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DH has schizophrenia... anyone else?

(17 Posts)
FrancesFarmer Sat 18-Jun-11 23:19:50

Just wondering.

DH has schizophrenia (recently diagnosed - we thought he had atypical bipolar or depression until then).

He suffers mostly from negative symptoms - apathy, anhedonia, lack of volition, poor concentration, poor memory, avoids leaving house and neglects grooming - as well as mild paranoia. His sleep patterns are very strange - he is sleeping through the daylight hours at the moment and it's hard to deal with.

Anyway, I was just wondering if there is anybody else out there on Mumsnet with a husband or other close relative who suffers from schizophrenia.

FrancesFarmer Fri 24-Jun-11 22:51:02

No one else?

I read that people with schizophrenia are less likely than others to marry and have children - the lack of responses here would seem to confirm that!

Ungratefulchild Fri 24-Jun-11 22:53:31

My ex partner has schizophrenia. It's a hard illness to live with imo. What sort of support are you getting?

FrancesFarmer Fri 24-Jun-11 23:13:42

Thank you for replying!

We're not getting much support really - that's why I wanted to hear from others in a similar situation.

DH sees his psychiatrist ever two months and they are trying different combinations of drugs but they haven't had much success yet. Family know about it and help me out with the children but they don't really understand the illness.

DH is quite in touch with reality but he has very low motivation and does nothing all day long. Even getting him to take a bath can be a bit of a struggle. :/

angel2001 Sun 26-Jun-11 15:01:53

my dh has schizophrenia and had been on olazipine for ages now adn its the only meds that has kept him stable. he is also on sodium valporate and he is a completely different to the bloke i met 17 years ago. we have a strong relationship and despite me having personality disorder which has been really difficult for him to deal with he has stayed the strongest out of the two of us. we have a beautiful dd who is nine and i have my ups and down but i cant rem the last time we had a prob with dh. he works long hours and managed to hold a job for 6 years now. when i met him he couldnt hold a job was violent paranoid sleep during the day and up all night etc so good luck keep pushing and someone out there shuld help

FrancesFarmer Mon 27-Jun-11 21:45:01

Thank you for your reply, Angel2001. It's nice to hear of a good outcome, that such a thing is possible.

CHC3 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:01:37

My dh has type 1 bipolar disorder and has been in and out of hospital for the past few weeks after a very severe episode, having been well and symptom free for the last 4 years. I know what you mean about it feeling very lonely. I also have lots of practical support, but nobody really can understand how it feels.
My situation is very difficult at the moment as I am 6 months pregnant, but dh has shut me out and says that I stress him out so he doesn't want to talk to me.
Hopefully they will find a treatment for your dh that is effective. I just wanted to sympathise and let you know that you're not the only one going through this.

FrancesFarmer Tue 05-Jul-11 13:07:05

You poor thing. CHC3. That sounds a very difficult situation. DH finds our two children hard to deal with. Don't know what to advise really but I hope you figure something out.

CHC3 Wed 06-Jul-11 08:41:44

It's not a great situation and even when he does recover I'm not sure we'll be able to get back on track as a couple. I know rationally that what he's doing is a classic symptom of his illness, but I'm finding it very hard to separate the illness from the person at the moment.
Luckily I've got 2yr old DS and a busy job which I love to keep my time and my mind occupied and new DS to look forward to.

clarlce Sun 10-Jul-11 21:54:33

Sounds to me like a typically bored man. Sympathy and support will get you nowhere and medication will maintain the situation for years.

Maybe try freaking him out? tell him you've decided you should all move to kazakstaan and be sheep farmers or something.

FrancesFarmer Mon 11-Jul-11 22:39:04

Gosh, thanks for that wonderful advice, Clarice.

sh77 Tue 12-Jul-11 15:19:49

I hope you don't mind me posting here as I am writing about my sister. She is suffering from depression but I fear she is suffering from paranoia. She is convinced family members are keeping info about her from her. I don't know if she is hearing voices. The way you described your partner is just how my sis is. Would you mind sharing how he got a diagnosis of schizophrenia and what events led to it. I feel so scared for her future.

CHC3 Tue 12-Jul-11 21:21:33

It does sound like she's having paranoid thoughts. Does she see her GP about the depression? If so, you should definitely encourage her to tell them how she is feeling and they can arrange a referral to a community mental health team. It's good that she feels that she can tell you how she feels so encourage her to keep talking.
Good luck sh77.

FrancesFarmer Wed 13-Jul-11 00:10:41

sh77, dh gets paranoia like that about certain people. He never hears voices, though. I know it can be frightening to imagine a loved one going through that sort of thing so I can see why you're worried. Sorry - I'm a bit rubbish at being empathic over the internet - it might help you to discuss your concerns with a doctor (although I'm not sure if patient confidentiality would prevent that?)

How did DH get his diagnosis? He has been attending mental health practitioners since the age of 16 because he read in a book about depression and realized he'd felt that way for years. He has been diagnosed with depression and bipolar in the past and passed around to different doctors as none of them were making progress. He has been seeing his present psychiatrist for 6 years and they have been trying various drug combinations in that time, with partial success. He never actually got a diagnosis from his psychiatrist and he assumed he had bipolar until earlier this year, or to be precise, some atypical form of bipolar as he doesn't match the typical description of bipolar at all.

He actually figured out the schizophrenia bit by himself - he was reading online and came across a thread about schizophrenia and realized that it was far closer to his experience than any of the definitions of the various types of bipolar. He mentioned this at his next psychiatric appointment and his psychiatrist explained that bipolar and schizophrenia can be mistaken for each other and that he had thought for a long time that my DH fitted the criteria for schizophrenia. The psychiatrist didn't want to use the word schizophrenia up until that point, because of the stigma attached.

What does the future hold? I don't know. Some people recover fully, others partially, others not at all. So, at the moment, we are just hoping that dh's psychiatrist can help him in some way. Sometimes I'm hopeful but a lot of the time, it makes sense to assume the worst and plan for dh being relatively disabled his whole life.

sh77 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:19:45

Thank you so much for your responses. Really helpful.

My sis is under the care of a psychiatrist for her depression. However, the paranoia is a recent thing. We are very close but I live in London and she lives with my parents in Lancashire and so I don't see her as much as I would like to. She has said to me on the phone a few times that she is going crazy and that she feels weird. I thought this was because of the ADs (which she does not take consistently). I saw her at the weekend and her mental state has deteriorated - she says her life is not going anywhere, she feels like she is nothing, paranoid thoughts. She is not "living" - spends all her time in her room, no friends, isolated, very poor diet. Her siblings are high achievers but she had some learning difficulties and so suffered with low self esteem, lack of confidence. I just don't see any way out. She managed to overcome a major bout of depression 2 years ago but not sure she will this time.

Sorry for hijacking.

SYmpathy to you all: a dear friend of mine has some form of schizophrenia. She hears voices and has paranoid delusions, it's a very nasty business, she has good times and bad ones, she has just had a really bad spell but seems to be coming out of it again.

FrancesFarmer Tue 19-Jul-11 20:07:11

I wonder if your sister is telling her psych about all of her symptoms, Sh77?

I know that my dh for ages was unwilling to talk to his about his paranoia as he was very embarrassed about it. I have since begun to go along to his appointments with him as he finds it helps him.

Your sister sounds a lot like dh - he is from a family of high achievers too. I think he is more intelligent than his achieving siblings but he hasn't been able to reach his potential due to his illness. It's very sad.

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