Need support for dealing with spouse's mental illness

  1. So anyhow, we had a patient last week with infectious diarrhea and all of his psych issues were aggravated by lack of ordering psych meds on admission, add infection and malabsorption and dehydration to that and he was kind of a mess for a few days. His wife's a nurse. Once he got a little better it became apparent that he's a really sweet dude who just happens to need certain meds to be the guy he wants to be.

    It got me to thinking of that thread a while back on how nurses are more likely to be in codependent relationships. I filed it under "interesting."

    So yesterday my hubby finally told me he happens to be in the middle of his second mental breakdown. I'm shocked, surprised, kinda angry, and I really don't know what to do with him. Yes, I was aware of his history, but he's not violent, just depressed, and the OCD-ness of his ... deranged thoughts... that cause the panic anxiety and whatever follows, is just really strange to me. I'm just used to my psych patients being tied down and medicated, and out of my unit in a day or two. I don't have to live with them.

    I have a plan, that includes making sure he obtains outpatient psych for now, and I have to admit I made him take a benadryl so we could both get some darn sleep. Being honest, I don't think I want to be responsible for his problem or its solution, because it's not something I have any experience with.

    So I don't want medical advice. I really just want to have some clue what to do to help both of us deal.
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    About Indy

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 1,483; Likes: 1,002
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in ICU, telemetry, LTAC


  3. by   rn/writer
    So sorry you and you husband are going through this.

    Here are a couple of links that might help you find some support:

    The first link is for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The second lists a number of websites for various disorders.

    I would encourage you to find a support group, whether it be in real life or online. Maybe both. It's difficult to deal with mental illness in someone you love and live with if you feel like you are alone. Education can also help you to learn ways to set healthy boundaries and take care of yourself. And it's good to have people who understand mental illness available for those times when you really need to vent.

    I hope the two of you can work together to make life manageable and good.
  4. by   Indy
    Thank you. I really just needed to sit down and announce that we have this problem and need to deal with it before it gets any worse. I have calls out for some referrals and we'll just follow through.