Is My Husband Schizophrenic?? What Can I Do?

Question

Asked by Jessica

Is My Husband Schizophrenic?? What Can I Do?

I am very concerned about my husband. Over the past month, his behavior has become increasingly bizarre. He has repeatedly accused me of infidelity (which, of course, isnt true, and he has no reason to suspect it), will not talk near windows, thinks his co-workers are trying to destroy his career and family. He also accuses me of trying to indirectly terrorize him, by setting out certain books (which he actually sets out and accuses me of doing), or by a specific word I happen to say. I used the word "pack" the other day, and he thought I was implying that he was a wolf... He thought his own family was verbally attacking me by certain words they used, he also gets "messages" from books he's reading. To complicate matters, we have a 1 year old son and another one on the way. At times, he admits he has a problem, and promises to see someone about it. But typically, he says I'm the one with the problem. I am very uncomfortable around my husband these days (and it seems to be escalating), and stressed out most of the time. He refuses to seek help, which doesn't surprise me, but I'm literally close to walking out for the sake of our unborn child and my own mental health. Any advice would be very welcome!!!

Answer

Hello Jessica,

First, I feel for what you are going through.

I'm sorry to say that it is only going to get worse unless your husband gets treatment [with medication for schizophrenia, if it turns out he has this illness and blood tests don't rule it out]. Quick intervention is best; early intervention bodes well for a better outcome.

Up to 50 percent of people with schizophrenia have a symptom called anosognosia, the lack of awareness that they have an illness, so of course they'll refuse treatment, or agree with their loved ones that they need treatment [ultimately only coddling them] and then not follow-through, just to get you off their case.

At least 10 times in this "Ask" feature I've referred family members to Xavier Amador's book, I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help because in it he coaches you how to talk to a loved one to get them to seek treatment and medication. So you may want to read the updated 2007 edition.

Your husband needs to get in treatment as soon as possible. You have your children to think about, and he is on his way to becoming disabled by his paranoia and unable to care for them or you, so you have to take action. To be hospitalized, a person has to be considered a danger to himself or others. If you could make that case, he could be forced into a hospital and given medication, if you claimed he's jeopardizing his children's safety or your own.

The point is, you can't wait until it gets to that point, though sometimes that's the only way to get action taken. I also urge you to log on to www.nami.org and call them at (800) 950-NAMI (6264) to find a local support group in your area for people whose loved ones have mental illnesses.

It's you're call. Go with your gut. If you feel at any time that you have to get out of the relationship, I will support you in that decision. Read the SharePosts and Ask questions here, and sometimes even message boards here have similar stories to yours. Be prepared for the struggle, because it won't be easy, and it could take a long time before your husband gets well, if it turns out he will consider treatment. Because if he doesn't get in treatment, that's not a pretty picture. You will have to think twice before staying in that kind of environment with your kids.

And you are right to do what you feel you have to do, for the sake of providing a better life for your children. If you choose to get out, know that you have what it takes to succeed. I firmly believe that women have what it takes to survive any kind of challenge.

Best regards,

cb

Answered by Christina Bruni