relationships

My husband has paranoid sz.

worried29 Community Member March 23, 2012
  • Hello all.  My husband was recently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.  I've tried searching support groups in my area and there aren't any of them out there.  They have some mental illness support groups but not specifically targeting schizophrenia only.  I tried joining an online support group but that wasn't very helpful either.  Many of the people there with the mental illness were paranoid I was making up a story or lying to them.  Hopefully this will be a better place to share stories or ask for advice. 

4 Comments
  • Christina Bruni
    Health Guide
    Mar. 31, 2012

    Hello,

     

    Do you feel like you're going through this all alone with no support?

     

    I'm not a fan of the supportgroups out there online either.  I do recommend this website because I've worked here over six years as its HealthGuide.

     

    It's hard because the stigma comes from within the mental health community as well as from members of the general...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello,

     

    Do you feel like you're going through this all alone with no support?

     

    I'm not a fan of the supportgroups out there online either.  I do recommend this website because I've worked here over six years as its HealthGuide.

     

    It's hard because the stigma comes from within the mental health community as well as from members of the general public.

     

    So many women with husbands who have schizophrenia have written in to our website over the years.

     

    It's not easy seeing a husband fall prey to this devastating illness.  It's doubly hard because every person diagnosed with SZ has varying functioning levels after they get diagnosed.

     

    From the little you've written, I can only give you hope that even if your husband isn't doing so well right now things could get better.

     

    I will give you hope as that is all I can give you right now and in an ongoing way.

     

    In 1987 when I was 22, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  I'm 47 now, have a Masters degree and work two jobs and a third job on the side.

     

    One of my jobs is as the HealthGuide for this website.  I've been here six years interacting with our community members who write SharePosts.

     

    I lead up this way to tell you that recovery from schizophrenia isn't quick and it isn't easy however it is possible to recover.

     

    Relapse is sometimes part of the package of what you get living with schizophrenia.  I was fortunate that the SZ medication I originally took and the drug I'm on now enabled me to be in remission.

     

    You need to understand if I could be so bold to state this that a person can be in recovery even if he's not in remission.  The goal is total symptom relief yet even if that is not possible, a person can have a good life even if he has symptoms that occasionally flare up.

     

    As for the responsibilities now on your plate, I can understand how you might feel about this.  Seeing someone you love in so much pain could even be secondary to the pain you feel yourself about how things turned out.

     

    How you feel is real and I have empathy for what you're going through.

     

    If you want to read more about schizophrenia, I suggest you click on my Profile and read some of the SharePosts I've written that are archived in my Profile.

     

    I've replied to at least five wives over the years whose husbands have schizophrenia, most of whom posed their queries as Questions.  I draw the line when the person diagnosed with SZ is violent.

     

    One some days, the goal will be to help the person you love feel as comfortable as possible.  On other days, your loved one will already be in good spirits and can take on much more activity.

     

    Either way, it's my contention that everyone diagnosed with SZ refrains from social isolation and engages in positive endeavors outside in the world.  So going on a date night, if that is possible, I would say it is important to keep up these kinds of interactions.

     

    I will not mention the other support group website by name, though I suspect it's the one I briefly logged on to to see what it was all about.  The information on our HealthCentral schizophrenia community website complies with the HONcode standard.

     

    Possibly I've been more direct to you in my response than I have in awhile.  You gave us an overview so I can only imagine it is a heartbreak for you to go through what you're going through.  It doesn't help when other people question your intentions.

     

    I will end here by saying that if you want to respond to my comment, you can do so by clicking on it.  Feel free to contribute SharePosts here as often or as little as you want.  You do not have to go into the details of what's going on if you don't want to.

     

    If you just want compassion, that's what we're all here for at this website.

     

    So to close, I will tell you to give it time because your husband's recovery can get better with time.

