Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Reaching out to you


#1

Hello I am reaching out, like the rest of you I need commonality and support. I have been married for 14 years and with my husband for 16. When I first met him he was very into “tin foil hat” conspiracies but I never took it seriously. We made a choice to move off grid for 5 years and during that time things got a whole lot worse. He ended up having a mental break and was finally diagnosed. The issue I had at that time is I know my husband, he is thoughtful and smart and can usually see future out comes (like he can break down what possibly will happen in most situations). After that first break, it took about 4 months until I started to see someone who resembled my partner come back. We moved closer to his family which he essentially had removed himself from and he started meds. Meds made him tired all the time, and just a shell of him. This caused me to feel tired, rejected and resentful and then I feel like a horrible person for being so selfish that I am thinking about how I feel… and what I want.

Over the past 3 years of living in a small town, unfortunately it is riddled with mental illness that goes untreated (I work in health care and see it first hand). We had neighbours move in our rented duplex who were both unstable and untreated mentally ill people who started to hyper focus on myself and our son. This was very triggering to my husband as he never felt we were safe. The neighbours ended up plotting to kill us due to having a Buddhist lawn ornament stating we were satanists. Unfortunately, it is not a crime to be unmediated and unstable and until they are in action police will not act. My husband lessened his drugs to be more alert and this effected a bunch of things, he quit his job one day spontaneously right before December… (we need 2 incomes) and told me to have faith (he does not believe in faith)… I should have took this as warning signs but so much crazy crap was happening around me I didn’t see it for what it was. December he started drinking to mellow out I assume… but this was not a good choice. He also started smoking weed chronically as it became legal.

3 weeks ago he had another break. He kept thinking our neighbours were going to come in and kill us or what not and he felt the only logical answer as the police would not help was to kill the neighbours. He self admitted himself to the hospital for a week. When he got out the condition was that he lives with his parents as then there isn’t a constant trigger (our neighbours). I found a new house to rent but being on 1 income I cant take possession until Feb 15th. When he was in the hospital I had no communication with him, his choice. When he got out he told me he no longer loves me, and wants a divorce… this blew my mind as well as everyone else that knows us. Last week he told his mother we are better as a couple and everything is fine (news to me). He is still not stable, dark circles under his eyes, pacing, withdrawn. Yesterday I came home from work and noticed that my computer monitor was gone… I freaked out thinking it was stolen and someone had been in the house. He told me that he saw one in the back of the car… and proceeded to retrieve it from the back of the car. I asked our son if he put it in there… he did not. So I know it was my husband but he refused to admit that he took it and told me to drop it.

I just feel very stressed that everything is Topsy turvey, I can make no rational sense of things and I don’t know how to balance being supportive and not being selfish and thinking about how I feel as I know he didn’t ask for this. My family thinks that this is “made up” and his family enables him to do whatever he needs to do, believing that is supportive. I don’t know how to stand still has everything spirals … any advice?


#2

Hello Citrus,
Welcome to the forum. There are many people here in similar situations. I am concerned that your husband has considered the idea of killing someone. Please be safe.
I am a parent of a son who is currently forensically committed, so from my perspective it is a good idea to be cautious around your husband. Because your husband has chosen to move out and go to the hospital shows that he is aware of having feelings and thoughts that can be a danger to others. You have the upper hand right now, put down some boundries with him, if he wants to be with your family he must be med compliant and in therapy. Talk to his doctor and tell him what your husband has been talking about, chances are the doctor is unaware of what your husband really thinks. The key to getting your husband help is to ask the doctor, he has alot of influence on what happens.
Is your husband a danger to himself or others?
Talk to the court system about your husbands mental health, this is also a way to get manditory meds. Just a few suggestions from a caring parent.
Take care AnnieNorCal


#3

Welcome to the forum. Perhaps this will sound a bit harsh, but I believe you must set yourself first. If there is any threat or danger to you, if finances are tough, if your own health is suffering, I feel you must put yourself first. If your husband is with his mom right now, that is good. If he has changed his mind about divorce, doesn’t mean you have to change your mind: this illness is so tough and it will drain you totally if you let it, just trying, and trying to help your loved one. Meds may help your husband, but sometimes we never see the “old” person we loved ever come back. The “new normal” is the current way of life. I am lucky in that my daughter is nearly her old self character-wise, but she is incapable of real responsibility (job, money, friends, a life outside our home).

