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Hi! Advice for worried boyfriend whose partner has recently had a psychotic episode!

C

CUBLINGTON

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
5
Hi! Advice for worried boyfriend whose partner has recently had a psychotic episode!

:)

Hi all!

Not sure if this is in right place so posted elsewhere-pls feel free to move it if needed!

Ok...will try not to waffle (!) Other 1/2 (who lives here now-4 last 10 yrs- but is from France) had a psychotic breakdown mid-Jan this year-bought on by acute stress/anxiety relating to a work problem (it was something minor that she worried & worried about & increased the worry to an all-consuming panic/worry-eventually not sleeping properly for 7 days-then the breakdown). No family history of this & has not happened before ever. She does however have a VERY anxious personality (& is a born worrier-looks like she may have GAD).

This 'problem' in her mind went on for a week or so & I watched her become more & more introverted & disturbed due to lack of sleep. Her work colleagues started to notice this too. She kept saying 'I've lost it all' (despite her boss-she works at a College-telling her 100% this was NOT the case) & her brain was constantly turning over the same thought.

GP was a joke-he was writing a sick note before even asking her what was wrong & prescribed SLOW ACTING Prozac as a 'general' anti-anxiety pill (changed GP now)-had emergency doctor out & took her to hospital where nurse advised to 'keep an eye' on her & I might have to bring her back to see crisis team if no improvement'...Anyway....3am on a Sunday morning she starts trying to move all stuff from our top floor flat-convinced we were being 'evicted' at 7 the next day! Can laugh a bit now but frightening at the time.....called an ambulance (she was not happy about this) & the ambulance guys were BRILL -how they persuaded her in to the ambulance I'll never know (I wrote in expressing my thanks for this)...so after 6 hours in A & E (you can imagine it on a Sunday am in a city!)-Doctor saw her & said it was 'paranoid delusion' (she also thought they were taking her to jail & was too scared to leave bay & go to another room in case they were going to lock her up) & called the 'crisis' nurses (who were brill)-they talked to her-we got 2 x 2mg diazepam’s to calm her (I got her to take one before we left) & they arranged to come back at 5pm to see her. The diazepam gave her a 'high' for 45 mins or so then back to the delusions about going to prison, eviction, etc...

Crisis team came back & basically said (as she was refusing to take the diazepam) she either comes voluntarily to the Hospital or they would come the next day & it might involve police/social workers, etc in the sectioning process. Luckily she listened to me & came voluntarily but was sectioned that night when trying to leave the unit.

Anyway-I am waffling now! She came round after 9 days realizing 'what am I talking about re:prison, (she thought the hospital was a prison & all the staff/patients were actors?!?), etc...& after some afternoons out & home visits she was taken off the section 2-so she came through this really fast.

In hospital they had her on rispiredone-2mg in the morning & 2 at night & also 20mg Prozac a day. This continued when she came out except they gave her 1mg in am & 3 at night (taken 2hrs b4 bed to help her sleep) as the 2mg in the am was making her sleepy in the day. No other discernable side effects. She improved very well-so much so that the Occupation Health Docs gave her a 'graded' return to work (a few less hrs daily-she started back 3 wks ago) & she was able to have 3 nights in France with me to see her folks-who were obviously very worried.

All was going well until after her 1st wk & a 1/2 at work she suddenly had this 'prison' thought pop up in her head (COMPLETELY does not believe it at all-knows its irrational) -which so I'm told is bought on by increased stress (i.e. I'm guessing going back to work, etc). her being an obsess ional/born worrier type she 'worried' that she had this thought & it went downhill over a period of a week-to the stage where I had to come home from work 3 times as she was so panicked by having this thought & said' please take me back to hospital' etc.....

They increased risperidone to by a total of another 2mg-now 2mg in am & 4 at night-plus an extra Prozac (2omg) tablet. This was changed to 1mg in am (as it 'zombied her out' in the morning-her words!) & still 4 at night.

In the last 7-10 days or so the 'panic' & intensity of the thoughts has diminished somewhat-in fact she is now in France with family until next Saturday-but she more or less still has these thoughts (I guess part will be the illness & a big part will be her general obsessive nature) & it's really upsetting her that she can't get rid of the thought!

She does breathing exercises, etc -given to her by her psychiatric nurse-who's been BRILL (the team concentrates more on the psychological side & to help her in the future)-they do help a tiny bit but not that much.

What also does not help is that she has no friends/family nearby so when I'm at work she often spends long periods of time on her own which is not too good I guess.

