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Understanding needed....

J

jagza

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Hello new to this forum, but need some advice. My boyfriend, who was diagnosed with mild schizophrenia 8 years ago, but has shown no syptoms since, recently had a crises and has now been in a physicatric hosptial for nearly 2 weeks in an isolated room. We are in the middle of buying our first home together and as the signing date got closer, the more stressed he got. Needless to say we havent signed yet as the weekend before he had a car accident ( due to tiredness ) and is now contained. He is very angry with the nurses and doctors and keeps telling them that he needs to be released so he can sign for the house, they are also not letting him see me ( I have seen him once and with me he is calm ) even though he is asking. Its very distressing for all concerned. As this is the first time for me to experience anything like this, I was wondering if anyone has any advice... what are these crises ? How long do they last ? Whats the best way to deal with them ? Will he be able to keep his job ? How can we make sure he can "survive" on the outside ? Would it be best not to buy the house ( therefore not the stress ) ? Help please !
 
katya

katya

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you haven't had any replies yet; I just think it's difficult for any of us to answer the questions you're asking. I think the best thing you (both) could do right now is to try to put those questions out of your mind. I know they're really important questions and they're obviously going to affect your life, but I think your husband needs a bit of a sanctuary, time out type of thing at the moment. I'd put everything on hold and just focus on your husband's (and your) well-being until you're both okay enough to handle all of that massively stressful stuff like buying houses. Hope you're feeling well.
 
SarahD

SarahD

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Hi jagza, sorry you are going through this.

As your boyfriend has in the past been diagnosed with mild schizophrenia but has had no problems since, it may be all the stress about house buying has triggered this crisis. It is impossible to know at this stage how things will go, but it could just settle down like before.

But here you are with the problem about the house, should you go ahead? I think it is too soon to tell. My instinct is that his illness is likely to be manageable if it has been up to now, but I am no expert and you really need to ask someone who knows. Is it possible to withdraw from the house buying for now? It could take a while to get your boyfriend stable again.

Sorry I don't have any certain answers. Do wish you well. Sarah x
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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Hi jagza,

Big hugs to you.

My experiences are not identical to your, but I do have experience of supporting my partner through a psychotic crises although he does not have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. My partners mental health team explained to me that there is a spectrum of severity with psychosis. Some people have frequent severe episodes, some have one episode and never experience another, most people sit somewhere between the 2. As you say your partner has gone a long time since he was last unwell which I would imagine is a good sign that a good recovery is possible.

It is really hard supporting someone you love through a crisis like this. When my partner was really ill he refused to see me as he believed that I had been hurting him and his family, but I'm not sure why they won't let you see him if thats what he wants. Do they give any explanations for this. Do you live together? If you have lived together for 6 months or more you may be legally considered his nearest relative which puts you in a similar position to next of kin and so long as he is in agreement fir you to be involved you should be kept informed about what is going on. I would say you need to make sure that the hospital staff understand this.

When my partner was very ill after discharge from hospital he was under the crisis management team and I spoke to them on a number of occasions although they were not able to give me detailed information as he was not consenting some staff spoke to me and gave me general advice though this varied from person to person. Once he moved on to another team to suppirt his recovery they were brilliant by this point he was happy for me to be involved and they treat us as one unit suppotrting us both, we each have a nurse alocated to support who work together and I have been involved in looking at picking up warning signs and developing early warning management plans.

My partner was very ill for the first 2 to3 months although he was only in hospital a few days he was able to start work again at about 6 months. We are now 18 months down the line and mostly he has been fine. He has just had a minor relapse which we caught early in response to as stressful situation at work and has gone back to work today after a week off sick. He is syill on meds but these are being reduced. Obviosly each person and situation is different so I couldn't tell you how long things will take gor your partner, its a case of taking it one day at a time at the moment.

With regards to the house I suspect there may be some problems wuth him signing a legal document whilst under section, it might be an idea to discuss this with your soicitor as I would think he would need to be deemed as of sound mind before he can sign it. I would advise the other party that your partner has become seriously ill ( you don't need to tell them what with) and ask for the signing date to be postponed until he is well enough. If they agree to this it will give you and him breathing space whilst he recovers and then for the 2 of you to be able to decide if going ahead is still the right thing to do.

