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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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My wife was in the first Gulf War 15 years ago. She experienced

Customer Question

My wife was in the first Gulf War 15 years ago. She experienced a lot of trauma and was exposed to chemical nerve agents. About five years ago, we began to discuss the fact that her anxiety and depression seemed to be getting worse. She began going to the VA and focused first on the possibility of being transgender. They in fact put her on male hormone for about a year. Then the diagnosis turned to schizophrenia. She brought home, but refused to take, three different medications over a year. Since then, her symptoms have increased. Auditory hallucinations (always the same few foul words directed at her in a public place), confusion, anger, extreme paranoia about the smallest incident, and seeing colors or auras around a person, like colored light or smoke. The most recent sympotms are a nodding or shaking head or hands. She reads constantly about stuff like MS, but it sounds to me like paranoid schizophrenia since every day she is persecuted unfairly in the most ordinary situations.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.

Hi OakLane,

It certainly sounds like they diagnosed the schizophrenia correctly. The hallucinations are very disturbing and can change at any time to something more dangerous than head nods, and the intrusiveness of the thoughts are a painful burden to bear. Her interest in being transgender could be a whole separate issue that makes her schizophrenia even harder to deal with.

Family Support
Support & Info

Family members can experience a very exhausting existance as this disease continues on over time. You need support for yourself so that you can be there for yourself, and her. I've placed 2 links above to very good support sites for family members. Connecting with others in your position can be very helpful.

Encourage her to take her medication and to see the doctors. She might be better off going to a single psychiatrist who is connected to a local hospital so that you can get help easily and quickly.

I didn't see a specific question in your post, so I've provided information to you. If I can be of further help, please let me know.