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hello i look after my schizophrenic partner - Carers UK Forum

hello i look after my schizophrenic partner

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
if anyone needs to know anyting just ask, she has been through many common medications, with this illness, all the medications have a sedative effect which in turn leads to weight gain and depression {maybe the lesser of two evils).
When she has gone on one in the past ive just prayed for her to sleep, its as if the brain wont switch off and the longer the sleep depriavtion the deeper the psychosis seems to become.
She became afraid of the standard medications too, this was because one of the meds causes the tongue to press into roof of mouth and a feeling of choking ensues, this treatment is followed by procyclidine which relieves the spasms.
Its hard leaving your missus in a mental ward so if anyone is experiencing this..
we have an eight year old too...he is unscathed, i reckon i covered stuff well there lol.
when he was a baby i had a cup of coffee thrown over me while i was holding him.. probably at that pre sectioning under the mental health act stage,pretty much unreachable, when her state of mind are as unpredictable as can be tolerated.
This brings me to a point where i had trouble reaching the services of those who could help, the paths to them are not always clear because numbers change and people leave their jobs and community mental health workers are very overstretched here. If your not on the register and have no CPN then u have to go to casualty
The current medication of Seroquel has prevented serious bouts for quite some time now so i'm happy that she is stable, but i know she isnt happy.
Anyway im nearly 40 and have been a carer for 7-10 years, so if u have a question or comment about caring for schizophrenia post it plz.

one more thing is schizophrenia a bit like dementia but in younger people?
I hope you dont mind me posting but like you i have a schitzophrenic husband.
Its been a very difficult time for me, i have tried so hard to stand by him but he became so dangerous i had to have him committed, It broke my heart seeing him in there but we feared for our lives, He admitted he had plotted my death, He was released after 6 months but i was advised not to take him home as he was never going to be the same person i married.
I have tried for the last 5 years to support him but as you will know the illness makes us the enemy the doormats to the blunt of everything its getting harder, i was wandering how you cope during the bad times and have you ever feared for your life?
Thanks for reading
Morning Jaks,

Just wanted to welcome you to the forum.Others will be along soon hopefully but weekends can be fairly quiet.

Whilst I dont have any experience of schizophrenia,I do about violence.In the past my brother has hurt support workers and also one night we ended up in A and E with him as he had an "episode" at home and hubby and I could not handle him, so the police were called.They were there for assistance only and escort to hospital to ensure safety of staff there.He has no idea what he does,I sometimes wish he would blackout when he has these fits.
Communication is always a problem as he relies on sign language,has no speech at all ,though can be very vocal when shouting/screaming.This means wherever he goes,no matter how long, we have to stay with him.

Hopefully other members will be able to relate to your own circumstances and you can share experiences.In the meantime take a look round the forum and the main site too.So much information to be found.

