1. partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by kerrera13 at Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:13 pm

    Just want to introduce myself. I'll give a brief outline. There is so much that has happened. I know everyone thinks there position is unique, but I'm desperately hoping that there are people who have had similar situations (acute psychosis in later age with the `carer' at the centre of the psychosis)

    My particular problem is that my partner had an acute psychosis about 6 months back, she
    thought I was bugging and drugging her (and worse which I won't go into...), and although things aren't quite so bad 6 months on, they are still pretty bad. I actually think there were signs over the last few years as there has been a steady deterioration in her respect and trust for me - with several key events. There are also other uncanny events but I don't want to go into them.

    She was detained for a few weeks. It was truly awful the events leading up to it, and in the end on that final day I had to call the police. A terrible seen of restraint took place witnessed by my teenage son. She has never forgiven me for what she saw as a deliberately manipulated situation resulting in police action. I did it solely because (and I needed advice from others to realise and accept it), I knew treatment was needed sooner rather than later. BY that time, she had moved out to go and stay at a hotel taking all her valuables and papers.

    WHen she came out, she wanted to me to move out. I said I'd give her space for a 2-3 weeks (and then I moved back. She has regained a lot of functionality (on relatively low dose drug), has restarted her part-time work, does many daily duties, has had a holiday away, goes out to see friends etc. This bit is great. At times though she is clearly unhappy (I'd say depressed) and I have no idea how see feels - she does feel as if things will never get better and that her life is over as she knows it. I've bent over double in helping out with daily duties, saying I'm more than happy to do most of the them, and she should not feel bad about not being able to her usual share as much. Her job is to do what she needs to get better, I want her to know I'm there for her. BUT, I still feel I'm viewed as a criminal who is to never to be trusted. If anything my being nice is perhaps seen as the act of someone who knows he has been guilty and is trying to worm his way back into her good books. It is awful. Occasionally we have gone out for a few hours, walks etc. and had a good time (by her own admission). I'm always offering her such things, but most of the time she gives me a flat NO and keeps to her friends.

    She has (since detention) denied me any disclosure about herself, but has allowed me since one visit with her and a senior therapist. I'm about to see this therapist with my partner for a second time very soon, but don't know what to say or ask for (I want the consultation to be as useful as possible in giving me a chance for my wife to recognise I can help her and want to help her). I know that there is no point (yet) in trying to bring up the events that have happened - she doesn't want it (stated clearly), and from what I understand, she won't appreciate.

    In the earlier days of this, I had quite a bit of advice from friends/relation who r in the mental health profession, so I was lucky. I learned not to confront her with her delusions, but just say that I know she feels this but I don't go along with any of it.

    I know all about local carers organisations (had to find them all myself - no one in the health professionals offered me anything - I don't know why they don't hand out leaflets with addresses to immediate relatives who are there at the time of sectioning - it would help a lot in that trauma of the occasion of detention - this I think is a big failing in the MH services that could easily be fixed), and go to the odd meetings with one in my locality. Most people there seem to be family of people with schizophrenia (usually long-term and shich started in the 20s to 30s) - my situation does feel v different from that

    I've found a dearth of advice on how to handle the specific day-to-day problems (in my case communicating with someone who distrusts me). I'm a reasonably intelligent with some knowledge of such things (interest and work), and I know how to ask for things, but it's been so difficult finding help, and boy is this a new ball game. It's very distressing and very lonely.

    Anyway, what I'd like to learn more about is practical ways of best communicating with someone with a psychosis. No-one in the therapy end of things has given me any advice. I argued with the various professionals that confidentiality did not mean that they could not give me this sort of general advice (I understood and accepted the restrictions of confidentiality but quoted sections from the confidentiality literature that said that even when confidentiality is requested there are still things they can communicate - like the `how to respond to someone who has bizarre beliefs or delusions....'). I put in a complaint about this, and it was accepted, but it's made little practical differences.

