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

Lost and letdown by the mental health ‘system’


I feel lost, really lost, probably the most lost I have felt in my entire life because I am still struggling with the thought that I could possibly loose Chris for one to two years to a unit that would provide more specialist help to him. It comes with so many positives and negatives but when it comes down to it, I never went into the whole parenting thing thinking I would one day be classed as a single mum of four. That is exactly what I would be classed as if he was to go miles away, it really would be life changing for the girls and I, and while one day it could be all worth it, in the short term it seems so overwhelmingly awful!

I was speaking to my GP on the telephone last night, I was updating her on the situation and explaining how lost I felt and she said something that rang true with me, that I was probably feeling grief at the moment. As much as I try and convince myself of all the positive reasons I still at the most inconvenient times remember that he will miss the girls Christmas plays, birthdays, that I will be the one who mows the lawn and has to learn how to use the strimmer, I won’t have anyone to hug when I am cold in bed and to be honest it will probably on the most part be really lonely.

I was told a couple of years ago that this was what could happen if we didn’t prevent it, I was always so determined to stop it, do anything it took to help steer us away from this outlook and now I am sat here trying to work out what happened and do I have one last ditch attempt to try and prevent it or is this the only option now because while I was shouting and screaming everyone was ignoring the crucial bit of help Chris needed, which was always therapy.

It is exhausting, even worse that I don’t have the answers, everything is so uncertain, there are a number of outcomes at the moment, so many things could change, we don’t even know if they will even fund anywhere else but then what would they do. My mind is constantly spinning and I just feel so let down, let down by the whole damn mental health system that I have been up against now for so long. I know that if this does happen, if our family gets torn apart, I will not stop telling our story and making it heard to prevent this happening to anyone else. The state of psychological therapy in this country is a disgrace and who knows what impact this will have on the girl’s mental health and my own, the ‘system’ seems set on creating more problems than the ones it’s meant to be fixing.


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.

6 thoughts on “Lost and letdown by the mental health ‘system’

  1. You are feeling alone right now, but all your readers are with you and I agree with you that the mental health system is not working. It has to be up to regular people like us to give each other the support the system is not providing. Times like this are the worst, with the change, the uncertainty, the worry. I am here and so are your other fans. You’re not alone!

  2. I think you are phenomenal and an inspiration. You are doing an amazing job in such difficult circumstances. You may find that some necessary breathing space comes with separation which may help you to give yourself a break? (not easy I know). Your treasured family need you to be well, healthy and strong – you are clearly a rock. Looking after yourself is the best thing you can do for them. The mental health system in the UK is woeful and I agree it is a disgrace. I wish you all the best.

    • Thank you, I find space in the bus journey too and from the hospital actually, it is the only peace I get in my day and it allows me to gather my thoughts. It is sometimes hard to remember to look after myself when things are so busy with everyone else.

  3. I am a mental health care professional in South Africa and I work at a psychiatric hospital in a rural Eastern Cape Town. Although I always try my best to be as helpful and supportive as possible I have found that when I am tired or frustrated with a patient I am not always the best professional I can be. Your blog has helped to remind me of how important each word and action is. It is also interesting to hear the struggle of the Mental Health System in the United Kingdom. We work with such financial constraints, limited staff as well as huge issues around beaurocratic red tape and it seems as though even though there are major differences in our countries, it is the patients and their families that suffer the most. A diagnosis of BPD is very ‘rare’ in my hospital and is often sidelined for the more dramatic and supposedly serious disorders (e.g. Schizophrenia, Bipolar Mood Disorder etc)
    Thank you for being so honest, I find your ‘commentary’ on your experiences is truly helpful and inspirational.
    Keep well.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I am pleased my blog helps to remind you of how things affect family/friends/carers of patients, that was every bit my hope for this blog. I appreciate it is also very hard when you are so busy and stressed from the pressures and nature of your work, you need to look after your own mental wellbeing too! Take care of yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s