Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Looking for advice or similar stories

My husband doesn’t believe he is ill. He wants me to help him find the people hurting him. They spy on him, mock him, shock him electrically… It is constant. He knows I believe he is ill, and some days are more or less confrontational depending on his mood.
I can do my best to listen, and to stay honest. But he believes a specific person from his past is torturing him and he wants me to help track this person down. I am not sure what to do. If I don’t help him, he will shut me out entirely and I won’t know whats going on. If I do help him find someone, what on earth good could come of that. He’s not violent at all, but he does get confrontational, angry, irrational. I don’t care that neighbors in every city we go to think we’re weird and don’t get along with him. He has screamed at a couple.
I’m worried too about my own feelings abt all this. I could care less if neighbors think he is strange or don’t like us. But I see an unending task of intervening, cleaning up, trying to get him help he doesn’t want. And I’m not going to lie, I can’t stop thinking about how all this affects me and my life.
He is so angry and hurt that I won’t believe him or help him. I don’t ever see an end to this, and that’s heartbreaking.

There is a book on this subject that comes very highly recommended by people who have been in similar situations:
I’m not sick, I don’t need help

That will probably hit a lot of very personal points for you and your husband.

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Hello Lenore,
I can only imagine what you are going through. You should probably talk to a crisis center (local hosppitals usually have information) and see what option are available for your husband. From what I read on this forum, eventually your husband will need intervention.
Start talking to your GP, having written and dated notations about your husbands delusions and hallucinations will be helpful. Also informing the local authorities of your husbands condition in case he interactions with the police. The more people that are informed about your husbands condition, the better it will be. It’s never too early to start intervention.
Take care AnnieNorCal


You must take the necessary steps to get him evaluated and medicated, or there probably won’t be an end to his delusions and hallucinations, I’m sorry to say. I know this from experience with my adult daughter, who is on a med that works right now, but with 2.5 years prior unmedicated and psychotic. This is a lifelong illness, not curable per most doctors, but manageable with meds.

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Lenore, I couldn’t possibly sympathize with you anymore then I do right now. In fact, if I didn’t know better I would’ve thought this was a post of mine!! Seriously though, my husband of now 12 years as of Friday the 28th, has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder depressive type, as of a year and a half ago. He has been a medically disabled veteran from the Army since 2010, and was first diagnosed with PTSD then. As the years went on it has been a rollercoaster of events, good and bad for us since then, but never has he started hearing voices till about a year and four months ago it started as noises he thought were voices or sounds that were mostly sexual in which he was then thinking i was cheating on him or on Bluetooth or virtually talking to someone literally once i would turn around with my back to him. Then when we moved to the place we are in now which was September of last year, he started telling me he could hear people talking and saying rude things to him or about me, nut it wasn’t until an old friend appeared because she lived down the street had started stopping by and would mention things about a targeted individual to my husband and told him to look it up and that that’s what was happening to him. So basically as of now, he has been looking that up everyday, calling himself a targeted individual, saying the government or someone he knows (like our neighbors or even his cousin who is our landlord) is doing this to him and its not his own thoughts, he’s not depressed, doesn’t think he needs therapy, and the list goes on!!! So please, if anyone else that’s going through this with their loved one. Let’s try to work together to figure out what we can do to successfully get them the help they need before itt might not only be too late for them, but for ourselves and our families too!!!

I’m so sorry you are caught in this situation. It is heartbreaking and can be dangerous.

Of course you are right to refuse any role in tracking down the person your husband believes is torturing him. My best advice is to call a mental health facility and get a referral to a doctor who treats patients within the facility and also has a private practice in a separate office. The appointment is for you, not your husband, so you can get advice on how to get help for your husband and prevent him from stalking that person. The doctor may be able to offer some helpful things to say to your husband.

For what it’s worth: my son’s best therapist found it impossible to talk her clients out of believing their paranoid delusions but it was possible to get them to talk about what they valued most in their heart of hearts. Some questions she might ask a client: “If you weren’t being tortured or stalked, what would you be doing? What is it that you truly care about? A hundred years from know, what do you want to be remembered for?” Then she would help him take small steps toward that “good” goal despite feeling persecuted and scared while he did it. Like a fireman saving someone in a burning building, it’s an act of heroism to do a good deed while fearing for your own well-being.

Small example: if the client felt passionate about rescuing abandoned dogs and cats, the therapist would help the client think of concrete actions he could take that are in line with his values. Could he use his tools to repair a rescuer’s broken crate for transporting an abandoned dog? Even though it would be hard to concentrate on the task while enduring the feeling of persecution, could he fix the crate anyway?

Sometimes the therapist was able to convince a client to take a prescribed medication, not because the client believed he was sick, but because it might help him cope better and do more of the things he cared about.

When your husband pressures you to help him find the person torturing him, maybe you can somehow get him onto a different topic about a good project that he truly wants to do. You could offer to help him with that in case he feels tortured while doing it.

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