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Mid-life psychosis

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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Morganmaryn HB User
Question Mid-life psychosis

My husband of several years began showing signs of paranoia six weeks or so. As the days passed he became increasingly delusional, believing himself to be "watched" by the government for the purpose of arresting him. I was quickly incorporated into the delusion - he thinks I am assisting them in this surveillance and also believes I am cheating on him with the "agents".
He is 47, has no history of mental illness apart from depression, and is a relatively healthy man. He doesn't use drugs, and drinks only socially. Until recently our life was normal and healthy however, we have been under a fair degree of stress as I just finished law school and sat for the state Bar exam in late July. This coincidentally (?) marked the onset of his psychosis. He is currently in the psychiatric ward for the second time in as many months. After the first hospitalization he was released with no diagnosis, no medications, and had not completely restabilized as I saw several signs that he still believed his delusion - little things such as always keeping our doors locked, unplugging the computer and wireless devices, etc.
He is having an MRI tomorrow to screen for organic causes. Since he has a history of depression I suspect this could be psychotic depression, however I am no doctor! The delusions and paranoia have rendered him completely unable to do anything but focus on his fears, and "investigate" his beliefs. He has lost his job and cannot do simple things as his ability to process information is severely impaired.
I am concerned that he will have to continue to suffer, and that the life we knew and loved is not to return...I am absolutely terrified!

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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Re: Mid-life psychosis

Is he taking any medications, ie HBP meds or statins?

Old 09-19-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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Morganmaryn HB User
Re: Mid-life psychosis

"Is he taking any medications, ie HBP meds or statins?" -- Yes - he was taking about six medications that his cardiologist put him on in May...which I was a little suspicious about from the beginning as it seems like an awful lot of medications for a person to suddenly be expected to take all at once.
This past week while in the hospital they put him on Zyprexa (anti-psychotic) which then lowered his heart rate to about 30 bpm and resulted in his transfer to the cardiac unit. Once there the original prescribing cardiologist took him off of several of the medications mentioned above, and (gasp!) lo and behold his symptoms abated!

Prior to this experience I had a high estimation of our local psychiatric ward. However I must say that their decisions, as well as their treatment of me both during this hospitalization and the prior one has been less than fantastic (or compassionate) which is sad considering the fact that we are placing all of our faith in their ability to help him. Also, it would be nice if they considered that this type of issue affects everyone in the household - not solely the person suffering with the psychosis. I am grateful that they are treating him with a modicum of kindness, however their judgment seems a little off in my opinion.

Old 09-19-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Mid-life psychosis

I'm very curious as to the meds the cardiologist had him on. I've read reports of persons having Global Transient Amnesia and other personality changes/issues from being on statin therapy for high cholesterol. Was he on these meds and what was the dosage? Hopefully he is not still taking them.

Last edited by rudiraven; 09-19-2011 at 12:00 PM.

Old 01-30-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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dexer HB User
Re: Mid-life psychosis

Hi Morganmaryn, Your situation is the first time I've come across someone in a similar situation to mine. Partner middle-aged acute psychosis. You will find in my situation that I wrote on healthboards a few years back as my wife began to behave a bit strange but not in a way that I recognised as being ill. Anway you can see my `case' at

If my pasted link does not work you can search for the topic:
Wife with acute psychosis in early 50s

THe part I identify with particularly (apart from acute psychosis in mid-age - which is, I'm told relatively rare) is the unhappiness with the help you have been given from the professionals. In my case, my wife insisted on non-disclosure of info to me (as she suspected me at the root of the problem). I understood about the guidelines on confidentiality (and that the staff can not disclose information specific to their patient), but I read the guidelines carefully and there is a lot they can tell. They can tell you a lot about, in general, your partner's condition, how it is being treated, what to expect, how you can help. In my case they would not, despite me quoting passages from the published confidentiality guidelines. I know how to ask for things, but I met a brick wall there, even after official complaints.

I have learned (fortunately I have some friends with professional knowledge and practical experience) how to respond to my wife when anything has come up. One has to tread a path between acknowledging your partner's beliefs but letting him know (gently) that that is not how u see things.

I'm sure all the other people's advice is well worth considering, though you may well not find a cause (in my wife's case she has taken a medication around the time things got much worse which is associated with inducing psychosis, but when I checked the dates, it had all started before). Finding a cause would be great, but you may well have to settle for finding how to manage things instead.

In the meantime, I try to carry on with my life. I'm lucky that my wife seems to be able to do everything else she was doing without major problems - back at her part-time work, household stuff, looking as caringly as ever after sons - just me he problem (which hurts), even taking a holiday.

But there are some tiny good signs the last few days. Small, but significant ones, too early to celebrate, but they were glimpses of old self.

Take care

Oh yeh, I wanted to emphasise, I feel there should be information particularly on the topic of how to communicate with people with psychoses. There are a lot support services and groups for carers but in my various attendance at meetings there seems to be a general ignorance about this - everyone handles their family member individually but without any supporting professional advice.

Last edited by dexer; 01-30-2012 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Additional statement

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delusions, mid-life psychosis, paranoia, psychosis

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