Look forward to reading more from you.
Hi I have been caring for my wife for 12 years now who has accute paraniod schizophrenia, and I can understand exactly how you both feel, happy to talk if I can assist either of you
Thankyou for both replies i really appriciate you taking the time to write back,
Its a very lonely place trying to cope alone so i am so glad i have found this site.
My husband has always had this illness but we never knew until about 8 years ago.
He was always paranoid hated me leaving him violent at times but i wlaways blamed drink or a bad day at work, But then something seemed to snap in him and he totally changed, He started to lock me in the house drug me so i would sleep while he slept or left the house, He took the phone car keys anything he could do to stop me leaving him. If i went shopping he would follow me hide in bushes then interigate me for hours when i came home, I knew something was wrong but had no idea what. It got worse and worse even at home he was hiding under my bed or in a cuboard watching me he belived my mobile phone was linked to the goverment and that aliens were involved,i dropped from a size 14 to a size 8 in 2 weeks, i decided to go and see my own doctor as my nerves were shattered, I didnt intend to tell her why just ask for something for my nerves. But he followed me to the surgery and my GP spotted him in the hedge outside our window and asked me if i knew him, I broke down then and told her everything. She told me he was very obviously mentally ill and would get me some help.
The next few weeks grew worse and worse his illness was now as bad as it can get.
He would drink with it to try and blot out the voices which only made things worse.
He would sit rocking at 3am in the morning saying things like get the gun get the gun shes having an affair, i was really scared as he had a gun upstairs he used for hunting.
He would go out 4am in the morning loking for tools to harm me with, he tried to push me through a window telling me the whole time to hit him.
It broke my heart he truly is a lovely man under all of this. A CPN was sent to see me and they assessed him from a distance hes a very big man and a trained boxer so getting him to hospital would have been a nightmare for them. they decided he was to be committed as luckily i had tipped away a drink he had made me, in the drink at the bottom was a pile of thick black stuff so i took it to my GP. they told me had i drank it i would probably be dead
The children were terrified and me i had no choice to get him into a secure unit.
I refused to let them take him infront of the kids as they had planned to grab him as he came home. I begged them to let me try and get him to them so they agreed,.
They made a hospital appointment in there unit all i had to do was get him there and they would talk him into staying if not keep him anyway.
They discovered that as well as the schitzoprenia he had had a bleed to the frontal lobe in his brain which had affected his memory so he couldnt remember anything we had told him or what he had done unless he was reminded sometimes it would trigger his memory.
Hes forgotten the children growing up and the important things. After being in the unit for 6 months i was advised not to have him home as he would never be safe.
They placed him in a bed and breakfast then moved him to a house 10 min away from me.
For the last 5 years i have tried to stand by him help him and support him, hes still been very much a part of our family just at a distance, But i cant let go of the fear, Somedays he walks in and hes the man i loved with all my heart, another day i have to calm him down to kep us safe. Other days i have to run with the kids as hes completly off on one and wanting to kill me.
Last xmas he attacked our 15 year old daughter putting her in hospital he beleived she was on drugs amid other things so smashed her head against a kerb. Social workers beleived him when he said she attacked him police took no action. I made a decision at that point that i had to walk away for the kids sake but i cant. Although with scitzophrenia we become there target every time we are also the person they turn to when they are having a bad time, I know his illness so well now i have learnt how to talk to him and stay safe most of the time, He listens to me most of the time and i can calm him down but no one else can so he still turns to me day and night. Almost i am a forced carer now. I want to with all my heart to be able to help him but i have been so close to an edge i have never been to before trying to cope.
I understand his ilnnes he spoken to me about it and how its like s switch flicking. the medication helps but only when everythings going ok routines important, but if say one of the kids upsets him he looses reality and his illness kicks in. its not just caring for him its the other things he does like running up debt in my name, he started claiming family allowance for the children even though they are in my care so i have had to spend months fighting this
all because he beleives hes looking after his children. I take my hat off to all of you who are living with there partners still, i know each case is different and if i could be sure we would be safe i would still be with him, Although we live apart i am still his carer as i have to watch him 24/7 especially as we have kids i have to be the one who calms him down when the police call there is no one else who can do it. I wish there was a cure for this terriable illness its not only destryed a lovely man who i thought i would spend the rest of my life with its destroyed my whole family. I havent lost my husband because we fell out of love or didnt get on he was taken from me.
My husbands younger brother also has the illness but slightly worse hes lived with me since he was 14 so i also care for him as best i can, I was recently caled by a neighbour of his tog go to the local woods as he had his children held hostage he was wearing a yellow hard hat and wired up to a lump of cheese threatening to blow the kids up if they were taken back to his ex partner. Its exhausting how do you all cope, I want to be able to stand by them and carry on caring for them but i dont know how.
thanks for listening
