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Topic: Living with someone with PTSD & Anxiety.

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. LivingHome
    LivingHome avatar
    6 posts
    12 March 2015

    I am looking for other people who live with/married to, someone with PTSD anxiety and what they do to look after themselves?

    The lack of communication, enthusiasm, failure to participate in life & constantly having to motivate my husband is starting to wear me down. He has regular Psych appointments & he is medicated but learnt behaviours and coping mechanisms means that we are constantly on a tail chasing story.

    How do other partners get fulfilment in their lives?

    How do they stop their partners' anxiety/depression suffocating their lives or break free from Ground hog day?

    How do they stop feeling depressed?

    I understand his diagnosis and support him, but I noticed I am starting to unravel. I am tired of "talking" about his lack of acknowledgement of the things that happen to me. I am tired and hurt & over being angry. 

     

    8 people found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8252 posts
    13 March 2015 in reply to LivingHome

    Hi LH, welcome to beyond blue forums

    I am limited in the knowledge of PTSD. But for most of my life I had anxiety among 4 mental illnesses that also included bipolar 2, depression and dysthymia.

    My anxiety peaked at 33yo after a workplace issue.Meds were prescribed and therapy along with relaxation exercises. It took 25 years to rid myself totally of anxiety, the meds were stopped after 12 years. So its such a long term thing...for most people not all. We are all different.

    My concern is you are now desperate. You have been a carer, a therapist as well as a wife. It's time you a/ accepted that you need help b/ that you seek the confidence of your doctor and any further professionals that can sooth your pain and c/ that your partner is aware of a and b and can offer any assistance for you. After all you are a team right?

    Hoping somone else can chip in here an help you to.

    Tony WK

  3. LivingHome
    LivingHome avatar
    6 posts
    18 March 2015 in reply to white knight

    Thank you White knight for replying. I have spoken to his psychiatrist & a mental health coordinator. Interestingly enough the same message of "You need to set outcomes on a regular basis together" i.e. A family day or date night, and stick to them. Make sure it happens etc etc. Its very focussed (& so is most literature) on how to care for the affected partner, how to manage the disease - but not how to handle the grief regarding the loss of parts of a relationship. My partners anxiety means that he is happy when he stays home. Going out is, for him, an effort; spontaneous actions are non existent and attempts result in an episode. I know and understand why. But how, how do I still live a life that I know he can't. This didn' t start until 6 months after we were married (there was a trigger) so its not something that I thought I could change in him nor was it standard behaviour. Eeergh its so bloody hard.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8252 posts
    18 March 2015 in reply to LivingHome

    Hi LH

    my wife's cousin....I have met her many times, lovely lady, and never met her husband.

    I ask my wife every time, why dont we see him? Because he is happy and secure in his home.  I wont invite myself there either. I'd rather wait until my wife's cousin invites us.

    So there are many people like your husband that develop fears or simply insecurity. I've noticed this developing within myself. I own a large and colourful and unusual motorcycle. It attracts people like flies. Cameras come out etc. And among those "fans" I always find one, one admirer that is nasty or abrasive. And its that one person that, with his comments, upsets my day or days ahead.

    Yep, it tough, so an attitude of managing your contacts with others is needed.

    For example, you do need to get out and about. Choose wisely. Like an activity that will limit the contact with others. I wrote an article on this called "inexpensive recovery idea- camping" use search to find it. It is utilising free camping spots around Australia. You buy a book listing them and head off with a $30 tent and a billy etc.

    If you have a bland car you wont be heavily in contact with others. Dont give up thinking of ways to overcome

    Tony  WK

  5. LivingHome
    LivingHome avatar
    6 posts
    1 April 2015 in reply to white knight

    Thank you Tony for trying to help and for trying to understand. I have made an appointment with my GP to discuss things.

    It is very hard to be a wife to someone you have to parent.

    It is exhausting having to always be in control.

    It is heart breaking not having your spouse be there for you when you desperately need them.

    It is soul destroying having dreams broken or go wayside because of sabertage (I know that's not how its spelt but can't for the life of me remember how) or its simply too hard to put myself first.

    I am managing all this with 2 kids under 5 (one with developmental issues - doesn't that create fun with an adult that can't handle it). Daily - daily I have to step in and remind the adult that they are children!!

    This why I want to see what/how other spouses manage. What keys do they have? Do not get me wrong I love him dearly & vice versa, however is that always going to be enough?