With regards to his job, so long as he is on a permenant contract yes he should be able to keep his job. The hospital should be able to provide him with a sick note. His employer can not sack him on the grounds if his illness unless he is off ffor a very prolonged period and it seems unlikely for him to return but that is a long way off at the moment. When he was unwell befire he recovered and was able to hold his job down so theres no reson he can't return to this once he is better.

With reggards to how to handle it let him know that you love him and are there for him, accept him as he is right now and just be there for him as much as you are able. Don't always focus on the illness when you speak to himm talk about normal things, and when able to do normal stuff eg going for walks, to the cinema out for meals. Once he is well enough this sort of thing will be actively encouraged. When he leaves hospital he will have support from community mental health services and hopefully they will support you too. I have been very lucky with the support I have recieved.

Most importantly look after yourself, make time to do the things that you enjoy, if you are struggling to cope speak to uour GP who can help to support you too. You may find it useful to speak to your manager at work too and so you have some unstanding at work of the stress you are under. Also find out if they have a carers leave policy. Where I work I am entitked to up to 3 days a year carers leave after this I have to use annual leave.

Its tough but he can get through this and so can you.
 
J

jagza

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Apr 3, 2015
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Thank you all very much for your messages, its very reasuring to know its not just me going through this, also, to know there is hope. Its all very consuming at the moment, and its all I can think about, even though I have a full time job and 2 children ! We didnt live together before as his job is 2 hrs drive from my house, so he had a small studio during the week and then was here every weekend, hence the buying of the house so we could be half way between his work and mine. His job is very stressful and just before this happened he had a few deadlines that could not be reached and he was working at the weekend and at night and sleeping very little ( burnout has been mentioned by the doctors ) coupled with the stress of finding trademen for work on the new house and morgages loans etc etc its been a very busy couple of months for all concerned.

His mother and I take turns in phoning the hospital and then keeping eachother up to date, he was feeling beter, to the point that the dr gave him permisson to sign for the house, then bam, he just flipped, was very angry, shouting at the nurses, etc during his "ok" time before, I spent an hour with him, and while he was not "himself" he was very calm with me saying he couldnt wait to get going with the house and our new lives together.... something that he dr says he keeps repeating even now, and the only time he is calm is when he is speaking about his relationship with me, the children or talking about the house.

You have reasured me that is can get better, and to be honest, I dont care about the house, I would just love him "back" I have of course, had a few "wobbles" as to whether I feel I can cope with this as I am quite a strong woman, and feel I cant always be looking for the signs of stress or walking on eggshells, I just hope that with a loving family ( me and his own ) we can give him some normality in life, but as I said, this maybe a simplistic veiw as I have no idea of mental health, so therefore cannot totally understand what is going on in his head.

Thank you so much, once again for your positive replies and your hugs x
 
*autumn*

*autumn*

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Hi jagza

and :welcome: to the forum.

I agree with what members have written, and do feel time is the best healer.

With love,
autumnal
 
katya

katya

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His mother and I take turns in phoning the hospital and then keeping eachother up to date, he was feeling beter, to the point that the dr gave him permisson to sign for the house, then bam, he just flipped, was very angry, shouting at the nurses, etc during his "ok" time before, I spent an hour with him, and while he was not "himself" he was very calm with me saying he couldnt wait to get going with the house and our new lives together.... something that he dr says he keeps repeating even now, and the only time he is calm is when he is speaking about his relationship with me, the children or talking about the house.

You have reasured me that is can get better, and to be honest, I dont care about the house, I would just love him "back" I have of course, had a few "wobbles" as to whether I feel I can cope with this as I am quite a strong woman, and feel I cant always be looking for the signs of stress or walking on eggshells, I just hope that with a loving family ( me and his own ) we can give him some normality in life, but as I said, this maybe a simplistic veiw as I have no idea of mental health, so therefore cannot totally understand what is going on in his head.

