Asked by Alice
Dealing With A Husband With Schizophrenia
Hello, I am new to this, but after reading several posts, I thought I would see what sort of advice I can get for my situation. My husband has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has turrets, and bipolar disorder. This came after we went to marriage counseling because his parents thought it was "me" causing the fights and thats why he would beat me up, have paranoid thoughts and delusions, and stalk me essentially. I do not think he is bipolar at all, and now his therapist is starting to question that as well. He does have manic periods, but has never really dipped into a low like most do (he always says he loves himself and why would someone ever have depressed thoughts). Once we received that, he started to see a psych who just prescribed him meds. Of course, he went off of them because he thought they didn't help and just made him tired. After changing jobs, moving (we lost our house because he quit his job shortly after my daughter was born), and doing everything in my power to "help" him, he was no better and I basically made him sign a contract stating he would go to therapy, take his meds, and learn how to "deal with life" (which was basically me being resentful because he just CANNOT handle any changes, because you know, life, plans, work never change! ha!). He has followed through, but he still acts terribly. BTW - this started around age 25, I've known him since he was 16. He wasn't like this at all when we first met, but have found out that he has always had "someone" with him that talks to him all the time. Scary but I know that is just part of it. My daughter, who is now almost 2, can basically give me a warning sign that things are getting ready to get bad because she will not go near him and is terrified of him. Really sad right? She comforts me when I can't take it anymore and tears just flow - no 2 year old should have the phrase "its ok mommy, its OK" and its basically because I fear that he is going to have another abusive outrage and I don't EVER want her to see that or be part of it (hasn't happened in about 3 years now, but I still worry). She is his "world" and that also scares me to some extent. He did blow up on both of us about 3 wks ago and scared her so much that she was crying hysterically (and rightfully so) for about 10 min because he was mad we came down stairs when we were told to stay upstairs because he was ironing pants (I needed to get ready for work, so I was just grabbing clothes and that apparently was unacceptable) Another piece of info that would be helpful is that he was supposedly told that it is OK to drink every now and then, which I haven't followed up with his therapist on, but I think that is counter intuitive to the mental illness.. He also thinks its OK to smoke weed occasionally because that "is the only thing that calms him down" which I find hard to believe. It didnt help he read a pamphlet that said that schizo's like to be around smoke. I don't really know what to say to him other than the literature I ready says both activities make it worse (the abuse is worse for me when he drinks FOR SURE!!) so I won't let him but he buys it and hides it and drinks when I'm not home for a weekend or something. So, my questions are: 1. His therapist is amazed at all the brain power I use to get through a day to make sure he doesn't snap. Will he EVER get to a point in which he can be like how he was when we met (sweet, caring, loving) or will he always be extremely moody, hateful and paranoid of me? I love him dearly, but I cannot keep having him be so.. hateful really is the only word I can think of. He says he hates me for weeks and then will tell me he loves me. I am almost falling out of love in a way bc of the treatment I get. 2. He has a sexual addiction to me and porn. So much so, that if I decline it, I must be sleeping with someone else (I've had 5 boyfriends at once I didn't know about) and he essentially will sexually assault me if he is in a manic/crazy state. He sometimes doesn't believe our daughter is his because of this. Will that ever go away? How do I cope with this? 3. Alcohol and drugs are bad right?! I'm not crazy here? 4. What is the likelihood my daughter will end up with this disease. After the second diagnoses, his mother disclosed that several members of her immediate family deal with this and possibly his biological donor (father he never met). I know it is genetic and runs in families. What are the signs to look for? She has a tic sometimes and it scares me to death she will end up with it as well. 5. lastly, I have been suffering from some depression since we lost our house in February and blame myself a lot. At what point do I need to focus on me and forget about him? That may sound harsh, but I literally have to structure my day around him: what will make him mad, what will make him paranoid, will this activity set him off, will there be too many people out if we go out, etc.. I mean, I have to do a lot of planning. I have lost another 15 lbs since the end of Feb/begining of March, simply because I don't ever feel hungry (I was about 145, lost 10 in Aug/Sept when he had another massive episode, then lost the 15 recently).. I know its related to dealing with him, unfortunately. When I have talked to his therapist, she just is amazed and constantly says sorry and its like you are walking on egg shells. And ya, it is, but I just want him better but I feel like I need to say enough is enough at some point and it hurts my heart (literally have heart ache) over doing that. Thanks for your advice! Let me know if there are other details that may be helpful that I haven't included (I'm pretty much stopping because this is getting long!)
I can't give you advice I can only give you information.
I know if I were in your situation, I would get out. Smoking weed, abuse, violence, it's all non-negotiable. I would take my daughter to a safe place.
The fact that his parents blamed you for his behavior is NOT a good sign either. You don't have their support and like the other responder said you get yourself into a women's group for support PRONTO because his parents aren't the ones who will give you support.
It won't get much better than this unless your husband is committed to changing his behavior and you actually SEE HIM CHANGING.
Street drug use, abuse, violence, seeing your daughter panic? I'm afraid the words GET OUT come to mind. The choice is yours. The writing is on the wall as the saying goes. Protect yourself, protect your daughter NOW.