Help for the spouse of someone with mental health issues
October 15, 2012 5:07 PM Subscribe
I really need help with being married to -- and raising a young child with -- someone who's living with long-term anger issues, depression, anxiety, and OCD (obsessive fear of doing violent things). I feel alone, sad, exhausted, and in way over my head.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My wife has just started individual therapy (one session so far) and we started relationship therapy last month (several sessions so far).
All these issues have been clear for a long time and have been very seriously impacting me. Now that we're finally getting professional help, my wife is opening up to me about thoughts and instincts that are even more (to me, with no experience of mental issues) disturbing and hard to understand. In my initial googling, I've been starting to understand more about OCD, especially, for example, the idea that saying "I'm constantly scared I will [do violent act X]" is quite unlikely to translate into actually doing X.
I'm already very exhausted emotionally, fairly disconnected from my wife, and very concerned for our relationship. (We have a young child, who is a primary reason for putting everything I've got into surviving this and building back a marriage.)
Things that could help me:
- any advice about living with these issues;
- any advice about repair/health for a relationship where these issues are just now starting to be addressed after years of emotional damage from them;
- pointers to online support groups for spouses;
- pointers to help/advice about raising young children up in this context;
- thoughts about how to help my wife open up to the relationship therapist about the seriousness and extremity of some of these issues and the thoughts I've heard from her, which I believe he must hear before he can get a better idea of my experience/perspective and how to help us.