The drinking and illegal drugs are leading him down a dark road, in my opinion, and you may only be able to save yourself, and not him. Be safe.


#4

I’m so sorry you are having to go through so much. I can only tell you what has worked for us. My daughter was diagnosed at age 19. She was in and out of the hospital for years until finally she got on Invega Injection once a month. She has gotten on and off several times; however, this time I took pictures of her (she went from 145 to 90 pounds) she looked terrible, I also recorded her when she was being real mean to me. She loves me unconditionally when she is on her meds! After going through what she went through this last time and I gave her actual proof (also wrote her a letter). She now has been back on her meds for the longest time…about 2 1/2 years. She just turned 29 and has graduated with honors from college and has a job (for the first time)…it has been long and hard and I had to go through years of counseling but it is nice to be able to feel relaxed and normal for this last couple of years. I can offer you my prayers and hope you can get the help you need. Hopefully you can get him into a reputable hospital. My daughter was so mean and stubborn and if she thinks about it for long she gets sooo mad about the many hospitalizations, but I grin and bear it because at least she’s on a great track for now. Good luck and let us know how things go. Donna ~


#5

Thank you both for your comments. Nothing that either of you said sound harsh. I just naturally don’t think of me and mine first., but I feel I should heed your advice. I wonder if either of you would share how often your family member goes to therapy? Since we live rurally, he does not see a psychiatrist all the time, truth be told the way it way it is working is he was released from hospital. 3 days later he met with a psychiatric nurse at the clinic adjacent to the hospital, she gave him a book to read (the alchemist) and was out in 15 minutes. 19 days later he saw his regular GP to discuss medications and how his over all feelings have been. He wont see the psychiatrist for another 3.5 weeks after that. Due to where we live and the shortage of mental health workers (all types) he sees the psychiatrist every 3 month…equating for 4 times a year. They tell him if he has issues to go to the hospital and they load him up on meds that make him tired and send him home. This has been avoided most times, he just takes an additional night time med and goes to sleep.

@oldladyblue I do wonder if this is his new baseline, as watching from the side I see the same signs as just before he went in…and they seem to get worse in the evening (when it gets dark). Do schizophrenics sundown?

Thank you both for your acknowledgement, I really needed it! As ya, it is soul sucking and sleep depriving. Really… thank you.


#6

My daughter goes to her Psychiatrist once a month to get her prescription (so far so good) and actually going by herself. She goes to her counselor once a week, but has no showed and comes and dumps on me about everything being so hard. I just continue to tell her to go to her counsel because really and truly I have no idea to fix what sis her for that time. I try to be comforting but it can be to difficult so I tell her it is important to go to her counselor. Gosh he is going only 4 times a year. That is not enough. Check with the hospital and see if they In hospital treatment (go there and return home at nightor after the program is let out.)


#7

My daughter has been on a 30 day injection for just over 2 months now. She is due her next shot on the 8th. She was released from the hospital in Dec where she got her first shot, saw a therapist a month later and got her 2nd shot, and now she sees a different therapist (the last one quit the practice) on Feb 13th. By then her shot will be overdue, so I have to see if she will go in to get it, and then go back to see the therapist (Dr.). This is all new to us, but it is only once per month.

I believe that each person has similar symptoms and different symptoms to another with this illness. Off meds, my daughter is a night owl, sleeping days, on meds, it turns around to sleeping nights and being awake days.

I am sorry that your son isn’t getting to talk to someone more often. There should be more support in the community between the extremes of almost no care and the hospital… but outpatient help is dependent on the person’s desire to go. Thankfully Directions for Living seems OK to my daughter and she goes there.


