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Schizophrenic husband

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by FreeSpirit20, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. FreeSpirit20

    FreeSpirit20 Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi, This is regarding a friend of mine. Her husband is a schizophrenic and they have been married for 30 years now, have two kids who are married and well settled in life. Its just that even after all these years, he has not improved, and she nearing 50 now, is finding it very tough to manage him, as she has her old parents to look after too.

    Now I have 2 questions. First I would like to know what options this lady has, and second, how prone are her kids to this disease ?
     
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  2. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    Since she has been married for 30 years, I assume she has a system in place is he goes into a psychotic phase.

    Is he on medication?
    Does he work?
    Does he interact with the outside world? Dies he have hobbies?
    Is he going through a psychotic phase right now?
    Does she have family support or a friends circle which can pitch in?

    If she lives in India she will probably have to work out a system where she has someone help care for her parents first. It is probably easier to find person to care for the elderly than one who understands the nuances of caring for someone with a psychotic disorder. Having said that, she should always take care of herself--she must put in as much time for herself as she does for everyone around her.

    Children inheriting the illness from one parent is a probability of about 10% It is a probability...there is a chance they may have other associated conditions instead of schizophrenia (anxiety). But more than inheriting any condition, chances are the children may have a issues relating to their childhood as they must have seen their parents struggle through the illness. Then again, they may have grown into really strong adults with a perspective about health and wellbeing that a lot of others don't have. I know of two very nice young women who had the sole care of their respective moms with schizophrenia. They are both married, have children and their experiences make them great partners, mothers and friends.
     
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  3. FreeSpirit20

    FreeSpirit20 Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi teacher,

    Thank you so much for your reply. Basically his behaviour can never be predicted, and right now he is on medication. He doesn't work, neither has many friends and hobbies.

    Even I have suggested to find a person to take care of her parents. I must admit that her kids have turned out to be very strong and great partners like you said, but they are just worried about their mom.

    She really doesn't take care of herself, I'll tell her to do it. She juggles between her husband, her parents and her kids and grandkid, and is tired most of the times.
     
  4. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    One way to handle her husband's needs is to bring others into their home. One young man I know likes music. So the parents arranged for a music teacher to come home and teach him ..and no the expectations of progress and achievement are not the same as it would be for others ..but for him the interaction is of geater worth than it would be for others. It also gave them a break of having to monitor him for that period. If there is some form of entertainment or creative art facility which can brought home for the husband, it will be great. But a caution-this person should be there for the interaction...he/she won't be able to manage the husband if there was any difficulty. So one family member should be around to be of help.

    It is very difficult for the primary caregiver to let go...1) they are so used to multitasking and feel that by the time they instruct someone else on all the nitty gritty details, they might as well do it. But then they crash! 2)They are afraid of the consequences-what if something happens to the parents (in this case) when I am not there? Try to help her see that it is impossible to control everything in our lives-especially with one person with severe mental illness.

    She doesn't have to relinquish complete control over the care of her parents...just in parts. In the meantime, help her find one outlet which doesn't involve her family-not even her children. She needs an outlet outside her current routine. Be it music or arts, once she gets a taste of "time for herself' she will be more amenable to allowing others to help. The first step of letting go is the hardest.
    Good luck
     

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