Jaks I understand it is very difficult to be a care in this situation, it permanately keeps you on your toes because you never quite know what is going to happen and when, I have got the violence because it is my wife I care for, but the paranior can really grind you down been down the road of not having newspapers in the house because I might look at page 3, and she would go mad, I could not talk to another woman not even my gp without the accusations of having an affair. She also thought she was physcic and used to phone airports etc in America saying there was going to be plane crashes. I could not get anyone to listen they had given her a councillor and the happy pill total waste of space, so in the end I got a babby sitter for our daughter at 2am in the morning and walked into casualty and demanded they get a phychiatrist. Also it takes them months to try all the different medications, I put my wife into the hospital but made out she was there of her own free will, so she would not be sectioned.
Hi Tony
I think the paranoia is one of the hardest parts to cope with next to the violence because i know i personally tread on egg shells the whole time, And like you say you just dont know when its all going to kick off. Have you found ways of dealing with this and helping to keep tha paranoia at bay?
I used to think i knew his illness better than he did, i could almost predict certain things would trigger him off into one like saying i was going shopping or answering the phone, i could often tell by his face if he was having a good or bad day. We have found if we all comply and keep a routine he is so much better, we avoide all the things that trigger him off but i often wander if thats any way to live and are we all backing down to the illness. I beleive he has noted we all do this and has us all running about doing as we are told and we know he plays on that control he has with it to a degree. I have to say the medication my husband has is very good, he was 100% violent he had voices 24/7 his paranoia was 24/7 hes a much calmer person now because of the meds, At one time they said he could come off it but it terrified us al so much they reduced it, but we have suffered the backlash of all this since as he obviously needs the higher dosage. His workers say he is mentally stable at the moment which angers me as they pop around once now and then have a coffee with him and hes fine. But they dont challenge him they are all doing things for him complying, They dont see him attacking me and the kids because one of us fell out of his comfort zone or surprised him with something out of the blue. I think actually the hardest part was getting someone to beleive me and listen,
the day he was taken into hospital the staff there all aked if he was visiting, he was so normal in behaviour he sat chatting and they all looked at me like i was the mad one and there was nothing wrong with him until i told him to tell the doctors about the aliens and mobile phones.
He then sat forward in his chair and the detail he came up with on those subjects amazed even me. They all sat forward in there seats at this point and asked him really complexed questions to which he had complexed answers. It was then i realised i truly had no idea of his illness and how deep these voices had really gone. I am really glad you were finally able to get someone to listen to you, Its hard its not as if they are ths person all of the time
Hi Jaks yes I have found ways of dealing with and fortunately I do understand imy wifes condition and can predict most of the time now when things will happen, but then there are always surprises round the corner, but keeping things as normal as possible is the key and routine, I also try to keep Jenny as active as possible otherwise the voices take over, but each person is slightly different with this type of illness all the symptoms diver between patients.
hi there mi name is joy i care for mi husband who is al;so a porniod schitzophrenic i bin caring for him for 13 years now wen we 1st got together i did not now bout his illness cos he didn`t want mi to judge him he is a lovely man and wood do any think for you he`s a gentle giant. It has bin hard to cope with over the years and some how i have found the strength to cope my husband was on sulpride tablets for many years til they stopped working last year i noticed that things weren`t ok with so i got the mental health team involed thro our doctor they tried to change his meds whilst still at home i told them that he needs to be some where to be monitered as i can not do it alll well it was then that they put him in a mental hospital and got him back on track again eartlier this year. he was on a wonder drug called clozaril which was helping loads he needed to go for regurler blood tests to make sure his white blood cells where ok he got 2 red lights which meant he needed to start the meds over for the start. he started to refuse to go for these cheack ups that resulted in him talking to himself and swaying from side to side i got in talks with the clozaril clinic told them bout it well in the end they had to admit him back into the mental hospital earlier this week. it is extremly hard to cope and deal with that tis person that you love is ill and that they can not lead a full life like you and i. all my friends and family ask how do you cope with it i tell them i don`t know i just do its become a way of life for my now that i just get on with it and yes at times i do wonder if things would be differant if he did not have this illnes but he has and there`s nothing i can do to change that fact. i love him dearly. i used to think that i was the only one going thro this and no-one can understand how i feel and how hard it is but i now know that there is others out there who is going thro the same as i am and that we can talk bout our own expererances. i hope that this does help you guys to.
Hi Joy
thanks for posting that the clozaril is a good drug Jenny has been on it for about 10 years now, but yes the blood tests have to be done every week to start with, because it can kill the white blood corpusles, and clozoril will not supply the tablets without the test results, but when hubby comes back home your GP should do the blood tests, and over a period of time they will go to monthly tests, I don`t know how they have suggested you get the chlozoril tablets but they can only be disspensed by the hospital pharmacy, I have my wifes sent to us by post from the hospital. You might already know all this and I appologise if you do. But if there is anything I can help you with please feel free to ask. All the best Tony