I’m hoping someone can give me some insight.
My husband just turned 34, no real history of mental illness. Although he was always pretty withdrawn emotionally and socially. But he did have a history with drug abuse so I thought that was the reason for the withdraw. He was addicted to painkillers for a few years but had been clean from those for at least 5yrs. He did however use marijuana off and on for the last probably ten years but for the last year he had been using it daily.
This year has been wonderful for us, we were closer then ever, we were on the same page in almost every subject for our future and things looked bright cheery.
Literally overnight 7 weeks ago that all changed. My husband had a ‘memory’ of abuse come back to him one night while I was out of town. I came home to him in a scared but stable state. I thought it was a repressed memory and tried to help him sort thru it. But As the days went by the story unfolded into an unbelievable tale. Until he was in a full blown manic state. Wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating, couldn’t sit still. He accused me of hypnotizing him so I could and have multiple affairs. He got violent several times.
In the beginning, he would go from sobbing to violent outburst. He didn’t go to work, we really didn’t leave the house.
Finally I convinced him to go into the hospital. He stayed for two nights. They sent him home saying he had a drug induced pyschosis and when the weed got out of his system he would be fine…?!! They started him on Sequetral 100mlg.
Follow up treatment center would only offer him substance abuse treatment (we have no health insurance, and relied on state funded help) . I tried to get him into any local psychatrist to no avail, they had month long or more waiting lists, they weren’t accepting new patients. I went round and round with all the resources in this small town. I could not find anyone to help. In the end everyone would say the hospital -but the hospital let him out after two days with no real help!
We got him into mental health america where finally a psychatrist seems like he can really help. The dr upped his dosage to 200mlg . It seemed to help some with his mood. In not scared of him anymore but he is still convinced that all his family and I still hypnotized him and that I’ve had several affairs (which I have not for the record!)
I’m just so confused and I’m wondering if anyone has any insight or resources that they could direct me to.
Can this happen out of the blue at 34? ( literally one ‘crisis’ hotline I called chastised me saying, you don’t have your first physchotic break at 34!)
If this is schizophrenia, what should be done early on to help?
This past week he has finally been able to go to work and work a full shift. But he texts me throughout the day usually something mean or degrading because he really believes all these ‘visions’ he sees. But today he text and said 'today is the first day I wished I was dead’
He needs major help. I know this. But I’m not sure where to get him the help he needs.
Any advice would be appreciated
I’m hoping someone can give me some insight.
when i had my first break i thought my husband had had an affair and was an fbi agent, also he was the god of a simulation i was living in and was obsessed with me and kept on killing me so that i couldn’t date anyone else. in truth he was a lovely guy who wouldn’t have hurt me for the world but i just couldn’t see that. i totally believed in these delusions, even on medication and i was terrified of him for months…so much so that i ran away from home a couple of times. looking back now, i can’t believe i fell for it but the belief was so strong that even when i questioned it, it all made perfect sense to me, even though there was absolutely no proof of my delusions at all. i don’t know how to advise you other than to keep on trying to help him, if you love him. ask on here for resources in your area. good luck and i’m here if you ever need to unload. xxx
Much appreciated. What helped you to see clearer?
Well drug induced psychosis is different from schizophrenia. 34 is in the outlier range of ages for schizophrenia to strike. But if the drugs are out of his system, most people are fine after that- but there is such thing as permanent psychosis from drug use.
That’s just what I have been taught in university. I dont have a doctorate.
Could be a psychotic disorder, organic in nature. 34 is not unheard of, but it is very rare for someone to have a psychotic break at that age.
At least he hasnt been suffering since he was like 11 years old. Lots of people I have met (myself included) have been off kilter pretty much forever.
i honestly don’t know. just plain old time and experience i think. as the months went on and he hadn’t killed me i just sort of let go of the delusion that he was going to. all he ever did was care for me but it took me a long time to see that. all i can say is try and be patient with him. i know it must be awful to be accused of things that you haven’t done. xxx
In Alcoholics Anonymous they talk about “detachment with love”. That might apply here. If you can, try to separate yourself emotionally from your husband when he is like this. Don’t let what he says bother you. Remember that he is sick and not his real self. If there is any way to arrange it, maybe you can talk to a pdoc yourself, so she can advise you on how to handle your husband.
Yes it could be late on-set schizophrenia however it could be drug induced as well.
These links may help:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada
Can also find some very useful information here:
Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA
My son who is 29 now, when he had first psychotic episode he was 24, al most 25. He was doing Pot and drinking a lot. He was self medicating I think at that time and was diagnosed with drug induced psychosis. We had to commit him to hospital twice and We also had 2 family interventions. As time went by he was first diagnosed with Bipolar and then later changed to paranoid Schizophrenia. Schizophrenics have longer lasting delusions and they hear voices. My son has been hearing voices and delusional ever since he had first psychotic episode. His delusions are real for him , he has been on several different medications and nothing has changed. Now he is off medication on his own and We are unable to convince him that he needs to be on medication. You have to get him to hospital , get a diagnosis so he can have Medicaid and if he is not able to work he can get SSI or SSDI which ever applies in his case. Good luck. Please post here an update as there are experts who can advice you.
I can`t add to the good advice already posted here. I would just add that a doctor should also give him a good physical to rule out anything else.
I’m sorry you are both going through this. No matter what the reason, psychosis is hell. I also see visions so I know how convincing they can be. I was lucky, my psychosis came on gradually and didn’t hit me full blast until 26. Imagine for him, going through your life without mental illness knowing you can trust your brain and then BAM! You’re flooded with unusual beliefs and hallucinations that are so real, of course he would believe what is happening to him and act strange. To him it is completely logical. All I can say is give it time. He has to come to realize it’s not real and want treatment. You’re doing everything you can. If you think he may hurt himself or someone else, call 911. Don’t hesitate! Because psychosis interferes with your judgment.
One of my indicators that I’m not doing well is I don’t sleep.
Nobody knows for sure this is his first break, do they? If he’s been using for years that could have concealed any earlier breaks. My son had his first IDENTIFIED psychotic break at 28, but we now think he might have had his first one ten years ago, but it was quite transient and even enjoyable. My son has never used drugs or alcohol so that has helped to make things clearer. In your partner’s case, the drugs could easily have been masking his symptoms for years. But anyway, if he’s psychotic now, he needs treatment now. But the treatment won’t work while he’s using.