Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What to do with my husband

This is just on-going… my husband has been out of my home for 3 months via restraining order. He has been living in a boarding home for the mentally ill. He has rent he has to pay which includes 3 meals a day, laundry services, a roof over his head and a bed he can sleep in. My husband has been on social security disability for a little over 25 years due to an accident he had and loss of his hand. I dropped the restraining order a couple of weeks ago so he can see his son and I can drive him to appointments and probation, which I don’t mind doing for him as cab fare is too expensive. In connection to his SSD, my son gets benefits as well since he is a dependent. So I started getting letters last month stating they weren’t going to pay my son because the account holder has been suspended. My son is 13 and I use this money to pay part of our rent and can’t really make it without this assistance. If my husband is suspended that means he can’t pay his rent either. I went to social security and they told me my husband needed to fill out forms to let them know he is still disabled. He gets these forms every couple of years, it’s no big deal except he refuses to fill them out. Why? I don’t know. He insists he has spoken to social security and that it’s all settled…but it’s not. I have spent the last month trying to get him to fill out these forms and he refuses. He keeps telling me he has spoken to them and social security has not heard from him. So August 1st came and went with no check for him.
I went to his place the other day to give him his meds he had mailed to my apartment and he informed me he is being evicted and wants to come home. He told me he owes them money from last month which he insists he paid but I know better. He is delusional and cannot manage his money. I told him no, he cannot live with me because of his violent outbursts toward me during his last 2 psychotic episodes. He is unmedicated 70% of the time. The meds he is currently taking haven’t worked for him in over a year and my son and I deal with the consequences and eventual fall out. I am called vile names every time I don’t agree with him or urge him to do something that needs to be done…ya know, like social security benefits…or getting help in some way for his mental illness. He was in the hospital in May and is still in the same mental state as he was before he went in.
My son has become increasingly down over the last week. I know it’s because he saw me breakdown Last week after I got off the phone with his Dad. I told My son that he can’t internalize my feelings and that my crying was because of frustration with trying to get his Dad to take care of his SSD before they terminate him. The last thing I want is to have my son see me cry, but I just cracked that day and I know it upset him. Not to mention, my son is very concerned over his Dad. I know my son doesn’t want his Dad living with us because he knows the illness, the verbal abuse (towards me) and the police coming to the house will just continue. A mental health counselor back in May told me that unfortunately, this is how it is going to go for people like my husband, that things are not going to get better for him, they are going to get worse. He has been referred to as a “hard case”! I believe this as I have been living it for the last six years and I just don’t have it in me anymore to deal with him. This makes me very sad!
I called his counselor the other day and told him my husband is facing homelessness and he is not receiving his SSD…I really hope they help him because I honestly tried and have gotten nowhere. I am the enemy and have been the enemy for six years and because he doesn’t trust me, he won’t let me help him unless he needs money. When his eviction actually happens, I don’t know if I have it in me to let him roam the streets day and night…

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Unfortunately, you might need to learn to. He can go to the SSD office and they can help him fill out the paper. The fact he has no hand, it is ridiculous for SSD to drop him… if you can afford it, hire an attorney to help him, get him back right then move far away.

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@Ginger You have been through a lot. It makes me angry that any counselor would tell a family to basically give up. However, if a person with SZ who is routinely severely psychotic or delusional and unmedicated, things will probably get worse and coming home may not be at all helpful to getting better. We can’t solve all problems. But it seems that he has a doctor because he is having meds shipped to your address? What does the doctor say? Have you talked to the doctor…does the doctor know what is going on? Have you tried using LEAP? When my loved one was faced with going to a homeless shelter or taking meds, he went to a group home where he was required to take meds to stay there.

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Ugh. I feel for you. It’s not easy to have a sick husband and fight Government bureaucracy. My two cents: don’t let him live with you—be unyielding in that; and keep trying to get help w SS payments, rent. Persevere. Can you talk directly to his landlord and see if something can be worked out?


