Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Fighting to help spouse [long read]

Hello, all,
I’m new to this forum and just thought I’d say that I too am experiencing the life altering effects of possibly schizophrenia, per my spouse. He has shown many signs of this MI, and trying to cope with the multiple involuntary hospitalizations, calls to the police, and lack of incite has become more than I can bear. I have no clue what to do now. He became violent—from what I’ve read people with MI are usually victims of violence—and I understand that. He has become physically abusive on two occasions: choking me and biting me. He is experiencing very distressing negative symptoms such as hearing demanding voices, paranoia, accusing me of infidelity, and fear we are being followed/recorded, thoughts are being implanted into his mind, neighbors want him killed, etc. I am so afraid for him and his well being. I’ve reached out to his family members and I moved back in with my parents in another state. We are currently separated due to his extreme behavior and my ignorance of how to deal with the situation without adding more stress and confusion to him in his current state. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and would like any advice on how to help him from afar, as I’ve become a major target of his persecutory delusions. I feel so alone most of the time, and my parents are kind but do not seem to feel the full gravity of the situation. I love my husband and want to see him get better, even if I cannot live with him any longer. I’m looking for support and advice in not blaming myself for the things he does, but also not blaming him. He can’t help that he has an illness, although undiagnosed at this time. He refuses help. Thank you in advance for any responses.

@Seperatedheart You have a caring heart and a desire to help him but are wise about keeping yourself safe. The best first thing I can suggest (unless there is a life-threatening situation) is to get on the website and look for a NAMI support group, and ideally a Family-to-Family class, if there is one in your area. There are also wonderful resources and good information on that site. There IS hope but it takes a lot of diligence and sometimes just the right things to come together at the right time. Don’t give up.

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Thank you for your heartfelt response. I really needed that tonight. I won’t give up on trying to keep him safe and I’ve been working directly with family members and have mobile crisis team on speed dial in his area to reach them should he need immediate help. I’m researching on how I can help more, so I will try NAMI and the family to family as you’ve suggested. I have given up on our marriage unfortunately; as he’s choked me the day before I left last month. But, I still feel getting him help at a hospital is essential as opposed to putting him in jail while in psychosis. I appreciate support and truly hope you’re doing well I’m your own difficult family situation. My heart goes out to you, too!

I, too, separated (now divorced) from my sz husband,He also turned violent, unexpectedly. In my case, during his most violent episode, I was able to call the police. When they arrived, I pleaded w them to take him to the hospital where he stayed for a week.

The advice to contact NAMI is a good one. Also, it’s good to reach out to his family… Are they helpful?

I am so glad you moved out. Better safe than sorry. Do what you can for him, from a distance. I know this is a heartbreaking situation. But please remember to take care of yourself, and try not to worry too much.

Hello seperatedheart, what type of programs for mental health do you have in your area? I would inform the local authorities of your husbands situation. If your husband is a danger to himself or others the authorities will help.
It is a very hard road to help a loved one get treatment. It often is very painful and there is alot of resentment. Talk to a NAMI support person.

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Thank you for your support.
There are some mental health resources in our area (I live in another state now) and he has a psychiatrist already that he recieves medication for minor issues and refusing to tell her what’s teally happening. I have contacted the local crisis center at the hospital 10 min from the house has been helpful during 2 episodes, but it is voluntary programs available. I’m working with his family, and they have been cooperative and working with me and documenting incidents to get him to involuntary treatment longer than the 7 days he was in last time. It seems when he doesn’t appear to be a danger to himself or others, they let him out before a full diagnostic workup occurs. It makes me afraid for him and whomever may be subjected to his paranoia during crisis; especially now that I’m gone and he’s headed for eviction. He does not want help, doesn’t think he needs help and that others are just trying to commit him to “make him look crazy.” It’s painful for me and his family members, but we will continue to do what we can. I will look into NAMI and the other resources mentioned here. I hope it does something to make a better outcome…

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I am hoping that you are doing well after your brave move back to your parents’ house and still trying to help your MI spouse. I wish you safety and happiness. My spouse (alcoholic and drug user) was more of a bother to my sanity tonight than my MI daughter. Thank God he is sleeping and she is quiet tonight, I can’t imagine what the pain of being married or partnered with someone with severe MI would be. It is a somber thought for me. I at least know mine will wake up sober in the morning.