Monday, November 19, 2012

Mental Health and Our Home

Sometimes people think I am a negative person. It is not that I am negative, but rather that I have a lot going on and because I am very idealistic and very much a self -starter that I tend to seem negative. The truth is that I can change a lot of things in life. I can do a lot for others and give information to others. There is one exception.

My significant other struggles with mental health issues. He is very smart, articulate, can be fun, and can be caring. The thing is that he is not always this way. I do love him and I do want to be with him. I am glad that we have children and he is a good dad when his mental health is on an upswing. When his mental health is on a down swing it is a little more difficult to be thankful. It is like being a single parent with four children rather than a person who co-parents and has three children.

In some ways I do blame him. A parent needs to do everything in his or her power to be healthy in order to be there for the kids. I mean really, forget about me being the spouse and me needing his support, the kids have to come first and be taken care of. In other ways I can see his worry and stress. Who really wants to dredge up childhood abuses that were so horrid they are now repressed memories? Who wants to go off medications that make you relax and forget about the few memories you do have that were so bad? And let us be honest..depression is a bitch and it can be nearly impossible to climb out of depression.

But then again I need him and my children need him. We don't just need him to be here physically. We need him to be present as a father and husband. I need for him to be the same person day to day, not a person who has mood swings all the time without warning.  It is not an unsafe situation physically, but truly mental health issues can bring the mood of the whole family down.

My hope for the near future is to help him make peace with going to a psychologist of some sort who can not only prescribe medicine, but also can help him address childhood issues when he is ready and as quickly or slowly as he can handle. I doubt his current diagnosis is correct because he really has not improved much over the past 5 or 6 years. My hope is that he will continue to make efforts to stay on his medicine until he no longer needs it to handle life. My hope is that he will seek treatment so that our home life is a bit more joyful and has less of a dark cloud over it. Our children deserve the best. I deserve the best. truth be told, HE deserves the best.

So if you know someone who struggles with these issues please do not judge harshly. Please offer to lend an ear or help watch the children so the spouse gets a break. Please be available for the person who is struggling with mental health issues. Please pay attention for signs of things worsening. I hate to say you should step in BUT if someone seems like they would harm themselves or others please step in. The quality of life for those who have mental health issues and their loved ones is often greatly diminished and not just for a day or two.over time it can be really trying to deal with such issues.

I am grateful to my friends who listen without judgement. They do not ask me why I stay with such a man or why I do not force him to see a counselor. They are gentle and kind with me while being honest as well. I appreciate the support.

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