Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Struggling with husband

My significant other (technically not married, but together 18 yrs with children) is suffering from schizophrenia. We are waiting for our appointment for treatment. In the meantime, he’s taking several vitamins/amino acids to help deal with at least negative symptoms. It’s hard though.
We have 3 small kids who I school at home, I work also part time. He’s always home and of course very needy. This disease is completely ruling our lives and the lives of our innocent children.
We were having serious problems before this started, and I had left him. When this started, I felt him having his children near would be helpful, and it was the right thing to do to help. Now we are 3 years into this disorder and I can’t hardly take anymore. I am exhausted constantly.
I look at our family and think I need to be there for our girls. I have considered how I can abandon this toxic relationship whilst this tragic disease takes over the father of my children.
Has anyone ever gotten their loved one better, then carefully walked out?


With love, anything is possible but it isn’t easy. I’ve always had my work to balance and get my mind off things for awhile. I have one child with this illness and a husband who some times is just as needy. I have been exhausted, we all have. Only you can determine what you and your children need and want.
My husband has just started to see a psychiatrist for depression. After nearly 40 years with this man, I should be an expert but he still surprises me. I do realize that this is exactly what attracted me to this man.
Hang in there and if you are a believer as I am, prayer does work but in my case it changed me not the circumstance.
This forum welcomes you and we have many people here who understand and can cry and laugh with you. Try to find a support group there as well.

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So he has never been on meds for sz? Are you sure it is sz?

Not telling you what to do, but the kids should be in school and way from this during the school day.

Not telling you what to do: I am different then many here, if no blood relation or no kids I would say walk and not look back, but yall have 3 kids together, ages of kids and you both?
Again, I am not telling you want to do: If he has sz then he must be on some type med, and you should start doing some long term planning on how to deal with it.

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Gssp: our kids are young, one is school age and HS is just the right thing for her. I hate to let this decide yet another big choice for them.
He has never been on APs. He would never admit this was a mental problem, recently I have taken over and said we are fixing this.
Has anyone ever started meds and just felt normal? Or close? It seems almost no one gets relief from these meds, which look pretty dangerous to begin with.
I really just want out, but I don’t want to teach my kids that it’s okay to just abandon their father in his time of need.

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Oh and I have studied this thing for years, I don’t have a degree in psychiatry but I’m pretty certain it’s Sz. He has every classic symptom.

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Thank you for responding. Part of me empathizes with this man and I can’t imagine leaving him like this. That’s why I want to get him better. But too, part of me imagines what our family’s life looks like and I can’t willingly do that to my kids.
Before he started having psychotic episodes, he went through bouts of other types of episodes, like violent ones. I really have spent more than half my life slaved to an unhealthy relationship and as I want to teach my kids that I’m doing the right thing for their dad, there is also a point to do the right thing for myself as well.
It’s a hard balance.

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Not knowing his history but you reported him having other episodes, he can possible have bipolar disorder with psychotic features. This is important to know because a mood stabilizer is essential to individuals with bipolar disorder. The fact he has never been hospitalized leads me to believe it might be less severe than schizophrenia. Praying for you and your family. Please keep us posted on what his psychiatrist says.


There are physical problems that can cause symptoms of SZ - and there are also other mental disorders, like depression with psychotic features and, as mentioned, bipolar with psychosis (schizoaffectiv?).

I’d have him see a doctor for a checkup & tests too.

I’ve studied this for years as well. My son’s been sick since he was 15 & he’s 28 now. I’m well read and a day doesn’t go by that I’m not reading about this too. And, it still baffles me. No two patients are alike & the professionals have a problem diagnosing these disorders. So maybe it’s SZ & maybe it’s not.

And, yes - some people get on meds and do fine. Others, get partial relief. Some are treatment resistant. And finding the right med or combination of meds is trial and error.


I sympathize with you as I have a husband who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia 3.5 years ago. I can write a book to you explaining what the last 3.5 years have been like, so I will summarize: This illness came out of the middle of nowhere, literally. He was as normal as any man can be until this illness robbed him of his being. The first time I had to call someone to come to the house and evaluate him. he was committed to the hospital and diagnosed as “major depressive disorder with psychosis”. From there, every six months he was committed to the hospital for either being non-compliant with his meds or his meds not working. I would plead with him to get help but it always came down to me making that phone call and having him committed. Incidentally, I also have an 11 year old son with him.

The biggest problem I face with him and most with schizophrenia is convincing him something is wrong; explaining to him that his delusions are not real or his hallucinations are not there: he never believed me, therefore, it was always something wrong with me, not him. He didn’t trust me, he always thought I wanted him committed to a hospital: that is his sz talking to me and nothing else.

