My son was diagnosed with paranoid Sz in Jan 2013, that’s four and of half years of gut wrenching worry, uncontrollable crying and wringing my hands with anguish and heartbreak. I used to be a healthy eater, in very good health actually, strong immune system. But as we all know, our adult children get this diagnosis at a time in our lives when we’re on the way to being elderly, when we’d like to be having peace and quiet – and joy over grandchildren. And maybe just relaxing and chilling at home with nothing at all to do. But no! Not us! So now I think I have oral thrush, or candida overgrowth or something. I went to doctor and she prescribed the typical antifungal treatment. Seems my tongue looks better but my throat is full of it, I think, so it may have spread to my esophagus! Grosssss!! I know it sounds sickening, but has anybody ever heard of oral thrush being triggered by stress and anxiety?? I’m not the same person since his illness.
Yes, stress is one of the main ways our bodies and minds become unhealthy.
In the five years of family member’s illness I went from ultra healthy eater and exerciser to neither (just giving up), though I keep trying every once in a while and sometimes am able to walk to cope.
I have had two major illnesses in the past two years. Prior to then, I never experienced a serious physical illness (until two years years into family member’s dx). I am getting older, but still… I am not the same person I was before sz arrived in our family. I don’t want to be the person I was before, but I would like to be healthy enough to get through daily tasks.
Thrush is really treatable and will go away completely with treatment; there are oral probiotics like lozenges you can try. Listen to your body, as they say. Yes, stress causes this and a balanced diet will keep it away after the medicine works.
Yeah, I get anxiety, my heart rate starts to increase. I start to vomit. I can’t get sleep and the headaches become worse.
Yeah, initially I retired from school because of somatization.
I experience TIAs - during these past weeks of my son suffering extreme distress due to his psychosis, I have experienced several TIA events. Usually they are spread apart by at least a month, sometimes several months. I’ve had 5 since late May. Supposedly there can be a connection between increased incidents and stress.
I will add my two cents worth here. I’ve suffered from migraines since age 9. The frequency of these has really gone up since my son’s diagnosis. The other thing that came on is I was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks with diverticulitis. For those of you not familiar, this pain was worse than childbirth! OMG! Since that attack, I watch what I eat carefully and have not had a reoccurence. Thankfully! I actually have been a healthier eater since his diagnosis and am exercising more. I realize that I HAVE to take care of myself because if I don’t, who will take care of him? My husband is bipolar and incapable of helping (he overreacts to just about everything). I think to myself - how lucky am I to have two family members in the same house with a mental illness? LOL. I guess God thinks I am an incredibly strong person to give me such a full plate. But I deal with it most days with a smile on my face and get through it. I am so grateful to have found this group. Thanks to each of you!!
Finding this site was worth it’s weight in gold for me. The isolation that comes with this disease, left me feeling very alone in my situation. As sad as I am that any of you have to go through this too, it meant a lot to me to hear that there were other people dealing with their husband and child being ill at the same time. It never occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who had to deal with that particular obstacle. I’m not alone, and that is everything. But, no matter what we are dealing with, all of the people I have met on here are amazing and strong!
Agree. We share a common problem and maybe we can help each other w support and information ️
Leiann - I feel the same. Glad to know I am not the only one who is dealing with two family members with MH issues. I feel like my husband’s and son’s conditions make them extremely combative. Unfortunately, it puts me in the middle. My husband, being bipolar, overreacts to just about everything. When upset, he demands answers and solutions and expects me to have those immediately without having even thought about the question. I find it unnerving when he’s yelling at me “What are we going to do?” repeatedly. I am not a person who can answer things off the cuff and that makes him even angrier. My son taunts his dad on occasion and it’s just a free-for-all. My older son moved out as he just couldn’t handle the family circus anymore. I wish I had that option sometimes! I don’t know how others feel on here, but I share my family’s circumstances with very few people and even my close family members don’t know the chaos that occurs on a weekly basis in our home. I know it would be healthier to have a (physical) support group of friends or family members, but I find it really difficult to lean on other people. Anyone else feel the same? I feel like I am burdening others. I was raised by rather neglectful parents, so I became self-sufficient at a very early age. I think this is why I am a strong person, capable of handling what life has given me. I appreciate everyone listening and would like to hear how others cope.
