Terry talks about how mental health issues affected his whole family
“Shelley used to self harm. One day she just had a complete breakdown she just stopped functioning as a person – she just stopped. And it was like holy crap, what do we do now? Like where do I go? What do I do?
I love Shelley heaps and we just have to work through it, so we did. We buckled down and learnt everything we had to learn. I had to go from being Dad and working, to being Mum and Dad so I had to learn to do everything and I think it was a really big shock to have to step right up to take over the whole lot. I think it was very emotionally draining, and it physically drained me. There was no one to talk to, it was me, I took it all on myself and for years I have dealt with it just myself.
You go to your mates “Oh look I’m quitting work because my wife has mental health problems” and they look at you and say “what?? tell her to get over it”.
For a long time we stumbled along, just, me making do with whatever I could get done and Shelley just doing the best she can to survive. Mental Health affects everything…
Shelley might have Mental Health problems but it affects 5 people in our house. Our family was wrecked!! Mental health isn’t just – oh I have got something wrong inside me. It’s a big explosive package that people don’t understand.
Down at HelpingMinds since we’ve been in this town its somewhere you can go and just blurt out whatever is annoying the crap out of you or whatever you’re struggling with. And that’s what you need, you need someone you can just spill it all out. It’s just an ear to listen to what you are saying, that’s what it is. Somewhere to go and have a cup of coffee, meet a few other people, talk to other carers. Find out ways you can do things differently, and sometimes it is just good to have somewhere like HelpingMinds just to go and sit down and let some of the pressure flow off.”
Don’t ever give up, you can’t! It’s the biggest job in the world whether you are looking after Mum or Dad, or, brother or sister, or, Husband or Wife, it’s the biggest job in the world and you can’t quit. That person depends on you. Strive to find any help you can find, anything! It doesn’t matter what it is, you’ve got to look for it. You’ve got to actually reach out and grab it and take advantage of it.