Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Just want to give up


#1

My fiance was dx’d with Sz/bipolar/ADHD (SzA?) 20 years ago. When his meds are working, he maintains really well, he knows he needs his meds and takes them religiously. When we met, I had no idea that he was anything other than really talkative and outgoing. My mother was also Sz and so is my youngest brother, so I have a little bit of experience with this illness. My mother died from alcohol poisoning because she said it was the only thing that made the voices stop. My brother is homeless halfway across the country and trying his best to follow in mom’s footsteps.
In the 3 years that we have lived together his disease has progressed in a negative manner. When we met he had recently moved to the area and had found a doctor that would prescribe him his medications but had not had much luck finding a psychiatrist or therapist. When his meds stopped working, his new doctor prescribed the medication that he generally switches to when one stops working. At that point she admitted to him that she didn’t feel comfortable being his doctor since she did not know anything about Sz or have any experience with the antipsychotics he was taking with his Ritalin. So she gave him a referral and washed her hands of him. None of the doctors we called were able to help. They either weren’t accepting new patients, they didn’t accept his insurance, or they did not have experience with Sz. So he just continued to take the medications he had stockpiled from previous prescriptions, except for the Ritalin. He fell back to an old habit at that time (meth) because he could not function without the Ritalin. He couldn’t focus or sit still. He just paced and fidgeted constantly.
Fast forward about a year and a half.
He finally got to a point where he knew he needed to quit and he knew he needed help from a psychiatric professional and checked himself into a psych hospital where they added gabapentin and increased his dose of Latuda from 40mg to 60mg and released him 2 days later. He had an extreme adverse reaction. He says he normally hears whispers/chatter, but now he was hearing full conversations and conspiracies against him, us, his extended family and had even had a will made up (although he says he wasn’t suicidal). He has checked himself into two other psych facilities since then but checks himself out once he calms down and doesn’t give the hospitals a chance to really help him. I have continued to call psychiatrists and we have seen numerous social workers and been to a lot of emergency rooms. He has gotten me fired from my job because of his aggressive and erratic behavior and he doesn’t work because he’s on SSI disability. His disability check won’t even come close to covering our rent and I don’t feel like he is stable enough for me to leave him for any amount of time to even start working right now.
Although in all honesty I’m more worried about him. He has admitted to me that he doesn’t think his medication is working at all anymore (although he’s still taking it) and I can see it taking a toll on him. He’s just a shell of the person I met three years ago. He doesn’t laugh or smile, he’s confused all the time and doesn’t seem to care that we may be homeless very soon. I’m so scared that I’m losing my best friend and I don’t know what to do since it seems like the mental health care in our country is geared toward hoping that they all just buck up and get better on their own. I feel completely hopeless. I almost feel paralyzed because I can’t figure out what to do. I have never been jobless, I have always paid my bills and made sure my son and I had a roof over our heads, but all of my strength and willpower seems to have left me as I watch the love of my life disintegrate before my eyes.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


#2

mulansruse, I am sorry you are having so many struggles right now. The majority of psychiatrists seem to avoid working with those with severe brain diseases. I guess its just too hard.

May I ask, why did they add the gabapentin?

It is frustrating that you have had success getting him into two psych facilities recently only to have him leave before he fully stabilized.

Are you absolutely, positively sure he is taking his meds?

I do know that paralyzed feeling we get when we are overwhelmed. Can happen to us so easily in this business.

Sometimes too many concerns and issues in my life can overwhelm me and just bring me to a stop. When I get overwhelmed, I write down my worries. After writing them down I look at them and decide which is the highest priority. Ignoring all the others I have listed, I focus on making a decision about how to handle just that one item. Then I go do it. I let the other worries just sit on the list while I deal with that number one concern.


#3

I’m sorry to hear about your current struggles.
Understanding that I am not a professional, just another person with some similar experiences, I think if I were in your position I would try to get things stable for yourself and your son by helping your husband find a longer term living setting where he can begin to address his issues and be in someone else’s care for a while. Hospitals will not keep people long term. They are only set up to provide acute care and stabilize patients.

My son was in a few residential settings at different points. It was not going to be possible to do the things I had to do - like keep a job - to continue to be a support system for him without finding a setting where he was safe and getting care. They are not always the best places - but they work with SSI and medicaid. If he truly wants to improve - which it sounds like he does - finding a temporary setting where he can improve and allow you to do what is necessary so that there is something to come back to - might not be too hard on the both of you.


#4

I’d research the best psychiatric facility in the state, or even nearest state, and take him there. It’s worth traveling for.

I wanted to add: Look for a well- respected teaching hospital with a good psych department.


#5

What state are you in? Have you contacted the local NAMI group for any help from them? They may be able to direct you to some local resources to help.

Try not to give up - there’s a solution even if it seems like there’s not one.


#6

@hope thank you so much for you suggestion, I had started something similar but in my head which was just silly since I can’t seem to keep a normal thought in there for very long. Writing them down is a much better idea! As to your questions: they added the gabapentin as a mood stabilizer for his bipolar which thus far had not been addressed. Up to this point he was usually only on one medication at a time. This time it was Latuda which had always worked wonders for him until recently. And yes, I’m absolutely sure that he takes his meds. Its a nightly ritual that he had suggested so that if there was ever any question on whether or not he is taking his meds, I could safely say that he was and be relatively sure of my answer.


#7

I understand where you are coming from as my husband is SZ and it has been nothing but a roller coaster. But your priority should be your son first and then your fiancé. You are not going to do your son much good by being unemployed and homeless, it will affect him more than you. And the fact that your fiancé is a meth addict and this is going on around your son should cause you even more concern regarding your son’s safety and stability. You are not married to this man but you are the only Mother your son will ever have so get your priorities straight and then you may see the road before you. I don’t mean to be so harsh but you basically lost me with the words “meth” and “son” and I am now wondering why you would subject your child to that atmosphere? I think maybe you should “give up” and move on with your life and save your son while you can. Good Luck to you and I hope you get the help you need!