how husband went insane

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by pigless in VA, May 24, 2012.

  1. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Hello cyber friends. I know I made an attempt to describe what happened to husband once before and life side-tracked me. I think I thought I was ready to talk about it and discovered that it was too painful. I'll give it another shot as I know sometimes reading the stories here helps people in ways that we can't imagine.

    husband was brilliant in math and science and worked for the state in a respected position. He did tell me that he had a history of mental illness and that he had been hospitalized 7 times. He had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, a diagnosis which he rejected. His explanation was that drugs and alcohol were responsible for his many hospitalizations. To his credit, he abstained from alcohol even to the bitter end.

    husband's official diagnosis was chronic depression. He tried pretty much every anti-depressant but they really didn't seem to help much. The last psychiatrist he used was a complete putz. Somehow husband convinced him that he needed concerta which he then abused. He would gobble it like candy and then run completely out with a resulting crash. Also, he was an insomniac and went through the rounds of various sleeping medications. (Gee, maybe the AD and concerta combo might be interfering with sleep.)

    The last year of his life, husband was experiencing chronic leg pain. Here's where I made an egregious error. He asked me if he could use marijuana to help alleviate the pain. I hated the idea for a variety of reasons, but I reluctantly agreed as long as he went out to the shed to smoke.

    I had lived with husband for 12 years and never seen him manic. Severely depressed, yes, often. He spent most of his time at home keeping the bed from levitating. Within a month or so of adding weed into the already poorly working medication mix, he started cycling. I mention the marijuana use, because it made husband SO much sicker. I was always one of the legalize marijuana proponents. Everyone I had ever seen use it was mellow, calm, and harmless. I considered it to be a better choice than alcohol after having seen so many bitter, angry drunks. Not so for husband. He became paranoid, delusional and suicidal.

    That summer I had planned to take the kids somewhere fun for a few days. husband wanted to stay at home to be left alone. The night before I was to leave, he threatened to kill himself while we were gone. I called the police. He willingly went to the psychiatric hospital. I took the kids away anyway and called often to check on him. When I brought him home, he seemed positive. I did note that everyone in the hospital seemed to like him which I thought was extremely odd. husband was an extreme introvert and for him to make a bunch of friends in a week's time seemed out of character.

    About a week later was the psychotic break. We were watching a movie which he did not seem to be able to follow. The woman in the movie was deliberately humiliating her husband publically, and husband got confused between me and what was happening in the movie. He thought I was the woman in the movie, and he was being humiliated. He locked the kids in the bedroom with him and told them I was "evil" and he had to keep them away from me. I managed to talk him into opening the door. I did not call the police that night, although, I now know I should have. Mental illness is confusing. I was terrified and befuddled and didn't really know what to do. The next day he went willingly with me to see his therapist.

    Again, no medication changes. (In summary, in the span of two weeks the man is suicidal and psychotic and we'll just keep those medications the same.)

    husband continued to spiral up or down depending upon your perspective. By Halloween night he had truly become weird. He was wearing a hat and sunglasses constantly and dancing everywhere. I had never even seen him dance before; he had always been serious, shy and stoic.

    The turning point for me was a simple trip to Radio Shack. husband was driving and got cut-off. He began tailgaitng a vehicle and then speeding down city streets, weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights. I begged him to slow down, easy child was in the car, and he said, "I am the best driver in the world. I can taste the road." We miraculously made it to Radio Shack without hitting anyone. I was shaking uncontrollably and holding easy child. One of the employees called the police. The responding officer did not believe husband was dangerous as he agreed to allow me to drive home.

    (taking a little break - will resume later)
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  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I am so sorry for all of you.
    I'm not a dr, but this sounds like bipolar, with-the psychosis that can go with-it.
    Wrong medications, for sure. I remember the other note you wrote, about how he was hospitalized and NONE of the medications were changed and I wanted the jump through my computer monitor and strangle that idiot dr.
    I don't know how you manage the rage at the doctors, and disappointment and loss of your husband.
    Many, many hugs.
    I'll check in to see when you write the follow-up note.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm listening...

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Listening here too.

