Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like your husband has either had a psychotic break or he is suffering from delusions, possibly related to schizophrenia.
I am curious what your husband's therapist has to say about this. At the very least, your husband's therapist should have done an evaluation initially and given your husband a diagnosis. If he is seeing a psychiatrist as well, then there should be either a confirmation of the therapist's diagnosis or vice versa. If this is a new symptom, then there should be a re evaluation to see if there needs to be a revision in his diagnosis.
Although there is a possibility that these types of things do occur in families with money and connections, the reason your husband gives for the hypnosis and drugs is not very plausible. Why would they need to control him? Has he been a threat to someone? And if he feels this is true, why not go to the police? Also, a tracking device in his thumb would be easy to detect with a simple x ray. The fact that he has an elaborate scheme but no evidence tells you that it is most likely in his mind.
Because your husband was abused, you may want to consider a psychotic break first before you consider schizophrenia or a persecutory disorder. Sometimes, when people are abused, they can break down because they run out of coping mechanisms. It is rare, but it does happen. It usually lasts until the person can get help. The nature of the psychotic break can be persecutory, where they feel everyone or someone specific is out to get them. Medication and therapy help enormously in dealing with these kinds of breaks. Sometimes hospitalization is required but that should be determined by your husband's therapist or doctor.
Schizophrenia is the another option. I don't know your husband's age, but onset usually occurs in late teens or young adulthood to age 25. It can occur after age 25 but diagnosis after 40 is very rare. It is important that your husband talk to his doctor or therapist to see if he has any other symptoms related to schizophrenia.
Persecutory disorder is also a possibility. This is when a person believes others are after him or her and are plotting against them. This is best addressed by medication and therapy as well.
If he feels suicidal and tells you he has a plan, get him to the local ER as fast as you can. You can also contact 911 if he will not coorperate.
Try your best to calm your husband's fears. Don't say you don't believe him, but do not confirm his beliefs either. Focus on being supportive and being there for him. Until he is seen by a professional, this is the best action you can take.
I hope this has helped you,Kate
I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?
With psychotic breaks...do you have to be going through an extremely rough time in order to have one? When this all first happened, he was living in Florida near the beach, working with his "dream boss" at his "dream job", surfing every day, and enjoying life. Then one week, he called to say he felt like he was in danger and thought his boss might be trying to poison him, and he was scared and sleeping with a gun under his pillow. He later said he realized that they were "drugging" him through the milk they always poured him when he went to visit.
I should elaborate that this is not something that just happened recently. He claims to have been hypnotized beginning in 2005. He says that he didn't remember it happening until Late 2006. He didn't tell me until 2007 (he thought I would think he was crazy and leave him).
My husband is 32 and is currently a full time college student getting his degree in Electrical Engineering. He is very intelligent, and, up until this happened, extremely motivated. He is also a disabled veteran (he was injured before going overseas, so he was not ever in a war zone). We currently cannot afford health insurance (or physical therapy for his injury, or pain management, for that matter). We cannot x-ray his thumb because we cannot afford to. Trust me, I would love to show him that he is mistaken about all of this- that nobody is tracking us, watching us, etc. He currently sees his college's psychogist for free, but he is running out of sessions. I am not sure what his therapist says/thinks about all of this. He claims she does not know what to think, and tries to avoid talking about "The Scheme" with him.
His father is a very broken man who was abused himself as a child and is extremely manipulative and calculating. Before all of this, my father-in-law told him (in my presence) "What if I could do something for you and for the family that would make everyone's lives better, but I couldn't tell you what it is? Would you agree to it?" When my husband said "Probably not, I'd need more information", his father said "Well, just so you know, I don't need your permission." My husband sees this conversation as "proof" that his father is "behind this". He has also admitted that his father could have set this up to help him, but things got mixed up along the way.
I am in no way trying to convince you that this "scheme" is real, but I wanted to give some more background. It's very scary to think that your husband could have had a "psychotic break" or could be schizophrenic, but it's also scary to think that this "scheme" could be real. Do you think there are psychologists/psychiatrists who would see him pro bono?
Thank you for the additional information. It helps.
I agree with you, it is a scary thought that he could be mentally ill. And I am sure this is very stressful for you. Any time a family member has a problem like this, it is very common to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But there is help out there.
Since your husband is a veteran, he should be able to go through his military insurance and see someone at a VA hospital. Is he willing to do this? They should provide free or low fee care.
If he is not willing to go to the VA, he could try the local community mental health center. I don't know that they won't just refer him back to the VA, but he could try. If he is seen at the community mental health center, they will see him based on a sliding fee scale so he can pay according to what he can afford.
You do not necessarily have to be currently going through a tough time to have a psychotic break. It mostly occurs when a person's ability to handle how they feel breaks down and they do not have a way to cope. I have witnessed it happening to someone who was abused as a child. They were out of the situation and an adult when the break occurred. They have since recovered so with treatment a person can improve with help.
Do not give up hope. You can only do your best to help your husband find help. Medications can make a world of difference in helping him function and lead a fulfilling life. But don't forget to care for yourself as well. This is very stressful and you will need support. Here are some resources to help you:
NAMI- http://www.nami.org/ They offer families support and advocacy
When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis
Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers by Rosalynn Carter and Susan Golant M.A.
The Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness: Recognizing Symptoms & Getting Treatment by Bodie Morey and Kim T. Mueser
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
Let me know if I can be of more assistance,
You're welcome! My best to you and your husband. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.