paranoid schizoaffrenic

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by JayPee, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I recently learned that my ex-husband of 30 years, who was a chronic alcoholic and only recently stopped drinking because physically he couldn't anymore, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizoaffrenia. He is refusing medication which kind of goes with the way he always was. I feel sad for where he's at but I know very little about it.

    Can anyone share any information they know about this type of disorder and personal experiences of loved ones that have it? Is it brought on by alcoholism/drug abuse and if someone refuses medication will they have any chance of getting better?

    Such a sad ending to his story. He was a good man, served in the Marine Corp., worked for most all of his life but towards the end of our marriage the drinking became his priority and destroyed everything that was important in life for him and wreaked havoc with everyone he came into contact with. I've learned through therapy and the support of Al anon to heal so I'm in as good a place as I can be but wanted to become more informed.

    I'm beginning to wonder if he always sensed something didn't feel right and then began drinking to numb himself, which then of course, led to his addiction and inability to ever gain sobriety.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I know a littl because I meet soooooo many people at the business. I will share what I know from a few parents/ relatives of those who care for somebody who has svhizoaffevtive.

    I was told pot can bring it on but only if it's there.

    Schizoaffevtive Disorder is both a mood disorder and a thought disorder. It is schizophrenia and bipolar combined but is more treatable than schizophrenia by itself. A few people told me this. I don't know why this is.

    Schizophrenia causes hallucinations and breaks with reality. Paranoid people often truly believe they are being poisened or tracked by others or hunted down by the FBI. I believe medications are a must from what I have been told. Paradoxically, the patient often believes that his medications are poisen so will not take them and does not get better. It's a sad disease.

    Bipolar is a spectrum disorder with the very worst patients becoming psychotic when manic and suicidal when depressed. Often they refuse medications but I don't know why. I believe they do need medicatioln to stop the cycling and each cycle, I was told, imprints on the brain so cycling needs to stop with medication. This disorder tends to be inherited.

    Pot and other drugs are commonly used with it and make the person worse.

    Well, this is what I have been told. It could be wrong. Don't take it to heart until you check.

    I am sorry your ex is so ill. God bless all of you.
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  3. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Thank you Busy.

    You hit the nail on the head with regards to why he won't take the medications. He believes the nurses are trying to poison him with the medications. Also, right on with the paranoia. That's why his sister initially brought him to the hospital because they were living with the shades down as he thought he was being hunted down.

    I appreciate this information. It's helpful as I begin to learn more about it.
  4. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Schizophrenia is much worse than schitzoaffective disorder. If he was just diagnosed, it's probably not schizophrenia, because that usually starts around late teens. At the shelter we see many people with untreated schizophrenia. They hear voices and won't take medications for various reasons. Most of them are so paranoid that they believe swallowing a pill is a actually a tiny camera device that will allow others to read their minds, etc. It's a devastating mental illness that has to be treated. Schizoaffective disorder isn't as bad and is more treatable. It is more of a mood disorder with illness. It's thought that drugs and alcohol can alter the brain chemistry enough to rewire things and bring on mental illness. Sometimes the illness was already there but didn't manifest until drugs or a life event triggered it.

    I really hope he doesn't have schizophrenia. A any rate, I will pray that he takes his medications and gets into therapy. To make matters worse, both illnesses are hereditary. I don't mean to alarm you about your two sons, but be prepared for that. This is very concerning.
  5. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    Because at this time I'm getting second hand information, I'm not sure now which he was diagnosed with but your 2nd disorder seems to me (unprofessionally speaking) more applicable given his long history of drinking. I will get more clarification from his sister.

    Also, I thought I heard it was hereditary too and the "worry" already crossed my mind that this could be passed down to my sons. It could explain a lot of their current behaviors. I will try not to get too far ahead of myself but I do appreciate your input.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi JP

    I am only just now seeing this thread. Sorry. For the longest time Schizophrenia was divided into subtypes, and Paranoid Schizophrenia was the most common. Schizophrenia is usually characterized by disorganization of thinking, speech, and behavior, which renders them to not see or experience reality as do the rest of us. But Paranoid Schizophrenics do not suffer from disorganization. On the surface they can look "normal." What binds them together in this diagnosis is that they feel they are persecuted, plotted against. And with this they are unable to determine what is real. They are not typically violent. Except family members are at risk, typically their mother or wife. Typical delusions would be they might be poisoned; their wife is unfaithful; being spied upon by the FBI. Like other schizophrenics they can experience auditory and visual hallucinations.

    Alcoholism and marijuana can trigger schizophrenia in somebody who is at risk but I don't think it can cause it. He may well have self-medicated with alcohol in order to mask how he felt.

    Paranoid Schizophrenia can be treated with medication and counseling. Paradoxically these people can be warm, gentle and kind, and responsive to relationships. It does not have to be the end of the world. I am not downplaying the seriousness of Paranoid Schizophrenia, but stopping drinking there could be hope for him. I think I am remembering he is physically ill. Which is sad. It is good he's stopped drinking. Maybe in time he might be receptive to medication and treatment.

    I'm glad you are no longer living with him or up close with his problems.
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  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    JP, take heart.

    Your sons are disturbed like addicts are, but NOT hallucinating or thinking people are out to kill them etc.

    The parents I talk to describe these breaks wulith reality.

    Many hugs and take Copa seriously because.. she is so smart.
  8. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    You definitely know what you’re talking about. The dilussions you listed are exactly what he’s experienced.

    His sister informed me that they recently let him out of the hospital because he had taken his medications for three days. Pror to that he was refusing to take them because he thought they were trying to poison him. Since he’s back with her he stopped taking his medications (past two days). He’ll likely end right back there in no time.

    How come these symptoms are so spot on specific. i.e. fbi, poisoning, unfaithful accusations and being spied on?

    It’s been a lot for me to deal with because I was faithful for 30 years and even though divorced two years now he contacted my pastor to tell him I was cheating on him with someone from the church. I have seen my pastor several times before, during and after the divorce so he is familiar with my family issues however Its all still been embarrassing.

    I guess I wonder if he takes no medications how he ever has a chance to get better.

    I appreciate the information you provided.
  9. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Oh JP. My heart cries for you. How awful for you.

    Many blessings.
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    JP you are so strong!

    I'm so glad that you have your faith. That can really help us get through anything!!

    Cyber Hugs.
  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    You know how we often talk about "Let Go and Let God". Below is an excerpt from a prayer I found and thought I'd share.

    "Surrender to me does not mean to fret,
    to be upset, or to lose hope,
    nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer
    asking me to follow you
    and change your worry into prayer.
    It is against this surrender,
    deeply against it, to worry,
    to be nervous
    and to desire to think about the consequences of anything.

    How many things I do when the soul,
    in so much spiritual and material need turns to me,
    looks at me and says to me;
    “You take care of it,”
    then close its eyes and rests.
    In pain you pray for me to act,
    but that I act in the way you want.
    You do not turn to me, instead,
    you want me to adapt to your ideas.
    You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you,
    but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to.
    So do not act this way."