Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Husband recently diagnosed


#1

My husband of 12 years was recently diagnosed schizophrenic. The last 5 months have been so up and down that I can’t help but feel sorry for myself. I keep reminding myself that his battle with his illness has to be harder then mine as his wife. Currently he is being hospitalized for the 2nd time in the last month because of his refusal to believe anything is wrong. This time was the worst and I am scared that it is never going to end.

Long story short he ended up getting physical with me and chasing me through our house. I had to call the police on him which I hated but I wanted him to get treatment. I never blame anything because I know it’s not him. How could it be? 12 years he had never laid a finger on me or called me the horrific names he has called me the last couple months. Does it ever get easier? I feel so alone all the time. I’m trying my best to hold down the home front financially and with our 2 beautiful children but I just want to give up on life.

Please tell me there is hope in this darkness


#2

There is always hope. I am so sorry this diagnosis has become a part of your family’s life. It is a challenge but it can be brought under control. I know you are new to this and it is very overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to get support for yourself if possible either by talking to a trusted friend, or family member or even a counselor of your own if that is a possibility.

As for your husband’s inability to believe there is anything wrong, that is a real condition called Anosognosia and is very common amongst schizophrenics.

You may eventually have to set some strong boundaries with your children being involved and make it clear that he will have to stay in treatment and take his prescribed medications if he is going to stay with you and the kids for safety reasons.

He would likely never want to knowingly cause any harm to you and your family but psychosis can be very unpredictable at times and there is always a chance he could act on a false belief. Always safety first.

If he is unemployed for more than 1 year due to complications from his illness, he can apply for SS Disability which comes with health coverage and would help with some family finances. There are many steps you can take to start the path to recovery for your husband and ultimately your family. There is no easy or fast fix. It takes dogged determination and hard work. It is a combination of having a good doctor, good communication with that doctor about what symptoms are presenting every day, good medication compliance, a low stress environment and a generally healthy lifestyle otherwise, healthy meals, no alcohol, and lots of sleep. Recovery is slow but once you begin to see it hope will return again. Patience is critical.

Welcome to this forum and please ask any questions that come to your mind, somebody here will have a suggestion. Read some of the stories and maybe some ideas or questions will come to mind.

There are a lot of parents and spouses and siblings here going through the same thing, often everyone is in different stages of progress. I am in a good place with my sz son right now but I went through many trying years to get here. I am glad that I stuck it out, there were times I couldn’t believe that my son or I would make it. We did though, and I never take that for granted.

I think things will definitely get better if you can get your husband to understand that whether he thinks there is a problem or not he will have to listen to the doctors if only because his recent behavior has shown he can sometimes get ‘out of control’ and that can’t be okay with your kids at home. Hopefully he will agree and stay with treatment even if he doesn’t really want to.

Check out this link for NAMI, they have mental health resources and free educational classes on mental health and caregiving. Maybe you have a chapter in your area. They have helped me a lot. https://nami.org/ My very best to you.


#3

I don’t have a lot of advice, as I’m dealing with a daughter, not a spouse, but I hope things get better for you soon. For my daughter, at least, getting stabilized on medication has helped a lot. It isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely better.


#4

… don’t forget us dads too :slight_smile:


#5

Thank you so much for your words. I thought I was alone in all of this until I did reasearch on support groups. I want to be as educated as I possibly can be. He is my world and without him I’m not me. We have been through everything. I hope he stays on his meds.


#6

Ditto TotesMaGoats, my wife and I have a daughter with sz, diagnosed at 15, took about 2 years to get her onto medications with low side effects that allowed her to become quite normal again, followed by 14 years relatively problem free. My wife and I have learnt a lot in 14 years, about the illness, about how to deal with psychosis, how to support our daughter, the dreaded battles to get welfare etc. Be brave, at times it’s going to seem impossible, at other times you’ll get your husband back. Don’t try to understand what he’s going through, don’t try to reason with him logically, just know that he is experiencing things which you can’t see, hear, or feel, that he won’t be aware that these things aren’t real, and may not even remember these ‘episodes’.

Above all, don’t give in, your husband needs you now more than ever before. Like any illness, whether it’s diabetes, cancer, or sz, our loved ones need our care and support. Good luck and revisit here often where you’re amongst friends.


#7

I don’t want to derail the thread, but I’m curious to hear about how things have gone for your daughter and how she is now. I haven’t come across very many girls that have been diagnosed at such a young age and so trying to find someone to compare to has been difficult. I know each person is different and the illness affects many in different ways, but I am hoping to sort of know what to expect.

Edited to add: I found your other post about your daughter, so I will go read over there and not derail this thread further. Sorry.


#8

I don’t mind it. I want to hear about as many stories as possible.


#9

Indeed~ Dads too, I am so removed from “dads” in my own life and my sons’ life that I literally forgot about all of the good ones out there, thanks for correcting me… my best to you! :slight_smile:


#10

Happy to give you an update. We live in the UK. She’s 29 now and is 5 months into recovery from her first relapse since the age of 15. The relapse was scary, a return straight back to the delusions and voices we noticed when she first became ill, only this time her behaviour was much more bizarre and her delusions more extreme.

After a 5 month stay in hospital and back on a medication regime which is taking the edge off her symptoms, she’s having leave from hospital for a few days at a time, spending some of it on her own in her apartment. She is much better, the occasional voice annoying her, a bit angry at times, and more promiscuous than she should be, but those things we’ve learnt to cope with.

She should be discharged from hospital, on trial, tomorrow, with 24/7 telephone support from a Community Mental Health Crisis Team. She’s still quite vulnerable and fragile so we’ll keep the stress very low and keep her as quiet and content as we can, to allow her to build up her mental strength again.


#11

Thanks you Catherine, very kind. Good luck on the journey, relish the ups (lots I hope) and persevere with the downs (the fewer the better).


#12

Thank you for the update, sounds promising!


#13

I’ve noticed that the more psychotic my son is, the more overtly interested in sex he becomes, so I’m sure she’s not alone. Although, being male and not very social, my son’s activities are much more imagined than real.

I notice people don’t talk about that part too much, but it’s like a more primitive part of their brain is trying to take over. That’s not really a great explanation & not quite how I want to put it, but it’s the best thing I could think of at the moment.


#14

OH my god honey you and I are SO in the same boat. Only with me it is my son. He comes home from hospital discharge today and I am terrified. I am new to all of this like you, so I don’t have any words of wisdom. What I can say to you is that you are not alone. I feel EXACTLY the same way you do. Like there is no waking up from this nightmare and happy days will never be here again.

I’m finding comfort on this forum. There are people who have lived what we’re going through.

My best to you.


#15

Great post, Catherine. Really helps.


#16

@shop1uk My daughter also has sz. It is surprising that so few of have female family members with sz. My daughter has childhood onset sz and was hospitalized twice as a child - 12 and 13 years old. She was not diagnosed with sz until she was 32. I know it’s said doctors don’t want to diagnose a child teenager with sz, but I really do think someone dropped the ball on her. She was seen by several psychiatrist during this time and it should not have taken 20 years for the diagnosis. What kind of sz has you daughter been diagnosed with. Paranoid, Disorganized or Catatonic? My daughter was diagnosed with disorganized sz and there is only one person in this forum with a child who has the same diagnosis. I’m just wondering if that kind of sz is much rarer than the other. Hugs and prayers to you daughter and family.


#17

The only thing that helped for my 28 year old daughter was sarcosine from Brainvitaminz.com. She was diagnosed 4 years ago and meds only made her feel suicidal. The supplement worked so good that she thought she was healed. We are trying to get her to take it again now