I am new to this forum. I have been reading a lot and wanted some advice from fellow caregivers as I am completely lost. My husband was diagnosed 7 years ago. We dated 6 years and have been married for 5 years now. I was with him through his diagnosis and recovery. We’ve been through 1 hospitalization when he was first diagnosed for a full month, 2 panic or psychotic attacks and now he’s on this third episode. He was doing great for 4 years unmedicated through therapy and a busy daily routine.
He just had a panic attack 1 week ago, and this time around miraculously he did ask me to take him to the hospital (after his trauma of hospitalization, he is scared of hospitals). We went to ER in the middle of the night and was prescribed 1 mg of risperidol oral solution. He usually reacts really fast to meds. He was asleep within 30 min. after his doze. We got discharged because the psychiatrist saw no signs of harm or danger. He told me to come back if he has another attack. He didn’t. He devotely took his meds for 5 days, but now he is refusing. I asked him why, and he says the voices tell him not to. I told him I love him too much to see him in pain that he should take his meds to get better and if he loves me more than his voices, he should take the meds. He did respond and took his doze right away, but that was the last doze he has taken. Ever since, he stopped talking to me. He doesn’t want to go out, he stays all day watching YouTube on space and planets. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but when I ask him if he loves me, he doesn’t respond and refuses to sleep next to me (sleeps on the couch). In my previous experience, in his last episode, he was able to brush it off within a month without any meds. However, the difference then is that he was very active. He knows taking walks helps him. I kept him distracted by taking him to different museums, exhibitions, sightseeing and going to the beach.
This time around, he seems to be acting so differently. It was amazing he accepted medication for the first few days, and now he is completely in denial. What can I do? We are currently overseas. We wanted to travel and I was able to get a remote job to make this dream come true. I am feeling the insecurity and the newness to the environment is triggering his anxiety. He will not get on a plane because he feels that he is going to die in an accident.
I know I may not be very coherent right now, but I need help from experienced caregivers. We do not have any sort of support here. I reached out for a rehab center, but it is out of our budget and we have no insurance here. It’ll also take a 1 hour plane ride to get him to the rehab center. Should I wait for him to calm down a bit more and take him home? We have insurance back home, and support from family as well. I am completely lost here and cannot tell his family he is not doing well. I know this is selfish, but getting constant phone calls worrying about him only makes me more stressed and anxious.
How long will this episode last? Previous episodes did not last over a month. On his second week, he was active, talking, eating healthy, and willing to go out. Is there an average time? Would it be safe for me to arrange things back home in four weeks to get him admitted to a facility? Right now, he doesn’t seem distressed but he is in mute mode. Yesterday, though, he took the initiative to write me on his phone saying that he is feeling better. He told me not to worry if he doesn’t talk. He wanted to go out shopping and helped me all day doing laundry, washing the dishes, grocery shopping, etc. Today, he is completely in limbo again. This is his third day with no medication. He is just sitting watching YouTube and refused to eat the lunch I made him, so I ordered food for him and he ate it all and did his own dishes! I am so confused by his behavior. Please help!