My Husband Has Been Diagnosed With Schizophrenia And Is In Total Denial.

Question

Asked by haitianlove86

My Husband Has Been Diagnosed With Schizophrenia And Is In Total Denial.

Me (who is 24) and my husband (who is 21) have been together for about a year and a half and its almost unbearable. He has been diagnosed with Schitsophrinia (sp?) and he has also been diagnosed with OCD. Since we have been married he has thrown away the medication because "it makes him feel bad" and not only is his moodswings horrible and can also be annoying but its to the point that he doesnt care about anything that i have to say PERIOD! I have also been recently diagnosed with Endometretriosis and is having to deal with ALOT of pain. Since we have been married he not only doesnt care about how i feel but its to the point that he has the mindset that "He is the man so, his opinion is the only one that counts", and not only that but when i tell him that I may be hurting and i need his help on a task he tells me im being "lazy" and "i just dont want to do nothing but sit and eat all day". When we were dating it was TOTAL bliss, but after we got married its been a nightmare. PLEASE HELP ME!

Answer

Hello haitianlove86,

I hope you feel better soon. I know you are in a lot of pain with the endometriosis. I'm sorry your husband has been treating you poorly when you need his help with things.

I want to explain to you how things could've changed so dramatically in one year. You say it was bliss and now it's not. Schizophrenia routinely strikes a person in his late teens and early twenties. So your husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia at exactly the time most people are diagnosed with this illness.

The SZ medications could have side effects your husband doesn't like. If this is true he needs to talk with his psychiatrist about changing the dose or changing the medication or adding a new medication to his routine along with the current medication, in order to control the side effect or effects.

I know a guy who just didn't want to deal with his diagnosis so he avoided taking action. If this sounds like your husband, who you say is in denial, he will learn the hard way that refusing treatment will cause him to have a life that is not good at all. It will be harder for him to survive if he doesn't take his medication.

In fact: his behavior now is just a preview of what his behavior will be like in the future if he doesn't continue to take his medication.

So what can I suggest you do? Read the schizophrenia basics to educate yourself about your husband's illness. Schizophrenia is a real medical condition just like heart disease or diabetes or autism and requires life-long treatment with medication for the great majority of people who have it.

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 22 and when I stopped taking my meds I got sick again within three months and had to go back into the hospital.

So I understand your concern about your husband's refusal to take his medication. Most people who go on a drug holiday get worse and need to go back on the medication.

I would tell him you love him often and let him know you'll work with him the two of you together to keep involved in his treatment. If you feel he does not believe he is sick that could be a symptom that in medical terms is called anosognosia. In plain English: it's the lack of insight or awareness that you have an illness. So if you don't think you're sick you won't think you need the medication and will refuse to take it.

So if this sounds like what is happening with your husband: I'm going to refer you to interviews I conducted with a psychologist who wrote a book that talks about how family members can persuade their loved ones to stay in treatment.

Refer to the Xavier Amador Interview One and Xavier Amador Interview Two.

The point is not to convince someone he's sick: the point is to help them choose to take the medication. And your husband might take the medication, even if he doesn't think he needs it, if you are able to get him to see that taking the medication will enable him to achieve his goal or goals in life.

Again I'm sorry he acts like he's what we call "the king of the castle" and he feels he's the one to make all the decisions and that you have to obey his rules for living in the house.

How can that change? Xavier Amador wrote another book: I'm Right, You're Wrong: Now What that you can read about at the Leap Institute web site. It might help you figure out how to handle your husband's claims that he is always right. This is a disclaimer: I haven't read this book.

I read the Xavier Amador book I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help (Vida Press, 2010 anniversary edition) in which he coaches family members on how to convince their loved ones to take medication and stay in treatment. You might want to read this book.

Lastly: does your husband understand that you have your own medical condition in the form of endometriosis? I know you are NOT lazy and I wish your husband knew this too. You should not have to accept his behavior, you should not have to excuse his behavior simply because he has schizophrenia.

A person with schizophrenia who is acting out might be doing that because he's symptomatic and it's sometimes hard to tell if he has control over his behavior. Either way: the time is now to have a talk with him. I would talk to him about what your needs are in the relationship and let him know you need to get your needs met.

Should he continue his behavior and not decide to take medication you will have a long, long battle every day in the future. His medical condition will deteriorate as I believe you already know. So I would ultimately recommend you attend some kind of support group for family members whose loved ones have mental illnesses.

You do not say if you are in Haiti or the U.S. I do not know about support groups in Haiti however there might be groups there so I would research this if I were you. If no support group exists: maybe there is a women's clinic or center where you could go to talk to a counselor.

In the U.S., NAMI-the National Alliance on Mental Illness has family support groups in citie and towns across America, like in East Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY and Upstate New York and Florida and California and other states.

So if you live in the U.S. call them at (800) 950-NAMI (6264) to find the name and phone number of your local NAMI to get the dates and times of the support group.

I hope you are able to find some relief from your troubles.

You deserve to be treated with respect and support and empathy even if your husband has schizophrenia. He has to realize just what's at stake and that it could turn out badly: for him, and for the two of you as a couple.

To that end, I also feel that you might want to talk to a therapist who can counsel you in great detail. I regret I cannot provide marriage counseling. I wish I had even more to tell you in this regard.

I support you in what you're going through.

Lastly: from time to time you might want to Create a SharePost at this web site to get even more support.

You are not alone. Others have walked in your shoes.

Regards,

Christina