Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New and confused!


#1

I’m here out of frustration, desperation and concern.

My husband in mid December had a severe psychotic break…the police had to be called by my brother (who is a psychiatrist) who lives in Canada because the only access I had to help was Facebook and him.

My husband had taken and kept my phone after I had called our oldest daughter to have her attempt to get her father to go to the doctor with me. He agreed with her until the phone was hung up. Then informed me that “they” would tell the police what he had really done and both of us would be arrested. He also believed that the police were talking to him on intercoms attached to their police radios and broadcasting throughout the neighborhood. When I got home from work he informed me that “they” (the police) were coming to get him and then I would “find out” what he had done. He went on like this for several hours, before I could get help.

The police came and encouraged him to get in the car with me to go to the hospital. They followed to make sure he went. At that time he was not diagnosed, supposedly it was due to an episode at work where he found a suicide (he works in a motel and had to see if the person had checked out and just left the door locked which is a common occurrence). When I got home his brother called, he had had an episode earlier in his life and I had not been informed.

He was again contained/encourage by police after they removed a shotgun from him as he was going to “shoot those kids” who were making fun of him. There was no mention of any kind of mental illness when we got married 30+ years ago. He spent time in a mental hospital then. He was treated in the emergency room in December and put on Risperidone. He took it for two months and decided he did not need it, nothing was wrong with him. He proceeded to cancel his counseling session as well.

So February 23 or so was his last dose. February 28th late night he started having another psychotic break. Again the police were going to come and get him for something he had done “you’ll find out” was all I could get out of him as to why they wanted to arrest him. He actually got up in the middle of the night from bed, dressed, got his coat on and stood by our front door waiting for the police to come and get him. I sat with him for a while. He then went outside to smoke (he can’t smoke in the house as I am allergic) and I went through our kitchen to the bathroom looking out the window saw car taillights on in the garage door.

My heart stopped. Choice was go see what I found, an unconscous at the least or dead at the worst husband or go back and grab a phone. I went to the garage because I knew there was a panic button on the keys to the car, I could push for help if I had to give CPR. He was standing there, with the car running, laughed when I asked what he was doing and informed me that nothing really “bad” could happen because there wasn’t enough gas in the car. I drug him back in and informed him that we would be seeing a doctor as soon as the office opened (this was around 4-5 a.m. and doc in town open at 8:30). I didn’t sleep after that.

Where ever he went I went, until I couldn’t keep going up and down the back stairs to watch him smoke. One time…he came in and shortly thereafter started vomitting horribly. This happened the last psychotic episode as well, I asked what his problem was …he said “upset.” He then started trying to get ahold of the girls (we have 5 daughters) to tell them he loved them. Was becoming incoherent, couldn’t walk right, and just very drunk acting. I got him to the car telling him that I needed to do something at work and then we would go to his out of town doctor. I work at a hospital.

We got to the hospital and I raced into the office asked for help. They got him to the ER. By the time I got around he had informed them he had drunk a quart of weed killer. I had seen him with a bottle of antifreeze earlier, not thinking anything of it, and didn’t think we still had weed killer around. The DON took me back to our house so I could get what I thought he had taken. Took it back to the hospital and he agreed he had taken it. My co-worker, doctor had the most blanched look on his face…and said “there is no cure for that”.

Suffice to say there was a treatment, he was given it, and went into a coma in the process of everything. He spent 10 days in the hospital, about 56 hours of that in a coma. We didn’t know what was going on, the doctors didn’t have a clue as to why he was in a coma. Psychiatric help came in said he was in a delirium. Talking to my brother (psychiatrist) he said it was very likely a psychotic coma of some type. We waited. My active, brainiac, family oriented husband …MY rock, was no longer. He came out of everything, eventually, having to have help to walk, and eventually could stay awake.

