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Old 02-26-2011, 09:20 PM   #1
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My husband was commited with no prior issues

My story is a little long so please bear with me. Thank you in advance.
Before I start you need to know there is no history of mental illness. I started on Thursday Feb. 17th. We were packing to make a move to Virginia with a week in Georgia to visit a brother getting ready to deploy in 3 weeks. My fiancť (Marcos) started getting anxious and paranoid that we were never going to get out of there. I really didn't think too much of it just put out of my head and blamed it on stress. The next few hours it got worst he got more and more anxious and just keep asking if I was going with him and started thinking people were out to get him and were setting him up. We then moved as fast as we could to get out of Florida, thinking the faster we left the faster he would stop his nonsense and be my Marcos again once we got to Georgia. With everything done we headed out, Marcos and his brother left an hour ahead of our family riding their bikes, along the way he got worse. He got to the point where he tried to run his brother off the road 6 times so he could lose the people who were "following him". When we finally arrived I calmed him down and we went to sleep. Saturday we woke up and he was my Marcos again until his nephew started crying. He became the same way he was but worse. I tried to talk him through whatever was going on and his brother told him to suck it up and knock it off and gave him things to keep him busy and that seemed to work for a while. I made a big family dinner and as we were all eating he kept whispering to me that everyone was talking about him and making back handed comments to insult him. None of that was true but it didn't matter he got worse, he started asking every five minutes if we were setting him up and if I was a cop ready to take him to jail (I am a waitress and full time law student). We didn't sleep and his episode continued and got worse. By this time I became really worried and scared for him, there was nothing I could do to help him. At 9 a.m. Sunday morning we had to call the ambulance and police because he started making threats to kill himself and punching himself in the face. After 10 hours in the hospital he was transported to a psychiatric hospital. He has now been there for almost a week on an involuntary hold with no way of knowing when he will come home. I have gone to the hospital everyday to be there for him, I call every opportunity to reassure him I am here and let him know I support him know matter what. My problem is I feel so isolated and helpless. We were supposed to stay with his brother for a week until we moved on but since Marcos is where he is I am not welcome in his family's home (His father has never liked me, he feels I took his son away). We only had $500.oo to get to Virginia and I have spent that on my hotel stay. I had to drive our children back to Florida, they don't need to see their father this way. With all of this going on his father starts to push me out of the way. I am a very strong women and can deal with that, what is eating me alive is that his father is telling Marcos that I am the cause of his mental issues and since he chose to love me that he put himself in there and he just needs to deal with it. After everything this man is dealing with he does not need his father putting that stress on him to. What kind of person would do that to his son. Anyway Marcos seemed to be making progress with the medication and therapy (with his follow plan in place he was going to be discharged on Monday) until Thursday when he had a fit of aggression and started punching doors. He has been on line of site since he got there (Has to be watched at all times and only gets 15 min visits twice a day) After his fit his visits were taken. My problem is we are each otherís rock, I am in a hotel in a city where I know no-one, we have never been apart for more than 24 hours. I believe this is affecting his recovery, since his visits were taken his mind is racing with worry about me, am I really still in Georgia, am I safe. He has now had 3 anxiety attacks since then. I could use some advice, my children need me and my husband to be well for them and I'm ready to have a mental breakdown myself. I don't have any one who understands, I'm not sure I understand everything that is going on yet myself. I don't have any support from anyone, they all think he'll be fine as soon as he is discharged. How do I support Marcos, he is the only person I have ever depended on. I have come to rely on this man for my sanity, this is a lifelong disease and I am doing everything I can to keep him stress free and help him anyway I can to encourage him and let him know we can work through this and I am proud of him for having the courage to do what he needs to do to be well. I have no-one who understands the situation for what it is. I am scared for him and for me. We always make desicions through talking it out, I'm there for him and he's there for me. He is the only person I can talk to who understands me and now I am in a hotel room alone with no knowledge of where we go from here. Will he be the Marcos I feel in love with? Will he resent me for having him committed to get help? will we ever be the same again? If they hold him longer than Monday or Tuesday what do I do, sleep in my car so I can give him the support he needs? Do I get our children and take them to Virginia and come back? Will he ever be the same person again? I am having a hard time, I have always been in control of my life, always had a backup plan, and always knew what needs to be done and just do it. I feel like I am in limbo. I don't know how to help him beyond being there and supporting him. Please if anyone can help, give me insight on what the future may hold for Marcos and his illness and anyways for me to cope with it all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for letting me ramble.

 
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: My husband was commited with no prior issues

Hi....I am sorry that you are going through such a rough time.

From what I know about psychiatric admissions, there is usually a 72 hour involuntary stay and once that is over IF the person insists on being discharged there is no way to hold them unless there is a court order to do so OR the person is convinced to stay.

If Marco signs a HIPA release form in which he allows you to have info regarding what is going on that would be the best way of being able to talk to his doctors or the professionals at the hospital regarding the diagnosis and treatment plan that they have come up with.

Hopefully, Marco will continue to remain inpatient until he is more stabilized and the aggression is more under control.

PLEASE do not rush to have him discharged until you KNOW that he is stablized unless you have some type of wraparound services in place such as an outpatient program and a good psychiatrist and therapist available to see consistently once he is ready to be discharged.

Are you planning to live in VA still?? If so, I would highly recommend that you get something in place there for your fiancee to followup with.

