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07/15/2010 07:46 AM

How can I help my paranoid husband?

Danamana
Posts: 8
New Member

I have known my husband for 5 years. We have been married for almost 4. It now appears that he is suffering from paranoia. Or at least it appears that way at this point. He is just now entering psychiatric treatment for anxiety so severe he has had to take a medical leave of absence from work. The crisis which has caused this present situation is that he thinks I am cheating on him.

He has always been a very anxious, high strung, panicky person. I thought it was related to him drinking literally 20 cups of coffee a day (I'm sure that plays into this).

To make a really long story short his other symptoms are:1) thinking that people have traveled to our town from his faraway hometown to spread rumors about him at our church. 2) Thinking acquaintances and strangers are making “stinky faces” at him. 3) seeing the same person at the book store over a two month period and convincing himself it was a private investigator I hired to check up on him. 4) Always thinking people are going through his things. Anything misplaced he thinks my kids (his stepkids) have stolen, although the items always appear later. 5) He quit a fraternal organization in his hometown, and now he thinks that all the members anywhere are mad he quit and are out to make trouble for him. 6) general mistrust of people and their motives. His first wife and several girl friends cheated on him so I think he has a great mistrust of people.

I have been able to brush off all these “quirks” as I called them and just shake my head. He gets mad at me when I say I don't believe him. But the latest situation is now destroying our marriage: he thinks I'm cheating on him. He has taken a bunch or events and built up this wild story around them that just keeps growing and has totally convinced himself that I am an adulteress. The center of his evidence is a man at the grocery story who made a face at him: he is sure I must be cheating with this man and that is why he made the face. I have answered all his questions and showed him anything he has asked for (phone bills, cell phone, etc.), but nothing convinces him. He just grows more convinced that I am lying and has now vilified me in his mind.

His anxiety is so bad over this: can't sleep, yelling and screaming at the air and not even knowing it, verbal abuse. Very erratic impulsive behavior (he wants to quit his job, maybe move, maybe not move, sell his boat, buy a van. Everyday it is something different. Just no idea how he is going to be from day to day), He went to his doctor because he couldn't sleep and he made him an emergency psychiatric visit. They have put him on a ton of stuff, almost like the doctor is just throwing medicine at him.(Prozac, xanac, depakote, seroquel) He thinks I will try to get the psychiatrist on “my side” so I have had very little contact with the doctor to know what the doctor thinks is going on.

He is now adamant that he wants a divorce. He cut himself off from his family years ago (I have never met them). He has no close friends. I am his only support and now I am the enemy. He has lost his trust in me and says he no longer loves me. I want to help him.

I have been praying a lot. I hope the medicine will help him think more clearly. He is so angry at me the verbal abuse is very hard to bear. What can I expect from medication? Will it help him realize how far out his thoughts are? I feel desperate since now he wants to leave me.

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07/15/2010 10:10 AM
Ele
Posts: 2030
Senior Member

Hopefully the medications will help him. The medications he is on are often diagnosed for bipolar so I wonder if that is his diagnosis? He sounds delusional. I am bipolar and I got my diagnosis during a manic episode where I was delusional. It might take a while for the meds to help and they will probably up his dosages until they are at a therapeutic level.

I am sorry you are going through this. Even if he gets better he may continue to isolate himself from everyone. I hope for your sake that the meds kick in quickly and he realizes that his thinking is not rational.

I wish you well and wish I had better news for you. Please feel free to send me a private message or repost if you have any questions. I am glad you joined the group.


07/15/2010 10:39 AM
Danamana
Posts: 8
New Member

Thanks for your reply. I see lots of his behavior as being paranoid and with a lot of anxiety. He told me the doctor was treating him for anxiety. I have been able to speak to his psychiatrist briefly to discuss medication, but not any diagnosis.

He is acting so erractic I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster I can't get off of. He makes impulsive decisions, is spending money left and right. Everyday it's a new plan: he's quitting his job, moving, we're opening a restaurant, he's selling his boat, buying a van, getting a divorce but he wants to still live together(!) All of these plans change daily. I just hope I can keep discouraging his thoughts of divorce long enough for meds and prayers to work. Maybe bipolar is a possibility too. He will work around the house just zooming all over the place for hours and then sit and listen to sad jazz music for hours.

He does not think he is mentally ill. He only thinks he is needing medication temporarily to deal with my supposed infidelity. His anger toward me is tremendous. Do I have anything to lose if I try to convince him that his problems are much broader than that? I mean show him a list of paranoia symptoms so maybe he will see himself there. Or would that just make him even madder and trust me even less (if that's possible)?

I feel like everyday I am trying to find my husband who is buried under all these wild thoughts. I don't know if I'll ever find him again.