    That's where I am now.

    I'll follow the group as soon as I get time, but if there is anyone out there with `acute later age psychotic partner where they (the carer) is the centre of all evil' do let me know.

    Cheers

  2. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by suejane at Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:56 pm

    Hi there. I have no knowledge of this except a daughter who suffered depression , but i just wonder where your son is in all of this? How might he be feeling and do you have any support for him? I realise this is a desperate situation for you and i hope someone here could offer advice. Best wishes x

  3. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by jaye2080 at Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:49 pm

    Hi Kerrera,
    I'm so very sorry to hear of what you are going through.
    Your story has stirred up some very uncomfortable memories of my own, as my husband became ill when he was about 56. Although in his case he went on to develope nocturnal epilepsy so eventually i did manage to get some help with medication.

    Looking back, I do believe that the biggest mistake i made was to 'protect' my husband from the worst of his condition. When we did get to see a doctor I would tell about a lot of the things going wrong, but I also kept a lot back. Whether this was for my husbands sake or because i was worried about what would happen to me when we got home.....a bit of both I think. Possibly I was also feeling too ashamed and embarrassed to tell the whole truth.

    I didn't became my husbands target, that position was given to some poor innocent chap who lived up the village, but i do realise that that could all change in an instant.

    I do remember that the years before my husband was put onto the right medication was the darkest, most traumatic period of my life. I have never ever felt so lonely, trapped, frightened and useless in all my life.
    One thing is certain, I have told all the doctors nurses and any social workers who come into our lives that if my husband gets bad again I will not deal with it, I am over 60 and my husband is now 70. I cannot go through that again, not ever.


    As to your question on how to communicate, this is something I also found very difficult.
    At his worst delusional state, my husband truly believed all the stories he was telling, so how could I tell him rationally that it was not so? When i tried I got verbal abuse back, he said I didn't care about him, i didn't support him etc.
    Eventually I learned to just switch off. I let my husband ramble on but never allow myself to be drawn into his stories.
    At the end of the day I am just a little old lady trying to deal with a situation that i don't understand, one that I was not prepared for (could anybody be) and I have no medical training and no one to turn to for help. I have come to the conclusion that the best thing i can do for both myself and my husband is to distance myself and try to stay sane enough for both of us.

    I wish you well Kerrera, my heart goes out to you.

  4. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by kerrera13 at Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the replies
    Suejane, your wondering about my son. I got him to see a counsellor for a session. The experience was horrifying for him, but throughout the whole time, my wife maintained her role as a mother (great mother) with him, and didn't involve him at all. Somehow she kept all her `madness' for me and the people she imagined I was recruiting. She was able to take him out for his birthday during her detention (when allowed out for spells), and within just 6 weeks was able to take him on a holiday we'd booked.
    During the last few years, I felt as if she had growing - what I called to myself and my best friend who I confided in - a `special madness' for me. I didn't really think it was clinical, but now I think it was the slow run up to it. There were even signs 20 years back about events she thinks happened but which didn't (but which I couldn't prove hadn't happened) - and most weird of all, there is a very weird event on her family side (a long time back) that...I'll say no more about it.

    So, I think my son is OK overall (he's an adolescent so it's hard to tell!), scoring well in his school assessments - liked by all his teachers. He doesn't want to talk about it tho' with me (or his mum it seems), as he's very loyal.

    Jaye2080 when you say...

    At his worst delusional state, my husband truly believed all the stories he was telling, so how could I tell him rationally that it was not so?

    ..that's exactly it. I am learning (but want a lot more help) about how not to confront nor to concede. I was given advice by professionals who are friends or friends of friends, but I'm hoping that I might learn something at the meeting next week with the therapist and the two of us.

    I'm going to ask at the meeting just some simple question, nothing about the past. I'm going to ask how is she feeling about things, remind her that the reason I am here is to help, ask the therapist for advice.

