Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Desperate For Educated Help Regarding A Loved One


#1

Hello to all and thank-you for taking the time to read this, as I have many of yours here recently. I am a 48 year old single father that is engaged to a woman 17 years younger, who was placed on lifetime disability several years before our relationship began two years ago. Her current diagnosis as far as I know is depression, anxiety and bi-polar, all of which seem to be rather apparent. What is clearly lacking however and being firmly resisted is a diagnosis for schizophrenia, which is both apparent and increasing.

Actually having known this woman (although not very well prior to our relationship) since she was born and her family extremely well, I personally believe the root cause is past trauma. It’s an incredibly complicated but also genuinely wholesome story the details of which can be expanded upon later, but meantime as someone who has often been asked for guidance regarding relationships and family matters, I have no longer have any answers for myself and the ever increasing hell that seems to be encompassing my and most importantly my son’s life to some extent as well.

Also for the record she does have four prescriptions, including Adderall, Klonopin, Quetiapine Fumarate and another anti-anxiety I can’t recall at the moment.

I have read much here and now have tremendous empathy for anyone who is going through this utter nightmare, and I also know there are no easy answers. I think our biggest stumbling block is her family not insisting she get help because they are all in a state of despair and chaos for various reasons themselves and have no time for her condition, yet only they likely have the ability to make her face the music and admit that perhaps there is a reason for her obvious paranoia.

As you can likely imagine I’m always to blame when something goes missing, even though the same thing or things do so often and she of course always finds them. Yet when it goes missing again, it’s obviously me who must be to blame. Yes her phone is hacked, yes she occasionally thinks a car is following her or someone is watching in a car parked outside. She is convinced I’m having an affair with my son’s mother, which is beyond the pale of absurdity. We both drink but personally I never get drunk and moderate myself. She has recently begun sneaking vodka home from trips to the doctor or store and this has added to the problem significantly while causing some very difficult evenings.

For now we are separated and she is back at her mother’s home, which is a terrible, high stress, negative environment for her to be in. We talk but she is growing more angry and apprehensive of with me over smaller things. Also while she is a paradox of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and also the most faithful and loving I’ve ever been so fortunate to call,my own, she is also the one who thinks I’m up to no good if I get out of bed at night or is convinced out of nowhere that I’m trying to have her arrested and her benefits taken away.

I’ve never had to let someone I love go, as they always let me go. I’m also extremely faithful and hyper-sentimental, so turning my back on her seems an impossible option and I know that she loves me as much as I love her. But I feel like I am dying inside and cheating my son out of a better life, so I have to find a way through this intensely dark place. While I did get custody of my son his mother was the devil and I stayed alone to raise my son for just under 10 years. Totally alone, no dating. Only one week after first spending time alone with my now fiancee did she move in from her father’s house and we have been together ever since.

I say this for context, as now the indescribably beautiful (inside and out) woman who did the impossible and allowed me to trust, is slowly fading away into what I know will be a worse life and I’m helpless to stop it. Or to know if I should even keep trying.

Guessing that maybe if anyone can relate to this kind of thing and can offer either advice or even just a scenario they were in that “resolved” itself to some meaningful extent I’d be eternally grateful. Nothing will give me a false hope now, I’ve tried to use logic and reason over and over and over and things are just getting worse. Still I love her dearly and will hold out hope for now because to me there is no other way yet.

Thank-you again for any and all help,
Ottavio


#2

Hello, I am just writing a quick note in response to your heartfelt post.

Adderall can cause paranoia in a person predisposed by genetics to that symptom. It’s sometimes needed, but often increases symptoms for people who experience psychosis.

No amount of logic or reasoning or evidence can dissuade a person with delusions from their beliefs. Learning to communicate is key. Most of us learned from a book by Dr. Xavier Amadour called “I Am Not Sick. I Don’t Need Help.” There are also lots of videos on youtube by this doctor that outline communication skills.

Best to you.


#3

Interesting, You say: “yet”…

As you have read here there is no easy way with her in the picture. It could work if you have plenty of money, Docs, Meds, facilities and a home large enough to let your son live in comfort and security from her.

You are intelligent enough to understand the meds and what is ahead for you and your son.

You increase the risk of loosing custody of your son with her around…

Back to the: “yet” I would walk and sender her home… Unless you can truly afford to make it work…

On edit and after thinking about it more:

Sex with a 17 year younger woman is great but not worth the destruction of your 10 year old son’s development… LOL


#4

Thank-you for the response and yes, while no doctor I agree that the adderall seems blatantly counterproductive. She has been conditioned to believe that she can’t get out of bed without it and it helps her, so what I say means nothing of course. Should she lose her Klonopin for even 5 minutes the world is coming to and end and a seizure is minutes away.