This place he goes to is a clinic: it’s all connected. So I am hoping when I spoke to the therapist, he, in turn, spoke to the psychiatrist and nurse practitioner. He is severely psychotic and delusional…I’m hoping that when he does become homeless, the state steps in and puts him in a home. He needs help and he cannot manage his finances and make sound decisions even when he is medicated. It’s sad…when my husband wasn’t like this, he was able to do these things but now he can’t, and he won’t let me help him. He just thinks I am out to get him. I haven’t spoken to him since last week but I do know he is still at the same place. I know the call will come again soon asking me for him to live here and the answer will have to be no. It doesn’t make me feel good to say that but I honestly cannot take anymore. Every six months or less he is in the hospital. I’m lucky if I get one sane month out of him at a time before he starts to spiral down and the BS my son and I have to put up with is just too much. I just don’t understand why this continues and why the meds are not helping him. And the hospitals and clinics have been told the meds are not helping him, but here we are…still in the same situation. I have come to the conclusion that it is hopeless and it’s not because I haven’t tried, I’ve tried for six years to help him and nothing works. I have advocated for him many, many times and nothing works. I don’t give up easy, it took me six years to get to this point. Six years of having the cops come to my house, having the mobile psyc. team come to my house, him getting arrested for vandalism (which he is on probation for), him being aggressive and violent outbursts towards me, in front of my son no less. The violent outburst and running up on me like he was going to hurt me was enough for me. My son was there ready to call the police on him…scared out of his mind. That was enough! His psychotic episodes have made a turn for the worse towards me. And when I mentioned this to him while I was explaining to him why he can’t move back home, his only answer was that he had enough of me. He’s had enough of me! I’m a “back stabber” or “traitor”, a “thief” and a “cheater”…I am no longer his wife. He is convinced that I have stolen money from him, which I have not. He is convinced that I have cheated on him, which I have not. He is convinced I am a traitor because I have called PESS (psychiatric team) on him, which I have because he is psychotic. I’m a “shitty Mother” and a “terrible cook”. So when someone tells me he is a “hard case”…they are absolutely right and it’s not because I am angry over what he has said or done, it’s because of what he has said and done continuously and medicated in doing so…

I do not have the means to work out an arrangement for his rent. I haven’t spoken to him in a week but I know he is still there so I am hoping he worked something out with them but without his SSD, I really don’t know how he would be able to pay anything. The only thing I can think of is maybe he is waiting for them to call the Police to kick him out. He is $1,500.00 in the hole and there is no way I can help him with that when I am struggling myself. I am hoping that his counselor has/or will help in someway with his SSD and he’ll be able to pay his rent soon.

Agreed…it is ridiculous that he has to keep filling out forms for SSD. I told them in the office a couple of weeks back that his hand hasn’t grown back…it didn’t matter. By law, he has to fill those forms out. I told her he is mentally ill and refuses to do so and will end up homeless because of it…it didn’t matter. I asked her if getting a letter from his psychiatrist would help and she said “no, he has to fill out the forms.” Bureaucratic BS is all it is…

Ginger, you are in such a tuff place right now. The last thing you or your son need is to have your husband in your home. He is in the right place and sometimes as hard as it is we have to let the axe fall where it may to get the help that is needed. His caseworker would be able to help with the forms.

Do you have access to an in person support group? When I was in crisis situations it was my life line to have support in person. Do you have a therapist to help you sort through all of this? I hope you can spend some peaceful time with your son and friends or family the next few days.

Do you know if your husband has ever been on Clozapine? Keep in mind that it takes time for any anti-psychotic drug to work. If there is ever that opportunity, you might push for it. Don’t forget LEAP. I swear it works if you are patient and diligent. And based on what you have shared, you might be able to get guardianship or conservatorship over just his finances, if not a full guardianship (they call it different things in different states). Have you documented everything in the history of your husband’s mental illness history? This will help when you need to prove his illness, whether for SSI/SSDI, guardianship, or to get him committed to a mental health facility where he might just get the help he needs.

LOL, sounds perfectly normal to me…

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Oh, gosh, no. I didn’t mean for you to pay his back rent! I just thought you could get a better read on the rent or eviction situation. Maybe negotiate for time for him to get more time.

I know the first month he was there, he told me they were charging $300 more than what his invoice said, which was $625. Because he is delusional, I am not sure if that was true but I do believe he did not pay them for that month or for any of the time he was/is there. This month is the first month his SSD check didn’t come…so why didn’t he pay the other two months? He had the money and then some. It’s because he cannot manage money. I thought about paying half of what he owes (which I really can’t afford) but if he has no income, it’s not going to work and I cannot pay his rent every month while he refuses to take care of SSD and get his check. It will literally wipe out any monies I have for emergency purposes such as not having enough to pay my rent which Is what I will be going through starting next month. I see what you are saying and if he went to social security to fix this mess then I would try to negotiate for him but because he refuses to fix it, I really have nothing to negotiate with…
In the past, I tried to get him to allow me to be his payee but that was a big fat NO. He is convinced I have and will continue to steal his money… it’s really a no-win situation! While he was living with me, I couldn’t get him to contribute to groceries. I told him I would pay the rent and the bills and he could buy the groceries. He would maybe pay the first $200 and then not give me another dime because he thought I was stealing from him…even though I had to give him the receipts from the grocery store…I mean really? Seriously? And then he would just spend his money like it was nothing. It was like he was a child living at home and Mommy pays for everything…it was disturbing to say the least. And I would have to struggle to pay for everything…to pay for 3 mouths to feed, all the bills and the rent. I would have to keep taking money out of my savings account to pay for things and he had money but wouldn’t give it to me to help. Since I was being accused of stealing his money maybe I just should have stole it…LOL!

