Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

SO killed some of my pets


My husband had his first breakdown 1 year into our marriage (October, 2015). Ever since then he has been without a job, and I have been paying all the bills (ex. rent- $1,030, his car payment $350, Car insurance $190, TV -$90, electric, heating, various credit cards, food, etc. every month). All I wanted him to do was follow tx and rest. But he refused to do the latter.

He was hospitalized again due to not taking his medicine or following tx (October, 2016). Now that he’s back he was refusing his medicine and had a psychotic episode on Thursday night.

He was pacing around praying, shouting, agitated, slamming doors, looking all around, muscles twitching, screaming, etc. He kept screaming for me my to get the evil sprits (our 2 cats) out of the house. He also thought I was an evil sprit at times.
I was afraid. I literally ran out of the house with just my cats and my keys at 1 in the morning shaking. I went to my parents three hours away. The cats are there now.

When I came back yesterday I discovered our fish tank was empty. I was devastated, He killed them, and when I asked why he said “he had a bad feeling”. When I asked how…he baked them alive in our oven. That was when I noticed a charred piece of something on the floor next to the oven.

From further questioning it doesn’t seem he remembers much from that night.

I’m disturbed, and I don’t know if I can take this anymore. He was a gentle person… If he killed these innocent animals what else is he capable of? That could have been one of the cats…Maybe it could have been a person.

I really want to leave. He doesn’t have any family here which complicates things. He’s taking his medicine for now, but I’m going to keep my distant. Once he clears maybe I can convince to go back to his country. I feel like I’m drowning. Part of me still has hope we can get past this, but I’m not sure if I could deal. I LOVED those cats and I loved my fish. Now I’m all alone with him in a quiet apartment. This isn’t the life I imagined I would be living at the age of 23.


That is seriously messed up. hugs I’m very sorry that you’re going through this. You shouldn’t wait another minute, you should just call the police, report it, and have him institutionalized for months to a year. One thing is having a breakdown, and then another thing is starting to kill living things. It starts little by little and then increases. He really needs to be committed before he hurts another animal or someone else.


That’s so scary! My husband just told me a week or so ago that when he was in his psychotic episode 1.5 years ago, he thought that something bad was going to happen to our rabbit, because of him. He felt that he needed to take the rabbit somewhere safe, so he was walking around the neighborhood with him. The police were called, which he didn’t tell me for a few months. I hated that I’m still finding out things that happened that long ago, and I hated that our rabbit was at risk, and I had no idea. When you said ‘he had a bad feeling,’ it reminded me of our situation.

When my husband got on his medication, Risperdal, it still took about a month before the voices subsided enough for him to have some rational thought. It’s good that he’s taking his medication, but there needs to be some sort of safety plan in place, for himself and you. I agree with Doctor, that actually harming animals is a new level of danger and can increase. I don’t actually know what the police will or can do; it might depend on where you are living. I would actually be afraid to call the police, unless he was presenting a clear and imminent danger, like the night you left with your cats. You might also consider taking him to the ER, instead, if you can convince him to get in the car. Maybe you can tell him that you know a place you can go, where the evil sprites can’t get him; call 911 and let them know that you’re on your way to the hospital, and have someone ready when you get there with him; tell him to hide in the backseat, so the sprites can’t see him coming or follow him, if you’re afraid that he would get agitated in the car. Use his delusions to get him to comply.

I was also 23 when my husband had his first psychotic episode, although we weren’t married. I didn’t imagine I’d ever be in that position at that age, either. He got better, and we got married two years later. 9 years later, we’re dealing with his second and third episodes. I don’t know what the future holds, but I keep holding on, trying to find hope. Maybe some will find you, too.


Thank you Doctor for your support and empathy toward this situation.

Since I’ve been back he’s been in this calm peaceful mood. He told me the voices are telling him to ‘love’.

I do think I’m safe here with him for right now. He’s actually taking his medicine which is a huge victory.
If I step out now then I will make sure he’s committed someplace (I did secretly pack a bag & left it in my car in-case I need to leave in an emergency. We have an appointment with his psych doc. this coming Wednesday thankfully, so I will tell them what he did, and then they can assess him in-person & see if he needs to be in a hospital.

He isn’t making any threats & hasn’t been praying, or talking about sprits. I’m going to keep a watch on him.
Thank you so much for your insight on him killing the fish. Killing living things is not a good sign, and you are right…that type of behavior will only increase if uncontrolled.


Anytime. Okay, that is good. You just have to be very careful with these things because one day it’s the fish and the next it’s a person. My fiancé threatened to kill his family a few years ago and they had to hospitalize him and put a chair behind his door at night so that he wasn’t able to get out since they were very afraid of him.


Thanks Bunzo very much for your response. It’s truly encouraging to see other spouses going through this.

My husband takes Risperdal too. Thank you for your insight on the aspect of safety. Sadly, his whole family lives in another country so I’m really all he has. I did pack a bag in-case I need to leave in an emergency. As for him I will never leave him by himself if he’s unstable and off his medicine. I will ensure he’s committed.