Sadly although she recently switched psychologists after 10 years and I was hoping the newer one would be more proactive with the increasing paranoia, I still don’t know what goes on during her visits and she closely guards the results. I did try to call her previous doctor twice begging for some help and to offer him insight but I was ignored both times, which I knew might happen for legal reasons if nothing else.

Still if he really cared he’d have found a way to talk to me.


#5

Yes you are correct, as “yet” does indeed mean just that. I am not willing or able to walk away at this time, and if you knew everything I’ve exercised supreme patience and understanding with that’s saying quite a bit I can assure you.

Also while I am not a rich man I’m at a loss to see how this would matter, as I don’t see money being any sort of remedy to this issue whatsoever. I don’t want her locked away in a room or on the other side of the house, I want her to be the friend she always was, at least to the greater and more trusting extent I knew and appreciated. One of the hardest things is that her trust in me has faded, yet I’ve never been proven or given cause to believe that I’ve done any of the things I’m accused of. That being the case you’d be tempted to think that over time she would be more at ease, but while that’s true with a couple things perhaps, for the most part we are going backwards there and its especially painful.

That said as you also accurately mention I am now clearly putting my relationship with my son in jeopardy beyond any and all shadow of a doubt and it weighs on me like a ton of bricks every minute of every day. His mother is now on heroin and no longer sees him, I am all he has for now and very much likewise. Nothing else I can add there.


#6

It makes a BIG difference in how you provide for the proper development, health and SECURITY of your son with a SZ around… you know, since this is all just a choice for you… Your son pays the price for 17 year younger ass…


#7

Actually your blind accusations and shallow resentment have made a truly BIG difference in any future assessment of your opinions, so you are therefore tuned out brother.

Nice way to represent your forum.


#8

My pleasure…


#9

Sorry for all you are going through. I don’t have the perspective of having an ill spouse or fiance, for me it is my adult son (and the rest of my family). However if my experience serves as any help at all. The klonopin in my opinion should be outlawed, I have seen it take perfectly healthy people to their knees (both physically and mentally) when all they were looking for is an easing of their anxiety.

Sad part is when the pill was developed it was intended as a very short term emergency stop gap for a week or two and no longer. Doctors today often have no trouble writing scripts for years especially for ‘hard to deal with’ patients. I also agree with the negative effects of adderall especially in someone already suffering from paranoia, bad combo there as you know. As for not having communication with her current doctor, the blasted HIPPA Laws are to blame for that and the options are that maybe you can get your fiance to sign off at the doctor’s office for permission for you to communicate with the doctor on her behalf or maybe even to sit in on a session with her with her permission.

Another way around that is to simply write a letter to the doctor from your perspective, you are an eloquent writer, but I would try not to say anything that sounds like you already diagnosed her because I have found from personal experience that you will lose the attention of the doctor right away if you do that. Instead, list the behaviors that you see consistently, also any particular “triggers” that escalate the behaviors and if there is anything specific that you feel your fiance would not be forthcoming with --in the presence of the doctor, then let the doctor know. I am a believer that more information is always better.

You can mail the letter to the doctor or drop it off at the office and maybe ask for acknowledgement of receipt. There were times I had to do this with my son and my sister to assure the doctor was getting the full picture. Eventually I got guardianship of my son so I could bypass all of the HIPPA regulations which made his treatment much easier to get on track.
As for your son, you already know you have to protect his safety and his mental health above all else, witnessing mental illness in full swing when you are so young and still developing can truthfully change the course of a child’s development, I know that first hand from what I went through as a child being raised by 2 ill parents. You sound very intelligent and willing to try what you can do within reason before calling it quits. I have no doubt that if push comes to shove your son’s safety will win out. I understand wanting to have love in your life too, I stay single myself by choice and I am comfortable with that but I think I am definitely in the minority. It is very normal to want to have a loving and romantic relationship.but even when both people are mentally stable they can be challenging. Try to remember that when a person is very ill, returning love to the people that love them is extremely hard if not impossible for them because of the chaos in their brain, the love you want from your fiance, the love you remember may not return like it was, or maybe it will --but having the correct diagnosis and the correct treatment is the first step to knowing and deciding for sure which way it will go. Your fiance may have a several things happening at once, there could be more than one viable diagnosis present, hopefully you and she will find out soon.