You can contact NAMI by going on line and looking for the area you will be moving to and calling to see what resources will be available to you.

Also....contact the nearest psychiatric facility and explain that he is going to be discharged and needs an outpatient program to followup on his treatment.

Perhaps the Social worker at the hospital he is presently in can further assist you in lining up whatever resources you will need in place in order to keep your fiancee stable.

I am sorry that the family isn't treating you so well but unless Marco tells the doctor at the hospital that he wants you to be privy to his treatment and overall medical care there isn't really much you can do.

So first thing I would advise is to get Marco to sign the release so that you can help make some important decisions regarding how to further proceed with this.

If he has allowed his family to step in then I don't see anything you can do and perhaps it would be best if you were to go to your kids letting Marco know that once he is more stable you will proceed with your plans.

I hope some of this helps.....please take care of yourself and hopefully some others here will have some more advice for you that I haven't been able to come up with.

~ Ivory

 
Old 02-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: My husband was commited with no prior issues

Thank you for the response, I'm a little out of it for a lack of sleep so I feel i need to clarify a few things...... I have talked to all of his treatment team and his social worker. We have a plan in place for when he is released in Va. They are recommending a 30 day inpatient program to continue his treament and to get him stabalized, but they are taking it day by day so his discharge keeps getting pushed back. In Ga they can hold you for up to two weeks without a court order and even then it is really easy for them to do. My question is how do you deal with this disease as a supporting partner? What can I expect? How often will he have these episodes? Will our children be safe? Thanks again.

 
Old 02-26-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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Re: My husband was commited with no prior issues

Thanks for the clarification......glad that they can hold him longer and that you are in the loop as far as his treatment plan.

You didn't say what your fiancee has. There are so many disorders but it sounds as if his symptoms were paranoid schizo type but also could fit in with some Bipolar.

I have a daughter that had a med induced hypomania when treated for depression. It was quite scary UNTIL we got down to the bottom of things and she was diagnosed and treated for the Bipolar.

How often the episodes occur depends on the diagnosis and how well the meds treat the symptoms.

With a chemical imbalance in the brain it isn't one med fixes all like a physical illness would warrant.

Since everybody's brain chemistry differs the meds need to be customized accordingly.

This can take some time and alot of patience on the part of the person who is ill as well as the family members.

So....there is no simple answer to your question.....time will tell and the best thing you could hope for is that Marcos is open to treatment and finds himself a good psychiatrist and therapist to help him get to a stable place.

How often an episode happens will depend on Marcos' committment to wanting to stay well, making whatever lifestyle changes he needs to in order to remain stable which includes a good sleep regimen, a good balanced diet which avoids caffeine and refined sugars, good exercise, avoiding stressful situations, taking meds as prescribed and consistently seeing a psychiatrist and therapist to develop good coping skills and ways of identifying triggers.

Meds will only do so much and that is why it is essential for Marcos to have a good therapist who will help him handle whatever residual behaviors exist after the meds have somewhat stabilized him.

Sounds like he was quite delusional and hopefully you will see improvement with that once the med kicks in.

Some meds take a month or two to really take effect so keep that in mind as well.

Your best bet to being a supportive partner in all of this is to gain as much insight and understanding to whatever his diagnosis is and more importantly lining up as much support for yourself so that you can take care of your own mental/emotional well being.

There are support groups available through N A M I one which I hear is quite helpful is called Family to Family which is a 12 week program where there are other family members dealing with similar issues as yourself when they have a loved one with a Mental Illness.

As far as your children's safety....I would recommend that you not leave them unattended with your fiancee and that you have some boundaries set IF Marcos is to live with you. Such as he MUST take his meds and consistently see his therapist and doctor and that if there is ever reason to fear for his or anyone elses safety that 911 will be called.

Boundaries are what you put in place for YOU, not him. And whatever you set as consequences if he is to cross such set boundaries you must follow through with.

I would suggest to keep on posting here or other places where you will find others who have been in your two shoes.

Nobody will understand other than somebody else who has experienced having a loved one with a MI and you won't find yourself feeling so alone either.

I hope this helps a little bit.

(((HUGS))) ~ Ivory

 
Old 02-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: My husband was commited with no prior issues

Yes, we would want to know the diagnosis the doctor's gave him. Also, can you please tell me how old Marco is? Sometimes understanding what preceded the onset of the illness can help figure out what the prognosis might be. Did he ever have any times when he seemed to not have much emotion or he seemed really flat?

Also, like ivory said, this episode doesn't necessarily mean he has schizophrenia. There are other disorders that can result in a psychotic episode, although what you have described sounds typical for paranoia. In fact some people are diagnosed with delusional disorder and are able to control it quite well. There are many possible long-term outcomes. What we do know is that a support system is one of the most important things for someone with a sever mental illness. Periods of high stress can wreak havoc on someone prone to psychosis.

Another thing to know is that medications available today are really quite effective at treating psychosis. Hopefully, he has a very good psychiatrist that is being proactive in trying to get this under control.

Also remember that just like in any other profession, there are some mental health professionals that are not good. If he does allow you to help him navigate his treatment, don't settle until you have a provider that he feels really comfortable with. Sometimes it is limited by the kind of health insurance people have, but there are very good and caring treatment providers out there.

 
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