I do agree with you in-regards to the police. In October (2016) when he had his second major psychotic episode I had to do lots of convincing in the ER, and he attacked me in that instance! He has never been a violent person, but he thought I was a demon. We were actually visiting my parents, and he was taking a nap in the guest room. When I went to go lay next him he awoke suddenly and started shouting at me that I was a demon! He pushes me off the bed and I literally crawled on my hands & knees (I had bruises all over my legs and arm from him pushing me on the floor) away screaming for my life as he chased me & then my whole family outside (in the rain w/ no shoes). He was foaming at the mouth and a horrible look in his eyes. After I coxed him and told him that it was ‘me’, he calmed down and we took him to the ER. They where willing to let him go despite everything I said. I had to convince my husband to volunteer.

Thankfully your husband didn’t hurt the rabbit. I’m in a complete disarray that he did this to my fish. I loved them. I was willing to work with him, but now I honestly don’t think I can. I love animals. I rescued both my cats. I don’t eat meat. I try to buy from ethical companies that don’t do animal testing. I’m completely disturbed that he did that to them. I don’t mean to discourage you, but killing a living thing is a hard pill to swallow. I was willing to take care of him, but I don’t think I could after this. Now I feel like I could never have pets or even have children. I know we both should see a councilor regarding this. I may try.
My parents though are finished which makes this tough.

My plan right now is to get him well, and then send him to his country to be with his family. He might be happier there with them all.

Before he goes I’m def. getting a divorce though. He has tons of bills that I don’t want to be responabile for at this early age (he’s older then me - 29). I do love him and care about him very much. Living in his country (3rd world), may be better. There’s a lot less stress there and has some money (a couple 1,000s) saved up. He has his parents and his siblings. He has a degree from the USA in electrical engineering. He’d also be around people of his own cultural. It just might be better for him. I still don’t know. But I do think getting a divorce now would be good. It doesn’t mean we are over, but if he goes to his country & is happy there then he won’t need to come back to get a divorce. He also can’t just leave me with all his unpaid bills if he left & then never contacted me.

Nonetheless I will take this all day by day. Thank you all for your support. It means a lot to me.


Yes sleeping at night is scariest time for me too. Since that time he attacked me I always stand near the door and call out to him before laying down next to him (he always goes to bed before me) We’ve also been sleeping with the lights on. I think the darkness scares him.

I will closely watch him for signs of danger. He’s been calm today. Very quiet. I will see how he is tonight.


That’s understandable. I hope all goes well for you guys, I know how unpredictable they can be.


In my state it takes 3 adults to commit someone for involuntary hospitalization. Talk to your local courthouse or police department.


Well the police can be part of those adults, I know because it also took one of the officers to sign my fiancé’s papers to have him commited, his mom, and a judge.


Thank you nicehat. I appreciate your concern. I think he is safe, but I will keep all that in-mind.


Killing pets is a serious behavior. I think this would be certain grounds for hospitalization.


Hello Vallpen, thanks for your reply… you are probably correct. He, however, is calm, happy, non-threatening, and taking his medications at the moment. A 360 from Thursday night…

He’s seeing his doctor in two days so I plan on telling them that news.

It worries me he did this. I don’t know exactly what this behavior means, and if it will increase. At baseline he’s a very gentle person. He’s very kind to others, affectionate, loving, religious, etc. It’s mind-blowing…

I hope we will get some answers from the doctor. If any of you have experience or knowledge with this kind of behavior (killing animals) please share.


Your safety comes first. I don’t know if my information and advice will help your safety, so please prioritize keeping yourself safe and trust your instincts and intuitions.

Depending on the diagnosis and whether there are co-occurring personality disorders, killing animals is a very bad sign.

One of the people who raised me had bipolar one disorder and killed two kittens (broke their necks) during an episode of mania/ psychosis. This person within the same time period beat (very young child) me badly and stopped, saying, “It’s not worth it.”

Nothing more than slapping and rageful screaming towards humans for the next decade plus until this person committed suicide. A couple more suspicious deaths of pets, but I don’t know for sure.

Any time anyone does something like this, a doctor needs to know.

I’m really sorry to write this, but I don’t think we laypeople can know what you should do to keep yourself safe. I really hope you will talk to your own counselor or a local domestic violence prevention counselor privately and to your husband’s doctor, if that is safe for you.


Imc - Leave your apartment and I agree with Doctor - call the police and report it. No, this is not the life you need to live at 23 but you are stronger than you think so change your life for the better. Trust your gut and do it!


My guess is - and I am only guessing based on what I have seen with my family member - is that he scared himself straight. If he stops taking his meds again, I would definitely be on alert and consider taking action to have him hospitalized before it gets scary. If he did it once, yes, if he is in psychosis, I think he would do something similar.

As you and others described, I have had to remove pets from the house when my son expressed fear he would harm them. Your husband went that additional step and acted on the thoughts. I am so sorry you are dealing with this, living with such uncertainty is very stressful.


Oh my goodness I am so sorry. Your husband is reminding me of mine with the praying and shouting. Mine ran up to me and shouted that I had an evil demon inside me and I worried he might try to get it out.

I’m new to this but I’d say leave him inpatient like I did mine and don’t go get him.

This is really really really hard to do. At this moment I’m being pulled emotionally towards calling to check on him but I’m trying not to.
Please please stay safe follow your gut and get out if you think you need to