We recently had to leave my children’s father for the second time because for the past two years he has been exhibiting symptoms of late-onset schizophrenia. My children’s paternal great aunt has already been diagnosed with the condition a few years back. I don’t know of anyone else in my children’s father’s family who may have had this condition, but their family is the type where people either never got help and / or tried to keep quiet about it because of the stigma or lack of education about the condition or lack of access to psychiatric help in past generations. Their father has only recently begun to see mental health professionals for help with his problems and is far from being diagnosed with anything at this stage, and I realize it is the qualified, licensed mental health professionals who need to have the last word on the cause of my children’s dad’s problems. All I know is that his behavior has escalated to the point of being dangerous for the second time in two years since we tried getting back together and I had to flee with the kids again. It’s heartbreaking because I still love their Dad and at times he seems back to his normal self, where at other times I find him cycling back into a pattern of delusional thinking and behaviors that have become increasingly more accusatory, suspicious, paranoid, and aggressive. His delusions have often centered around me ‘cheating on him for drugs’ and have compelled him to leave voice activated tape recorders in the house or use baby monitors to eavesdrop on my activities, which is ridiculous because there is nothing bad or untoward going on and nothing worth tape recording. I’ve never been unfaithful to him, and I would never use illegal drugs or have anything to do with the kinds of people who sell them. Alcohol and marijuana seem to exacerbate his symptoms, to the point where he attacked me several nights ago and would only back off when I gave him fake names and information to satisfy his ‘interrogation’ tactics regarding my imaginary, fictitious ‘infidelity’ and ‘secret drug habit’. When I worry that my life is in danger, that’s when it’s time to hit the road and get out of there with the kids (this time while he was sleeping). Last year, he had a loaded gun in the house and was drinking wine coolers on a regular basis while going on rants about the ‘strange people’ I was inviting into the house to cheat on him with… This time it escalated to strange people in the house (some of the same people from last time plus their friends), having sex with strange men in our bed for drugs, etc. So we left-again.
I think my children’s Dad’s family may be in denial, or maybe they know what it could be and are scared to death of it. I’m just glad I’m 100 miles away with the kids while the Dad endeavors to get some professional help with his problems.
If my children’s Dad is diagnosed with late onset schizophrenia, what genetic testing options are out there to see if my kids have the genes that predispose them to it or if they are carriers?
Thanks for listening,
Just want the father of my kids to be normal and I miss the real him (his Aunt’s Late-Onset Schizophrenia symptoms didn’t start until she was 35 or older either…)