Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Targeted Individuals

My husband believes he is a targeted individual. For about 10 years he has believed the government is out to get him. He believes his phone calls are being listened to, people are following him, our kids are being harassed, and because I as his wife don’t believe any of this he thinks I don’t love him. His family says he doesn’t have these worries around them so it must be my fault or provocation. He will stare down innocent people in the grocery store, gas station, fast food place- anywhere- throw the middle finger at people and shout obscenities. Even though he has been diagnosed as having a severe mental illness, he doesn’t believe anything is wrong with him. He threatens me with divorce often. He has found a group of targeted individuals on the internet and believes these strange things are really true. I hate to divorce him but I am so miserable that I can’t imagine what a future is like with this in our marriage. Is anyone else married to a man who believes he is being targeted? He wants me to love him as though nothing is wrong. I just can’t do that.

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Hello, I’m sorry you’re going through this. I honestly think it’s okay to divorce for any reason, but it’s obviously your choice, your life, your reasons. There is a video in the following thread that I found really helpful in understanding the TI phenomenon. Your husband has zero insight into his illness and a bunch of support for his delusions; that is not a good situation for him or for you.

Here is a prior thread about this exact topic:

Thank you so much - I saw this and so has he. He thinks it’s great that now all these other people believe what he believes. I’m wracking my head about trying to figure out if I did something to provoke this in him? Like his family thinks. It’s just unreal the things he believes, and because I don’t believe him I don’t love him.
Wired magazine did a story about how these people think, and while the article didn’t offer any solutions it did describe quite well how a person thinks and feels with this "condition ". I’m just at a loss.

The Wired article you mentioned?

The number is close to 250,000 and growing, but that was a couple of years ago. I suspect it is much larger now. Not to mention this “phenomenon” as it is put here, is world wide. It is not just Americans. Do some real research and don’t just gloss over the topic. as it “appears” to be in this particular forum. It may surprise you to find out just how much real evidence is out there as well that this is real and not a delusion to those who are living it.

I read an article awhile ago, maybe a few years back now where an officer of the law stated that ( and I am paraphrasing) if a person thinks they are being stalked or followed, it is more than likely true. Now I am not saying that this is case for every person. But; if you look at the odds this many people world wide can not be ALL wrong, especially if they are all saying something similar.

Just take the time to research it thoroughly. If for know other reason than you say you love your husband.

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Personally, I am a believer in “God helps those who help themselves” a verse many live by but is NOT in the Bible. A person who doesn’t contribute enough to a group’s welfare (family, job, club, neighborhood, and yes: marriage) is causing suffering. This husband is not helping, but his hurting his wife, with his beliefs/delusions. It is totally unfair.

No, Katherine, you didn’t cause his illness or delusion. Even top of the line doctors don’t know what causes psychosis or the delusions/hallucinations psychotic people suffer from.

My mentally ill daughter HATES my husband (her step-father) but used to love him, before her illness. She too walks up to total strangers and unleashes antagonism because of what she thinks they are thinking as she walks by them. She will walk past, then turn around and go back near the person, and just unleash verbal vitriol for 4 or 5 sentences, then walk off.

If you believe you need to divorce, that is totally your right. Protecting your own health, welfare and sanity from your husband’s vitriol is quite OK in my opinion. Yes, most of us say that line “for better or worse” “till death do us part” BUT divorce and separation has existed forever. Your spouse doesn’t have the right to cause emotional death to your marriage.

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You Continuing the discussion from Targeted Individuals:
Thank you, old lady Blue for your supportive response. I appreciate your thoughtful and intelligent comments. I have researched this topic for several years trying to get a grasp on my husband’s severe mental illness, and from all I have learned through reading, talking to many professionals, and studying this topic so intensely as his symptoms grow, i’ve learned that this is a growing new phenomenon that is happening because people truly believe they are being targeted. Yes the government does target some individuals but not the average Joe. These people are feeding off of each other’s fears by forming groups and sharing their stories of fears. these groups capitalize on the fears of people who are truly hurting and need professional mental help, not someone who believes the same thing and encourages these false husband is hurting himself most of all and has damaged our marriage, friendships, and his relationships with his children because of his unsubstantiated and intense fears, like a Shakespeare character. I never had exposure or experience with a person with such a grave mental illness so I’m trying to figure it out. His symptoms are pretty regular. He is now in counseling but he still has these fears. I am hoping he will gain insight into his illness so real healing can begin. And as long as he stays away from the influences of this targeting community I think he could make progress. These targeting communities feed the fears and bring these people together to wallow and make no progress for insight.
Of course I am not targeting my husband.

Yes, that’s the one. My husband is a self-described TI. It’s killed our marriage and it’s killing me slowly.

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The good news is that all of us here are very much on the side of our family members. We love our family members and want good relationships.


@Hereandhere I agree that everyone on this site is actively looking to help their family member and is hopeful that solutions exist to make the relationship at least able to continue as a relationship. Usually, that involves somehow calming down the anti-social unacceptable behavior from the ill person. Sometimes, it involves separating oneself physically from the ill person, until their unacceptable behavior changes toward the caregiver to allow help to be given, and to not undermine the sanity of the care-giver.

@Bethel120 I cannot stop my daughter from yelling at strangers when we are out in public, she will not listen to me. So, I don’t take her out often, and we go home if she yells at too many people. At least she has stopped yelling at me in my own home, and avoids my husband instead of yelling at him. Thus, our relationship is better, and can continue, from where it was a year ago.

@Katherine you stated that your husband’s mental issues, “… killed our marriage and it’s killing me slowly”. I am very worried for you. If the emotional toll and abuse is too great, you may have to separate out from your husband. I don’t believe in dying oneself while trying to save another.


As most people here probably recognize - the whole idea of “targeted individuals” is just another example of paranoid delusions. They should be treated like any other paranoid thought - empathize with the feelings, but don’t fight or validate the inaccurate thoughts.


I hope you are learning how to care for yourself despite the emotional drain of a loved one’s mental illness. As you discovered, no one understands the types of situations we live with, all of us on this forum that care about someone with a severe mental illness… until the SMI hits someone close to them. Others outside the “circle of mental illness” don’t understand.

My daughter was arrested, jailed, hospitalized and medicated in December, and has improved tremendously with 30 day injections, but I am worried sick tonight as she is again in her room talking to her “people”. Oh gosh, I hope the psychosis isn’t returning, but I am afraid that it is.

I hope you are coping well.

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@oldladyblue, did your daughter just have her 3rd injection? I’m so sorry for your concerns about her psychosis coming back. I don’t know much about haldol dosages. Is she getting the maximum dosage?

Doesn’t seem like delusions to me either!
Thank you for sharing
I agree with you

@Day-by-Day since my daughter only signed the HIPPA for me to know about her appointment days/times and NOT for her medication or diagnosis, they won’t tell me anything at the clinic other than “she came in at her appointment time”. I assume she is on the dec shot 100mg for 30-45 days, but I really don’t know. It is terrible to care for her totally, but to not be able to help her with the ONLY medication that stopped the voices.

I know she would rather be talking to her “special beings”… but off medication she does nothing but have conversations with herself… If the “special beings” were of any help AT ALL, I wouldn’t mind, but it is a total waste of time for her to not be medicated, as NOTHING occurs in her life.

I am so sorry for you and for her as well. In some ways I really don’t think HIPPA helps at all. Is there a way they can give you a little more info? I always as questions such as “what can I do to help him? What can I say or not say that is more helpful for him?”