    3 people found this helpful
  6. 3Monkeys
    3Monkeys avatar
    1 posts
    13 July 2015 in reply to LivingHome

    Hi Living Home,

    I just wanted to say that I know what you are going through. I am married with 3 children between the ages of 2-7. I have been married for 5 yrs and my husband has PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and depression. When I read your post, it feels like I could have written it myself. He sabotages special events, he does not communicate with me, he shuts me and the children out, and it is very hard. He is not able to work, so I am also working full time, while trying to look after him, the children, the household, the finances and anything else life throws at me. It is very hard at times, and I do not have any advice to give, but I wanted to let you know that I am here, going through the same thing and am happy to talk anytime you need. Sometimes, it can be comforting just to know that you are not alone.  

    7 people found this helpful
  7. LivingHome
    LivingHome avatar
    6 posts
    10 August 2015 in reply to 3Monkeys

    Hi 3Monkeys,

    I'm sorry to see you are in the same place. Mine has progressed to seeking help, which is new for me. I think this is a poorly supported side of ptsd ... us! What do you do each day to get through each day? Is there something you get that makes you think this is worth it? Mine is the one on one time we spend together. This isnt balanced, but its something. We are going through a tough time at the moment with his family, and he just shut down again. It makes me cry. At least now we get to move which is monumental decision for him to leave his home town (change and him don't work). But it will isolate/regulate one form of stress. Ah fek there arr times this stuff sucks!! How are things for you?

  8. Paully
    Paully avatar
    1 posts
    22 April 2018 in reply to LivingHome
    I think i am at the same place as you because a lot of the questions you are asking are ones i have asked myself. I can totally relate to feeling like the parent in the relationship and how tired those shoulders get sometimes. I am also tired of being told, after years of supporting my wife, that I am being selfish during those rare times when i get too tired and need support myself. Sometimes even a hug would be nice as i find myself standing alone in support of my wife in a space vacated by most of our "friends'. I spend long periods of time on my own questioning when or where this is all going and if I will ever get my own life back. So very much like you i could really use a carer / partner coffee date sometimes. We wouldnt even have to talk about PTSD i promise. Just being able to comment positively on how nice the scenery is outside the coffee shop without having to feel guilty or have it shot down in flames would be wonderful.
    3 people found this helpful
  9. LivingHome
    LivingHome avatar
    6 posts
    16 October 2018 in reply to Paully
    Hey Paully sorry I havent logged on for quite a while. I think its been easier to focus on the hamster wheel rather than the situation as a whole. My friends have been a rock but especially when the tears erupt during the most inocuous moments. Have noticed that I have been worn down. Slowly adapted my behaviour to suit and choose the easier options. Son has since I first wrote help! has been diagnosed with ASD so life took a really steep learning curve. Wish I could say I have learnt the answers to my questions but I havent. I went back to work where I could interact with other people. Added extra stress but some breathing room. Hubby back in a real low. Cycle has lulled again. I now can't motivate him out more actually I have run out of answers. Kinda got to the point where its angry wife " work it out and move on" not the best frame of mind. Psych sent him home from work for 3 days "for me time and rnr" - kinda want to strangle her atm. Where is my fekn break???? Sounding like Im throwing a tanty and I wish I could stamp my feet and get petulant. Just want happy moments, someone to take the reins for a bit. Still looking for answers. Oh well.
  10. Winterfell
    Winterfell avatar
    83 posts
    22 October 2018 in reply to LivingHome

    Hi Living home

    my husband has anxiety and depression, first hospitalised in 2016 but probably on a downward slide since 2015. Its been a journey and a learning curve. I needed to put boundaries in to protect myself - he has doctors and therapists to talk to about his depression so thats not my role as his wife. I also needed to recognise that my mood doesnt need to be tied to his, I can enjoy life and do activities despite where he is at. I sometimes use planners to plan my working week, time with friends, time for exercise and time for leisure. Sometimes I encourage my husband to go out fishing or diving to give me some space. I also have a son with ASD and both my husband and son dont filter very well so sometimes I get dumped with a bit of their stuff, its super important at those times that I can regather some energy away from the family. Its that old saying you cant pour from an empty cup - its so true though. If you are well and rested and have spent time doing things you enjoy and give you a boost everything else seems much easier to handle.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Loving and living
    Loving and living avatar
    1 posts
    1 December 2018

    I look after myself by being part of specific support groups. My hubby is ex military with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other physical illnesses. Carer fatigue is so real.

    I am part of Operation PTSD Support, and they organise respite retreats and social inclusion events so i dont feel alone. It is great as everyone there just gets it , i can vent without judgement and speak honestly without someone saying "why do you put up with that" or "that would be a deal breaker for me" they understand i still love my husband very much, just some days i am exhausted, and somedays i dont feel like putting up with it. I hate what depression and anxiety do to our family but i love my husband more. I have no intension of just walking away, but those that don't live with it, really don't understand.

