Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

Stuck in ‘The Gap’


There has been talk on twitter lately about ‘The Gap’ which can better be explained here

Last year we went through a period of time which without shadow of a doubt was utter hell. Chris was in a state of complete crisis, I had the girls to look after as well (at the time aged 4, 2 and not quite 1) I found myself for the first time thinking the NHS were leaving Chris to die. In a 6month period, Chris overdosed over 26 times, quite a number of those landing him in A&E, the most severe one causing him to end up in Rhesus and spending three days in coronary care, yet they still sent him home.

Chris, who when in this state of mind, won’t seek help without a lot of encouragement and then will often change his mind, wasn’t very cooperative. The Crisis team did nothing but cause more of a crisis, our GP couldn’t do more than he was doing, his psychiatrist wasn’t even bothered and he only got his Care Coordinator (a social worker) half way through the battle. I spent nights sitting up with him worried I would find him dead by morning, the longest I would leave him for was to take our Children to playgroup and I would hurry as quickly as I could. A&E visits saw him sent home, crisis team visits were a waste of time, it felt like me, and me alone was trying to keep Chris alive. There was a time, when things couldn’t get any worse, I accepted that Chris would one day successfully commit suicide or die through the damage he was constantly causing his body.

If Chris left the hospital (A&E, MAU) they would on occasion ring the Police who either took him back or left him at home. The one time he escaped from a Psychiatric unit they sent the Police to find him, he showed up at our house after a number of hours and the Police came to see him, the officer basically said he couldn’t do anything but advise Chris went back.. Chris didn’t and again it was down to me to make sure he was ok. On occasion I hoped and prayed they would find him in a public place and be able to do something to help him.

This ‘Gap’ for me is the NHS can’t/won’t help Chris out and the Police lacking the ability to do anything. What I have written isn’t even half of what happened, some of this might not even make sense, it’s a highly emotional thing to look back on for myself, who lived of adrenalin for months on end just to get by and to do everything possible to keep my children’s lives as normal as possible for them, but as I continue with this blog I will write about the incidents I have recorded, remembered so you can get a view into my life.


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

7 thoughts on “Stuck in ‘The Gap’

  1. This is really important stuff and it is a crucial insight. Thanks for sharing it and I will link to this from my blog so many more will see it.

  2. Pingback: Mind the gap! – part 2 | MentalHealthCop

  3. So sad to read. Unfortunately it seems to be like that up and down the country. I was in a psychiatric 30 miles away but they said they’d look after me for a week. After 2 days my local unit had a bed free and said they would look after me and I could stay there. FOUR HOURS later on the Friday afternoon they discharged me with NO meds and NO support and were extremely unhelpful and uncaring when I was found wandering round town unaware of what I was doing with blood pouring from my arms.
    As for the crisis crew. They’re bloody useless and ALWAYS make things worse.
    Any way. Hope you and Chris are ok now.

    • I am so sorry to hear of your experience; in fact similar happened to Chris, one thing I have learnt is no matter how far away he is if he’s showing signs of improvement I wouldn’t want him coming back just to be closer to home.
      I hope you are doing well; you’re definitely not alone in this kind of treatment. Take care.

  4. I can totally relate to your experience acarerseyes..I too was stuck in the same gap albeit different details. Hoping things are improving for you and eventually this gap is closed.

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