Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Scared for the kids

I’ve known that my wife’s mother and several of her aunts and uncles have schizophrenia, but she has never shown any of those signs. Just a little anxiety. Last month, my wife’s grandfather had an accident an ended up in a coma. She and my 3 year old daughter flew there so she could be with him. He ended up passing after a few days and my wife had her first mental break. She ended up calling the police after barricading herself in a room in her grandmothers house and told them there was blood all over the house and people were trying to kill her. I flew there, managed to get her out, and attempted to fly home with her. We made it more than halfway to a connecting flight, where we had an unexpected delay. We ended up leaving before the flight because she started yelling at people saying that they were following her. I didn’t want her to end up back in a facility out of state again.

We make it home, and I think that will help her, but it has since escalated out of control. It went from her thinking people from the hospital she was in half a country away were going to kill her, to people in our attic, to finally my 19 year old from my first marriage wanting to kill her. And apparently she has found religion in a very hysterical way. She has been making my kids repeat her a lot, and making them get on their knees and pray several times. I wouldn’t think this that big of a deal except some of the things she says, such as god is good, god is great, he saves all the children from rape and sodomy to my 9 and 3 year old. I work nights, and am thankful my 19 year old is home with them, but scared she is going to do something crazy to my oldest while in her mind she thinks she is being attacked.

She was very carried away yesterday running around naked and having full one sided conversations, and I ended up calling the police to ask them what I could do. They said they would send a unit out to talk with me. I told her she need to get dressed, that I had an officer coming to talk to me and she freaked out. She packed her clothes, and wanted to go, said she had had enough of this relationship. While she waiting outside, a truck pulled up and this couple who neither of us know start taking to her. Told her they would take her to a shelter. She ran back in and tried to take my 3 year old out the door with strangers. The cops showed up a few minutes later, and she ended riding with them to the hospital. I ended up signing a 3rd party affidavit stating I felt unsafe. And she went into a hospital.

I let her talk to the kids tonight, and she told them she was getting out tomorrow. I don’t know if that is true or not, the nursing staff told me she would be in there for 3 to 4 days. She did not fill out the form for me to information, so the place she was taken wouldn’t give me any information. My father-in-law told me she called him and asked to clear out a room for her because I didn’t want her to come back. I love my wife, and was hoping they would hold her there until she was stable. Truth is, I am scared for my kids if she comes back here. And if she goes there, I am scared she will try to come and take them. I feel so much panic! I don’t know what to do.

@Mechanicalman I’m sorry for your family’s ordeal. My father had a similar less severe incident late in life after his brother’s death. He was paranoid that his actions surrounding an inheritance might land him in jail to the point that he couldn’t function. But I felt it was more about the stress of the loss, and feelings of being unprepared to face his mortality. Some of this may explain your wife’s new-found interest in religion.

I think it’s shame that HIPPA forms don’t default to family having access to medical records and require positive affirmation to revoke that privilege, especially where psychiatric conditions are in play. I filled out one of these forms today, and I found it so confusingly written that even on a good day I didn’t understand what it meant. When you are admitted, you often are so confused that you aren’t actually competent to answer the question, so in this context the whole idea seems asinine.

I would encourage you to voice your fears to her doctors. Nothing stops you from disclosures in the opposite direction. They may put her on long acting injection forms of antipsychotics. I’d also contact NAMI and ask them about legal measures available in your state. You may be able to get a court injunction limiting contact with your children until her condition improves, or court ordered assisted mental health treatment. The NAMI help-line number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-helpline

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Over the top here man, your kids are to young for this shit. The 19 year old might get it but it will fuck him up too. If they were older and could understand it might be ok but you are in a bad place as there is NO acceptable plan forward for any of this. You got a hard decision coming your way and you will either do it now or later but you WILL end up moving on… Sorry man… The GOD phase of this crap is hands down the most dangerous time as you will all die for your sins in her mind at the least expected moment…

Dude, this is fucked up here and will not work, how can a young man of 19 be burdened with this over site? I get that it might be temporary in your mind but it is unfair to this young man and he will break, destroy any hope for eduaction, and he WILL run as self preservation kicks in and might end up on the streets to get away. Now if you have a couple million in the bank, you might make it work… Like purchase a house for her (Docs, meds, Paid Caretakers) purchase a house for the 19 year old, Then the expense of a new girl friend/wife that can put up with the drama…

I hope to god they dont have her blood, I deal with two SZs and you might end up with 3

Sorry man, find a good attorney and end it…

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Whatever difficult choices you have to make, I agree with Mag (sorry, I just like your username!) that you have every right to talk with the doctors and nurses to keep them informed of what has happened, provide history, and express your wishes, and I hope you do that.

