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SLP1997
Casual Contributor

Supporting my girlfriend.

Hi everyone, hope you're coping okay with whatever is going on for you.

 

My girlfriend is currently doing another stay in an inpatient unit. Over the past few months she has had it really tough, an anti depressant made her really suicidal, so she went into hospital. Then she was put onto a mood stabiliser after that, she developed a rare syndrome from the medication called Stevens Johnson Syndrome, so she was put into hospital for a week and a half so they could deal with that. Since having to come off the medication due to the reaction she found herself in a pretty dark spot again. Originally she was going into hospital just to get onto medication and be monitored for any reactions. Since being there though and engaging in groups a lot of her past trauma is appearing and is sending her into a pretty downward spiral. She's been there for almost 3 weeks, I feel comfortable with where she is because it's safe and there is a lot of support. However, my concern is for when she comes out of the hospital. I still live at home, as does she, I can't have her at my house 24/7 because it's not feesible. I don't feel comfortable with her being at her house though due to the fact that she lacks the support she needs there, her parents aren't as involved as I believe they should be. I've contemplated saying something but I know it's not my place. I'm sure the hospital will try and do everything they can in order to have a good discharge plan however I know I can't support her 24/7 and always look out for her. I have my own mental health issues that I have to take care of. I guess how would I provide support for her while also making sure that I'm dealing with my stuff too? I know she's got a long road ahead of her, I just get frustrated that I'm the only support she has at the moment and I can't trust her parents to look after her. I'm just unsure as to what to do and how to do it. 

Thanks in advance anyone who replies.

2 REPLIES 2

Re: Supporting my girlfriend.


@SLP1997 wrote:

Hi everyone, hope you're coping okay with whatever is going on for you.

 

My girlfriend is currently doing another stay in an inpatient unit. Over the past few months she has had it really tough, an anti depressant made her really suicidal, so she went into hospital. Then she was put onto a mood stabiliser after that, she developed a rare syndrome from the medication called Stevens Johnson Syndrome, so she was put into hospital for a week and a half so they could deal with that. Since having to come off the medication due to the reaction she found herself in a pretty dark spot again. Originally she was going into hospital just to get onto medication and be monitored for any reactions. Since being there though and engaging in groups a lot of her past trauma is appearing and is sending her into a pretty downward spiral. She's been there for almost 3 weeks, I feel comfortable with where she is because it's safe and there is a lot of support. However, my concern is for when she comes out of the hospital. I still live at home, as does she, I can't have her at my house 24/7 because it's not feesible. I don't feel comfortable with her being at her house though due to the fact that she lacks the support she needs there, her parents aren't as involved as I believe they should be. I've contemplated saying something but I know it's not my place. I'm sure the hospital will try and do everything they can in order to have a good discharge plan however I know I can't support her 24/7 and always look out for her. I have my own mental health issues that I have to take care of. I guess how would I provide support for her while also making sure that I'm dealing with my stuff too? I know she's got a long road ahead of her, I just get frustrated that I'm the only support she has at the moment and I can't trust her parents to look after her. I'm just unsure as to what to do and how to do it. 

Thanks in advance anyone who replies.

 


Hello SLP1997,

I feel for you and admire your care and concern for your girlfriend. I don't log in very often these days and have not had an experience like yours. However if I were on your shoes I would try to have a meeting with someone from the hospital care team and your friend"s parents. And maybe prior to that, see if you can express your concerns to someone in your friend"s care team ... Or phone up one of the staff members from saneforums. I did that once and found them helpful. All the best from Melly

cc @Jupiter

Re: Supporting my girlfriend.

Hey @SLP1997 how are things going? What you and your girlfriend are going through really resonates with me. I had a couple of similar but different experiences when I was younger.

 

I'm guessing you are both still young to be living at home with parents? This is an incredibly complicated situation for you both to deal with. The responsibility is not solely yours and if you are able to be a support person for your girlfriend, that's fantastic, but she is going to need as much support as she can get. If going to her parents is what you feel needs to be done, I'd support that. I think sometimes to do what's best for the person we love, we sometimes have to do something that's going to piss them off. Before you do anything though, you mentioned her trauma is resurfacing. Do you know the extent of her trauma? Does it in any way involve her parents, either directly or indirectly? If her parents are connected in some way to the trauma; then bringing them in for support isn't going to work.

 

If she is in some sort of group therapy while in Hospital, that's a good indication she may be open to continuing treatment when she is discharged. Does she see a psychologist? What kind of professional support is in place for her? And while we're here, what support do you have in place? Do you see a GP, psychologist, anything? Make sure you get help in coping with this too. It's a lot to deal with.

 

Have you confided in your parents about the situation? If her parents aren't an option for support, could your parents step in?

 

I'm just rereading your post and see your remark "It's not my place". I think when it comes to dealing with this kind of thing, when we're talking life and death, I say to Hell with it. I ask myself if I will regret not saying or doing something? And usually it's a resounding YES. Step in, speak up, do what you can while you can. You'll want to look back in this knowing you did everything you could to help her.

 

Having said all that, you've gotta take care of yourself. This is a heavy situation and not one where the responsibility should rest solely on your shoulders. Widen the support network wherever you can. You and your girlfriend will both need as many people on board as possible to get through this. Support her, love her, do what you feel is best for her, but also understand that you may not be able to help her. Do what you can to help her and support her, but don't let it come at the cost of your mental health. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can still support her while taking care of yourself. Find a balance, create boundaries, decide what you're willing to sacrifice and what you're not willing to compromise on. Widen the support network and set aside time for yourself.

 

I really just want to reiterate that this is not something you can "fix". You can support, but you can't fix. Only she can work on that. Her mental health is not more important than yours, you both deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.

 

My experiences with this kind of thing is this: My first real relationship was similar to yours and it just about killed me. I was young, in love, and I was in over my head. That relationship cost me a lot mentally, and it's left scars that I still have today. There was no one else in our support network, and our relationship became solely about my partners needs. I won't go into it, but I can't stress this enough--This is not something you can fix for her.

The other similar experience I had was my best mates girlfriend came to me, confiding in me that she found out my best mate/her boyfriend, had been doing some terrible shit to himself. Self harm. And it was just, very very bad. I had no idea he'd been doing that either. When she told me what was going on, she was overwhelmed completely and wanted to leave him. She couldn't handle it. Knowing she wanted to leave him, I decided to reach out to his mum. I didn't know if it was the right thing to do, I knew he'd be pissed at me if he found out. But I knew he needed support, and I knew that as much as I wanted to, I couldn't help him. I'd be there for him, but I couldn't fix it for him. I told his Mum, she was shocked--I was too. And between me, his mum and girlfriend we managed to get him some help. He never found out that me and his mum knew what had happened, or that it was his mum that found him a doctor and psychologist and got that all sorted for him. He had no clue. Our friendship unfortunately fell apart. And I guess part of it was when he found out that I knew what was going on. He was mad, I guess felt betrayed that his girlfriend came to me? I don't really know. But you know as much as it hurts, I don't regret it. He needed help, he got help, he's alive today. That brings me great comfort, even if we aren't mates anymore.

 

Sorry, got lost in the past there, but my point is, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's not always going to make you popular, but sometimes we have to do something "bad" (like talking to the parents) in order to what's best for the people we love.

 

Anyway, think I've chewed up enough space here. Best of luck with it all mate, let me know how you get on

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