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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southwestern Virginia
    Posts
    719

    Default Dealing with the Mentally Ill is driving me crazy.

    A few years ago my ex-hub started showing signs of PTSD. He proceeded to refuse help and make my life a living hell for a couple years include an affair with a coworker. I had to get a no contact order when he wouldn't leave me alone. Since my divorce I have tried to have as little contact as possible with him. He has now been diagnosed with several other issues. I had not spoken to him in 6 months. In my mind the person I married died when the mental illness took over. His behavior, attitude and personality changed so drastically I couldn't correlate the two individuals.
    Now he has started contacting me like we are best friends. It is driving me nuts. Sometimes he is the person he used to be and other times he is a complete stranger. I had never had any previous experience with mental illness and it has definitely opened my eyes to a whole new realm. I don't know how other people are able to handle this. I really just want to run away.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2006
    Posts
    2,445

    Default

    Mental illness aspect aside, have you asked him to leave you alone? It sounds like you no longer want contact with him, and he needs to respect that. If your being wishy washy with him because you are seeing glimses of what you fell in love with originally then you are not helping the situation. I have found when dealing with the mentally ill you have to be as direct as possible, and lay it out for them. So if you want to have contact with him you are going to have to deal with the ups and downs, if you don't want contact with him then make that happen. Tell him you don't want to talk to him/see him anymore then follow through. If he calls you don't answer or return the call, if he shows up somewhere remind him you didn't want to see him anymore and leave. Remember to keep safe though, depending on where he is at mentally they can get stalkerish or aggressive.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southwestern Virginia
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Without going into detail he is leaving soon and I am trying to avoid conflict until then. I just don't know how the heck people deal with this long term.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    2,709

    Default

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. It is perfectly OK to not have contact with him. I am not sure what his motivation is for wanting to contact you but he needs to know that it is not OK, or if OK, under what circumstances. If you have mixed feelings about the whole thing or feel confused/too much emotional trauma it may help to discuss this with a counselor. The right counselor would be able to help you to deal with this difficult situation including understanding how his mental illness affects him. I do hope that your husband is seeing a therapist and getting any necessary medication. I wish you the best of luck.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,224

    Default

    Be very careful. You never know which person is showing up and it can turn ugly in a heartbeat.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2009
    Posts
    153

    Default

    I'm sorry that your husband didn't seek help for his PTSD but the idea that people with PTSD are different people and things can turn ugly in a heartbeat is just ignorant.

    I have PTSD and battle it more days than not. It is hard on my family and my boyfriend, but I also work really hard at controlling it. You're problem is not dealing with the mentally ill, it is dealing with your ex-husband. Make this distinction, because otherwise you will spend the rest of your life judging people who are diagnosed with mental illnesses. That's not fair for the rest of us and it continues the negative stigma associated with mental illnesses.

    I'd suggest that you get therapy though because dealing with someone who has a mental illness is not easy and it would be the best for you. There are support groups for family members and I'm sure you'd be welcome there.

    Please don't judge all people who have mental illnesses though. Some of us work hard to function as normally as we can in society.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,190

    Default

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but just because he's leaving soon doesn't mean he won't still contact you and you need to take whatever steps you can to end his contact. I know it's a pain to change to an unlisted unpublished phone number but it works well with my landline for me. You might have to get a police report to get the number change expedited, and to avoid paying service charges but it helps the process move quicker. If he is contacting you via email or other means block him, and don't give your information to anyone who would be tempted to pass it along to him. If he sends mail return it or shred it unopened. You have to make it a clean break, but you also have to be careful because he's unpredictable. I hope this ends soon and he moves on.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JetsGlitterNGold View Post
    I'm sorry that your husband didn't seek help for his PTSD but the idea that people with PTSD are different people and things can turn ugly in a heartbeat is just ignorant.
    Actually, it's not really so ignorant. Sometimes people with PTSD do have outbursts, fits of rage or fear, violent behavior, regressions, crying, aggression.. etc. I've seen calm adults with history of PTSD turn violent in a flash over some unknown cause, throwing chairs, water pitchers, sweeping everything of my medicine cart onto the floor, trying to hit and punch and ultimately sending a nursing assistant to the ER. Every case is different, some mild, some more severe. My example was obviously very severe. It's really very specific to the cause and triggers... you can't say for sure that someone isn't going to 'act out' due to some underlying trigger. You never know.

    This isn't to say I condone the stigmatizing of 'mental illness' at all. I certainly do not but you can't always sugar coat it either. It just depends so much on the case by case.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southwestern Virginia
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by equidae View Post
    Actually, it's not really so ignorant. Sometimes people with PTSD do have outbursts, fits of rage or fear, violent behavior, regressions, crying, aggression.. etc. I've seen calm adults with history of PTSD turn violent in a flash over some unknown cause, throwing chairs, water pitchers, sweeping everything of my medicine cart onto the floor, trying to hit and punch and ultimately sending a nursing assistant to the ER. Every case is different, some mild, some more severe. My example was obviously very severe. It's really very specific to the cause and triggers... you can't say for sure that someone isn't going to 'act out' due to some underlying trigger. You never know.

    This isn't to say I condone the stigmatizing of 'mental illness' at all. I certainly do not but you can't always sugar coat it either. It just depends so much on the case by case.
    Exactly. I really never knew who was going to show up. Crying, laughing, screaming, or silence. It always seemed to be extremes with no middle ground. Peaking in my windows at night, suicide notes left with flowers in my driveway. I tried to get him help from every avenue I could find but you can't get help unless they want help.

    I did go to counseling. Considering all that has happened I think I've done rather well. PTSD progressed to other underlying mental health issues. I don't blame him for his behavior but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I know he is ill but that doesn't make it any less frustrating for me.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,224

    Default

    JetsGlitter-I assure you i am not ignorant on the subject. I wish I was. Learn to read for comprehension. OP noted that her ex has been diagnosed with several other disorders not just PTSD and had also refused treatment when they were married. He is the subject of a no-contact order but contacts her anyway and acts like thing they are best buds. That raises some very big caution flags to me.

    Smilton sometimes it has to stop being about them and be about you. You have to take care of your own physical safety and mental well being and that may include cutting off contact. Sometimes we can't make it better no matter how hard we try.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2005
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    1,680

    Default

    I have a child with a condition that is lifelong and extremely challenging at times.
    I won't discuss some of the more personal aspects but I have learned over time some great coping mechanisms. Among them , compassion, understanding (on an academic level) , acceptance and humor!
    My largest complaint with society as a whole is the degree of fear and discomfort when they are near some one with a mental illness - we are conditioned to feel some pity when we see someone crippled or disfigured- but someone talking to himself on a street corner triggers terror.
    Most crazy people are just that crazy...
    they will not harm you, your children or pets. It is the "pressure cookers" that seem normal that commit horrible crimes . Too bad this country doesn't treat .
    Unless you are the advocate for that poor lost soul they end up without counselling and medications that can help alleviate their symptoms.
    Mine is very productive and engaged if well monitored and the opportunites are available. There are a handful of brilliant people that would otherwise be dead or in a back alley surviving on handouts if not for a great support system.
    My beautiful child is brilliant and is learning how to cope with an unforgiving and tough world.



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