Family slammed for ostracizing man with ‘mental breakdown’
A woman and her husband have received support online after revealing his family put him on trial for suffering a mental health crisis.
The original poster (OP), known as u/Beautiful-Cut3012, posted about the situation to Reddit’s “Am I The A******” forum where it received over 17 400 upvotes and 1,700 comments. The position can be found here.
Support loved ones
Supporting a family member or loved one during a mental health crisis can be anxiety-provoking, especially if the person is not receiving support from others.
Ken Duckworth, MD and Chief Medical Officer of the National Mental Health Alliance, said Newsweek it is important that people put themselves in their loved one’s shoes.
“You can ask them what they need or how you can best help them,” Duckworth said. “It helps to adjust your language with, ‘I’m worried, is there anything I can do to help? ?” and try to listen without judging the situation and not trying to “fix” it.
Duckworth also said family and friends can benefit from a better understanding of their loved one’s mental illness diagnosis.
By having more information, it becomes easier for individuals to offer support and engage with loved ones while ensuring they are listening to their issues.
“Being willing to talk less and listen more is important to make your loved one feel heard and validated without judgment,” Duckworth said.
But, he added, it’s also important to remember that offering this kind of support can sometimes be difficult, especially if the loved one isn’t interested in treatment.
“It’s a difficult situation when a family member lacks awareness and denies that something is wrong. It can be easy to confuse that with deliberate denial,” Duckworth said. “It’s important to know that this could be a symptom of their mental illness, called anosognosia. It might help to understand the situation better by listening to someone who has lost consciousness, has regained it and can talk about it.”
In the post titled “AITA for telling my niece that my husband and I are not going to her birthday party because my husband is not welcome?” the PO said she and her husband had been together for 10 years.
She said her husband suffered “horrifying trauma” as a child, particularly from his father. She said that although he is a “wonderful man” who is great with children, he still suffers from his childhood trauma.
“Her parents were married and expecting twins when her mother suffered some sort of hemorrhage and ended up with eclampsia,” the post read. “My husband’s mother and twin sister did not survive. But my husband did after some time in NICU. His father told him it was his fault they died. “
Fortunately, he had a good relationship with his grandparents until their death at the age of 8, which his father also blamed him for.
“He spent the next 10 years hearing day after day that he was the cause. At no time did he have another person to reassure him that was not the case,” reads the message. “When we met, he had just started to heal. He was away from his dad and in therapy.”
“Began to unravel”
In January 2020, the PO went to a pregnancy scan with her husband where they learned she had had a miscarriage. She said as soon as her husband heard it, something “snapped” inside.
“He started to break down. He was in the midst of a mental health crisis,” the post read. “He was doing this funny manic laugh that was also a sob. He ran out of the room and I followed him, worried.”
The OP said his sister is a nurse at the hospital and his mother worked in the gift shop and they both witnessed the incident.
“Both saw it in this worst time,” the post read. “They saw that the medical staff were forced to intervene because he was depressed, hysterical and totally beside himself. He was totally broken and nothing could touch him.”
She said that although it was the scariest moment of her life, it was her husband’s worst moment. Still, she said her family judged her husband for “laughing” during the incident.
The OP’s mother and sister then told the rest of the family about the incident and they also “judged” him, even though they were aware of his mental health history.
“My husband ended up in the care of a psychiatrist who suggested he needed far more help than therapy could provide,” the post read. “Instead of understanding, my family didn’t want him anymore.”
The family said a man who would “laugh at his own wife’s miscarriage” was not someone they wanted with the children. But she told them she wouldn’t rule it out.
Recently, the PO was invited to his niece’s 12th birthday party, her first party since the pandemic. But when her niece called and said she wanted her there, she said she couldn’t be there and apologized.
“She was upset and asked why she had never seen us,” the post read. “I told her that my husband was no longer welcome among the other adults in the family. She apparently yelled at her parents and mine.”
Now the OP’s family say they “didn’t have to tell” her niece and are upset by her comment.
Over 1,700 users commented on the post, with many supporting the OP for supporting her husband during such a difficult time.
“I respect you for standing by your husband. It was the right decision. If they don’t both welcome you then neither of you attend,” one user commented. “As for telling your niece the truth, I’m okay with that too. You have nothing to hide. There was nothing inappropriate about telling her that. And it looks like you have kept the explanation short.”
“Sister is a nurse while mom worked in the little gift shop. Both saw. Big breach of privacy if they tell family what happened in hospital. NTA,” another commented. .
“NTA. This is horrible behavior [sic] about your sister and your mother, especially since they both work in a hospital,” another commented.
“No, I don’t think you and your husband should be around people who totally judge him based on one extreme[ly] vulnerable moment in both of your lives,” another commented. “His mental health comes first. I hope you and him are doing better.”
“Sister is a nurse, she should have at least a working understanding of the difference between a delighted laugh and a nervous breakdown, especially since there have been other medical procedures going on,” another user commented.
“They probably told your niece lies or completely ignored the issue,” another commented. “Your family can go kick rocks and I’m so sorry for your loss and your husband’s pain in this horrible situation.”
Another commented: “12 is usually old enough to start hearing uncomfortable truths about your family. And you didn’t say why, but you said your husband was not wanted and you both of you are in overall agreement.”
Newsweek has contacted u/Beautiful-Cut3012 for comment.
Other Viral Posts
In another viral post on Reddit, a man was slammed for shaming his girlfriend’s “work ethic” while she dealt with mental health issues. Commenters also slammed a mother for taking her 6pm children away from her family so she could be with her new husband after their father died.
A woman has received help online for refusing to help her sister care for her dying father.
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via [email protected] We can ask experts for advice and your story could be published on Newsweek.