    My husband is never abusive or violent, and i do not believe i could stay if that was the case, but through support groups i have found some amazing friends who i know will always be there for me and that helps me get through the tough days on this mental illness roller coaster.

    4 people found this helpful
  12. Living
    Living avatar
    1 posts
    13 February 2019

    Hi,

    husband is ex services and suffers ptsd which he only discovered last year after I had been urging him to go and talk to someone for close to 10 years. How do you all differentiate between your partners personality and the ptsd - I find it hard, as I don’t know weather it is the ptsd talking sometimes or he is just being an a hole! I don’t know weather to be forgiving or put my foot down.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Purple People Eater
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Purple People Eater avatar
    36 posts
    13 February 2019 in reply to Living

    Hi Living

    My dad is an ex war Veteran involved in helping other veterans and there families.

    Did you know about Open Arms - The Veterans and Families counselling service? https://www.openarms.gov.au/

    It's free, and you would both be eligible for help.

    Good luck

    PPE

  14. Handmade
    Handmade avatar
    3 posts
    31 March 2019 in reply to Living

    Hi there.

    I'm new to forums. Living with serving Police officer husband with undiagnosed PTSD. It's at it's peak and we are at breaking point. We have a good supportive network, but he is yet to admit there is a problem. I've had PND and I understand the difficulties of mental health, as a health care professional myself.

    Things are difficult at the moment, but they aren't always; we go through peaks and troughs. I feel like specific jobs are sometimes a trigger for him which puts us out for a month at a time. I don't feel like he listens and I feel blamed for his moods. I always try to find the balance between being supportive and smothering, giving advice, and nagging.

    I have a good friend to talk to but I don't feel like I can fully open up. I have counselling available through work and will consider talking to them shortly. He feels like he can't talk to someone at work for fear of being made restricted.

    I'd like to hear from similar story people too.

    :-)

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Handmade
    Handmade avatar
    3 posts
    31 March 2019 in reply to LivingHome

    Original post, hello.

    I feel like I could have written some of your post myself. Lots of tricky questions.

    In short, between full time shift work for both hubby and I, and three school aged kids, I am an opportunist. I find it difficult to plan things around our shifts. We will often just find ourselves one day at home with the kids at school, and will decide to go out for breakfast.

    Hubby likes to go to the movies. I like to sew. Most times we do those things separately. This is both good and bad. We have little time between opposing shifts to do things together, so we need to be assertive in doing something decent (and not just do the housework because it's gotten away from us), on the days when we have off together.

    We dont always get it right. We dont always prioritise each other. We get things wrong. We try hard. We give up. We argue. But we try.

    Hubby likes to go on holidays. I'm short on leave post study, but he has enjoyed time away with mates and I encourage this. He always likes working on his car project, which I will be encouraging today.

    He is undiagnosed, I can see several MHI within him, PTSD, depression, anxiety, OCD. It's tricky. My job is to love him and let him know he is supported. It's hard when he can't see that's my motive.

    Keep trying to do things that work for your family. It can be hard. It's good to have a forum like this to talk about things to support the supporters x

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Handmade
    Handmade avatar
    3 posts
    31 March 2019 in reply to Handmade
    To clarify - we both have psychological support through work. He is high-functioning. We are ok, I know this is a patch we will get through. He has a great support network and comradare is strong. We have positive support buffers.
  17. Delta_B
    Delta_B avatar
    1 posts
    3 April 2019 in reply to 3Monkeys

    Hi 3Monkeys

    Just wanted to say thank you!

    I’m new to forums and posting about anything but really needed to find some support from people who are in the same position as me. Your post has helped enormously to know that I’m not alone. My partner has ptsd, anxiety and depression from serving in the fire brigade for 10 years and things are constantly tough at the moment. It all seems to be getting worse. He isn’t working anymore so just like you I am working full time, bringing up two children and running the household. It’s not an easy when he shuts down, doesn’t talk to me, gets angry and blames me for everything. I’m constantly walking on eggshells. But anyway thanks again for posting! Hopefully we can all be each other’s support.

  18. Nona
    Nona avatar
    1 posts
    27 April 2019

    Hi LivingHome, your post really spoke to me not only as a partner with PTSD but as a parent of a child with Asd. Did you find a way to look after yourself or place boundaries? If so I could use a tip.

    After 15 years I’m at the stage where I don’t think I can be any more mentally or physically tired.

  19. berg401
    berg401 avatar
    3 posts
    27 April 2019 in reply to Living

    Hi everyone,

    Approx 18 months ago DVA changed their policy on mental health. Any one that has served 24hrs continuous in the Australian defence, is eligible for non liability mental health care within Australia.

    https://www.dva.gov.au/providers/dva-provider-news/dva-extends-non-liability-health-care-all-mental-health-conditions

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