    I can't really ignore the situation as it's ever present, I want to help so much (I guess some of it's selfish - I don't want to be on my own).

    See u later

  5. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by valley at Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:32 pm

    Hi I know how you feel .i have a son who has suffered like this for almost 14 years.
    He has beeen sectioned on numerous occasions.I am always his target when he is not well and accuses me of unspeakable things.I find it very hard to handle when this happens and get really upset.My husband can easily ignore a lot of it and I envy him being able to do this .However it does cause us to quarrel as we don`t agree how to handle things.My husband can get him to calm down when he gets frustrated and angry .If I try i get worse abuse.It took years to get a diagnosis of schizophrenia.I now try and enjoy the times when he is relatively well and loving towards me because i know it never lasts long.
    The thing that keeps me going is the thought that however hard it is for me to put up with it has to be far worse for him suffering as he does knowing that there is no cure for his condition only treatment.

  6. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by jaye2080 at Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:33 pm

    hi Kerrera,

    I hope i haven't confused the issue when i say i have distanced myself from my husband. I'm not ignoring my husband, far from it, but these days I've found that the calmer i can stay the calmer my husband is. It was very hard for me not to get sucked into my husbands behaviour, life was frantic, frenzied and highly volatile. I had to do something or we would both have gone down. I found out the hard way that I have to protect me too. Somedays it's like trying to tiptoe barefoot through a field full of broken glass - one false move and i get torn to mental shreds

    In the beginning, because of his age, my husband was given test after test for dementia, our then GP was less than helpful to say the least (we've since changed doctor) so I was left to cope with it all myself. I had to become strong, I was devious, underhand, went behind his back and told downright lies but only to get the little help that we have now. In his better moments my husband has actually thanked me for doing this, but in his bad moments it all gets raked up again and he distrusts me.


    The hardest thing of all is to realise our own limitations, however much we care we can't make it better, we don't have a miracle cure. All we can do is to be there.

  7. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by kerrera13 at Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:23 am

    Thanks jaye2080 and and valley. Tomorrow is an important day as I get to see her consultant therapist (not even sure what her post is exactly - that's how little I am told) - 2nd time I've seen her in the 6 months of my illness. It seems eveyone's situation I hear about (e.g. on this discussion boead) is a different sort of hell. Mine is being the only person in my wife's life who is the problem (after her initial acute attack when she suspected many). It feels as if everyone is rehabilitated except me.

    BUT, but, tow days ago, we went out for a nice walk together, and yesterday she asked me for help with her computer and asked me in a way which was her old self - her expression, smiling - and computers was one of the things she suspected me of controlling/bugging/fiddling! This felt good I have to say.

    Must go now as I have to think about the question I want to ask the therapist and do some paid work

  8. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by Paul H at Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:51 pm

    Hello Kerrera

    I thought that you might be interested in this website

    http://www.mentalhealthcare.org.uk

    Its all about psychosis and designed for carers. There is lots of information on the site including many videos to watch.

    I hope this is some help for you. You are not alone.

    Best wishes
    Paul

  9. Re: partner with acute psychosis in mid-age and me as target!

    Posted by kerrera13 at Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:37 pm

    Thanks. MOst of the info I see is about Schizophrenia, but this covers psychosis in general so is useful.
    Just had a rare talk with my wife (about the situation - try not to as she doesn't like to be confronted by it) and she still holds the same beliefs pretty well.
    I have to presume that it easier for her to believe that all these strange things did really happen as it doesn't mean she is mad (she uses the word mad). Plus of course it feels so real to her.
    Had only my 2nd meeting with the health professionals in 8 months since it started and came out with few answers about my expressed-for hopes.
    Met some other people at a support group which helped more than I thought, very different situation, but more similarities in experiences that you'd expect.
    Well, my partner is away on holiday soon (yes, she functions well in most other areas of life for which I am glad tho it feels so UNFAIR!)
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