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Husband Afraid to Seek Help for His Mental Health Issue

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I feel my husband is in need of mental health help, however he refuses to seek help. He told me he is afraid they will lock him away like his father. His father has bi-polar and seeing this as a child greatly affected him. He has extreme mood changes from happy to rage in a split second over the smallest things. He now admitted that he is seeing people that he knows have died. He will look at someone and they will look just like the dead person he knew, then he looks away and they are normal. He is also dealing with a sex addiction and has just reached out to SA for help last night so he is taking the first steps needed.

My concern is how to get him the help he so desperately needs for his anger and self harm thoughts but not have him fear that the psychologist will lock him away. In the past year during times of high stress in our relationship he has slammed his head into a wall causing a concussion and has even looked up online how to hang himself. I’m very sure he suffers from depression and he feels he is slipping away. He said he is not the same person he was many years ago, and can only remember so far back into his past. He claims to have locked memories away in his mind and is afraid to let them out.

I know as a young child he was exposed to his father being in and out of psyche wards and his mother would take him to visit. He also has several other family members with mental health issues that he claims are worse then his father. This blocking off his memory and extreme rage makes me think maybe PTSD?

We have 2 young children and we want him to be healthy, I just don’t know how to convince him to get the help he needs. Any advice I can give him would be greatly appreciated.

Husband Afraid to Seek Help for His Mental Health Issue

Answered by on -

A.

Don’t wait. The thoughts he is having and the internet searches indicate that he needs help sooner rather than later. Explain to him that you are not going to have them commit him, but you need him to feel better so he can be a more connected partner. Let him know he is not his father, and that you are know he has a more positive influence on your children than his father did with him. Go to the meeting with him — or, perhaps even better, go to a couple’s session with him. It might make this easier for him if the focus is on the couple rather than his illness, but at least this will get him in front of a professional where he could be seen and a plan for treatment evolve.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

 

Husband Afraid to Seek Help for His Mental Health Issue

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Husband Afraid to Seek Help for His Mental Health Issue. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/11/23/husband-afraid-to-seek-help-for-his-mental-health-issue/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 23 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.