Thank you so much, once again for your positive replies and your hugs x
I don't think anyone quite knows how to deal with things like this. You're completely right in that you shouldn't put up with walking on eggshells in your life, and you should be prepared to put yourself first if you're not happy - but, from what you've described, your husband seems to be a loving person, who cares a lot about you and his family and finding a house for you all - but it also sounds like he just can't handle the stress of it now, because of his mental illness. I think, from this, it sounds workable. I think it's just about recognising and understanding what may trigger him in the future - it might be change or worry or something - so he can have access to the help he needs ASAP and you can all move on relatively quickly and together as a family. I hope it works like that. You sound like a very loving wife and you're showing so much love by being so understanding about this. He'll hopefully come through this soon, you can move in when you feel ready and everything will fall into place.
 
J

jagza

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Thank jruth, I hope that we can too, I have been trawling the internet to be more informed for 2 weeks solid, but now its all just words infront of my eyes, with conflicting messages ! I assume that we will have a number to call, or follow up when he finally comes out, its just the fact his is in isolation that I find it hard to deal with, but I guess he needs to be there and that he needs to be alone. I wished I had joined this forum earlier ! For the first time in 2 weeks I feel there is hope xx
 
katya

katya

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Thank jruth, I hope that we can too, I have been trawling the internet to be more informed for 2 weeks solid, but now its all just words infront of my eyes, with conflicting messages ! I assume that we will have a number to call, or follow up when he finally comes out, its just the fact his is in isolation that I find it hard to deal with, but I guess he needs to be there and that he needs to be alone. I wished I had joined this forum earlier ! For the first time in 2 weeks I feel there is hope xx
I'm glad you're feeling a bit more positive. I imagine the hospital will give you a number to call and they'll be able to guide you as to how to monitor your husband so that he can have access to the treatment he needs when he needs it. Having said that, I think it's important to be aware that the signs of his schizophrenia may now be more evident in his life. It's different for different people, though. As long as you are, like you say, loving and supportive, and he's got his priorities straight in terms of you and your family, then things should be workable. I'd just listen to the doctors and try to take things slow. It's understandable that you'd feel upset that he's in isolation, but please remember, he's in good hands - he's where he needs to be. :hug1:
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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Hi jagza,

I do understand how stressful this is at the moment, its really a matter of taking things oneday at a time. Its positive that he was deemed well enough to sign the contract and also that he is still focused on you and our relationship. It will take time for him to recover but it is definately possible.

When my partner was very ill I asked myself a lot of very hard questions about what I wanted for my future and what level of support I could cope with giving long term. For a long time I was in limbo waiting and hoping for him to make a good recovery. Luckily he has done, we are getting married this summer and planning to start a family. His mental health care coordinator spent time with both of us identifying the events and changes in behaviour leading up to him becoming unwell. We now have a checklist of warning signs that we can refer to if we become concerned. He has an early intervention in psychosis team that supports both of us and will for up to 3 years and then if necessary a community mental health team will take over. His care coordinator is a psychiatric nurse who meets him most weeks and I have a family liason nurse who I can call for support if I need it. They also run a friends and family support group. I would imagine that your partner would be offered similar support on discharge from hospital. Infact when my partner was first discharged the crisis team visited him daily until they were happy that he was stable.

I do find myself keeping an eye out for early signs of a relapse but it doesn't rule my life andon the occasions I have been worried I have contacted his care coordinator who has visited him the same day and intervened before things developed into him becoming really unwell. This most recent relapse has been mild, initially it really shook me and made me question the future again, but it has been mild and he is coping with it well.

A loving supportive family is definately a positive start to his recovery. My partners care coordinator and my partner himself have both said that having a supportive relationship has been key to his recovery being so positive.

This time is increadibly difficult as until you have time for him to recover it will be hard to see what the future holds. Make sure that you care for yourself and your own mental health, he will need you strong when he comes out of hospital. If you go under you won't be able to help him, so take care of yourself and don't feelbad if at any point you need to take some time off work sick due to stress. Explain what is happening to your GP and I'm sure that they will be ssupportive of you.

