Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My wife thinks I am trying to kill her

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to post, so I started by looking for other posts of this type. I haven’t found very much so here goes:

A week ago, I awoke to noises at around midnight to find police officers in my house and my wife telling them that I have been poisoning her. I had to go downstairs and talk to them. She accused me of forcing her (under hypnosis) to eat moth balls. She also said I had poisoned the drinks in the refrigerator with antifreeze. I spoke to the police, answered their questions, and they basically immediately knew it was a mental health issue.

Getting an ambulance to take her to the hospital was not a problem. In fact, she demanded one because she was certain that she was dying from the poison and was distraught enough to actually call 911 a second time and ask for an ambulance at the very moment that there were already two police officers in the room with her.

By 1:30, they had all left. I was counseled to not go to the hospital but was told which hospital she was in. I called them around 4-5am (no sleep of course. I am shaking now just calling up the memory.) I could infer that she had been admitted to the ER for testing, but otherwise they gave me no information.

I received a call later when I was at work by an evaluator who asked me a lot of questions about her and her history (she is from Brazil so the medical history isn’t readily available as we live in the US). I tried to give whatever information I could, but really couldn’t get anything back. Clearly HIPAA was the problem as she had not consented to visits or information sharing with or from me. The evaluator at least could tell me that she was in the crisis center, had cleared medical (which I believe means that they had done the right tests to see if she really was being poisoned, and come up negative) and was possibly going to transfer out to a psych ward that was not part of the ER.

That was the last I have heard from the hospital. It has now been a week. I got in touch with our Pastor, who has called her a few times and also brought her some clothes and stuff that I gave him (that she requested). He said that she still thinks I am trying to kill her and does not want contact.

I feel terribly alone. I can’t take up my Pastor’s whole life and have been reaching out to whoever I can just to feel some sense of community. I guess that’s why I posted here. My closest family is 800 miles away. I have friends here, and work keeps me distracted, but I’m really breaking down from the stress of this. The worst part is just not knowing anything about what is happening with her. I really need to talk to the physician in charge of her case, but nobody will contact me. HIPAA?

What will happen? Will they release her and not tell me? Will she just show up one day? Will she be dangerous if she still has such strong delusions? She has never shown violent tendencies.

There is a long backstory which I won’t go in to on this first post. She has had a pattern of increasing paranoia since we have been together, and I think it was really me who was in denial about it, mainly because I knew that if it ever got to the point where it is now, that there would be no chance of us ever having a “normal” life. I had just hoped that one day we would stop fighting so much, and find a more peaceful life, and that she would learn to trust me. Now, dejected, I have to come to terms with the fact that this is a serious mental illness. She has never been open to the idea (I have spoken of it in the past and gotten angry resistance).

I’m most of the way through “I’m not sick. I don’t need help”. the problem so far is how can one reach a person when one IS the target of their paranoia? She used to target her birth family, but now it’s me.

This is the first actual hospitalization and the first time with any sort of psychiatric treatment since I have known her. I assume that she has never had any extensive treatment, since it might have been on records that were part of the USCIS screening for her to enter the U.S.

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Hi gmt,

Welcome to the forum, I am so sorry to hear about your situation with your wife. You have really been through a lot.

Delusions are so powerful, and for our family members, delusions are reality. To me, that’s the real tragedy of delusions. Delusions can end up pushing our family members away from the people who care for them deeply. My son strongly believes that his dad and I were sexually abusing him through his computer when he lived with us. We had to facilitate him moving away as his actions toward us became more and more hysterical. Its just awful to think how much they are tormented by these delusions.

My son was ill with scz for years before my husband and I could understand what was going on, and how serious it was - even then experienced people had to spell it out for us. Scz is tricky, it cycles and some of our family members experience periods of near normalcy.

I don’t know what state you live in, and things can be done differently in different places. Hopefully others here on the forum with more experience with discharge processes will chime in. From what I understand, discharge in our country can range from making sure they have a place to go to or just dumping them out the front of the hospital door. As they work to get her on meds she may respond well to those meds and may want you to visit. Sometimes the meds will make the delusions go away and sometimes the delusions will remain even after years on meds.

