Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New: schizoaffective bipolar disorder


#1

Hello,

I don’t even know if I am in the right place. I just know I am in desperate need of someone that understands what I’m going through, even if no one can offer any advice. I just feel so alone.

My husband (46 yo medically retired veteran) was recently diagnosed with schizoaffective bipolar disorder. It has been a long difficult road trying to determine exactly what his diagnosis was; I’m relieved that his new doctors seem to have an understanding of what he is going through and have put him on a new medication regiment that seems promising. He was recently hospitalized for an unrelated illness and missed three days of all of his medications even though I expressed fear about this the entire time, and for good reason, the past few days since his release have been pure hell.

He has been hospitalized three times for mental health concerns. 30 days in 2012, 7 in
April this year after he overdosed and was unconscious for several days before miraculously waking up and seemingly having no lasting damage, and 7 more in September after threatening to use a knife to kill himself and disappearing on foot for several hours.

I suffer from anxiety and depression myself. Despite the fact that I have been dropped by two therapists in two years because I can’t seem to schedule enough appointments to make it worth their while, I think I am doing ok, most days. I can say this because my medications work well and I have implemented years of prior cognitive behavioral therapy to my life, enough to understand and recognize when I need more help than I currently have available to me. I’m working on finding a new therapist that can work with my schedule but until I find one I am hoping to find a place to vent my furstrations, and seek advice and support from people who are in a similiar situation and understand what it is like to live with and love someone with this illness.

I adore my husband. Well, in truth it would be more accurate to say that I adore the man I married. I don’t see very much of him anymore. Instead I see a narcissistic, angry, paranoid, delusional, violent man who scares the living hell out of me. I am learning what some of his triggers are but then again, some days everything seems to trigger him. I feel like I walk on eggshells all day every day and there is absolutely no correct way to say or do anything once he gets started.

Like I said, I don’t know exactly what to say, or if I am even in the right place. I just don’t want to feel so alone in all of this. I feel trapped; not by my marriage, but by this illness.

Thanks for reading.
Willow


#2

Hello Willow,
This is a good place for you to share and read. So many of us here on the site. Welcome, I hope you will find some comfort.
Take care, AnnieNorCal


#3

Welcome @WeepingWillow , you are definitely in the right place. I am very glad that you found this site. Come often, read what others have written, post if you want to, and know that you are not alone in what you are feeling. You don’t have to know exactly what to say. It helps to post and get answers.

All of us on this forum have a loved one with this terrible nightmare illness, and we love who they used to be, and are trying to love them now (often they won’t let us love them). Under the paranoid delusional actions caused by the illness our loved one is still there. Meds can help, but getting them on and keeping them on is sooooo hard. So we keep trying to care for them while trying to take care of ourselves too.


#4

Welcome to the forum,

My husband and I have a dear friend who is beginning to realize that his wife’s bipolar disorder is possibly schizoaffective. He loves his wife so much and he is afraid of her at the same time. When her episodes occur she is totally out of control of herself. They have lived like this for many years, her children and her husband walk on eggshells around her. She is very controlling and has delusions that her husband is cheating on her.

She is in her late 30’s and her episodes are coming more frequently, which is not unusual. Due to the episodes being more frequent and more severe, during her episodes he has begun to feel trapped in a relationship he doesn’t want to be in anymore. Yet he still loves her and wants their marriage to continue, especially after she cycles back down from aggressive behaviors and is relatively calmer. He has come to dread mania starting up as he know it will end in a huge rage episode aimed at him and their children. He is trying to draw behavior lines in their life, its a struggle to do so after so many years of giving in to anything to keep the peace.

One of her controlling behaviors is being obsessive about cleanliness and neatness - she will fly into a rage if they leave something messy or out of place - and they have a preschooler at home.


#5

Welcome Willow~~~~~
You are not alone in your feelings—or in your situation. Post here anytime…
Hope you can find friends here🌸


#6

Yup and things may change or may not. We can try to learn and grow from this illness. Not an easy thing to do. Welcome to the forum. It’s the place where I have received so much help and advice. You found a very supportive, knowledgable group! I’ve been taking sarcosine for mild depression. You may want to give that at try. I get it from brainvitaminz - it’s recommended for people with sz or depression.


#7

Thank you all so much for your kind and encouraging words. It seems strange to say that I am happy to not feel so alone, because this is such a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through. But I am comforted to know that there are others out there going through this and somehow managing day to day to love and support their family memeber while still taking care of their own mental and physical health.

Since my husband’s diagnosis and new medication regiment I have seen such a drastic change in him. I mean, some days are still pure hell, and I get that it is going to be that way because there is only so much that therapy and medication can do, but in the last month since his proper diagnosis and new medication I have begun to see glimpses of the man I fell in love with; “under the paranoid delusional actions caused by the illness our loved one is still there.” - I had honestly begun to give up hope of every seeing that person ever again.

My husband is on a lot of medications, for this illness as well as a few others, sometimes he tells me he is on too many and will try to not take them. Like he did the few days that he was hospitalized recently. Of course I can see the drastic change in him when he is on the medicine vs not on it so I try to encourage him to never miss a dose but sometimes this is hard. He has voiced concern that it is the medicine that makes him not think clearly. When he gets this way I am not sure how to convince him that they help not hurt. How do you deal with knowing that your loved one’s actions are going to result in a melt down? I live in fear of the hell we’ve been trapped in for the past few years. Also, there is a family member that seems to trigger my husband more than others and as a result he receives most of my husband’s wrath. Is there any way I can somehow redirect him?

-WW


#8

I do so understand the wrath of the delusional loved one… it is so hard to be the target or to see someone else be the target. My daughter, unmedicated, used to direct her wrath at me, and got along well with my husband, her step-father. Then she switched to liking me and hating him. He just had to avoid her. We even built a separate back door for her so she could “escape” him. Very hard on everyone. Unfortunately, there seems to almost be no way to argue with a delusion. And as far as getting them to take meds when they don’t want to, sigh… there is no right answer to that either. Both situations need creative thinking and solutions.

If you haven’t read, “I’m not Sick, I don’t Need Help” by Dr. Amador, that was the most helpful book I’ve read. It contains a system of communication called LEAP which is pretty much the best tool for gaining agreement on a subject (that is what the A stands for).