Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How many people here are dealing with a spouse?

Hmm. I find his take that you are a robot disturbing because what it means is that he is no longer experiencing you as his wife and he may be shifting you into the category of his persecutors.

This tends to happen to the person who is closest to the individual having a psychotic break and it makes sense. Their perceptions are distorted and so as strong as the relationship is, at some point it can (and often does) get sucked into the distortions.

Don’t panic but you should start taking some precautions to ensure that you are OK if things really go south. That means physical safety and financial security.

I think you guys are staying in an RV behind your son’s house, so you can sleep in the house if needed? If not, arrange for an emergency bolt hole just in case.

And you can’t count on him to make good financial decisions right now (although I’m glad he’s focused on saving rather than spending, which would be worse). Do you have access to your money so you can buy groceries, pay bills etc.?

It’s much better to have these things in place and never need them than the reverse, and you’ll sleep better at night.

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My wife thought I was a shapeshifter and wanted to look at my teeth and not too long after ended up in that category of her persecutors. No amount of argument would change her mind.

yes, you got that right…

Thank you for the info on the messaging option. I’m admittedly not familiar with this site yet. And by “clogging up” in no way meant that our current conversation here applies or is a nuisance. Just looking for a space to connect back and forth with individual members on a regular, longer term basis, which I imagine the messaging function will work well for. Thanks again. :slight_smile:

Yes. My husband’s delusional system seems to work on a guilt-by-association system, and once the ideas of reference get started, it’s almost impossible to have any interaction with him without getting looped in.

He seems to focus on proper nouns, so that’s how it started for me during his initial psychotic break (which was slow and insidious): I mentioned some person or place that had been mentioned to him by a person he mistrusted, which opened the possibility in his mind that I was working with this person against him.

He was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt for a period of time, but ultimately I guess the coincidences piled up (only to him, they are not coincidences, of course). I knew some of the topics I needed to avoid but ultimately there was no way for me to know what some person he’d met at some point in his life had said (or eventually what he’d read in a magazine etc.).

And once I was the enemy, I pretty much stayed that way until the medications kicked in. And I became the enemy again (and much more quickly this time) once he relapsed.

It is very hard.

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I’m new here, but I created a slack channel for SZCaregivers.

SZCaregivers On Slack.com / szcaregivers.slack.com

It’s free to sign up and slack has a lot of cool features. I should have emails hidden, just like on this site.

I’m so glad I finally joined this forum!

I’ll post my story later.

Michelle

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Commiseration you shall have, Marfar77! … sad to say… but true here.
I have a partner. We’re a classic modern middle-aged couple who apparently were too smart or old to legally marry and share each other’s debts I guess you’d say. Lol.
No advice in either direction there. But if you end up seeing your husband involuntarily committed, it may work in your advantage to have that paper… to keep him. Or any children…
If it looks to you like a child is acting out, they probably are, and it might be worth looking into why. Could be related to a mental health aka brain disease like SK, could be ADHD, but don’t guess. It could be something as simple as something they are experiencing in the environment. Sometimes too, there are learned behaviors… (babies first, I like to say)
I knew my MI partner for a number of years before we got involved. It was evident there were ‘eccentricities’. The family knew. Never treated. Nothing I thought couldn’t be handled…
If you stick around on the forum, you may find a good amount of folks repeating or agreeing with similar (or even exact, which is crazy!) descriptions of behaviors to what you’re experiencing with your husband, but also anecdotes and great resources. So many great perspectives here.
Vent at will!
Welcome here…

Hey Im one of the very few to go on this very bizarre marriage to a man i can’t seem to understand anymore. He is my life and im doing everything to care for him. It very hard to just not take it personal when He says im poisoning his food he don’t trust me.

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We’re still plugging along. Until the past few days, things were going pretty wel (aside from the regular paranoia about the bank stealing out money and things happening to just us for some reason (like the gas stations raise their prices right before WE get gas. And lower them again when we leave the station. He literally believes the world revolves around him, I guess). Last nite, after hubs got home from work, he was super angry, he might as well die and go to hell cuz thats the only thing thats gunna stop the madness (however, he still doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him). He drank 2 beers, sucked up his newest thing: using nitrous oxide (stuff thats in whipped cream cans) and blames me for him having to use it. I walked in the door at 8:30 after looking at a house (we’re buying a home and he worked late, making it necessary for me to look by myself. He’s sposed to look tonite cuz I liked it) and he said he had the worst day of his life (really? The worst?). He yelled a few times and I got yelled at when I asked him to dump the RV (I’ve been asking for days and now our grey water tank is starting to come up into the shower) and I got yelled at that I’m a clone and he’s not taking orders from a clone. I asked if he’s been taking his meds and I got a few expletives and told “I’m not taking the meds anymore.”. I don’t think thats true cuz I watch him take them, I think he was just trying to get a rise out of me.