    I'm wondering how accurate that schizo diagnosis was..............and it probably was..........but there is schizo effective (or something like that) which is schizo plus a bipolar type disorder combined that is really difficult to stabilize.

    I know this has got to be so hard.......especially to put it down here. I can't imagine your anger at the idiot docs. I dunno why they can't take the time to observe the behavior of their patients instead of being so darn quick with the script pad.

  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Me too..... You are right, this not only is a share, but many of us have loved ones with bipolar and other mental health conditions, you are not alone, and you let us know we are not alone.

    Take your time.....we are here.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so sorry pigless. Putting it in writing has to be hard. Take all the time you need. We will be here when you're ready.

    And yes, add me to the lynch mob against the idiot docs. Things like this infuriate the h*** out of me!!!!
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    I want to thank you for sharing this intimate story with us. I hope you find doing so brings you some comfort, peace, closure, clarity. Something. I've always found writing things out to be therapeutic.

    Take your time.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    (((Pigless))), my heart is broken for your family. I've thought of you, J & T often over the years. I remember your pinata adventure well. All of you (indluding your husband) deserve better.
  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    The residual anger I feel is not so much at the idiotic doctors - yes, mistakes were made by many people. Mostly, I feel it toward husband. He had opportunity after opportunity to make changes. He had years of therapy, good insurance, and a boss who helped him get disability during the worst of it. He had so many people who wanted him to succeed, but he insisted that he knew better than the doctors. I watched him manipulate the last doofy psychiatrist. I did try once to give husband an ultimatum to change psychiatrists and tdocs. I knew they were enabling him instead of helping. He refused. Remember I said husband was brilliant; that was his ultimate undoing. He absolutely could not trust anyone else including me to help him manage his illness. I'm not referring to when he was manic and psychotic. Even when he was thinking clearly he believed he knew more than the doctors.

    After the dangerous driving incident, I spent the whole week-end on the phone with county mental health attempting to convince a namby-pamby dude that my husband was ill enough to commit. husband kept calling the police for various infractions such as the phone ringing. Yes, you read that right, husband kept calling the police. I should have at least bought doughnuts as I think I met every cop in the county. In between cop calls, husband's behavior got weirder and weirder. He behaved quite well for the police and there was no violence or threats, just general nastiness. Finally, I decided I needed to take the kids and leave. I went to stay at my sister's house.

    Monday morning I called county mental health yet again as I was worried that husband now had car keys again. I was terrified of him driving and hurting someone. This time I got a lady who listened to me. She heard how my week-end had gone and asked, "Do you think that your husband needs to be in the hospital?" I told her "yes," and she agreed. I was so relieved. She met me at my house with a fresh batch of cops. She spoke to husband and within a matter of minutes had him unraveling to the point where all the cops went for their guns. (My kids were at school.) They forcibly committed him. I used my time to get temporary custody of the children and a protective order.

    He had another week-long stay with again no medication changes. Also of note is that husband's psychiatrist had no conversations with the doctors at the hospital. husband has an uncle who is a psychiatrist, and he made countless phone calls attempting to help husband. The doctors didn't listen to him until the last admission.

    When husband was released, he went to stay with his parents. He called to speak to me on Nov 19. We had a semi-coherent conversation. Apparently, husband interpreted one civil conversation as "please come home." He drove the hour and a half up to my house. On the way he had a hit-and-run where luckily no one was injured. Due to the accident, he stopped at a friend's house. She called me to warn me he was in the neighborhood with a rose on the front seat of the car. I wisely sent the kids to stay with friends. husband ended up going to the ER for pain in his leg. I telephoned the ER and attempted to have them do a psychiatric evaluation on him. Within an hour he was in front of my house. By this time it was dark outside. I was terrified; he was yelling at me from across the street. I turned off the lights so he couldn't see me and called 911. The operator told me, "put down the gun and go outside." I was so stressed that I didn't hear her properly. I was NOT going to go out where he was, but I couldn't see any officers. I told her I was afraid of husband and didn't want to go outside. She repeated very sternly that I need to put down the gun and go outside. It dawned on me then that husband had also called 911 and told them I had a gun. I did not. I clearly told the operator that I had no gun but I did have a protective order. I then went outside with the PO in my hand and my hands over my head where the police could see them. THEN, the cops descended on me like a swarm. They cuffed me and took me back inside. I was so relieved to see them that I didn't even care what they did. Within 5 minutes, they realized they had the wrong person in custody. husband spent the week-end in the pokey. His dad bailed him out.

    taking another typing break

    I did want to say to Nancy that Kris was right about my husband; she was one smart lady, and I miss her.
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  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think your story could wake some people up. I wish it could get national coverage without your having to go through any of it. It is quite powerful and sadly, I am sure many can relate in one form or another.