Has she threatened you? If she suffers from a paranoid version of scz, usually, they are more fearful than they are dangerous. In my experience, threats should be taken seriously.

Some hospitals are more progressive and they may be working hard to convince her to include you in her treatment plan.

Its okay to change the locks on your doors so you don’t get any surprises.

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@gmt So sorry to hear about your situation. Hopefully, they are putting her on medication and she’ll stabilize. You could ask the evaluator to see if she’ll sign a roi - release of information for a short period of time i.e. My son’s doctor got him to sign one so I could get information for a week. (Oddly - I still have it ; ) :wink: ) Also, if you go to the unit she is in sometimes you can get information from the nurses and other patients and I even got info. from the security guards. My son didn’t want to see me (I was an imposter and yup poisoning him as well) but he was really attached to his things. I found if I brought him something of his he would allow me to come in and hand it to him and then I could leave. Sometimes I just sat with the other patients and sometimes I pretended to read information on the wall and I would talk to the nurses about the programs they had like group talk or activities and they would tell me if he participated or not. I could also find out info about where they were trying to send him. At times he would tell the nurses to tell me to leave what ever I brought for him and I said no way he has to come get it from me. I would also bring food - pizza, burgers and sealed juices and chocolate. They usually don’t allow chocolate after noon. Perhaps you could bring her some flowers (plastic vase only). Hang in there and keep us posted and ask all the questions you have. We’re here for you.

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Hello Gmt,
I am faced with a similar situation with my son. You can talk to the social worker assigned to your wife’s case, you can talk to the doc assigned to her case. Unfortunately they can only tell you the basics. It’s going to take some time.
Hopefully the doctor will start a medication treatment with her.
Actually this is the best thing that could have happened to your wife. She will get the professional help she needs.
An involuntary treatment sounds necessary for her well being.
It is up to your wife to initiate contact with you and sign the release form, which makes no sense because of her state, but that’s how the system works. It’s very heart breaking for all of us who have been where you are.
It is unfortunate that she sees you as the enemy. I wish I could tell you all will be better. If you continue to read about other loved ones, it will help you not feel alone. We are all here to offer support to each other.
I have not seen my son for almost 2 years. We have established phone conversations with him and hopefully we will be able to visit him in the near future.
Take care of yourself, AnnieNorCal

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Thank you to all for responding.

I don’t actually want to visit her. partly because I just feel a lot of stress around the idea, and also because ultimately I don’t think it would do any good. Clearly I am the trigger and the target of the delusions. She used to target her birth family but over time, bit-by-bit, the focus changed to me.

Married life hasn’t been easy to say the least. I was basically living in conscious denial about the paranoia, hoping silently that it was just a phase and that we would work out our differences and fight less. I also felt that I was to blame because of my anger in our fights (which can be fierce), or because of mean things that I have said in the past.

Now that it is literally impossible to continue in denial, I have to acknowledge that this was probably an illness which has been there since before we even met, and only now has it become enormously acute.

She has been speaking a lot of a recent spiritual awakening, and that would correlate to the greater degree of delusions as well. I don’t know for sure, but I get the feeling that her inner narrative has made the delusional state into one of a grand special spiritual medium or teacher, here to create major change on the planet.

what I really wish for is to have a detailed conversation with her doctor.

Hello gmt,
If your wife is hospitalized for now, I think the next question is; what happens at the time of release? Does she come back home to you with the same delusions and hallucinations? It doesn’t seem like a sensible or reasonalble solution.
Here’s my suggestion, this may only apply if you have insurance or on medical. The social workers, hospitals, judicial and doctors hold all the keys to your wifes care. Keep pushing for an alternative or transitional living facility.
You must push back against the system and not allow her to come home, there is help out there for your loved one. The system wants to put the responsibilities back on the family and families are just not equipped to handle the needs of a mentally ill person. The system wants to save money. I found this out through a social worker who told me help is available, you just have to keep asking keep pushing back. Explain to the docs that your wife thinks you are the bad guy and sending her back home will only create more hostility. I believe there is help available, we just need to ask the right person and get approval.
Hope you had a quiet thanksgiving with family and friends, AnnieNorCal