Husband with paranoid sz mostly on me

This is my first posting here. Thank you for reading my looooog story.

My dear husband was diagnosed with paranoid sz 5.5 years ago during my pregancy of our baby girl. He actually showed some early signs back in 9 years ago when we were dating e.g talking to himself during shower, certain level of social anxiety. But it was never an issue between us and I always thought it was just the normal pressure at work. Otherwise he was really really nice and gentleman, the kinda person I really want to spend my life with and I have always thought that I was so lucky to be with my soulmate. In early 2009, he was laid off as a result of the financial crisis, though he got pretty good severance and found another decent job very soon, he started his first episode. He felt that his peers at his new job was spying on him, some senior guy at work was implying something to him but he could not get it right (i was not aware those were delusions because I thought it was real pressure and I did not know the symptoms of sz, so what I did was sided with him, giving him some comfort). Evetually he got so overwhelmed that he started to have health problems due to the anxiety and lack of sleep. He quited (when I also encouraged him to do so, hoping him to get some rest) and then we got married. We had some peaceful and fun time. Later his previous manager hired him back to his first firm i.e the one laid him off. He started to get paranoid again, thinking that the recruiters who called him were hired by his boss to test him and people around him are implying him to do something but he could not get it right. I started to realize those are delusions, he has something wrong but still did not think of sz. He started to contact people around where our parents live and did get a good job opportunity there, so we decided to move.

We move to new place then things started to getting worse. At first it was the depression and lack of energy and attention on anything, then I got pregnant unexpectedly, that’s when he totally broke out and got so paranoid on me! He thought that I put wires around our bedroom for his boss, whatever he said at home seems to be known by his boss later, so it must be me who betrayed him. Also he thought everybody at his work seemed to imply something to him. He also thought my family doesn’t like him, so they set us up to force us divorce. All these of course are his delusions. I was pregnant so my first reaction was hopeless and even tried to kill myself. Then we went to psychiatrist and then after several visits, the psychiatrist recommended us to go to mental hospital where he was diagnosed with paranoid sz. I started to read books and articles about sz and went on family forum to find simialr stories, then I came to a decision that I need to hold on for him, for me and for the family. He was on meds after the diagnose and things sort of quiet down. The negative symptoms never went away, so evetually he lost his job and had to move to another city for new job right after the birth of my baby girl. He is workaholic and ambitious person, so I had to let him go while I feel that I had to maintain my job security for my daughter and family, so we separated. 5 years in short, he was ok for the first 1-2 years, but then he started delusions on and off, still the same ideas e.g he trusted me so much, I betrayed him for setting him up with his colleague, he felt everyone is cold and hostile at work but I knew his situation better than himself so it must be me setting him up etc. In the meantime, the negative symptoms never really disappeared, he visited us 1-2 times a month, while I expected him to share some quality time with us, he just sat there, staring at his computer or mobile, so we would argue sometimes which made him think that I do not want him visit us at all and this unfortunately complicates the “you betrayed me” delusions. 2 months ago, his positive symptoms became so acute that he basically hate every sentence that I said, and there was one night I felt totally worn out and said “ok, then divorce”.

Now I feel really bad that I said that because he went totally wild after I said that, cannot eat and cannot sleep and then quit his job. Now he is staying with his parents and telling me that I “destroyed” him for 8 years, so he wanted nothing but divorce me. I feel totally broken and do not know what to do. Should I just leave as he wishes or should I just hold on because his hatred is coming from delusions not reality? Though the feeling of leaving him is killing me.

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I’m very sorry that you’re going through this. While you’re still his wife, you should have him committed to a hospital so that way he can get treatment and get better. If he still wants a divorce once he gets out, that may be the best thing for you and for your child eventually. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

I once got this advice from someone once:

This is interesting. This is my situation exactly, but reversed. Notice the big gap of time between my posts? I am also schizophrenic and back in July 2015 I attempted suicide. I overdosed on a bunch of dangerous drugs and was put into a coma for three days. When they found me so long after the fact, still lying on the floor they took me to the hospital, restarted my kidneys and sent me to the ward from July 26, 2015-March 2, 2016.

My advice: determine threat level and get him assessed by professionals. The 8 months I spent in the mental hospital did wonders for me. I’ll tell you this: no matter what I had, who loved me, what I had going for me back in July, in a whim I decided to do it. It took me years to go through with a serious attempt…a lot of threats, ya know? Eventually we do it. There’s no stopping someone who is serious about it. I tried, my dad who was also schizophrenic was successful in Oct, 1997.

The only thing you can do is get him into the hospital if he was serious about suicide. Saying you love us doesn’t help.

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Please do not blame yourself for what you think you might have said in conversation. You did not make him mentally ill and its easy to get dragged into his confusion. You love him and of course you feel terrible about what’s happened. Do you have family nearby or belong to a church to receive more support.

Thank you Doctor for sharing the advice. I never really understand why saying “I love you” seems to agitate him further…it just frustrated me.

Part of me is still hoping that after he quit, when the social anxiety and pressure become remote, he can be better and we can start our peaceful life again. And the reason for me said “divorce” is because another part of me just reached the point that I just cannot help him. His parents are taking care of him right now and they told me that after he quit, he seemed to be functioning ok except that he kept saying I detroyed him and wanted to divorce me. This fact depressed me even more…maybe leaving is indeed the best choice.

Anytime. It’s okay, I completely understand. Ultimately he has to make a choice about what he really wants and needs. It’s okay to focus on you and your child’s wellbeing as well if he does not want to cooperate.

Thank you Molly. Yes I am totally dragged in and confused. I think often times I cannot stop myself responding to his negativity. He not only blames me for those delusions of me setting him up but also those things I actually did e.g. encouraged him to quit his job, encouraged him to move to another city, living apart from him for my own job etc. The latter hurt me to the core. For all those years, he could not so anything for the family and I basically raised my child alone, I believe I did all those for the best interest of the family and to save and maintain our marriage. I do not expect his appreciation but at least not misunderstanding like this.

I am depressed and started to see my own therapist, I helped relief my depression a bit but still in in deep anxiety.

Maybe if you stop responding you can make plans for your own life rather than waiting for him to get better. You deserve happiness and do not feel guilty wanting a happier life. You deserve it and maybe you can let him do what he wants to do and not worry about his life. You’ve done everything as a wife to help him and him trying to make you feel guilty is abuse . He is a separate person from you. Yes, he is mentally ill and I know when meds aren’t taken properly or haphazardly things happen and that isn’t your responsibility. Mentally ill or not his meanness and abusive behavior is all on him not you.

Literally going exactly through this right now myself my hubs hasn’t called me in two days and I’m so scared in his delusions he will adhere to demanding a divorce and that would just break my heart I love him so very very much I hope things work out for you esp bc you two share a child my best wishes