I have lost a full time job that I worked very hard to get and would have set my family up for life, I have had child services to my house, I have had the police to my house numerous times. The last time the police were at my house back in January, they arrested him for crimial mischief. So since we lived with my mother inlaw who we took care of because she had dementia, my sister inlaw who is the power of attorney kicked my husband out of the house. He has been living in a motel for the last 9 months. During this time, I had time to evaluate my life and the life of my son (most importantly) and where things were going. I knew that if I moved out of my inlaws house and the 3 of us lived together, I could not depend on him for income and I know he would have started problems with the neighbors as he did at the house where we lived. I had to really think about how much more I was willing to put my son through. My son loves his father unconditionally and understands what is going on with him. I am not even sure if my son remembers what his Dad was like before the illness took a hold of him.

Well…my mother inlaw is in a nursing home. I told my husband about 2 months ago that I wanted to be seperated but I would still be there for him with whatever he needs. He really doesn’t talk to me unless he needs something and he is definitely in the clutches of psychosis even though I had him committed once again about a 1.5 months ago. Since then he missed his court appearance that I literally drove to his hotel and knocked on his door to pick him up and he did not answer because he just ignored me. My son has not heard from him in a few days so last night I looked on the “County Corrections” website and looked his name up and sure enough he has been picked up, I’m sure, on a warrant isuued for his arrest for skipping court. The court is aware of his illness so I am hoping that when he appears they will issue a psych evaluation and have him go away long term to get the help he needs. So now, I have to find the right time to tell my son that his father is in jail and that I cannot post bond for him. It is $5000.00 cash bond and I really don’t have it and even if I did, I don’t know if I would pay it. I really don’t think I can trust him to go to court so I can get my money back. He hasn’t called me. Even after being hospitalized a month and a half ago, he still is not right. I don’t know if he stopped taking his meds, or they are just not working, but he is definitely not “ok”.

So now, I have moved out of my inlaws house and am living on my own with my son. It is not easy as I don’t really make a lot of money and no help from him. My husband has SSI and workmans comp so he cannot afford to live on his own let alone help me. I am hoping that being jailed once again will be his “bottom” and perhaps he will get his life together again. I miss the man I married, I miss the man I spent 22 years of my life with and the guilt I feel for seperating from him when I know he is ill is just too much. But, my son has to come first. I cannot worry if and when child services comes again and they take my son from me…I won’t survive it as he is everything to me. The reason why child services came in the first place is because one of the hospitals he stayed in sent them to my house to see if my son was safe, which he was. I was always home when my son was home.

So you see, there is no easy answer. You will be unhappy with your decision no matter what…it really comes down to what you are willing to put your children through. I wish I would have left a long time ago so my son didn’t have to see the things he saw as I am sure it was and is disturbing to him. I am planning to get counceling for my son as I am sure there are things he doesn’t want to talk with me about, or feelings he may have toward me leaving his Dad, etc.

I want to add only one more thing: My husband has no insight into his illness, thereby, making it impossible for him to know the warning signs. He is in complete denial which has really made his life hell. And because of this lack of insight and the “not willing to accept” his illness, he will continue down this path of self destruction. Make no mistake, I would have stayed with him if he at least would have tried to get his life under control, attend a program, see a psychiatrist/psychologist on a regular basis, took his meds and admitted when things weren’t right, but he is not willing to do any of these things to help himself. And if he is not willing to help himself, then there is no way anyone else can help him either. I have no anger only sadness towards him. I miss him, I miss my partner in crime, my go to guy, I miss the man I drank coffee with every morning who always had something to talk about. I miss the guy who smiled every morning when I woke up and the man who was a loving, doting father to his son!

I hope this helps you in some way! Best of luck to you and God Bless you and your family!


Yes, same here, hit her hard and fast at about the age of 30, 24 years ago

Yes, they all know us well, good thing

yes, high risk here

IMO you did the right thing…

You got that right, You have learned a great deal with this mess… Good Job…


I’m right there with my wife and don’t have any answers. Fortunately our daughter is grown and just got married but both of us are at our wits end with da wife. I feel like its come to be more than,I can take but it makes me painfully sick inside to do any sort of leaving or separating. How do I take care of myself and her? In case you haven’t read previous posts we’re both homeless due to wife’s actions. When I cry now its extremely painful with no hope anywhere. Just hang in there,that’s what I do.

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Wow, thank you for sharing your story! My heart goes out to you. I know this illness infects every family, not just the one person. And it does so in ways that aren’t very predictable.
I see myself leaving. It’s been 18 years of problems all stemming from him, to finally find a moment of hope (about 2 years) now this. I just can’t put my girls through anymore, let alone myself.
But morally I need to see him try to get better. We have an appointment tomorrow (finally ) with a psychiatrist. I am eager to see what they say and what they prescribe (it’s literally an appt to get medication after being diagnosed. Didn’t even know that was possible. )
So here’s to hoping, trying, and all of us doing our best to balance life.


