I don’t know if my husband has Schizophrenia for certain. It seems to be what his doctor believes, but there has been no official diagnosis, so I apologize if I shouldn’t be here.
We’ve been married 4 years and have two young children. For the great majority of that, we have been incredibly happy. He has battled depression on and off, but nothing debilitating. Then, in November he got incredibly drunk. I knew he used alcohol as a coping mechanism, we had fought about it a few times. But this time he turned violent against me. I almost left that night, but settled for locking myself in a room with our children for the night. About a month later, he started getting excruciating headaches-- after never having had them in his life. His doctors found 2 masses in his brain that they are certain are benign.
While trying to find out the cause of these headaches, he began to have auditory hallucinations. We were not terribly concerned because we knew the masses in his brain could cause them. He heard people talking as if they were outside our home (could not make out what they said), footsteps, people trying to break in. Roughly 6 weeks after those started, the visual hallucinations came. He would see what he described as shadows and demons. He woke up once in the middle of the night convinced our child was standing at the end of our bed. We got him into a Psychiatrist and he has been on 3 or 4 different medications and things are only getting worse.
He sees large shapes in the road while driving, things flying at him from the sky. He has gone to run an errand and not remembered doing it, has left the house to go to the store and he was not allowed in the store because he wasn’t wearing shoes (he thought he was).
My brilliant, witty, affectionate husband is gone. He is angry, on edge. Snaps at the children. He has told them he will kill them (last time was because our older child was messing with his computer cord). He snaps at me, too for the first time ever. He rarely comes to bed. He has nights that he us certain somebody is going to break in and harm us. He has installed security cameras around our house and is begging me to agree to bars on the windows. Sometimes he just sits on the floor, knees to his chest and rocks back and forth.
He has told me that he feels nothing will ever help him, he is broken and he wants to die.
I’ve spent so many nights crying myself to sleep in mourning him. I know how hard this is on me (and our children for that matter), I cannot imagine what he is going through.
His family believes mental illness is shameful and not to be talked about and I have no family around here.
I don’t entirely know why I’m posting this. Perhaps because nobody understands.
What on earth can I do for him? How common is it not to respond to medication? His condition seems to be degenerative, will it likely continue to get worse?
And where do the caregivers find the strength? After 2-3 months, I’m so exhausted and stressed and tapped out. I’ve been put on an antidepressant. I know I need to stay strong and take care of him, but how?
I am sorry this is so long. Thank you very much for reading it.