to contact the provider and arrange monthly payments. Get on the front foot, dont leave it till things are overdue. Be proactive. Rearrange insurances, etc, maybe increase the excess, lower the value, etc.
My number two suggestion is to ensure you have private health insurance and that it has unlimited psychiatric hospital stays. It will give you piece of mind. I always remember the cost of ONE of my husbands stays was $38,000
Hope that helps
09-10-2014 03:37 PM
Thank you ladies for opening up about this. I understand how hard it can be to open up as I have kept all my worries to myself, just so others dont worry.
One thing that is coming out loud and clear here is the loneliness we feel for the loss of our old partners. It is something that only I think wives understand, it is a different feeling that a family member or parent has, am I right?
Just thinking out loud here
1.Would a support group for wives and partners only, be something you would be interested in, if available?
2. Do you think it should be wives and partners only, no matter what the mental illness or mental illness specific?
I am so glad I opened this discussion, thank you, thank you to all
If you need urgent assistance, see Need help now
For mental health information, guidance and referrals, see the SANE Help Centre
SANE Forums is published by SANE Australia with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health
SANE Australia ABN 92006533606
PO Box 226 South Melbourne 3205 Australia