Hello folks. My name is Holly and my husband, at age 34, just had his first delusional episode. He had no history of sz symptoms (nothing obvious, anyway) and I only just found out he had a grandfather with this diagnosis. I had made him a doctor’s appointment for this past Friday after several days of increasingly bizarre behavior and persecutory delusions, but he didn’t make it to Friday… last Thursday he became suspicious of me and very threatening and I had to call 911 to get him out of the house before something terrible happened. He’s still in the hospital now but has started Risperdal and seems much, much better. I very much want to bring him home but, of course, I want to make sure we can do it safely, since we have three small children, including a newborn.
The reason I am posting here instead of in the Family section is because I would like to hear from you all in the Diagnosed section about how you are managing your lives with sz. I’ve been looking around for information on family life with a sz parent but most of what’s out there seems to be from the perspective of psychologists or mental health organizations… not from people down in the trenches, as it were.
For the past four years or so, my husband has been a stay-home father. It was stressful for him, especially since I have been working two jobs to keep us afloat, but he was doing a great job and we both saw it as a real blessing to be able to keep our little guys out of daycare. People (like his mother, who remembers life with her untreated sz father in the 60s ) are telling me that he will never be able to stay with the boys again, never be able to be a stay home parent. There are even some people suggesting that I should just leave him, even though I have made it clear that I’m not going to walk away from the father of my children because he has an illness. But it’s also still very early in the game, and I don’t have all the information yet (I only found out yesterday what meds they even had him on ). We don’t have a plan of care lined up yet or anything…
What do you all think? Are any of you parenting small children with a lot of time alone with them (or not, and why?). What do you think this would be like for someone with sz? Is it realistic for me to think that with more support, my husband could resume his life as daddy while I continue to work, or am I kidding myself? What about relapses? Is it still just too early for me to be worrying about this stuff without more info about his condition?
I have a lot of decisions to make, including the possibility that I’ll have to change jobs or even careers, with a certain pay cut if I do, in order to provide more home support for my husband and kids. Our money situation isn’t great and I absolutely cannot make this kind of decision lightly. I’m really desperate for good information on this and I greatly appreciate any insights you all can offer.