     

    Regards,

    Christina

     

    • worried29
      Mar. 31, 2012

      Thanks for responding.  The thing about my husband is that he 'seems' okay to the outsiders, like family and friends that don't live with us and can't see what he's like 24/7.  His weird conversations make him look like he's just a big jokster to everyone else, but the things he says are reality to him, he actually believes that they are true and...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks for responding.  The thing about my husband is that he 'seems' okay to the outsiders, like family and friends that don't live with us and can't see what he's like 24/7.  His weird conversations make him look like he's just a big jokster to everyone else, but the things he says are reality to him, he actually believes that they are true and WILL happen.  He also worked for full time for many, many years so now that he can't work people say that he's just lazy.  He has been talking about government corruption and that there will be a breakdown of law for months.  I would tell him over and over "Can you talk about something else?" "I'm tired of this", but of course he wouldn't listen to me and go on rambling.  One day we went out to dinner and he suddenly stopped talking about it and just had a normal conversation.  I thought he was all better, I was happy. This only lasted for 2 days.  He picked up on his old habits which had me feeling confused.  I questioned myself, like okay, if he was good for 2 days then is he not sick?  He can do normal things while being paranoid which is what is confusing to me.  We have 2 small children (3 and 1) and he is great with them except when it comes to setting boundaries and rules.  He just can't.  He believes that if we punish them we are abusing them.  For example, if my 3 year old son doesn't want to go to bed and its 3:00AM if I come in and turn off the lights and take away his games that I am punishing him for being a kid.  He just can't say no to them, which it's something that can set the children up in the future for not following rules and being disobedient to elders.  Those are the kinds of things I am dealing with.  Therefore people might say he's just a lazy or bad father whos weak with his children, but I know the real issue, because in our 12 years of marriage he was not like this at all.  He started to get really sick 2 years ago, although his psychiatrist thinks it started around 26 from all the information I've given him, but it wasn't severe enought that would warrant any attention.  He would runaway alot but i attributed this to him having depression.  I look forward to reading through the stories in the archives you mentioned and Thanks Again!

    • Christina Bruni
      Health Guide
      Mar. 31, 2012

      Hello,

       

      I understand your concern about how your husband doesn't set boundaries with the kids.  Are you able to talk to him when he's in a good mood, about how you feel about this?  Try to use reflexive statements: "I feel concerned when you don't set boundaries with the kids" instead of "It makes me so mad when you" or "You make me so mad."...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello,

       

      I understand your concern about how your husband doesn't set boundaries with the kids.  Are you able to talk to him when he's in a good mood, about how you feel about this?  Try to use reflexive statements: "I feel concerned when you don't set boundaries with the kids" instead of "It makes me so mad when you" or "You make me so mad."

       

      I urge you to hang in there because you say he's a good father.  I recommend if you live in the U.S. you take the NAMI Family-to-Family 12-week education course for family members to learn techniques to cope with loved ones who have SZ and other mental health conditions.  Ring (800) 950-NAMI (6264) to find the local chapter in your area that hosts Family-to-Family.  You might have to get a babysitter.  The class meets once a week for 12 weeks.

       

      It's interesting to me that the local NAMI family support group in your area might not have been useful for you in this regard too.  The family support meetings are held weekly or monthly for family members.

       

      I might also encourage your husband to attend a peer support meeting like NAMI Connection in your area too.

       

      Just some ideas I can give you right now.  It's late and I'll go sign off.

       

      I'll add more info tomorrow as it comes to me.

       

      Regards,

      Christina

  • Christina Bruni
    Health Guide
    Apr. 13, 2012

    Hi worried29,

     

    Your writing has stayed with me and I have tried to come up with a better answer and I might have one now.

     

    I suggest you subscribe to SZ magazine that talks in detail about people and their families living with this illness.  In the spring 2012 issue, It had a feature on cognitive enhancement therapy or CET.  It helps individuals...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi worried29,

     

    Your writing has stayed with me and I have tried to come up with a better answer and I might have one now.

     

    I suggest you subscribe to SZ magazine that talks in detail about people and their families living with this illness.  In the spring 2012 issue, It had a feature on cognitive enhancement therapy or CET.  It helps individuals diagnosed with SZ to get a better handle on their feelings, and also CBT that is cognitive behavioral therapy is also good for help with symptom management and behavior issues.

     

    As well, your husband might benefit from attending a peer support group.

     

    UCLA if memory serves has a kind of CET program as well as social skills program.  I wouldn't rule out a social skills program either.  Check with your local NAMI or your local university or hospital to see if they can recommend a CET program.

     

    You can look for a CBT therapist at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy website.

     

    Keep hopeful always.

     

    Regards,

    Christina

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