#8

Will you go with her? I think it makes it easier for my son if I go to his Doc appt. with him. He’s goes on his own to get the shot - of course he has to do that or they’ll put him in jail and he doesn’t want that.


#9

Hi DianeR, thanks for your suggestion. She, unfortunately, does not allow me to go on her medical appointments with her. Usually she freaks out totally when I am inside the building with her. It’s happened numerous times over the years (I actually just realized that). She will allow me to drop her off. She signed a HIPPA so I can talk about her appointments, and that is all. Her court case was dropped, I don’t know if she knows that or not, so she isn’t court required anymore…


#10

OLB, it’s great that she signed the HIPAA. This way, you can check for sure that she had the injection. That’ll take the mystery out of it.


#11

My daughter has mild schizophrenia and is bipolar. She got admitted to a psychiatric ward for the first time at 15. After that, she was doing very well and I advised her to go off-med in the wrong belief that she would be able to manage without medication and eliminate the side effects altogether. At 20, she got admitted again. After she got discharged from her second admission, it took probably 6 months or so before she recovered. In the early stage of her discharge, she was delusional, medication was at a higher dose and she hated the side effects. I started a journal to keep track of her medication and also events when she was angry, frustrated, worried, etc. The monthly psychiatrist sessions which I joined at the start and end of the session were very helpful. It helped me reason with my daughter why medication despite the side effects is important which was a constant debate. The psychiatrist also gave me a tool to help my daughter monitor her sleep, speech, energy, thoughts and sensitivity on a weekly basis. In the early stage, it was frustrating not knowing enough to help my daughter and wished there were more frequent sessions with the psychiatrist. This forum helped me a lot.


#12

I was wondering how you are @Citrus .

I am having a sleepless night tonight. For some reason, even when my daughter is hallucinating mildly in her room 40 feet away, I can hear the delusional talk and it wakes me from a sound sleep. I went to sleep to her talking, and I woke up to her talking, and she is still talking. I’m going to have to soundproof my hallway I think.

@Chong , you just reminded me to start keeping my journal again. I dropped it out months ago. Thank you. It is great that you can be part of the monthly psychiatrist sessions. How is your daughter doing now? Thank you for your post too. This forum has saved me, it is just the best support, even better support than my doctor and my minister, and certainly better than the rest of my family and friends.


#13

Hi @oldladyblue: My daughter is doing ok. She keeps to the medication and has an app on her phone to remind her. Uni is quite stressful as she tries to make friends. As she is quite competitive, she gets into a fair bit of conflict with her classmates which became quite emotional. This is an area I am working on so she pulls away from the emotion and keeps her objective as her focus. I can feel that it is harder for her and that contributes to stress which I need to keep watch of.
I kept a journal for 10 months after my daughter is discharged from the hospital. At first, it was to make sure she took her medication and for me to talk about her progress during the appointment with the psychiatrist. I would write down on the journal after she has taken the medicine and also note down anything that may have caused her to be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, etc. At that time many things I tried did not help her. Also, when it seems like a crisis every day, I just didn’t have the time to reflect so the journal helped. And what I recalled based on memory can differ from what is recorded, so the journal is a kind of a check. The journal also helped me immerse myself in her shoes, and over time, I could explain better to my daughter what is real and what is not. I have stopped using the journal since my daughter recovered. She understands medication is important and I do not have to remind her. She had to stop uni after the episode and is back for a year now. So far so good. Just got to help her navigate things that causes her stress.


#14

It makes me smile @Chong to know that your daughter understands how important her meds are and that she is doing well at uni. With insight into meds and ability to live the university life, it looks like she will have a good future.I am glad you stuck by helping her in crisis, I know that took a lot.

I think if all of us learn to manage stress better, even improving one tiny thing at a time, that the outcome is better. When I was stressed, I would often lose my temper, and that didn’t help at all. Dealing with severe MI these last few years has improved my own temperament (self-control mostly) more than I realized and it has benefits outside of my home too.