Lastly— stress of any kind will always exacerbate an ill person’s condition and when I say stress I mean what the ill person perceives as stress and that varies greatly from person to person, one person might find meal prep stressful another might find child care stressful or driving or loud noises, arguing…working, studying, the list is literally endless, and over time as caretakers we learn what works and what doesn’t. It is a complex journey and as you already know, no easy answers, just daily decisions of what is next and what is most important for today. I wish you and your son and your fiance the best possible outcome whatever that may be. Take care of yourself too. PS: I would recommend (if you have it in your area) participating in NAMI’s free Family to Family class, it helped me tremendously. https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Family-to-Family


#10

That was one of the the well spoken and helpful replies I had hoped for here and I am very grateful. Also I read your thread on Clozapine and found it very informative. This could certainly be a first step because that medication in particular is what she relies on the most to get through the day, but of course it’s a two edged sword in that regard.

To summarize honestly 10 min of the bottle being lost or “stolen” everything gets turned upside down fast. Convincing her she may not need it is simply out of the question. For me anyway.


#11

Gosh how I wish I could offer advice or a scenario that my family had been in that has resolved itself to a meaningful extent. Truly the one option you have discarded, has been our lifesaver - a separate dwelling. Mostly I feel as though we are just paddling our way to the next set of rapids and trying to enjoy anything resembling calm waters in the meantime. Always hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

Doctors won’t talk to family members without the permission of their patient, many of us have luck faxing them information and never hearing anything back.

My 35 year old adult son’s scz has changed me in many ways. I find I speak and address issues without the polite sidestepping and couched phrases that the rest of the world seems to still enjoy.


#12

I understand …monitoring meds and their whereabouts is critical as is making sure they are not combined with alcohol or other substances that could derail the positive effects, I added the NAMI Link as an after thought, I hope it helps. I was just thinking that if she has benefits and Medicaid or Medicare or both she can have a home health nurse that will visit her, supervise her meds and even provide a “timed” lock box (at least in Ohio they do) and they can assist with other aspects that she might need help with- in Ohio it requires a referral from a doctor. Just a thought.


#13

@Safetyhit - Question if you have time, you are saying that Clozapine is the 4th prescription she takes? The unnamed anti-anxiety?


#14

I just spoke with someone whose family member will not sign a HIPPA release. The person just calls and leaves a phone message with the psychologist. A concerned person could also write a letter. Providers are allowed to listen to you or read what you write, just not give information.


#15

I would try to convince her to consent to you being involved with her treatment. Ask the doctor what that involved.


#16

Thank-you Hope and I certainly understand and agree with everything you said. Yesterday I was blocked from responding because it was my first day here and apparently I exceeded my post and private message limit.

I do not have the contact info for her new doctor or even a full name but can try to look up and write something as suggested. In fact I did such a thing to a judge hearing my custody case and it was clear that she read and considered it in court, so that’s a great idea.

Also yes, that is the fourth one to the best of my knowledge. She carries her purse everywhere, even to bed so I only get a glance here and there.

Lastly as far as waiting for “the next set of rapids”, well I certainly understand and suppose I have to decide if I want to make that my life. Like I said I’ve never abandon anyone who loves me so this is extremely difficult to say the least no matter which direction I choose.


#17

As stated to Hope I completely agree and will give it a try. Nothing to lose at this point.


#18

Jan I have done this more than once and at times she was ok with the idea, but then an hour let alone a day or two later the whole discussion starts over and she changes her mind. I can’t get the idea to stick for any meaningful amount of time and the harder I press the more she will resist.

Hopefully one day…


#19

You should have passed on the edit. It only further discredits you as my son is 14 and I am not with her for your warped stated reason.

Why do they allow you to talk here?


#20

Am I understanding you correctly that the Klonopin is to keep her from having seizures? Just the tiniest bit of input here from personal experience within my family, my oldest son’s ex girlfriend was taking Klonopin for anxiety and was abusing it. She would literally nod off in public places. This effect could be greatly increased if she was drinking, which she did quite often. In my humble opinion, that drug can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Perhaps if taken as prescribed, it is not, but I have not experienced anyone taking it “as prescribed.” As far as Adderall goes, my younger son (17, schzioaffective), took it or another ADHD med since age 6 as he was diagnosed as being severely ADHD. When he was younger (grade school), he definitely needed something to be able to sit still and pay attention in school. As he got older, he began to abuse it (it is snorted by teenagers often). When he went in patient this summer, the P-doc was wise enough to realize he didn’t really need it anymore and that he was abusing it. He took him off it. I find him to be less aggressive, less paranoid, etc. now that he is not on it. It is basically, legal meth. Maybe others here will disagree. Sure, it has its place for those who need it but my son became addicted to a prescribed form of methampethamine. My personal experience is a level of stablity can be obtained (my son reports he hardly ever hears the voices anymore) upon finding the right mix of meds. He is med complaint (takes pills daily not a shot) and we are finding a harmonious home again. Wish you the best in deciding the right direction to go. It is a hard, hard road as you’ve read on here, but can be achieved I believe with good doctors, right med mix and determination as a caregiver.