He has been on the same medication for nearly a year and it is not working. I have told hospitals, case workers…you name it, I told them and it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. In terms of documentation, all I have to do is count every six months because that is about how long it is between hospital stays and a few times, less than that. Because of HIPPA laws, there is not much I can do in terms of talking to his doctors. As I wrote in my first post, I spoke to his counselor last week and told him what was going on, as to whether he has done anything to help my husband, I do not know. He just listened to me and told me he could not comment to me about my husbands condition…I reminded him that he didn’t need to as I have lived with him for the last six years and there is nothing he can tell me that I don’t already know (but I did say it nicely to reassure him that I understood what he was saying but also to let him know I know more about my husbands condition than anyone else). My guy would never agree to guardianship or payee, so that is out of the question. He has a gift of putting on quite a show for the people that matter such as doctors, counselors, etc. to the point that I sometimes wonder if they think I am lying to them about his mental state. I told the psychiatric team who came to my house (at my call) three months ago that he was being aggressive towards me and that he “shoulder checked” me and other things delusional related…they came in the house asked him a few questions, he answered them perfectly and they left without him. Even after what I told them…really? They were convinced that he was taking his meds, which he was, and that he was fine. I told them his meds weren’t working…it didn’t matter. He has become an ace at fooling them and it is really hurting him because if they would have taken him the first time I called 3 months ago, I’m not sure he would be in this situation right now and things probably wouldn’t have gotten that bad to where I had to get a restraining order against him.

He could really use help managing his money. You’ve done enough. Hopefully he’ll eventually figure out how to get help.

Yes, you know your husband better than anyone else and you know the help that he needs. You have surely tried a lot of things and I understand how patience wears thin. You do realize that you CAN talk TO his doctors…even if they don’t have the HIPAA authorization from your husband to give you information. You might put your observations in writing because then they can’t blow it off so easily. With this illness, chances are there may a time when he IS of danger to himself or others. You can be prepared for that moment by having his entire MH history (dates of hospitalizations, meds, 911 calls, etc.) as best as you can in writing which will be additional evidence to prove his need for involuntary treatment. How are his medical bills getting paid? Will he still have Medicare if he doesn’t keep up with the SSDI paperwork?

I’m so sorry about this, as I am in similar situation and now my SO is in jail (assaulted me). I have been there through latest psychotic nightmare and mostly all I got in return was insults, abuse and constant mess to clean up. He is unable to deal with any procedural thing or form and has said several times he’s “done with me” and doesn’t trust me (or anyone). Vile name-calling and threats. Yet, he has no one else. And I love the person he was. He’s lost everything now, is homeless, indigent. I have a protective order now, but am thinking I would try to pay for a residential treatment home if they defer the charges (one is a felony). I’m the person who would bail him out, but I can’t because he’s so sick and dangerous to me—and where would he go?. My kids made me promise. It is so difficult because I don’t think he has any insight; I’m dubious he ever will even with treatment, which he’s never had. I love him so much and I don’t want to abandon him, and yet how can you stay when the person has abandoned themselves? Plus, in their new reality, they don’t want you or your help? I am glad you are not going to let him live with you for safety reasons…and I’m also frustrated alongside you that no more can be done by the state.

This is so very hard, isn’t it? There is hope if he can be referred to an AOT (deferred charges, as you mention). He would have to agree to this. Beyond that, in my opinion, possibly the ONLY way to to accomplish anything that you believe is best for the person who has anosognosia (lack of insight) and who is delusional, psychotic, paranoid, etc. or engaging in bizarre behavior, is to learn effective communication strategies. I know two very simple tools to do this. Read and use the strategy explained in the book “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador. Sign up for a no cost NAMI Family to Family Class which is an overview of the many, many things we each must learn if we want to help our loved one. I especially like F2F class on Communication. There is no easy road. We have to do the work, but these two things are really not hard. It’s the diligence to use what you learn once you learn it that can be hard, but it is SO worth it when you love that person. These are the best two things I ever did and it worked along with a few other things coming together. We learn to see the person first and not the illness. Best wishes.