Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Wife seems tormented, what can I do to help her?

My wife had a breakdown 3 years ago. She then started becoming increasingly jealous of me, and accusing me of sexually assaulting her in her sleep. She called SVU on me. I let her lock me in the bedroom for about 9 months so she would feel safe (she had started to live in the living room of our apartment months earlier).

She accused me of having thousands of cameras recording her throughout our apartment. She started covering every pinhole in the wall with tin foil.

One morning, she was sitting on the couch talking in 3 different voices / personalities. I called 911 and she went into the hospital for observation. They put her on Abilify and she came home a few weeks later.

A few months passed, and we had a small argument. She then told me that I disgusted her and she hated everything about me, and that she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. I discussed divorce with a few lawyers, but they told me that it would be really hard and expensive (we don’t have any assets and no savings), and she didn’t want to talk about it…

Fast forward to now: She doesn’t seem to be taking any medication anymore, and she whispers to herself all the time. She sleeps all day and hardly moves around the house…

When she whispers to herself, it seems like other personalities are tormenting her. I thanked her for doing the dishes and I heard her whisper, “Say OK! don’t pull any of this shit!” She then said, “OK.”

It seems like she is trapped by these other personalities and laying in her bed all the time out of exhaustion. What can I do to try and help her? She won’t talk to me. Last week, I heard one of the voices whisper that my son and I were going to die in the car. I called 911 and she spent the night in the Psych ward, then came home the next day. Nothing seems to have changed. I thought that maybe they would give her meds and that would help her, but nothing happened.

is there anything I can do to help her, to help her come out of this state, where she lays in bed all day and other personalities whisper nastily at her? I don’t know what to do. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

There’s a big difference between voices and personalities. At one time I talked to ‘voices’ but they weren’t perceived as inside me, they were outside, presumably in another house in the neighborhood. There’s a possibility she has dissociative identity disorder (DID). Treatment for DID is different than SZ.

DID, at least to someone seemingly recovered from SZA, seems quite complex. It’s usually a result of some trauma at an early age. You may want to visit a few DID forums and ask if her symptoms qualify. Be careful though, some people with DID seem to want to expand acceptance of the diagnosis, and may see it everywhere, just as my brother asserts virtually everyone has bipolar disorder, just because he has it, and of course it takes one to know one.

Thank you for responding! I have been always out of the loop when it comes to her disorders, due to her being secretive and HiPPA laws, and bc of the way she feels about me.

She went from being somewhat active to laying on her bed, drawing circles with her right hand, and whispering to herself. She doesn’t seem present. I hear a dominant whisper that seems to control everything (Azra) and other random characters they refer to like “the landscaper.” Azra refers to my wife when talking to her and other people in whispers sometimes, but I never hear my wife. My wife doesn’t talk unless a whisper prompts her to respond most times when I talk to her. Like a sentence a day…

She doesn’t want help, that’s apparent. I’m thinking of getting a wireless microphone so I have hear more of these whispers and see if there is anything I can do. Like trying to talk to her more / relate to her… I just don’t know what will help her. I wish there was a way I could reach out to her. She does not want to talk About anything about her condition to me or my son. Her mom is bipolar (from a car accident), but she refuses to talk to her mother. She doesn’t have and family to talk to, and I don’t either (bc I cut them off 8 years ago).

Sounds more like DID to me, but it can be hard to tell. I had a phase when I used to talk to myself. I knew that it was problematic when others were around, so I’d lower my volume to a whisper. At first my reasoning was that they had sensitive microphones, so I didn’t need to be loud. Later I reasoned they could see inside the house somehow, and I developed an ‘innovation’ that I could write on paper or with my finger in the air, and they could read it. This may explain the circles— hard to say.

Normally with SZ it would be her voice talking TO the voices. If she uses names they would be the name of the voices she’s talking to, rather than the name of ‘personalities’ (aka alters in DID-speak) talking. It should seem more like overhearing one side of a phone call for SZ, not a full conversation as in some forms of DID.

I’ll post a link to a post where I list DID forums, and a few DID YouTube channels so you can learn more.

A bit more background on DID. I am by no means an expert on DID, so that’s why I’m pointing you to these resources, but I do know a fair deal about SZ/SZA and have experience with ‘voices’.

What you are describing in your wife sounds similar to what DID people call co-consciousness which means multiple alters being aware of each other and events. To be classified as having DID there needs to be a degree of amnesia between alters. More typically, a single alter will have control of consciousness at a time and the alters will have little to no knowledge of each other. As with SZ, people with DID can become adept at coping/covering their symptoms to a certain point, but there can be a tipping-point where things spill-over and they are noticed. My understanding is getting to a point of co-consciousness normally happens during therapy, but I suppose it could happen spontaneously.

Here are a couple videos by people diagnosed with DID speaking about the differences between DID and SZ. Be aware that DID and SZ can be comorbid (happening at the same time). DID generally happens in childhood, but may go unnoticed until much later, while SZ generally develops in early adulthood.

Here’s a link to a thread with DID forum links at the end:

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, a must read for the family of persons with any kind of serious mental illness who are not med-compliant, is the book “I’m Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”. Learn all you can by reading (especially seek out medical facts because each persons “lived” experience, although valid to reference, is different), get involved with a NAMI Family Support Group, etc.

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Thank you for the replies, and apologies for my late response. I don’t think it is DID, as afaik there was no repeated trauma before her teens. And, although that one time where there were alter(s) speaking directly to me (two years ago), I’m always talking to Poly and NOT any alters. I hear the whispers and they refer to others, but when I speak to her, it is always her. I (think I) would know if an alter was talking to me bc I’ve been with her for over 20 years, and I’d pick up on those (perhaps subtle) changes in her mannerisms. I accept her for who she is and what she is, along with multiples (if I can get to know them), but I don’t want to lose trust if I attempt to confront / contact them. I don’t want to go down a wrong path where I’d be shut out for trust issues etc., does that make sense? All changed only a few years ago and I don’t know what path I should take to try and (re)connect with her(s)??!