Hello, welcome to the forum. Congratulations on the new marriage.
I hope you don’t mind me posting since I’m not a spouse. I’m a sister. I have an Uncle who is Paranoid Sz, stable and working his butt off and my older brother who is Undifferentiated Sz with a healthy dose of disorganized. I live with my brother and see my Uncle when my Aunt gives me the all clear on his good days.
Because I live with my brother and used to be his front line care taker, I sadly admit that there was a time where I thought I knew so much more then I did. I was a bit of a little miss smarty pants on Sz because I foolishly assumed that it was all the same.
OH no. It’s not. What works with my brother, will NOT work with my Uncle. The way I talk to my brother will just trigger my Uncle. My brother wants to be a stand up comic and will make a lot of jokes even at his own expense. (He always goes for the funny) My Uncle is much more serious minded and will not put up with being joked with.
Then I started meeting people from my brothers Sz support group. After many months of making wrong assumptions and putting my foot in my mouth on several occasions, I now just meet everyone and think of it as “I know very little, and every person I meet is a new start with my education.”
When I give my perspective, I only go off of what I have learned from my big brother because he and I are close, I live with him and see him every day.
There are some common things however. False memories do seem to be common. My brother has very vivid memories of stuff that never happened. Now that he’s stable he’s beginning to sort through and untangle these memories from what happened.
Anxiety and Paranoia seem to also be common. It’s the level that’s different. My Uncle was a military man and his paranoia is towards others. It can go off the chart and he can become a bit defensive and come off as not so nice. But because of his military training, he’s very organized and can make very concise plans.
My brother is NOT militant in any way and has always been a bit of class clown so his paranoia turns toward the self and he will panic and have an anxiety attack. Also, my brother is blindingly smart, but very disorganized.
Example of when people smile at my brother… if he starts getting a bit paranoid, I listen, but I do tell him that I didn’t think of them as threatening. I do say, “Well, they are over there, not coming near us. What do you want to do? Would you like to just keep an eye out since they are staying away? Or would you like to leave?”
I understand your husband not up for therapy right now if his paranoia is acting up. But getting into a group for yourself will help ease the burden and give you an understanding place to vent, cry, laugh, and just let it go and as my brother likes to say, “get some new ideas”
I used to go to a sibling support group and it was a very valuable resource. I learned how to talk to my brother. I leaned how to listen to him and state my side of perception without dismissing his fears, concerns and perceptions.
In stead of “No, those people aren’t plotting against us.” I was able to take a breath and look at the situation from his view and then say, “Ok, I can see how this would be upsetting, but those people over there are staying over there and nowhere near us. We’ll go home and probably never see them again.”
If my brother keeps craning his head I know what he’s doing. I don’t say, “OH, just ignore them” because he can’t. He truly can’t. But I do say, “I see them too. I’m keeping an eye out. They are still over there not near us. I won’t let anything happen. You can rest, I’ll be the look out.”
Then when we leave, I do point out “Hey, nothing happened and it was all OK. We’re safe and fine.” The more we go out and all is well, the more the paranoia will let go. Then I can say, “Well, we went out last time and nothing happened, what’s different today?”
All I can suggest is keep learning, keep getting as much information as you can. Talk to a professional on your own. There are new drugs, treatments, therapies, philosophies, and more developing so quickly now. Keep up on your reading. Coping therapy and less stress will hopefully take the pressure off your fight against Bipolar as well.
Even if he doesn’t want therapy, there is nothing stopping YOU from getting a support group and a place or chance to vent your frustration.
I hope things smooth out for you soon.
Thank you for letting me post.