Tuesday, 17 March 2020

stop telling me to be kind!

I’m tiring of facebook urging me to be kind, that we can get through this, help the elderly (and more...)

My husband is 70, yes years older than me, and suffering from depression with some psychosis. It takes a lot of effort to keep him stable, calm and productive. But wall-wall tv news is panicking him. I realise c-virus is upsetting for everyone but depression and psychosis distort thinking. He doesn’t just look worried. The effect is that he highly exaggerates and misinterprets simple actions. For instance my throwing of unsolicited mail in the bin manifests as an act of treachery towards to him. At that point I have to talk him right down, get him to see reason and to apologise to me - whence calmness reigns once more. 

He is on hefty antibiotics too and suffering from an infection which can make him confused. While others on fb are complaining about supermarket shelves stripped of their favourite items I am dealing with a minor crisis.

Neighbours, friends and family are truly helpful. And all have said how much better Richard has been in terms of conversation and demeanour of late. They didn’t see him this morning! The thought of having his illness-led narrowed existence made even more restricted by self-isolation is panicking him. 

All the good things he was doing have gone south. He no longer cooks nor paints and he’s completely avoided digging and planting. Thank you corona virus. Our household is in chaos. And he is the elderly. He needs to get out to lift his depression. Self-isolation is a retrograde step for someone with mental illness. And all these folk urging me to ‘get through this’ have no idea how long it takes my husband to brush his teeth when his mood is as low as it was today. Get through this? try getting through breakfast! 

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