But, for the 1st time, I didn’t fight with him. I didn’t yell. I asked him if he wanted something to eat and of course he yelled "nothing. I’m not eating today (he doesn’t eat all day and only eats dinner). I continued to make him a frozen dinner (which he ate) and went back into the bedroom while he TOLD me I was going to the store to buy him beer. Nope. In my jammies and in bed. It’s 9pm and I’m not going anywhere. Then he threatened to go himself. I’m sure it was to get me to go, as he’d already had 2 beers. He’s with it enuf to know its not a good idea for him to drive and finally simmered down and put on his pajamas. Still unhappy but I didn’t cave. I didn’t go for him, I didn’t yell, I didn’t respond to his anger. He yelled at the dog a few times and went to sleep. Got up this morning and immediately got dressed to go get more nitrous canisters. My husband, who’s a big fat tightwad and NEVER spends money is paying $30 a day for this shit, for at least 2 weeks. He did this when we lived in Ca also and I think it helped bring out more SZ symptoms. Even tho he’s “researched” it and theres nothing wrong with nitrous. I don’t believe it. When u suck it in (dentist offices also hook u up to O2 so its not dangerous), the O2 stops in ur brain for a few seconds. I used to be a nurse and know hypoxia is a real thing and it’s not great for u. He says (and websites seem to back him up) that u can’t get addicted to it but I’m not sure of that. Even if its just psych addicted and not physical, addiction is addiction.

I’m going to try another day of not reacting and see how that works. It takes all I can to not react to him, especially when he actually attempts to rile me up. He wants to fight with me and I can’t fight with mental illness. Ok, I’m done venting.

How’s everyone else doing today?

Marci

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Thanks for the update, @Marfar77. I had been thinking about you and wondering how things were going.

My husband continues to take the Vraylar and his psychotic symptoms are improving. He’s doing very well with me in the house at this point, and is a bit more relaxed in his interactions outside the house (which are still pretty minimal).

The Vraylar is causing him to gain weight and seems to be interfering with his sleep. I suggested he call his psychiatrist before going up from 1.5mg to 3mg (as his symptoms were improving at the lower dose, so why take more of something that is leading to sleep issues/weight gain unless you really need to?) But he didn’t want to so it didn’t. Ah well.

I’m not doing so well myself. He seems to bounce back relatively quickly, in part I think because he doesn’t really remember the bad parts once he’s gotten through them - seems like an internal Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Sure wish I had that!

On the positive side, it’s a lot easier for me to feel safe and relaxed at home and to engage in needed self care when he is no longer so paranoid and hostile.

On the other hand, I have really lost the sense of having a spouse/partner/best friend that I was able to hold onto during his initial break - probably because he was only really paranoid about me for 2-3 months before he started medication vs. 9 months this time. Or maybe because I was very active in getting him help the first time and this time he just wanted to have nothing to do with me.

I have to say, I am feeling rather lost. I had never dated much and I never planned to marry, but then I fell in love and a lot of my identity seems somehow to have gotten caught up in my relationship with my spouse. I feel like I’m walking around with nothing inside me right now. Weird.

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How long did it take to help?

He seemed more relaxed with me at home within 4-5 days at the starting dose of 1.5mg, @Rush2010, and he was able to tolerate unavoidable intrusions from the outside world (e.g. roofers) in a bit less than two weeks.

It’s been over seven months now (he’s been at 3mg after the first six weeks) and I’d say he’s still improving, albeit slowly.

He’s going to be doing a social activity with a friend for the first time since his relapse later this week. My guess is that he would have been up for this by May or maybe June in the absence of the pandemic, which has been a complicating factor.

We moved to Texas, from Wa State) last month (we couldn’t afford to buy a house in Wa + hubby was convinced it was Wa that was “making him like this”. If we moved out of state (we chose Tx becuz I have family here), he would get back to normal (no meds needed). He did well the first few weeks. Now the last couple of weeks, he’s getting worse. From the time he gets up till the time he goes to bed (and he’s having a hard time sleeping cuz he’s convinced his body has been taken over by a clone and he’s afraid if he goes to sleep, he’ll wake up a 3rd or 4th person).

We bought a house (well, we bought a lot and we’re having a house built and it’ll be ready in Dec, now we’re staying in my uncles guesthouse. My uncle and his wife know about Craig) and the other day, we had to sign a contract with the mortgage company. It took 9 hours (yes, 9 hours) of reading every single word, questioning every single word and wondering why they would ass that. Paranoid. Super paranoid. I had to email the lady at the company and ask her to rewrite the contract and we’re waiting for that copy. I hope to God he can keep an even keel while we wait until Dec. He spent a week in the hospital in May but left after a week, as he checked himself in so he could go anytime he wanted to. He’s not even willing to do that again, not is he willling to even see a dr now or try any meds. Becuz it’s all real. He’s tired of my computer trying to read his mind and my clone taking over his wifes body. He keeps saying he’s going back to work (he’s a handyman for Task Rabbit, a company thats based in all the metro areas and he’ll be working in Dallas. Work for him in the past has been great for him, the busier he is, the better he is. But he hasn’t been working the last 6 months or so and the worse he’s gotten. He’s been talking about going back the last couple of week but I’m not sure he’s even ABLE to work outside the house right now. He CAN hide his symptoms - my uncle (who works around his property with) sees no symptoms at all) and he acts 100% normal most of the time out in public. Except for the few times that he’s yelled at people in parking lots for staring at him or for whatever the reason. Its really stressing me out.