07/15/2010 01:11 PM
mem8850

his behavior mirrors the time i had a serious schizophrenic break, and thought everybody was about to get me.....i SAW people with guns....and was chased on foot by pickups.....i walked 40 miles to the highway....where i called mym mom....she assured me, but i ducked down in the car till we reached home....i was convinced people bugged the phone....had cameras in the house....and microphones.....i would swear people would run up to me and scream in my face....everything was a giant conspiracy.....does this sound like what's hapenning to your husband???

If so....you might want to check the possibility of severe paranoid schizophrenia, that's my dx....but the meds really helped alot.....not totally but a good 90 percent of the symptoms are gone.

Schizoid disorders often mimic delusionary behaviour and is often mistaken for schizophrenia.....delusionary behaviour was MY major symptom.....i had to go to the hospital for awhile.......but when i got out i was SO much better.....the rituals of hospital life help put things back into perspective.....and the break from all the society issues.....they'll prove to him no one can get to him there....(like with me) and once he knows he's safe there....more therapudic things can begin....starting with fine tuning his meds.....regular doctors aren't qualified to assess any kind of mental issues, only psych. doc's are able to do that.....i hope my story helped you out some....or at least opened up some new directions to persue.

Blessed Be...................Robert12345.


07/15/2010 01:29 PM
Danamana
Posts: 8
New Member

Thanks for your reply Robert.

I don't know what is going on. All I know is that it really can't be normal to be making so many different plans which change from day to day, can it? He has always been an impulsive shopper and decision maker, but it is all just much worse now that he is so stressed over the supposed infidelity. I don't know if it is just lots of thoughts all rushing in his head together (manic) or psychotic behavior.

He is seeing a psychiatrist. So that is a start. I just hope he doesn't leave me before the meds and prayers help. I am his only support. He is cut off from all family and really no friends at all.

Does is help to confront a person about their irrational behavior, or does not only make them more paranoid?


07/16/2010 01:06 PM
Ele
Posts: 2030
Senior Member

When I was delusional my grown children of course knew it. I became very secretive and would not tell them about the things I was sure were going on around me. I knew they would just say I was nuts. I was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that my delusional scenarios were real.

It would probably just drive your husband further from you if you confront him. At least he is getting psychiatric help. You are very fortunate. A lot of paranoid people won't trust counselors or psychiatrists because they think they are in on the conspiracy.


07/20/2010 08:28 AM
Danamana
Posts: 8
New Member

Ele, thank you for your reply. Obviously, at some point you became aware that your beliefs were delusional. How did that happen? Was it through medication and/or counseling?

I just hope that my husband will get to the point where he realizes that he is not thinking correctly. Right now he thinks he is thinking very clearly and there is nothing wrong except some anxiety.


07/21/2010 05:45 AM
Ele
Posts: 2030
Senior Member

It took time and medication and finally therapy. With time and medication I finally got the nerve to confront some of my fears. It was a breakthrough of sorts and I lost a lot of my fear. That made me strong enough to finally go into therapy and tell a therapist about what I thought was going on around me. He told me straight out that some of my most outlandish delusions were physically impossible and highly unlikely. Once I was able to admit that part of my beliefs were based on pure delusion it made it easier to let go of all the delusions. I stopped listening for the neighbors to comment on my situation. I stopped believing and when the thoughts would come back I would brush them away. I hope this helps. I can pm you if you need anymore information.

07/21/2010 10:57 AM
Danamana
Posts: 8
New Member

Thanks Ele. Time. It is hard to wait, especially when he threatens divorce most everyday and continues to explain in great detail exactly how I cheated on him. His thoughts just seem to grow and grow more wild and detailed everyday. He is completely obsessed with this. He is so convinced that I have cheated on him. He thinks everyone around (my family, co-workers, etc) all know I'm cheating too. So it's this great conspiracy. When I ask him to confront them, he just says everyone will lie to protect me.

I pray each day for healing for him and hope the meds will work. So far I see he is less angry and anxious, but the paranoia symtoms are the same, if not worse. I have limited contact with this doctor and his doctor doesn't seem to be keeping very close track of him either. I feel very frustrated and helpless.


07/22/2010 06:19 AM
Ele
Posts: 2030
Senior Member

I can feel your frustration. I would be beside myself if the person I loved was irrational and paranoid. The Seraquel your husband is taking should help with the paranoia but it may take time. Seraquel is an antipsychotic.

Do you think your husband would be open to going to see a therapist? Therapy really helped me in the end. I had to be ready and at first I thought the therapist was in on the conspiracy. A therapist would keep closer tabs on him and could possibly work with his psychiatrist to hospitalize him if he becomes a danger to himself or other people.

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