Rebuilding relationship after psychosis

Cazcat

Cazcat

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#1
Hi, my head is all over the place tonight.

My partner has recently been very unwell with an acute episode of psychosis. This was a very traumatic time for both of us and resulted in us separating. He is now getting the help and support he needs from cmht and I am getting support from my gp and a councillor. We are working on rebuilding our relationship at the moment. I love him and I love spending time with him, the problem is I am still struggling to deal with some of the things that happened when he was unwell. He doesn't remember a lot of what happened, but unfortunately I do

I met with his CPN for the first time this week and he wants to do some joint work with the 2 of us mapping the events and behaviours leading up to him becoming unwell. I've been going over and over things that happened trying to remember anything that might help with this. The result is I am feeling very anxious now. I so want him to get better and for our relationship to heal. I'm scared that things might never go back to normal and that he will get unwell again and I'm scared if I can cope if that is the case. I know no one can predict what will happen in the future, I just wish I had some certainty. I know that things can be managed very successfully, I just want my partner back.
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

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#2
oh my goodness ,you are just such a good person and you sound like a wonderful GF x he is so lucky to have you
x
I know it will be hard going over the bad memories ,but I think its important you both do this together ,with the help of the CPN ,I think ,I hope if you do ,you will both be able to put what happened behind you and move on
x
I know its a scary thought ,he might get unwell again ,so maybe you could talk to him and the CPN about what could be put in place IF this should happen? so you are all ready if the worst happened
hopefully it wont and I think its wonderful you want to work this out ,I wish you both luck xx
 
schizolanza

schizolanza

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#3
Hi Cazcat.
I think you have to be really careful about not expecting too much because psychosis can be life changing.You say you want your partner back to normal,which is understandable.But you may have to accept that your relationship will never be exactly the same again.
I was sectioned 7 years ago because of psychosis and eventually diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.I've been taking medication ever since.I've been with my partner since 1996 and we have 2 kids.
Our lives have changed a lot since I've been unwell.Our relationship has changed.I've noticed that she treats me differently and she will tell you that I have changed.For years I would hear "when am i going to get the old Scott back"?Eventually we both realised it just wasn't going to happen.The old Scott is gone and the new Scott is here to stay.
our relationship is good and we love each other but in a way I have become like one of her children instead of a partner.I can't work anymore.They wont let me drive.I rarely leave the house and when I do,not on my own.My personality has changed.Because of the meds my sex life is non existent.
But your partner has had just one episode of psychosis?Its difficult to offer many comments because you didnt say what happened.You can pm me if you want to and I might be able to help.
I really do hopethat you both will be ok.
My experience of CPNs is that they're not much help.Hopefully your experience qill be different.Has your partner been seen by a psychiatrist? Is he on any medication?Was he admitted to hospital?Does he have any insight into what might have caused the psychosis?Any street drug use?Stress? Money problems?
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#4
Hi, thanks for your responses. The CPN is looking at identifying a plan for staying well which is why he wants my input on exploring what led up to this episode. I do realise that things may never be quite the same, it is scary not having any idea if and when he might get unwell again. I love him and I want things to work between us,i just really hope we can have a future we can both be happy with.

Scott I will PM you if I can work out how to do that, thanks.
 
E

Enilerac

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#5
Hi. I tried to message you (could only send a friend request) as have been through something very similar. I just wanted to know how things are now? My HB had a psychotic episode and I’ve just started to step back from his care as want to resume a wife rather than carer role. I think this is the only way it will work 😕
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#6
Hi. I tried to message you (could only send a friend request) as have been through something very similar. I just wanted to know how things are now? My HB had a psychotic episode and I’ve just started to step back from his care as want to resume a wife rather than carer role. I think this is the only way it will work ��
I'm just off to bed, not ignoring you. I will reply tomorrow after work. Don't worry things can get easier again.
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#7
Hi. I tried to message you (could only send a friend request) as have been through something very similar. I just wanted to know how things are now? My HB had a psychotic episode and I’ve just started to step back from his care as want to resume a wife rather than carer role. I think this is the only way it will work ��
Hi Enilerac,

Sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through this. The partner I wrote this post about is now my husband. It's not been an easy journey so far and I'm sure that the future holds many more challenges for us, but I can honestly say that our relationship is the best it's ever been right now.

The episode that led to my husband's diagnosis with psychosis and involvement with mental health services is the most unwell he's ever been. It completely turned our lives upside down, but looking back he had been unwell to some degree for the previous 10 years, certainly all the time I had known him. The support from mental health services and the medication meant that things started to get better than they had ever been. I now get all the good bits of my husband that I fell in love with and a lot less of the more challenging aspects. We are lucky that with medication and support my husband has had long periods of stability. He has had one relapse about 18 months ago when his psychiatrist stopped his antipsychotic. It was a bad one and left me with PTSD, it's taken me a long time to recover from that, but we have got through it and coming out the other side we have again got to a point where life and our relationship are in a really good place again.

We have had a lot of help to rebuild our relationship after both of these episodes and it has taken time. I think it seems to take about 2 years for my husband to recover from a psychotic episode. I don't mean that his psychotic symptoms have lasted this long each time those have settled after a few weeks/months. But the time it takes him to recover emotionally and rebuild his life after an episode.

We are lucky that my husband has an incredibly supportive early intervention team who have done a lot of joint work with us around rebuilding our relationship after both episodes. I have an allocated family liaison CPN from his team who supports me, I also see a councellor through my employer. After the most recent episode his mental health team got us family therapy with their psychologist. That was incredibly helpful for both of us in understanding the others perspectives and learning how to cope with the difficult events we had been through together. When I was ill with PTSD my husband found it really hard to cope with and his team supported us both through this time. They helped us improve our communication and helped my husband learn how to care for me. This has resulted in our relationship being much more equal.

It's taken a long time for me to accept that I am a carer as well as a wife, but there have been times when my caring role has taken over my life without me even realising. I now know that in order to be able to support my husband I need to take good care of myself. His mental health team have been hugely instrumental in helping me realise this. I now ensure that I make time to do things that keep me well. I go to the gym, I meditate, I do craft activities and evening classes. These things help to keep me well and I am learning to prioritise these things over caring for my husband. I have also learned that he is able to support me too and that I can ask him for help and support. And I have learned to say no, when things are getting too much.
 
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Enilerac

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#8
Hi. Thanks for replying! It sounds like you have had an incredible amount of support from services. I’m glad things have got better for you. I think we’re coming out the other side too and it is such a great relief to be able to look upon it rather than being in the middle of it! Sadly my hub has not had any therapy and the services were pretty shocking our end. But I have had a lot of therapy privately and through work. I, like you, have had to learn to prioritise my own needs and ask for help. The main struggle I find now is how to manage arguments without the hysteria often provoked by raised voices. Probably a PTS reaction from us both following the very scary moments we experienced during the psychosis. The only thing that helped was an enduring agreement that we both want and need calm and to maintain it. Family therapy sounds great!! Good luck to you both!
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#9
I don't think my husband has had any therapy per se other than the family therapy either. His CPN sees him most weeks for an hour or 2 which he finds really helpful.

Conflict and arguments are always stressful and I can see how they could be triggering from a PTS perspective. Something I found hugely reduced conflict for us was learning about NLP (Neuro linguistic programming) I also saw an NLP therapist privately for IEMT (integrated eye movement therapy) for my PTSD which was incredibly helpful I would highly recommend it.