Hi everyone—I’m here to chat and perhaps get some tips on dealing with my partner of 12 years (I’ll call her M) who been diagnosed at different times with anxiety, depression, bipolar, OCD and PTSD among other things. She also has issues with drugs and alcohol, is prone to impulsive behaviour and suffers from panic attacks. Recently she’s been in rehab but it hasn’t helped much in the short term. She talks quite a bit about suicide but I’m not sure how seriously to take this, although I don’t want to be dismissive.
I work from home and M only has a part-time job so the two of us are alone together a lot of the time (we don’t have kids). M can be irrational, aggressive, and obsessive especially when she’s self-medicating (which is a lot of the time). I don’t always handle this well and we easily get into arguments that leave me feeling frustrated, resentful, and guilty. At the same time we still care about each other and I don’t feel I can just walk away. Would welcome advice from anyone who is or has been in a similar situation.
On a lighter note, here are three random facts about me:
Welcome @Gilbert and thank you for taking the time to tell us a little about yourself.
You and M are dealing with a lot. Incidentally, I have PTSD and OCD too, along with bouts of depression. Plus I care for my husband who also has PTSD and serious physical health diagnoses which come with severe depression. So I have some personal experience from both sides of the fence.
Is M seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist on a regular basis? Have a look around the different sections of the forums, and if there is a thread or conversation you"d like to jump onto, then please do so. You will be very welcome and its also a good way to 'meet' other members.
Thats most unusual to not drive, especially as a male. I'm rural, and simply no way of getting around without a licence. Though I really dont like driving! And given a choice .. I wouldn't. Ahhh .. a muso! I envy your musicality. Sadly I have no musical ability at all. Oh yeah, I agree .. primates are fantastic. Do you have any pets? Since you work at home, it means you could keep each other company. I have a little dog as per my profile pic.
Hey @Sherry, thanks for writing back—it means a lot just to hear from someone who understands what this kind of situation can be like.
M is supposed to be seeing a psychiatrist and also attending a substance abuse support group, but she winds up skipping the meetings more often than not—just the idea of them can get her very worked up. But she’s come a long way from a year ago when she was reluctant to seek any sort of treatment. I was in denial myself up till fairly recently about the severity of her problems, and the impact they were having on me.
Re not driving, we live in the inner city so getting around by public transport is easy enough, but I do plan to learn someday. And yes, we have two beautiful and much-loved cats! Maybe I’ll post a picture at some point.
Anyway thanks again for writing, and all good wishes to you and your husband.
I joined the forums years ago mainly as a consumer but also a carer having children with autism, depression and anxiety. I stopped checking in because while I was active in the forums I never really knew where I belonged. (It was a personal thing; no one ever did or said anything to make me feel that way) Now I've returned still a consumer but more as a carer of my schizophrenic boyfriend looking for support. Having been "hanging about looking" for a couple of weeks I'm still torn between the 2 forums though as I feel slightly 'wrong' in both!!!
3 random facts -
I'm not very good at doing what I'm told
I love cauliflower
I'm the ultimate eye rolling don't make me vomit saying person when it comes to the romantic drivel people say. Yet somehow I fell in love with my partner when our eyes met across a crowded room.
I have an adult son who I believe has some sort of personality disorder but there is no way that he will seek diagnosis. We have not spoken since July last year when I told him he needed to get some help, and he denied he was ill. He now hates me with a vengeance, I really dont know how we can get back from this. His teenage son also left him at the same time because of domestic violence and lives with.me now and he blames me for this.
I note that you responded to a post dating back to 2016. I dont know if that member is still active on the forums now. That member was of the belief that her mother had BPD and narcissistic tendancies.
I'm guessing you believe your son shows similar traits. Has he been assessed or treated by a MH professional up to this point? Or are you looking for advice on how to get help for your son?
I have no personal experience with BPD, but there are a number of other members here who do. I hope some of them notice your intro here and come on board with some advice.
Oops, @maggie3 you must have edited your initial post while I was responding to your first. I note that you have now included a lot more info. I will allow others with personal experience to respond to you further.
I just reiterate my welcome to you. Please also feel free to respond to any existing threads, where you will be most wecome too. This whole issue with your son must be terribly distressing for you. You have my sympathy and understanding in trying to deal with such a difficult situation.
Pleasure @maggie3 , and yes I too hope someone can provide some advice and support to you here. I will tag a few other members who are carers here, plus a couple of our community guides. I'm hoping one of them can direct some other members here who can help you. @Darcy@Faith-and-Hope@Shaz51
It would be very distressing for your grandson I'm sure, but no less so for you I imagine.
If you wish to do a search for BPD on the site here, you will likely come across some threads of other members with similar challenges.
Hi @maggie3 and welcome to the forums. It does sound like a very distressing situation for all concerned. I am sorry to hear what you are going through.
We have a personality disorder on board, diagnosed in an inward-facing form in our son (meaning he is very and in himself in the same sort of way an outward facing form is hard on those trying to hold down a relationship with the person) but it is clear that it is here in its outward form in others within the broader family .... and apparently it tends to travel in family groupings, so that fits as well.
I am learning an awful lot about personality disorders “on the go” because they can trigger, and one Cleary triggered in my husband several years ago. He remains undiagnosed however ..... and it appears to me that he triggered our son, and there are other family members exhibiting the traits ..... so not great .... and having to learn to live with it all anyway.
My hubby is in the grip of an undiagnosed eating disorder, which he is not aware is an eating disorder, owing to a personality disorder (apparently) driving the whole thing .....
So, the strongest advice I have to offer you is what has been offered to me:
Learn as much about what you perceive to be the disorder as you can. You need to understand how it works, how it thinks, what it is doing to the person you love.
Work to stabilise the things you can influence, which often means dealing in clear lines, as politely but also as clinically as you can ..... focussing on the basics of care and self care (everybody getting enough nutrition, sleep, bills paid, rooves over heads, etc)
Make sure the well ones are supported - who is caring for the carer ?? - which means the carers seeking counselling and support services for carers. Well done on posting here and connnecting with this community ❣️
The hardest part of our situation, and yours, is that you can’t force an adult into getting help for themselves .... diagnosis, treatment, support .... if they don’t believe they are unwell, unless there is medical evidence of the problem and they are taken into care as an involuntary patient.
Personal safety is paramount, so to that end I am glad that your grandson has a home with you at the moment and is out of immediate peril.
Part of the reality we have to face is the fact that my husband may never be diagnosed and treated, so working with boundaries, and everyone deciding what they can and can’t live with is the direction we are working from. Clear communication, and deciding what increments of change are achievable is our approach. That doesn’t mean it is at all easy.
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