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DH and meds- lying- WWYD

(21 Posts)
Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 13:59:21

Name change. Although this is relating to mental health issues it is about relationships so posting here. I’ve tried to keep to a short version😔.
DH and I married for 10 years, he’s 67 and I’m 57. For last 20 years he’s had a “severe and enduring” mental illness. He wasn’t diagnosed for many years when first started and we had a very difficult relationship ( at times he was borderline abusive). I knew there was something wrong but GPs didn’t listen to me or him. 10 years ago he had another psychotic episode and this time he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on antipsychotic meds. 5 years ago he was re-diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and put on high doses of antidepressants as well. I’m his only career- he just has check-ins with a psychiatrist every 6 months. I attend those as psychiatrist wants to know from me what’s happening and DH has always been open with me and his treatment plans

The meds do work: they virtually stop the “voices” he hears and “unusual” beliefs/thoughts. They reduce the stress he’s in from that and the agitation. He’s calmer, more patient and more empathetic towards others ( versus being suspicious all the time) But these meds come with massive side affects: weight gain, stupor, lack of energy. So it’s a fine balance to control the agitation etc but not make him comatose.

About 3 years ago he forgot to take his meds on holiday with him, and then stopped them for about 6 weeks. His symptoms returned and so did his aggressiveness and stress and odd behaviours- he told me after 6 weeks and went back on them. He also promised me that if he ever wanted to stop the meds again he’d tell me first because of the impact on our relationship of his symptoms

Last year was a great year for us- I’d taken early retirement to balance caring role ( I was sole breadwinner for 15 years due to his illness and doing stressy job as well as carer). However, since February this year, our relationship has deteriorated and spiralled out of control. He seems angry all the time, he’s aggressive. We end up bickering. I’m stressed. He’s stressed. He’s spouting conspiracies about everything. We’re having arguments over quite bizarre stuff. All classic symptoms of his illness.

Of course I asked him if he’d missed his meds a couple of times- he’s got angry and denied it. We’ve had conversations about why were arguing and he’s insisting it’s me and my menopausal moods (I’ve been menopausal for 10 years and can be anxious occasionally but that hasn’t changed!). He said more than once it’s me who’s ill and need to see GP, and not his illness getting worse.
He’s also lost loads of weight and been taking the praise from me, family, GPS for achieving that whilst on his meds. I’ve been spouting on about being amazed at his willpower etc.

So now I’ve just found out he stopped taking his meds - sometime in late Jan or Feb. He doesn’t know I know. I am really upset and angry that he has lied, been gaslighting me and broken the promise to tell me before he stopped his treatment. I’m a bit stunned as one of reasons I’ve stayed with him was that he was always honest and open about his care/treatment and wanted to “control” the symptoms. I have never said he must take the meds-I know that’s his choice- it’s the deceit and denial that’s the issue.

I’m pretty sure he’s not discussed with his psychiatrist either

I don’t know what to do or even what I want to do. WWYD?

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Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 14:00:13

Carer- not career...spellchecker!

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Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 14:10:31

Oops...DH and I married for 30 years- another typo😳

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gamerchick Sat 01-Aug-20 14:17:33

I can't advise on what to do as what I would do would be to leave and cut my losses. I feel tired just reading your post.

Do you want to stay with him, is there love there still or just obligation?

vikingwife Sat 01-Aug-20 14:33:32

reading your post sounds like hell. If I had to live your life I would rather be dead. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, just letting you know how bad your life & situation sounds. Have bipolar too, so am not a stranger to mental health issues.

I would honestly seek legal advice & look to split up. It’s likely going to cost you dearly, but I couldn’t face living out the rest of my days with him. It sounds dreadful, it’s no life. I would rather be poor & single than rich & live your life.

You’re existing just to care for him & have taken on being breadwinner for over a decade & he has gone off his meds for over 6 months ? The deceit is appalling.

Him staying on his medication is the bare minimum and no it should not be solely his decision whether he takes his meds or not - you’re his carer FFS, the whole setup has been based on him having this illness & how can you care for him if he can’t do the basic decency of staying on his medications to make your life a little easier?

I would leave, but seek legal advice first to find out exactly how much this will cost you.

YNK Sat 01-Aug-20 14:38:37

You need to discuss this with him and his consultant.
if he's increasingly non-compliant they can give him a monthly injection.
I have huge sympathy for him though - the side effects are truly horrendous.

Holothane Sat 01-Aug-20 14:38:51

My husband I’m very lucky he’s brilliant at taking his meds he know what happens if he doesn’t but though I ask him about, for putting down in the diary he forgets these are his epilepsy meds his schizophrenia meds he takes religiously I do feel for you, as you’ve lost the joy of living if he’s lying as well and yes we know when somethings not right, he is responsible for his meds you can’t live like this.

vikingwife Sat 01-Aug-20 14:42:31

@YNK - In theory yes, but it’s not certain. It depends what kind of meds he is on - he is on an antipsychotic & an antidepressant. I could be wrong but it’s not for certain the meds he is on will necessarily be able to be injected. That is good to bring up though & effective for people with schitzophrenia who are non-compliant with meds.

NotaCoolMum Sat 01-Aug-20 14:53:13

@vikingwife “if I had to live your life I’d rather be dead.”

What a shitty thing to say to someone asking for advise!

Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 14:54:56

Thanks everyone...yes I agree there is a lot of obligation there, but when he is well and symptoms in control he’s lovely...we had such a loving relationship before he became ill. I do have strong sense of duty “ sickness and health” and would feel very guilty about walking out on him. But I am seriously now thinking of Leaving him is something ...but I sort of know hey he’s stopped because the drugs are so bl****y awful as YNK says.

He’s only just had his psychiatrist review. If I want to speak to someone in mental health team I have to leave a message. They never phone me back. They don’t respond to DH either unless he’s on the phone to them constantly leaving messages. ( mental health services are cr** as anyone with mental illness knows...budget etc)

Thanks for advice on monthly injections...that’s possible ...but does feel like I’m forcing him.

Interesting what folks saying that should be my decision as well... not sure I can agree with that

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NotaCoolMum Sat 01-Aug-20 14:59:12

I agree- it’s his decision whether to take his medication or not... it’s your decision whether you want to stay with him if he doesn’t.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 01-Aug-20 14:59:39

But I am seriously now thinking of Leaving him is something ...but I sort of know hey he’s stopped because the drugs are so bl****y awful as YNK says.

The drugs are awful. But the way he treats you when not on the drugs are awful. If he wanted to stop taking the drugs he had a responsibility to tell you before he did so so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you would be safer to not be with him. Or to stay together but ensure you have an exit. He chose not to. He chose to lie. To prevent you from protecting yourself.

I couldn’t forgive this.

vikingwife Sat 01-Aug-20 15:08:32

If the medication is so awful then he needs a medication adjustment. The side effects should not outweigh the benefits & no mental health medication should make you feel truly “awful” - you should feel they benefit you.

Yes side effects to be expected, but I take exception to the suggestion that the side effects are shocking, unless you’re not on the right combination.

Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 15:15:38

He’s on olanzapine, Viking wife...I used to work for company that made it and know side effects are a problem. He developed type II Diabetes for instance that is well known side effect as well as weight gain. Since weight loss he’s reversed that. Honestly, the effects are grim

I agree though that having embarked on his “experiment” we can now see what’s side effects vs benefits and go back to psychiatrist with that information to try a different approach...

But I feel so hurt..not sure I want to go through all that...and more experimenting. Not even sure how to tell him I know or get him to contact psychiatrist

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LizzieBennett70 Sat 01-Aug-20 15:22:18

It sounds exhausting, OP.

I'm not sure it's something I could keep putting myself through.

vikingwife Sat 01-Aug-20 15:31:56

thanks for confirming

you said he takes an antidepressant too but focusing on the antipsychotic - there are so many different types of medication to trial within the antipsychotic family of drugs.

There is no reason why he must stay on olanzipine specifically. Why is he on this specifically? If my meds gave me type 2 diabetes I would look to change them & surprised a psychiatrist is ok with keeping him on it without considering other options, if his side effects are so severe.

The side effects should not outweigh the benefits. You’re meant to feel better on them, not worse. The side effects should be annoying, not make your life worse.

Eg I sweat during my sleep now , I will pour with sweat in the night. It’s quite annoying, I have had to lay a towel down to sleep. That’s not enough to make me stop talking my medication. It’s physical, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

A lot of people are on antipsychotics & not everyone has type 2 diabetes! Does his psych know about the diabetes?

I would be advocating for him to have a med change, he may be more inclined to stay on them if he find something that suits him better.

I had to trial 2 different meds before I found my current combination . Am lucky, a lot of people have to trial many more combinations before they find what suits

Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 16:00:56

Viking wife...yes psychiatrist knows...he also warned before DH got it but not that it could be avoided. We’ve asked in past about switching, mainly due to the meds leaving him spaced out and vacant...told that olanzapine better than most and safer 😲.done a lot of playing with doses to optimise balance between side effects and benefits.

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Zyprexahelp Sat 01-Aug-20 16:05:02

care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/5/1597

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vikingwife Sat 01-Aug-20 16:09:53

I would seek 2nd opinion, no one drug is “better” than most. They are different. Sure there are trendy meds, but it doesn’t mean they will work for you.

Iooselipssinkships Sat 01-Aug-20 17:41:39

Antipsychotics haven't moved on much in modern times and they are dreadful to take. I've been on many different ones and I can understand why he doesn't like them. It's a rock and a hard place for your husband - but it should not be for you OP. You do what you need to do to be happy, safe and loved. Put yourself and your needs first now.

FizzyGreenWater Sat 01-Aug-20 17:47:37

There are two different conversations here.

Right now - I would tell him that I know he has stopped taking his medication, not even recently but a long time ago - and has thus broken the terms of your agreement as well as lying to you comprehensively for a long time (weight loss etc.) Therefore, you have to leave him. And do so. Move out temporarily and start making plans to split.

Hopefully, the shock of that will enable him to either talk to you as he is now OR go back on the meds to allow him to talk to you, honestly and openly and WITHOUT aggression - on the other question, of what these meds cost him and whether he can bear to stay on them, whether he should seek different/new treatment and whether you can support him through that and if so what a new 'agreement' should look like.

What you cannot do is reduce this to a whinge about not getting on and a niggle about oooh you should really take your meds. You have given up a huge amount to pledge your support to him as a fundamental cornerstone of getting your joint relationship to work. He cannot disrespect that - it has to be an absolute red line. Or you are stuffed, and more than that, you've wasted your life with someone who wasn't worth it.

Tell him you know and that you won't stay on these terms.

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