Is it terrible to want him him to tell me he plans on killing himself (he tells me everyday that he wishes he was dead but it hasn’t risen to the level of him going to do it) so I can call the police and they will lock him up against his will, at least until he can get proper meds on board? HE NEEDS TO BE MEDICATED TO UNDERSTAND THAT HE NEEDS TO BE MEDICATED. If he goes in willingly, he will walk out before the meds can start working and it does no good. If they’re held against their will, do they keep them until they’re stable on meds? When the police come, can he get out of it by acting normal and saying I’m lying? Thats my biggest fear - he can turn it off really quickly. Then before the police leave the driveway, he’s talking about my computer that runs my brain that sent a message to his clone that I was going to do that.And to please not do that again otherwise my clone can’t be trusted again.

Help!

Marci

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I am sorry @Marfar77 that you are having to navigate the very rocky path of dealing with an unmedicated spouse. I want to try to answer your questions, even though it was my daughter I was caring for. Getting a loved one onto the proper medicine is very hard usually, no matter the relationship.

To your first question: No it is not terrible for you to want him to tell you he plans on hurting himself so you could call the police and hopefully force meds. I wished that for years while I dealt with psychosis. I did call the police several times myself when my daughter made mention of harm to self or others. It IS a path that works for some to use the police.

To your sentence in caps: Yes oftentimes the loved one needs to be medicated to understand they needed to be medicated. But sometimes, even when medicated, they don’t understand they are ill and need medicine. My daughter takes her meds because she can hold a job when on meds. Not because she is ill…

“If they’re held against their will, do they keep them until they’re stable on meds?”: It depends on the doctor, the hospital, who is paying, and how fast the meds make improvement. There is no guarantee that a person is “stable” when released, and sometimes they are released still very unstable and sometimes with no where to go.

“When the police come, can he get out of it by acting normal and saying I’m lying?” Yes, the police have to make an evaluation on how the person is acting when the police come. Your loved one could “turn it off” in front of the police.

There were over 40 times that the police were at my home with 3 forced hospitalizations from my home. There were also two arrests with forced hospitalizations from the jail. It was a terrible path, but my own personal result for my daughter is that she has been stable on meds that were at first forced on her in Dec 2018 after her illness began in Mar 2016.

Your path in helping a spouse is different for sure, but perhaps calling the police one night when he says he should be dead could work… especially if he says that he should be dead to the police when they are there. My daughter never really got mad at me for the police coming to our home or her forced hospitalizations. But only you will know in your heart what actions are required for your situation. I hope things get better for you.

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Glad to hear the move was successful and prospects look fair to good. Travel can be good for the soul… but also tiring. As far as no meds… I have no advice. I’ve never tried a ‘forced’ or ‘staged’… I’m still not entirely comfortable with that. But as far as them being able to ‘turn it off’… HOW NUTS IS THAT CRAP??Yes!
I can’t tell you how many times I was the punching bag for my ex partners meltdowns and just tried to calmly talk through it with reassurance in my voice, but somebody would eventually call and when the cops showed it was like BAM totally normal and collected and civil and rational and there I would be almost blubbering just trying to breath with my body broke and my skull bloodied and he’d say ‘she fell and might have hurt herself’ and come off COMPLETELY rational and normal and even concerned sometimes… omg. Omg. What IS that??.. I asked him once, a conversation About his illness, in his mother’s kitchen with a number of his family (everybody in-tune and always aware and fully supportive) If when the voices telling him to do things (usually kill me, or them, or himself, or the animals) if he’d ever actually acted on them and if he had did they stop when he did?
His answer floored me completely!
Yes, he said. They stop when I do what they say.”
Now… how does THAT WORK??? If it’s an true hallucination, an conjuring of a biologically imbalanced mind, how can it just suddenly stop if you comply with what it tells you to do? Is it the same thing? That switch that totally shuts off when somebody else walks in a room?? W.T.F.?? And that was somebody WITH insight… anyways…
Again, I’m sorry it’s such a bizarre and tiring and unending thing we go through…
but I’m glad to hear the travel went smooth.
Are you familiar with any other resources in your new area? Do you have any other kind of support you need, just in case you need to get out quick at that moment?
My thoughts are with you and yours. Let us know you’re well and how things go with the new home.

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This is so messed up but I am so finally glad to hear others who have experienced this! The whole turning on and off thing is so incredible to me ( not in a good way) I’m always floored when it would happen. I couldn’t explain it to anybody and I still couldn’t. He would know when to act “normal” and carry himself so well that even I would think I made it all up. It’s so reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who has experienced this because I have doubting my own sanity. Cops show up and I end up looking like the one who needs help.

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