    Take a breath, here's a hug.
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I miss kris very much too, I was just thinking the other day about how much. She was a very smart lady.

    I'm so sorry for your pain and I'm still listening.

  12. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm listening too......((hugs))
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I remember you too, Pigless, and I've thought of you often. And I am so, so sorry for all you have been through. I can't even imagine ...
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OMG, how traumatic. I'm here.
    Many hugs.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ((HUGS)) Many in this world don't understand MH issues but this state has the lowest of ignorance in this area.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    {{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}} We've missed you.
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    (((hugs))) I'm so sorry that you had to live through all of that. I will listen as long as you need.

    I miss Kris too...
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What is so incredibly sad is that all of us saw this coming and none of us could do a damned thing to stop it. Perry, Im so sorry for all of this.
  19. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Hound dog, my husband fit so many descriptions that I find myself completely stumped as to what his true diagnosis should have been. When he was alive, I kept reading everything I could get my hands on that would help me deal with him. The only thing I now know for sure was that when he lost his mind, he was unreachable.

    Buddy, I'm not following how you think my story could help others. If I could help one other person survive, I would feel like I had accomplished something useful. I have considering writing the putzy psychiatrist who probably doesn't even know husband is gone. husband fired him and the therapist.
  20. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention that the last time husband saw the therapist he was full-blown psychotic. I went with him. By this time he was wearing the hat and sunglasses and dancing. I mistakenly thought that the therapist would help me hospitalize him. Another brick wall. husband fired both the therapist and the psychiatrist. And get this, psychiatrist has a policy that he WILL NOT take calls from spouses. I don't think either of them know what happened to husband, and I think it's my duty to inform them. I want it to be educational though, not some angry tirade from a surviving spouse. I want the two of them to understand that they were bleeping with people's lives and two of them were children.

    Also of note is that before father in law took husband to his house, I asked that he remove all the firearms. He used to hunt, and he has a whole cabinet full of weapons. He promised me he would.

    husband and I had a court date the day before Thanksgiving. This was to establish the protective order for a 2 year time period. Even though it was in the courthouse with bunches of deputies around I was terrified. I had to retell the horrible bad driving story and the whole bizarre story of his hit-and-run and violating the PO. The judge allowed me to stay at the table with my attorney which helped. I was so terrified that I just stared at the woodgrain on the judge's bench in order to focus my thoughts. I went first and then husband and his attorney tried to shock me with threats of divorce. His attorney attempted to make me out to be an angry, bitter spouse out for money. My attorney wisely let husband ramble and that's when it became evident what was really occurring. I happened to look up at the deputies when husband told them he walked the 3 miles back to his car after having his leg x-rayed. I could see that the deputies thought that was absurd, and I felt like the judge would, too. He did. And he handled husband in a compassionate and respectful manner. He asked many questions of husband and encouraged him to seek help. But he also validated my terror and granted me an extension on the protective order. We spent 2 hours in front of the judge; the hardest 2 hours of my life. That was the last time I saw husband.

    husband spent Thanksgiving with his parents and cousins. The report from one I received later is that husband at this point was wearing the hat, glasses and one glove and claiming to be as great as Michael Jackson. (Very weird considering that husband was not even a fan.) He also converted to Judaism. I actually think that was one of his wiser decisions. It was odd in that husband had been a staunch atheist since age 8. But he had great respect and admiration for Jewish people. He had been yammering about December 31 being "the end," and I think he finally needed a faith to hold on to. I found a rabbi's phone number in his cell; I hope he spoke to the rabbi.

    breaking again to go to work