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Don’t know what to do

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
lucym
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:25 pm

Don’t know what to do

Postby lucym » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:34 pm

Been on these forums a while and could do with a bit of advice.
My boyfriend has really severe depression- suicidal much of the time. He has a dependency on codeine and has recently stopped taking it, which has brought out his symptoms of depression. He feels that anti depressants don’t work and that codeine is the only thing that helps. On top of that he’s been on it manly for pain relief as he has a complicated medical issue.
He’s waiting for therapy from cmht but that could take months. In the mean time when he’s strong enough he sometimes says he might go private. But he’s really low and hasn’t got out of bed for two days, though he’s considering getting more codeine just to be able to get out of bed.
I don’t know how to help. I don’t want to ‘enable’ the problem but I also hate to see him struggling and suffering while he waits for other treatment.
Again, he’s tried all sorts of antidepressants and says none of them work. To give context he’s had depression since about the age of 17, but it got worse around 25. He’s 34. I know I can’t fix him, I have to look after myself- and I do, that I’m not alone, that the waiting lists are too long but it just feels really hard to know there’s not much out there on days like this. Or at least, that it feels there’s not much help. Maybe I’m wrong and someone can tell me different?
What else can I do?

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Don’t know what to do

Postby amaya » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:20 am

It sounds like he needs to go back to the GP to discuss pain management issues and see whether there are any other meds he could use that are not so addictive. I take codeine sometimes for migraine, but as a side effect it does also improve my mood. As someone with depressive symptoms I know it is hard sometimes not to just take one to take the edge of a low mood day even when I have no pain.. but I resist because I do not want to become addicted. So I don't make any judgments because I can imagine how hard it is if you do have pain everyday. But then you really need someone medical to help.

Maybe there are alternative therapies like acupunture or similar that can also help with pain, sometimes it is also available through the NHS.

Can you make an extra appointment with the CMHT to explain that he needs extra support whilst waiting for treatment because the physical issues are impacting his ability to cope and worsening his mental health symptoms. If he is at risk of becoming an addict to painkillers just to cope with the day to day then his case sounds urgent to me.

lucym
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Don’t know what to do

Postby lucym » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:38 pm

Hi Amaya,

Thanks for your reply. He has been seeing occupational and physiotherapists at the long term pain team. He’s got an appointment with his gp on Monday to talk about it. I’ve tried to say to him that this isn’t a sustainable situation, and I know he hates it cos every so often he gets frustated and chucks them away. I think he is addicted to opiates, not just at risk. I don’t know what support there is out there for it?

The problem I find is that as he doesn’t feel that anti depressant work for him, he feels there is nothing else to help. And then he feels isolated and left to cope alone and then I think very overwhelmed. Plus if you add a withdrawal form the painkillers to that, it’s just additional hells. I feel so much for him, I just wish I could wave a magic wand.

I didn’t know you could call the cmht? Thank you that’s good advice, I’ll see if I can talk to his mum about it. xx


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