The 'plan' is to move her on to olanzapine (a fairly low dose) & keep the 2 tablets of Prozac-apparently works together very well on the anxiety side of things?? This is due to start from the 21st April.

I also read from the web that olanzapine is good for OCD which she does not have in full (very messy house!) but she IS obsessive about everything!

Just wondered if you guys/gals had any opinions on the new course of treatment & also in the interim to help her tackle the thoughts? Has the increased rispiredone a way to go before it tackles the thoughts?

Anyway-thanks for listening!

I'm feeling really really guilty that I'm enjoying being on my own while she’s away but it's been the hardest 4 months of my life! Any input would be great!
 
D

Dollit

Guest
All anyone on this forum can do is actually tell you their experiences and how meds worked for them. This won't necessarily be the same as for your partner. Specific questions about her meds should be directed at her medics.

If you go to www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness this will give you information about a form of guided meditation that helps you to live within the moment. I've been practising it for a while and find it very beneficial.
 
Merlin

Merlin

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
Messages
73
Hi

Hi Cublington, I can fully sympathise with you, my daughter has recently suffered a severe episode, so I understand how, worried/frightened you both are. My son-in-law is beside himself with worry, but he's trying his hardest, like you... to get enough information to help/understand. Good luck to both of you.
 
C

CUBLINGTON

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
5
FAO Merlin!

Hi Merlin!

Just read all your posts-HANG IN THERE! I know the sectioning bit is horrible-seeing all the other (usually more ill & odder!) people at the unit & the noise etc, is not nice at all.

My oher 1/2 was under section i think for 12 days (fairly short) then afternoons out with me & home visits-so in hospital I supose for 3 weeks.

The good thing about the section is at least YOU KNOW she's being looked after & IS SAFE. She will come through this!

I don't like meds but my sisters best friend is an Mental Health nurse (without his help/advice during this I could not have coped!) & has said that the newer, atypical antipsychotics have few side effects (nothing at all for my gf!) & are very effective.

She;s lucky in that in my area (Huddersfield) they have a specialised 'insight/insite?' team who take over from the psychiatric nurses for home visits who concentrate on the pysychological approach-ie CBT, etc...

Anyway-LOOK AFTER YOURSELF-have a large G&T (!) & remember she's SAFE at the mo.

:)
 
C

CUBLINGTON

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
5
One & a bit years on.....strange but her psychotic episode has improved her life....(!)

:clap: Hi all......

Well all is OK now..my partner had a few more 'blips' of having this obsessional 'prison' word in her head but no psychosis & no more Hospital ! She was transferred from the Community mental health team to an early intervention team (who specialise in people under 35 who've had the 1st experience of psychosis) & her key worker has been FAB. He persuaded her to go to a local art group (who specialise in helping people recover from mental illness) & she went to an assertivness course (again a local charity that helps people who are recovering) & did some walks organised by her key worker. She did go back to work last April but was too anxious so was signed off sick again. She has however been back at work full time since September-not 1 day off ill(!)...her College have been great with her. With the support of both psychological counselling (CBT sessions) & a measured reduction in her olanzapine (up to 15mg in August when she was very upset/anxious) by 2.5 mg every say 6 weeks sshe's now completely med-free & more confident & less anxious/worried than ever before! I think she now realsies that the excess worrying was not a good thing (isn't hindsight great!)...also strangely the Doc took her OFF her 20mg prozac in August as he said in anxious people it can make them MORE anxious (??!) & within a few days she was much calmer....!

I had to leave my job but hey that's life! We've got enough money as she managed to get DLA. We have also moved from the noisy toewn centre to a house with great views, garden & it's QUIET! She still has visits from her key-worker & will continue with this probably until next year....

So a good news story! At/during all of this she thought she'd never get back to normal so if anyone is experiencing something similar please take heart!
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
So a good news story! At/during all of this she thought she'd never get back to normal so if anyone is experiencing something similar please take heart!
Great to hear that she is happily recovering drug free - shows it can be done. :)
 
C

CUBLINGTON

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
5
Hi Apotheosis..

Agree-don't like drugs....however when she was really psychotic at the start my personal feeling is that they were needed....also she had a 'blip' -fairly bad one with intrusive thoughts in August & her olanzapine was upped from 7.5 to 15mg temporarily-that worked really well & within 3 days she was nearly completely fine again...but allways the aim was to reduce.

For her I think coming off very gradually-i.e by 2.5mg reductions every 8 weeks or so....was the best way to go. It's more of a psychological thing as when she was on just 2.5mg a day (for 7 weeks or so) her key worker said that 2.5 does not really have any effect anyway....
 
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