Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Frustrated family member


#1

Hello, my husband was diagnosed about 18yrs ago. About 3 months ago he had a relapse.

I always knew it was possible/likely to happen but didn’t really expect our whole world to be turned upside down. He was inpatient for a couple of days then decided to do outpatient, which was very helpful to him.

He is thinking just because the Dr’s said he was ready to return to work and making great process that he will be back to where he was before the break.

Over the last month he has tried to go back to work, which has been difficult and very painful. He has been drinking more over the last month to try and mask the pain. I have given my whole heart and life to this man and it frustrates me that he cannot see the drinking is not helping, in fact is just putting a band aid over a wound.

In my frustration I know that I say things that are upsetting to him, but it’s a lot of stuff that I have been holding in for a while not wanting to upset him. I simply cannot hold all this in anymore and this morning had a discussion with him about it.

As expected it did not go well and he felt like I was just telling him he was a drunk. Just the opposite I was just trying to tell him that this may be part of the link to get him back. Over the last couple months he has been doing this laying bed thing, “it’s safe here”.

After I poured my heart out this morning that was exactly where he wanted to stay for the day. I am thankful that I was able to get him up and out of bed even if it was for a couple minutes, something that he learned in outpatient- do something for 5 minutes. I explained to him this morning that he is my rock just as much as I am his and if I can’t be honest with him and tell him truly what is on my mind who can I? I know that I am rambling a bit but I have never felt more alone at times and have never felt like I had no one to talk to.

There are only a handful of our friends that really know what is going on with him and for some reason I don’t want to bother them because I want to leave them for his support, thinking that he needs them more than I do…I know that I am good at picking the best time to discuss things with him and probably wait too long in between talks and pour a ton of stuff on his plate, not helping either of us.

I guess in this super long rant I just wanted to say that I feel great that this forum exists and that I could maybe get a few suggestions.


#2

Take a few deep breaths!

Hey, have you thought about getting a counselor for you?

Sometimes drinking is a problem all by itself! My Mom used to say alcoholism is a thousand laughs and a million tears.

Jayster


#3

I have thought of it or possibly support group. Wise saying


#4

I would second the idea of a couples counsellor - that would lift the burden from you and have an independent third party who can give both of you unbiased ideas on how to move forward.


#5

I had an uncle with Sz who drank. He was diagnosed before the medicines got better. It is a form of self medication, but it inhibits the medication he is taking (if he’s taking any right now). Sz comes with a tendency to get addicted. I second SzAdmin’s advice to see a therapist. Also getting some help with the drinking is important.


#6

A modified version of my more-or-less standard response to newbies:

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it. Have your family read it, too. NOW.
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Schizophrenia-6th-Edition-Family/dp/0062268856

  2. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    https://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

  3. Work with that p-doc to develop a medication formula that stabilizes your symptoms sufficiently so that you can tackle to the psychotherapy that will disentangle your thinking from reality effectively. The best of the therapies for that currently include…

DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html

  1. Check out the list of “Patterns and Characteristics” at http://coda.org/index.cfm/meeting-documents/patterns-and-characteristics-2010/. If you see yourself in more than six, I’d get a copy of their book and read it, too
    http://www.amazon.com/Co-Dependents-Anonymous-CoDA/dp/0964710501

  2. I would not touch a marriage counselor who is not well-versed in a) sz, b) substance abuse, and c) co-dependence. Those who are not are almost invariably a waste of time and money.