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

In answer to your questions…


Everyone always asks ‘Do you feel relieved?’ ‘Are you pleased/happy?’ Or words to that affect. The answer, while some may think it is easy, really isn’t so much. I am going to try and explain from my point of view exactly how I feel when I am asked those questions.

The past week has been one of the toughest times of my life, and on Tuesday, after an urgent message to Chris Social Worker because of how concerned I was about him, he was re admitted to hospital. It was quite clear he wasn’t able to keep himself safe, his ‘protective factors’ were not working, he said he felt detached from himself, he said he wished he was dead and couldn’t cope with how he was feeling.  Again we had tried all the alternatives and were running out of options for keeping him safe at home, this was again the last resort.

On Thursday night Chris told me he had asked for discharge, he was waiting to see a doctor and because I would need to unlock the front door and somehow get him home if he were to be discharged I had to wait up to see what was going on. At around half past one in the morning, while desperately trying to keep my eyes open, he told me he had been detained under a section 5(2).

The following day a Mental Health Act assessment was arranged, I was invited along as his ‘Nearest Relative’ there was also present; the Approved Mental Health Professional, the Consultant Psychiatrist of the ward, a section 12 doctor, two medical students (I will go into this on a different blog) and obviously Chris himself. Once everyone had finished discussing all the relevant bits of information it was decided that Chris would be detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. At this point my stomach sank, as although I knew he needed help, this was what I considered a necessary but not very nice process to have to go down. I felt a huge mixture of emotions, slight relief that he would be kept safe and have access to treatment, sadness that it had come to this, anger towards those that played a part in causing the hurt and flashbacks that upset him every day and also the lack of prevention from it getting this far, a lump came into my throat as I fought to hide my sadness from the room because I love him, and although it is for his own good a part of me just wanted to wrap him up in my arms and take him home and ‘make everything better’ completely unrealistic I know but I also know how much I miss him too.

I don’t feel ‘happy’ or ‘pleased’ I just feel at the moment it is necessary because of how unwell he is and I hope now he is given the ability to get to a point where life is a little more manageable, and with me supporting him all the way on his journey and our children never far away I hope this is the start to Chris being able to live again rather than just struggling to exist. He is a really amazing person, just like anyone who has been through all he has and all he will have to overcome but even when hope is hard to find it is always worth trying to hold onto.


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.

4 thoughts on “In answer to your questions…

  1. Hey Sarah. I just had to create an empty blog to comment 🙂

    You’ve been through the mill for a number of months now and you must be drained!

    Being on a s3 (for 5 and a 1/2 mths) was what helped me to get the appropriate help and I haven’t looked back since. Being under a s3 also means when he’s discharged that Chris will be under a s117 which is nothing to worry about and doesn’t restrict him but requires the local authorities etc to provide appropriate support and treatment. Hopefully this will be the start of Chris getting stable and accessing appropriate support and treatment.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, I really hope this does give him the support he really needs. It is lovely to hear you got the appropriate support, I hope you continue to do well 🙂

  2. Hey Sarah,

    So tough on you all but use this time to recuperate as much as you can, spend time with your little ones and hopefully Chris will be getting the help he also needs.

    Sending you lots of love and prayers xx

  3. Hi Sarah,
    I`ve been reading your blog for some time now but have never commented before. My own MH probs have stopped me ( I’ve a diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder) but I`m trying to overcome them by doing what is totally alien to me and that’s interacting with people. Has only taken me a wee while, I’m 46!!! Have even been brave enough to leave Chris a few comments on his blog as I personally know, sadly, the damage done to a person when they`ve been abused sexually as a child. I really hope that his time in hosp, with the right meds will help to stabilise him and hopefully some way down the line he’ll be offered therapy to deal with his traumatic childhood. He’s so very lucky to have met you all those years ago. Especially as his family are as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike as my Gran used to say! I think you’re an amazing Mum, Sarah and your girls are absolutely gorgeous. I actually wish that I lived beside you so I could spend time with them and lighten your load for you. Sadly, I’m not even in the same country coz I live in Scotland! I have a 6 yr old niece who always laughs when I say that, “I LOVE children but I couldn’t eat a whole one!!!” Sadly, due to my MH probs, I’ll never have any. Just one of many things stolen from me by the person who ruined my childhood and sadly, my adult life so far. I really do hope that Chris is given the appropriate help to, like you said, actually live his life and not just struggle to exist. He is indeed, a very special man.

    Sending love and hugs (or as we say here “bosies”) from Bonnie Scotland. xXBrendaXx

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