I am sorry that you are homeless and feeling hopeless. It’s hard to be positive in you’re situation, I am sure. For me as well, it just keeps getting more and more painful to witness my husband slipping away. He has been in jail since 9/20 and was scheduled to go to court this past Monday and he refused to leave his jail cell. So now that he has refused to go to court, he now has no bail and his next court date is 12/4. Because of his refusal to cooperate they are ordering a “competency hearing” or psy evaluation for him and they do not know how long that is going to take as they are back logged. I am hoping this will be the avenue that it takes for him to finally get help, but it absolutely breaks my heart that he is in jail. He doesn’t belong in jail. The crime he committed is a misdemeanor and he wasn’t going to do jail time, just restitution and probation, but he made everything worse by not going to court. The only bright side to this is that he is in the infirmary and not in general population. My son and I went and visited him today. The contact is made thru video and phones and he looked worn out and has lost more weight. He is angry with me and only replies with one word answers when I ask him a question but he did talk to my son although it was labored…like he didn’t know what to say. I know a week and a half ago the medical department at the jail called me and wanted some information on his background with mental illness and when I asked her if he was medicated she told me they are having a problem with that…translation: he is refusing meds. Because of privacy laws, she couldn’t tell me everything.
I know all of this is painful for you, I do hope you find housing soon. There is only so much we can do to help our loved ones, the rest is up to them. If they are not willing to seek treatment to make things better and alleviate stress for themselves and you…where does that leave you? We can only take so much abuse. While they are in the clutches of psychosis, it is hard for them to make rational decisions and be aware of their situation. IT is what happens prior to the psychotic episode is what they can help. They can become educated about their illness, learn the warning signs and know when to go to the doctor before entering into a full blown psychotic episode. My husband has been in many hospitals, came home with much information about his illness and it still did not sink into his head because he chose not to believe it. I don’t think I have ever heard him refer to himself as being schizophrenic or having schizophrenia. You’re situation sounds dire and I hope you find resolution soon! Best of luck to you and God Bless.


Ginger, I’m sorry that your husband is in jail. Does he have a lawyer or someone to advocate for him?

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Ginger yes I’m sorry to he’s in jail. That dam stubbornness I know well. I get hotel rooms sometimes when,I come home and she’ll come over to shower or sleep. I’m telling her now that I love her but her sickness is stressing me out literally destroying me and she seems to get it. I pray for a miracle and I know I have to do more.

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Jan, he has a public defender who has been trying to help him but he refuses to talk to her. She has called me and I have called her to share information regarding his situation. She sympathizes with me but there is not much she can do if he is not willing to go to court and allow her to help him. He is in jail and refused to go to court; he is his own worst enemy right now and I have no idea what his reasoning is or why he would want to sit in jail when he could be free. That right there tells me he is completely irrational. As far as an advocate goes, I am advocating for him from afar which is what I have been doing for him for months between the courts and his doctor.

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We certainly cannot control others. She is going to do what she is going to do regardless of your stress and worry. I am not telling you what to do as only you can make that decision, but as with anything in life that is stressing us out, we have to step back and take a look at the situation as if we are an outsider looking in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we cannot help those who are not willing to help themselves. I feel very guilty over separating from him when I know he needs me but this is what the last 3 years have taught me: He is going to do what he is going to do whether if I am there or not. I tried so many times to save him from himself and this last time back in January, my hands were tied. I tried to get him help and they only held him for 24 hours, released him and he was arrested 3 days later. I argued with him all of the time over not getting the proper help that he needs only to fall on deaf ears. I used to ask him if he wanted to keep putting our son thru this and even then it did no good. When I moved out of my in-laws house, I knew there was no way my husband could come with us. My son had witnessed enough, he doesn’t need to see anymore. Now I worry about how damaged my son is from the last 3 years of chaos. My son has said to me twice in the last 2 months that he doesn’t remember his Dad before his illness…heartbreaking! Your life can’t be all about her: you have to have something for yourself as well to hang onto your sanity. I hope someday my husband gets his life together, comes to terms with his illness and becomes his own advocate. When that day comes, I have no problem with him living with his family again, but until then, it is what it is and it sucks!!! Find some peace for yourself.

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Ginger–what a frustrating situation! I don’t know how much more you want to do for him (understandable if you are at your limit), but I would get a mental health specialist to intervene.

Is there a crises team in your area you can call for advice? A lawyer who specializes in mental health? The state’s health and human services dept.? I
think the public advocate you have now is in over her head.

If you can’t take on anymore responsibility, try not to worry; the situation will resolve itself eventually. They can’t keep him there forever, when he’s so obviously ill. It’s possible that he feels safe there and doesn’t mind being locked up.



Smart move to get out IMO…