Final diagnosis was Schizophrenia with psychotic tendencies, thought to have started in his late teens. He spent another three days in a mental rehab place. He was sent home, no information on his illness, I was given nothing, no support, no plan of action. He was told “go to the counselor first thing Monday morning, and then you can go to work.” Um…what? basically 3 weeks doing nothing, JUST started on medication, no clue if the meds will work …no warning of what to watch for it the meds don’t work. NOTHING.

Now here we sit, he has seen his “counselor” once offically, has been out of the hospitals for 3 weeks. I had to call his doc at my brothers suggestion to get his meds increased. He still hides from regular family members, I had to remind him to eat, shower, etc. He has to be told to take the garbage out…even when he sees it is full. He is a little better, today he took a shower on his own and took the trash out. But I still don’t know what is really going on.

My girls keep telling me it will “just take time” and he will be back to “normal”. I know he won’t be his normal, I would just like to see a little normal. He is working part time not full time, he goes when he feels like it having excuses the other times. He informed me that I caused him to try to kill himself because of telling him that if he didn’t take his medication that he would end up in the mental hospital. That our marriage was not good, that I am controlling and has become very negative towards me …this hurts.

WE have always had a very honest and open relationship. I feel like I am being kicked around, I get told by family they support me but then they don’t really, I get the statements like above or told “hang in there mom I know you can do it.” I am a strong person, but I don’t feel strong, I feel lost and alone. My best friend was my husband. I am in therapy to help me deal but it feels like no one really understands schizophrenia, they try to put it under depression, or similar. No one will tell my husband what he had been diagnosed with or how it will/has changed him. He is walking around oblivious to that aspect until I told him and tried to explain it to him. He now says it is wrong, the meds are not what he needs and he doesn’t need counseling. HELP!


#2

I am all too familiar with schizophrenia. My sister was once an outstanding student and athlete, perfectly normal, then one night, she had her “break” and has never been the same. I have been reading some really, really encouraging news lately about mental illness, and I want to share it with everyone. Please read, then get him to doctors to test for Lyme Disease,Toxoplasmosis Gondi, Cytomegalovirus, Borna Disease Virus…and even parasites that can cause this sudden onset of schizophrenia type symptoms, delusions, voices… There is all kinds of new info and test happening that are determining that many mental illnesses are brought on by infections, bacteria, even parasites. If that doesn’t reveal a positive diagnosis with treatment, there is news that Schizophrenic symptoms often times go away when patients take Minocycline (a tetracycline antibiotic that penetrates the blood-brain wall…which proves that it is likely an infection in the brain). Maybe try taking him to a specialist that can explore these things. Check out these links…you will find interesting:

http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/pn.47.16.psychnews_47_16_10-a

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hmn/f09/feature1.cfm


#3

mom25grls I am sorry you are going through all this. I have been dealing with schizophrenia and my son for 3 years now. I just today got him out of the hospital. [quote=“mom25grls, post:1, topic:1782”]
I know he won’t be his normal, I would just like to see a little normal.
[/quote] I can tell you that he does get better after his episodes but the major ones seem to take a longer time to come out of. This one was his fourth since August of 2013. The first was real bad nd so was this one. The other two we made it without any hospital stay. Hopefully your husband will with time also be back to what I call the new normal.[quote=“mom25grls, post:1, topic:1782”]
I get told by family they support me but then they don’t really, I get the statements like above or told “hang in there mom I know you can do it.” I am a strong person, but I don’t feel strong, I feel lost and alone.
[/quote]
I can assure that you have come to the right place for help. This site has been a life saver for me.
I sometimes feel very alone in this battle and I come here for support. I am a single mother who raised my son without his father in the picture. I have no relatives that live in town. I get the same statement from my daughter who is 14 years older than her brother. You are not alone you have all of us on this forum.