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Yes. Not a good situation for the children. You most definitely need to inform the hospital of your concerns so they can make a discharge plan that is safe for everyone.

@GSSP I took what you said to heart. I consulted with an attorney today and asked what I could do to keep her from taking my daughter and step-son. He told me I would have to file for legal separation or divorce and get emergency custody of my girl and emergency guardianship for the boy. I told him I would think on it tonight and get back with him in the morning with a decision moving forward. As I was hanging up with him I got a call from my wife. I asked her what her plans on moving forward after she got out of that facility. She told me she wanted a divorce, that she was moving with the children, and we could have split custody. She even told me what school district they would be in. She basically made my decision for me. I’m going to file in the morning. At the least she cannot take them when she gets out. I’ve also made arrangements for my mother to come stay with us soon so that my 19 year old can soon proceed with his own life. I hope the kids do not end up with this disorder. The wife’s sister doesn’t have it, so that gives me hope.

@Maggotbrane @Itsastruggle @Vallpen I took your advice this morning and called her doctors. It was pretty much a one-sided conversation but surprisingly, they ended up asking some questions about events and family history. They said they wrote it all down, bet they had hand cramps by the time it was through. I don’t know how this is going to turn out in the end. But I do know it’s not right to rip these kids out of their home and go anywhere with her the way she is now. Im surprisingly not that upset right now, but feel kind of numb. I never thought things would have ever turned out this way.

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@Mechanicalman I forgot to mention this. Because of the constraints of HIPPA regulations they can barely even mention she’s in the hospital much less why or anything she said once she got there. But it doesn’t work in reverse. They can’t limit what you say and may ask questions to clarify once you’ve broached subjects with them.

Talking about things with doctors and lawyers can make you feel less powerless. The reality is you hold far more cards than she does in this situation. It’s more about not playing yourself, than her playing you and your kids. It’s tough emotionally and @GSSP can be blunt about how things may play out, but it’s information you need to hear. A mistake now can have far reaching consequences for you and your vulnerable children.

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We all feel for you man… The kids, year after year, some good days some bad but they will be emotionally ripped to pieces way more in the marriage then out, it is all truly fucked up man… best of luck to you all… 256-585-5097


When we married, her son was 7 or 8, I tried to give him 11-12 good years, he killed himself at 20 years old…

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You have had far more than your share of grief and struggle, GSSP. I am so glad you have found some ways to get some pleasure out of life.

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I get the numbness.

These are hard times, but one way or another, things will improve.

Hopefully, thinking about your children and how to keep them safe and healthy/happy will give you a positive focus to get you through the shock and upheaval.

All of your lives have been suddenly and horribly upended. Focus on creating as much normalcy for your kids as you can. You are their rock, the stable parent they can count on. They need you.

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I’m so sorry…your family knows SMI all too well. This is why I try to be an advocate to help people…both those with a loved one with SMI and for those living with it, as well. There are real things that need to be changed in this country and we can be vocal about it through organizations like NAMI, Treatment Advocacy Center, contacting our legislators, etc.

I am so glad you are taking the risk to your 19 year old seriously. Its a serious situation and people can end up badly injured or killed, you are right to be concerned. Your 3 yr old and your 9 yr old have to be kept safe.

My son’s delusions fixate on his father/my husband. I think its hard for people who haven’t had to face this kind of danger to realize how real the threat is from their family member. Its the sort of situation where I think its best to listen to advice instead of finding out for yourself.

Keep your family safe.

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@GSSP so sorry for the loss of your step son. That’s hard.

@Mechanicalman, Hope everything works out for you and your family. Try to find an in person support group near you because they may also be able to connect you with someone who has been through something similar and NAMI has a great family education program. If there is not one near you ask the hospital if they have a family resource area. Most hospitals where I live do.