Another thing worth having in place is a back up plan for the kids is there a friend or family member who would be able to take them at short notice if you need them to particularly once your partner is out of hospital. Hopefully you will never need this but its reasuring to know you have this back up.

Lots of hugs to you
 
J

jagza

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Apr 3, 2015
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Cazcat thank you for your wonderful story, we live in France, so I am hoping the after care is as good as in the UK, so far I have found that they keep me up to date on any ( not much ! ) progress and his dr wants to have a meeting with myself and my partner when he is slighty more comfortable to talk about now and the future, so I have prepared a list of questions as I know when this meeting happens my mind will go blank !

I do have a back up plan for the kids as my parents live close and so does their dad ( who is also my best friend ! and is very understanding of the whole situation ) But as one is already a teenager and the other is not far, its been good as I have been able to explain a little of what is happening to them ( not everything though as I dont want them too scared )

I understand that now I need to keep myself safe and rested too, as I found myself this week nearly loosing it with a shop assistant who was taking too long, and thats not me at all, normally I am very laidback and calm, but I think tiredness just overcame me. I am trying to get it into my head that I cant do anything right now, but I can do something in the future, so I need to carry on with my life - work - children - social life as before.

Congratualtions on your forthcoming wedding ! I wish you all the best ! and I hope that one stage we will be there... we have talked about geting married, but now I feel, after this crises, that it would sent him into free fall so I cant see that happening anytime soon !

Thank you also for the hugs they are greatfully received !!

Take care
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Just reading this thread it must be very difficult for you, the problem is these crises always come at stressful times and add a bit on top. I think the advice to focus on his and your health for now and put everything else to one side is a good one, and it would be a good idea to try to keep things as stable and unchallenging as possible.

As for how long his episode will last, it depends. From what I've seen and read these things can be very variable, it could be anything from a week to several months, and that also depends on how well he responds to medication. Also, for a while after he comes back he will be more vulnerable, this period can last from three to six months while he processes the information.

Wishing you the best of luck and many hugs :hug:
 
J

jagza

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Thanks Kerome, wise advice, It seems I will need to look into cancelling the house, but am slightly worried that he will end up losing his deposit 10% of the house value which is a lot of money... and I am worried this may stress him even more..... seems very much like a no win situation :(
 
J

jagza

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From bad to worse....

Just a little up date, My partner is still in isolation, but is permitted to come out of his room for short times.

The biggest change is that now he is refusing that the Drs and nurses give myself and his mother any news, the medical team have said that they have to respect his decision, but for myself, its very hard to take. I feel I am losing him.

I know that in maybe a day or two, I will recieve a phone call from the hospital to take cigarettes in and possibly clean clothes, but part of me wants to refuse this request, as he wants to shut himself off from the outside world, then he has to put up with being totally shut off, not just "when it suits him"

Is this being harse on my part ? Is this a "normal" process on his part ? Is it part of his illness ? What should I do ?

Any help or advice will be very gratefully recieved !

Thank you in advance

Jagz
 
katya

katya

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Just a little up date, My partner is still in isolation, but is permitted to come out of his room for short times.

The biggest change is that now he is refusing that the Drs and nurses give myself and his mother any news, the medical team have said that they have to respect his decision, but for myself, its very hard to take. I feel I am losing him.

I know that in maybe a day or two, I will recieve a phone call from the hospital to take cigarettes in and possibly clean clothes, but part of me wants to refuse this request, as he wants to shut himself off from the outside world, then he has to put up with being totally shut off, not just "when it suits him"

Is this being harse on my part ? Is this a "normal" process on his part ? Is it part of his illness ? What should I do ?

Any help or advice will be very gratefully recieved !

Thank you in advance

Jagz
I don't think it would be a good idea for you now to shut him off from the outside world completely, purely because you don't know what's going through his mind right now and that might make him worse. It's completely understandable that you'd be upset by this decision, though, because all you want right now is answers; but remember, you don't want to lose him, so don't do something that might push him away because you're upset right now. That would be my advice. I'm so sorry you're not getting the answers you need.

:hug1:

It's really good that he's shown signs of being able to come out of isolation. That shows that this is beginning to get better.
 
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