#4

thank you for the encouragement. We met with his theapist again yesterday (and he is being transferred to another one who can help him better) and his doctor, who increased his medications again. It is so hard, it is nice to know that others have the same feelings of loneliness as I do. I went to the doctor yesterday as well, I have a history of depression and felt that I needed to get my depression re-controled before before it took over. I hope your son is doing better! I am trying to live one day at a time at this point. I did find another support business in our local town who reinforced that the new therapist will be perfect for my husband, that he specializes in SZ so that was a relief for me!


#5

I’m happy there is a qualified therapist your husband can work with; they are really hard to find.


#6

I don’t really have any advice to help you, but in reading your post, I share all your thoughts, fears and frustrations, because I am in a similar situataion. I hope you find some solution and peace, and that you get some good advice that we can both use.

It is so hard to love someone who is sick, especially when the sickness is hard to define or cure, but the love is still there. All we want is the husband and father you had, but we know he is not coming back and not sure what we will get. You are not alone, because I (as well as others) are going throught the same, so hopefully we can help each other.


#7

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I am glad you are seeing a therapist for yourself. It’s just too hard to figure it out all on our own. I hope you come back and visit this forum often it has been a godsend for me. Also, there is a lot of good info.


#8

I’m back, have been back and forth, but tonight I am back cuz I just need to see that others are going through what I am and understand. It’s been a little over a year since his suicide attempt and was finally stable on the medicine. This last week to 10 days has been not looking so good. I have been trying to keep him with meds, he gets mad cuz I control them and the doctor (he refuses to see a therapist at all now, he went to see the one with experience in SZ once, and canceled his next appointment refusing to go back) told him he needed to become responsible for taking them by now. I keep them locked due to the suicide attempt, but will give him the key with my supervision to take the medication. I found out this morning he has skipped 5 full days worth of medications in the last 25 days. I confronted him about it, he denied it, said I didin’t know what I was talking about and then accused me of putting more meds into the bottles to “get him,.” Tonight i got groceries and came home and he was drinking beer (though not that I could see, I could smell it) and when confronted about that he went into a rant about how I was trying to run his life, there was nothing wrong with him, I do nothing around the house…including clean it (not sure who he thinks does) and that again he is not sick. I am so frustrated I don’t want to deal with this right now…had a crappy day at work, I have to pay all the bills, make sure he is taken care of and he attacks me. I know it’s his illness, but damn it is hard to be raising a 57 year old 5 year old. I was a stay at home mom for 20 years to five girls who were born a total of 7 years from the oldest to the youngest, had 5 teenage girls in the house at one time with ONE bathroom and that was easier than this illness. I’m not sure where we sit with what to do with medications at this point, or how to handle his backslide, I’m just scared that it will be a major backslide and that I might loose him…this time. I feel guilty when I think maybe it would be better for him cuz I know he’s not happy, but I don’t know what I would do without him either. My girls don’t understand, they try, but they can’t he hides from them and his sister and brothers what is really going on. Things were going well so how long do we get a little bit normal of a life? Or is there ever one?


#9

My son is 27 and has lost most of his insight.
We fight over the meds too and have a lot of other stuff going on that’s similar.

If that therapist was an expert in SZ, he wasn’t a very good one.

I treat my son very delicately, and both me and his new treatment team approach everything indirectly because he does not think he has any problems most of the time - because anything direct would scare him off.

I’m a very direct person, so this has been a struggle for me, but it does seem to work.


#10

I just hope you know that you are doing an incredible job and the very best you can. It is not an easy road and I know there are people on this forum who have spouses with middle illness. Just know that we support you no matter what and welcome you to at least come here and event. Also let us know if things get better.
Many of us here are going with the shot for the reasons that it illuminates all the daily stats about medicine but even that has to be agreed-upon by them. There’s a book that a lot of people talk about called I’m not sick and I don’t need help and that would be good for you to read And try to learn some techniques to motivate him. As red/green says “we’re all in this together” take care


#11

Try not to take anything they say to heart when they are sick. Today I told my son I would help him clean his room but he had to help. In his mind he was helping me.