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Since this illness came on suddenly and she is hospitalized again, the best thing you can do in my opinion is to keep calling in to talk to the doctors, nurses, and even visit the hospital to talk to the nurses, if your wife refuses to see you, to get them all the information you can. IF they can get her on the right medications (forced on her if need be), perhaps there is a chance things can revert from chaos to a “new normal”.

If she is ANY sort of a threat to herself, you or the children, you can probably get the medical staff to keep her in the hospital until she is more stable on medication. You MUST play up that you are scared of her and why, and scared for your children. Don’t downplay any dangers to “protect” her.

My daughter is ONLY in recovery because of 5 forced hospitalizations, many, many police visits to my home, and finally a judge who ordered her to be examined and force medicated. I was smart enough to ask the hospital (by blind fax as the hospital wouldn’t tell me she was even there) the judge sent her to for a long acting injection of a medicine she was on during her 4th hospitalization that previously worked, and she is still on that shot monthly and doing well. She would NEVER have voluntarily agreed to anything that actually stopped her active almost 24/7 2.75 year long psychosis. It was forced on her, and she has no real idea of how sick she was.

Once your wife is out of the hospital, you may not get the chance to ask for forced medication again.

In my case, when I did send that blind fax, the doctor had the nurses contact me within hours to become a health care proxy for the time she was in the hospital. That is how they got my OK to force inject her. Within a week she was SO MUCH improved, and was released.

I feel like working as a team consisting of the primary caregiver, primary care physician, a specialty care team of psychiatry, psychology, recreational therapy, and counseling is often the best approach to reaching a safer point of, at least, temporary stability. Continuity of care and clear communication with the primary caregiver (eg. husband, wive, sisters, mother, father and whom ever else may be ready and willing to just keep swimming with their loved one) is an affective way for experts to truly offer REAL life REAL time suggestions and possibly solutions in the day to day goings on. How can one achieve any stability affectively if the one person who spends the majority of the days and nights with the patient is constantly being kept in the dark, cut off from communicating with experts because regulations(HIPPA) that do protect some, but sure as the sun shines, this regulation can hurt, traumatize, and even lead to death.

However, the HIPPA tool, in caring for and stabilizing an individual inflicted with schizophrenia is a lot less useful and is potentially dangerous because it can cause serious harm to patients that are, at times, unable to effectively communicate. Drs cannot move in with the patient and monitor day to day everyday and care for others and themselves. But The Drs, if allowed to communicate with the primary caregiver/spouse have the knowledge that can be passed on to the one who can implement and observe daily and talk about the who, what, where, when, and whys of how everything is working or not working.

What are the odds of the inflicted to digress more rapidly if the caregiver is frustrated, scared, coping with feelings of resentment toward the situation and toward the people putting up a roadblock between him and the information he needs to make intelligent and less harmful choices In regards to the health and wellness of the woman he loves? Do we keep HIPPA in place and let these poor caregivers continue to crack under the pressure of not knowing what’s the best course of action while being expected to make decisions in regards to what is best for him/her. Is there a solution to this problem that I am not aware of?

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Sorry to hear this is happening in your world. When my son was hospitalized the Dr asked him to sign the release form that was only good for “one week”. He did, but I have a feeling the Doc may have given him the form so that I can always have info. It’s been 2 years now and I can still call the nurse and ask questions about my sons visits. Maybe you could say to the doc - I hear there is a form where I can get med. info but just temporarily. She may sign that. I also went to the hospital twice a day, even though, my son didn’t want me there. But I got a lot out of the nurses and other patients about what was going on. They only way I got in was I brought my son something (like his clothes or food) and I told him I had to hand him these things. Once i was in, I just talked to the nurses etc. Meds do work for some. Hopefully, you may be able to get her to take some. It doesn’t have to be forever - just for a while to jolt her back into “normal”. Wishing the best outcome for you. Which we all know doesn’t happen over night but sometimes things turn out better than we expect. p.s. this is the best forum for advice and support.

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I agree 100% The HIPPA law can be Dangerous to say the least.

You understand this challenge and major flaw in HIPAA and vocalize it well. We need to change our laws. I think there is some momentum to get this changed…at least in some places. If you are so inclined, find out what your state NAMI organization is doing in advocacy efforts and what other organizations they may (our could be) be partnering with to present the same common voice to our legislators. The Treatment Advocacy Center is probably also working on this. But they need our voices to make an impact. (This should be a new topic!)

Jeeeeez! That’s super heavy! So sorry!