@LisaS - you’ve described hour household to a T, other than I don’t have any other children who could have moved out.
It got to the point that my husband pretty much moved out to a camper we have at some property we own in the country. He was out there every day anyway, so it wasn’t a huge move. It’s helped out a lot.
Now, we’re thinking everyone would be happier if we put a doublewide or something out there as soon as we can afford it and we just maintain two households going forward. We’re lucky to be in a position where we can do that.
It’s funny. I believe my husband has bipolar - he’s only been diagnosed with adult ADHD, which also fits.
Our son has been diagnosed with SZ, but I’m thinking SZA.
But, unless my son is having a full-blown psychotic break, he’s much easier to be around than his father. My husband is exactly like yours - everything’s a crisis, and he panics, then demands solutions right away, and before you can find the answer to one question, he’s asking another one or asking for help with something else.
I’m lucky that I handle stress well - I deal with the situation as it happens, then forget about it after it’s done.
I’ve done it so much I think I have nerves of steal when something really, really bad happens - as long as it doesn’t involve my son. I totally freak out then. Or, I think I do. I probably handle it better than a lot of people do.
LisaS, you are definitely not alone. I not only find it difficult to lean on anyone, but I think that even if I wanted to, most people would not be there in the way I needed them to. If I feel any judgement from anyone, I will push them away quickly. I just can’t take it as until someone has walked in our shoes, they cannot imagine what we have been through, and what we have to do to make sure that we and our sick loved ones, survive this illness. I take pride in how tough I am, but at the same time feel like I could fall apart on the inside at times…just won’t anyone else see it As far as my husband goes, both my son and him were trading spots in the psych ward for a few months. When they were together, that was when I was in danger of losing it myself. Last December, I put my husband on a plane and sent him to his families as I could not make it with both of them in the house. They are more than happy to help him, and I can now concentrate on my son. As lonely as I am, and I am as both parents died within a month of each other at the beginning of our families mental illnesses, I am still better off than I was a year ago with both of them at home. I’m not sure how you continue to do it. I wouldn’t wish having two mental illnesses in the family, on anyone. You are strong lady :).
Leiann - You are lucky that your husband’s family will help with him. My husband’s mother is (undiagnosed) bipolar, won’t admit she has a problem, but is so similar to my husband. Love them both dearly, but the two of them together can be an explosive combination. They would last about 1 day together! LOL. My mother-in-law calls my son “her baby” since he is the youngest grandchild. She refuses to believe there is ANYTHING wrong with him. She also sends him $$ often which he promptly intercepts at the mailbox before I get home. He then proceeds to spend it on his wonder drug - pot. I have told her repeatedly what he is spending her $$ on, she doesn’t care! She is a retired nurse. You would think she would have some clues to MH illnesses, but seems absolutely clueless or in extreme denial. I have given up trying to talk to her about my son and don’t even bring up his illness anymore. She lives out of state, which is a good thing for the most part. Some of my family lives here but either they are gossipers or they have medical issues of their own because they’re aging and I don’t feel like I could ask for help from them. So, I go it alone as best I can. I am at a crossroads where I feel like I need to do something because it is becoming so volatile between husband and son. But what? I’m not sure. My saving grace is I work full-time and going to work is my refuge most of the time. My husband also manages to work full-time. He is one person at work and one completely different person at home. The people he works with would be shocked if they saw how different he is at home. I guess he manages to hold it together at work and then he comes apart at the seams once in his home environment. Anyhow, I’ll pray for you and your son. This is sometimes all I think we can do!
SLW - How funny that our families sound so much alike! I wish I could separate the two of mine somehow. When the two of them are going at each other, my son manages to stay calmer than his dad, and I’m wondering who is the child here? I guess with bipolar, it is just part of the illness to overreact, and boy does he! He is constantly saying we should move away (and not tell our kids where we’re moving to). Mind you that the youngest one is 17. I think we have an obligation to care for him. I just let him go on and on, then point out the flaws in his plans ever so gently. His mood swings are seriously like a rollercoaster. He says terrible things to me from time to time and I’ve learned just to let it go in one ear and out the other. Getting on the bipolar forums has given me a lot of insight into the illness and I try not to take things personally. Try being the key word. Anyhow, wishing you and your household peace and love in the coming days!
I routinely tell my husband to put the crazy away.
He’s got enough of a sense of humor to take it well.
Like I mentioned, he’s not officially diagnosed, but it runs rampant in his family and he’s not opposed to the idea - he just doesn’t care enough to get treated.
And, he’s said awful things to me too. It used to hurt - now it goes in one ear & out the other if I even hear it at all.
In my case, my son who has paranoid Sz lives with his dad (my ex husband) who has a diagnosis of schyzotypal personality disorder! I was married to him 19 years! Never thought he was mentally ill but he always claimed he had a problem. Yeah . . . strange situation. Absolutely heartbreaking to see my son so isolated.
My son was diagnosed in 2005 and by 2010 I was on disability from work due to extreme anxiety, chronic asthma and my diabetes was way out of control, in addition my blood pressure was up, I had gained a lot of weight, was having chronic migraines, I was in pain all of the time, the list was endless, I really wasn’t sure I would make it. Ironically, once I was home 24/7 with my son and after he was already stabilizing on clozapine, I noticed a dramatic difference in his behavior and his calmness, it all greatly improved when I was there all of the time. I even started to get better gradually because he was better and I had more time to care for myself. I still suffer from PTSD and I get therapy for that and I am still working on other health issues but things have improved in the past few years I am happy to say.
Catherine - Glad to hear your son is doing better and you’re doing better! It certainly is a must for us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of them. Wishing you continued good health for both you and your son.
I will think my husband is making some sort of progress in dealing with our son and understanding scz- then he will say something stupid. His most recent bit of stupidity was “parents should realize that adult children have to solve their own problems”. When I responded “we have a responsibility to make sure helpless family members are safe” - he did everything but roll his eyes.
If it inconveniences him, he doesn’t like it. Luckily I am past caring about his thoughts on the matter. I realized early on I was going to continue to require that he be involved, but I wasn’t going to let him have any say so about decisions. I have to admit, during our recent 6 week episode he didn’t do anything negative towards Jeb. Husband was rather shellshocked by the level of anguish and rage being expressed. Could be he was too frightened to do anything stupid.
In 2015, after I had spent 9 months working towards giving Jeb an ultimatum, (doing it all by the books - Amador and Komrad) - watching the videos, sending my husband the communication technique videos -when it came down to the moment Jeb realized we weren’t going to back down, Jeb was angry. He even spat at me from another room and went into the den. My husband started yelling at Jeb - after MONTHS of prepping him otherwise. He blocked Jeb from exiting the room and began yelling at Jeb telling him he had schizophrenia and he needed to take meds. Jeb pushed past him to get out of the room and my husband demanded I call the police because Jeb had pushed him.
That’s the sort of help I get from my husband when it comes to Jeb’s scz.
My husband can’t do the smallest project without turning into an angry, frustrated jerk. He can’t drive 15 miles without becoming irrationally angry at how someone else is driving.
I used to think it was a severely low level of frustration, the driving stuff is worse, its like he has no impulse control.
Once again, I think we’re all married to the same guy.
I think we all are! I’m starting to be grateful that mine is so far away When they are like this, dealing with them just adds so much more pain onto a painful situation. My husband (before his illness kicked in) had the shortest fuse when doing anything around the house, and sometimes with the boys. I spent so much time trying to protect my kids from being hurt by it, that I ended up being a full time “middle man”. Exhausting!